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Dave76

S4 Pixel Sequencing Question

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Dave76    4

Hello,

I am just getting into the pixel editing.  I have a question.  Currently am building my props.  I plan on keeping my controllers in the the middle area of my house to keep the runs as minimal as possible.

My question is in this example, if I have window A on the left and Window B on the right, the pixels go in a clockwise direction, and the delivery point on Window A will be the bottom right most corner, on Window B it will be the bottom left corner (keeping in mind the controller is in the middle this keep the run shortest to each).  

1) will this be a big problem with my sequencing?  Say if I want to do a full sweep of light from left of house to right does it make for a rought time sequencing?

Any suggestions? 

Thanks!

 

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Mr. P    285

It makes it more difficult if you want the windows to do the same thing. Remember that each pixel is numbered 1,2,3 so where the number one pixel starts is where the lights come on first during a chase if you sequence them both the same. If one starts at the bottom right and one at the bottom left you will have to sequence differently if you want them to mirror each other.

Am I making sense to you?

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Dave76    4

Mr. P,

Correct, I understand that... With limited controls, no power injection, I'm trying to keep the runs to a minimal.  But I don't want to have a nightmare programming.  I"m not familiar with the S4 software pixel editor yet, I just ordered it.  I was hoping that the software would help some with this.  If one output goes to one window, and the window has four sides, can that windows object in the Software show up as for separate lines?  Like line/side 1 is 1-60 channels, side 2 is 61-121, side 3 is 122-182, side 4 183-243.  Say the delivery point is the bottom right corner, and goes clockwise.

Window A
So then when I do a sweep left to right, of turning lights on,  all 61-121 channels come on, then 60-1 AND 122-182 sequentially at the same time, followed by all of 183-243.  Is that accurate and make sense?

Then Window B

Delivery point is bottom left window.  side 1 is 244-304, side 2 is 305-365, side 3 is 366 - 426, and side 4 is 427-487.  Keeping with example sweeping left house to right with pixel turn on, all side 1 244-304 come on, then 305-365 AND 487-427 

I"m referring to these two windows spots in this picture.  The big green is controller, and the red spots are the delivery points, arrows are pixel direction.

 

image.png.c7ae3012dde1dd8d0b301093bcb65fc6.png

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Little_b    34

Pixel Editor will allow you to do what you are asking.  There are several ways to do it.  Set the windows up as 2 props and use the effect generator for each of them, or set the 2 props as a group and use the effect generator across both of them.

There's a couple videos on the LOR Website that can explain in more detail under the Pixel Editor section.

http://www1.lightorama.com/tutorials/

 

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Dave76    4

Thank you Little_b.  And PE is part of S4 Pro, I don't need SuperStar do I?

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k6ccc    484

Pixel Editor is a built in part of the S4 software, but you do have to have a Pro level license to use it. 

SuperStar is an add on at any license level.  My personal opinion is that SuperStar is worth every penny that I've paid for it.  I sequence everything with SuperStar, and have never gotten Pixel Editor to be useful.  I am not willing to lose the control that I have with SuperStar in order to use Pixel Editor (in S4, it's one or the other for any given prop in a sequence).  With the S5 beta software the intent is to be able to combine functions, but the SuperStar integration at this early stage of the beta is all but worthless.

 

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Dave76    4
42 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

Pixel Editor is a built in part of the S4 software, but you do have to have a Pro level license to use it. 

SuperStar is an add on at any license level.  My personal opinion is that SuperStar is worth every penny that I've paid for it.  I sequence everything with SuperStar, and have never gotten Pixel Editor to be useful.  I am not willing to lose the control that I have with SuperStar in order to use Pixel Editor (in S4, it's one or the other for any given prop in a sequence).  With the S5 beta software the intent is to be able to combine functions, but the SuperStar integration at this early stage of the beta is all but worthless.

 

Thanks Jim for the info.  I don't have a lot going on with Pixels this year, chases, sweeps, and some stuff on the mega tree I'm doing.  I've been told Pixel Editor would be sufficient.  But I do value your opinion.  I don't want to be held up and want to keep planning for the future so I will definitely look into SS.  So if I program my pixel show this year in PE, I won't be able to use those sequences next year if I move to SuperStar?

 

Thanks!

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k6ccc    484
1 minute ago, Dave76 said:

Thanks Jim for the info.  I don't have a lot going on with Pixels this year, chases, sweeps, and some stuff on the mega tree I'm doing.  I've been told Pixel Editor would be sufficient.  But I do value your opinion.  I don't want to be held up and want to keep planning for the future so I will definitely look into SS.  So if I program my pixel show this year in PE, I won't be able to use those sequences next year if I move to SuperStar?

 

As I said, with S4, it's pretty much one or the other.  However, assuming that later beta releases of S5 make SuperStar work right, it will be the best of both worlds as you will (hopefully) be able to use Pixel Editor and SuperStar effects almost seamlessly in a sequence.  S5 is currently in beta and is expected to be until late this year.  In part because I have largely completed my 2017 sequencing, I am expecting to remain in S4 for 2017.  I have been playing with the S5 beta versions since it came out last month, and ran a very successful test on my landscaping lights using the S5 show player and a combination of sequences that were created in S4 and S5.  I am hoping that by February when I start sequencing for 2018 that the SuperStar integration into S5 will be good (right now, it's not even close).

BTW from a terminology point of view, in S5, the Pixel Editor, Sequence Editor, and Visualizer (sort of) are combined and now called the S5 Sequencer.  In general I am using the old names to describe the funtionality as it makes it easy to understand the different parts (particularly for people who are NOT participating in the S5 beta testing).

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Dave76    4
1 hour ago, k6ccc said:

As I said, with S4, it's pretty much one or the other.  However, assuming that later beta releases of S5 make SuperStar work right, it will be the best of both worlds as you will (hopefully) be able to use Pixel Editor and SuperStar effects almost seamlessly in a sequence.  S5 is currently in beta and is expected to be until late this year.  In part because I have largely completed my 2017 sequencing, I am expecting to remain in S4 for 2017.  I have been playing with the S5 beta versions since it came out last month, and ran a very successful test on my landscaping lights using the S5 show player and a combination of sequences that were created in S4 and S5.  I am hoping that by February when I start sequencing for 2018 that the SuperStar integration into S5 will be good (right now, it's not even close).

BTW from a terminology point of view, in S5, the Pixel Editor, Sequence Editor, and Visualizer (sort of) are combined and now called the S5 Sequencer.  In general I am using the old names to describe the funtionality as it makes it easy to understand the different parts (particularly for people who are NOT participating in the S5 beta testing).

Got it thank you.

 

One last question as I still bang my head figuring this out.  I"m not doing power injection, and I'm trying to utilize my output runs.  Will I have a nightmare programming say two or three props on one run or will the software allow for me to break them up?  For example, if I have a window with 50 pixels and a column near it with 50, I'd like to be able to run one output, and a small jumper in between the two. 

I am trying to avoid having to make an output run to each and  every area, say if a roof line area has 25 pixels, kinda a waste when without power injection, I should be able to run up to 100.

 

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k6ccc    484
12 minutes ago, Dave76 said:

One last question as I still bang my head figuring this out.  I"m not doing power injection, and I'm trying to utilize my output runs.  Will I have a nightmare programming say two or three props on one run or will the software allow for me to break them up?  For example, if I have a window with 50 pixels and a column near it with 50, I'd like to be able to run one output, and a small jumper in between the two. 

The software could not care less.  The software will let you make any pixel any channel that you want.  The software will assume you are doing things logically in order in things like channel wizards, and insert device, but you can override that or change it later.  Note that in the S4 visualizer, a single fixture can't cross DMX universe boundries.  there is a work around to that however.  Your controller MAY also limit what you do depending on it's configuration capability.

15 minutes ago, Dave76 said:

I am trying to avoid having to make an output run to each and  every area, say if a roof line area has 25 pixels, kinda a waste when without power injection, I should be able to run up to 100

Sometimes how you break things up depends on what's handy.  For example, I have about 220 GE Color Effects lights on my eves that are driven by a SanDevices E682 controller.  The E682 has 16 outputs.  I am using 10 of them for the lights on the eves just because it was convenient, and I had no expectations of ever using any of the extra outputs at that location.  The strings vary from 18 to 25 bulbs each.  BTW, although most smart pixels don't care how many pixels you stack together, some do.  Specifically the GECE lights can't have more than 64 in a string.  The common WS2801 and WS2811 pixels don't care.  I did a test a couple years ago with 500 WS2811 pixels being driven off a single output of a E682 controller - power injection obviously required for that test.  It worked fine.

With that said, use caution with your 100 pixel assumption.  It depends on what kind of pixels.  For example, I have two instances in my year round landscape lighting where I had excessive voltage drop on 12V (three RGB LED per pixel) WS2811 strips.  In one case, the strips were 88 and 99 pixels, and I noticed a pronounced color shift at the far ends.  Because it was convenient, I inserted power 33 pixels from the end in both cases.  On the other situation, I have 94 pixels of 12V (three RGB LED per pixel) WS2811 strips.  The color shift was VERY pronounced at the ends.  With the strips at full white on all channels, I measured the voltage at the far end at about 9.5 volts.  In that case, I injected power at the far end.  If in doubt, hook up the actual lights and turn them on full white on all pixels and look for a color shift between first and last pixels, and also measure the far end voltage.

 

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Dave76    4
12 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

The software could not care less.  The software will let you make any pixel any channel that you want.  The software will assume you are doing things logically in order in things like channel wizards, and insert device, but you can override that or change it later.  Note that in the S4 visualizer, a single fixture can't cross DMX universe boundries.  there is a work around to that however.  Your controller MAY also limit what you do depending on it's configuration capability.

Sometimes how you break things up depends on what's handy.  For example, I have about 220 GE Color Effects lights on my eves that are driven by a SanDevices E682 controller.  The E682 has 16 outputs.  I am using 10 of them for the lights on the eves just because it was convenient, and I had no expectations of ever using any of the extra outputs at that location.  The strings vary from 18 to 25 bulbs each.  BTW, although most smart pixels don't care how many pixels you stack together, some do.  Specifically the GECE lights can't have more than 64 in a string.  The common WS2801 and WS2811 pixels don't care.  I did a test a couple years ago with 500 WS2811 pixels being driven off a single output of a E682 controller - power injection obviously required for that test.  It worked fine.

With that said, use caution with your 100 pixel assumption.  It depends on what kind of pixels.  For example, I have two instances in my year round landscape lighting where I had excessive voltage drop on 12V (three RGB LED per pixel) WS2811 strips.  In one case, the strips were 88 and 99 pixels, and I noticed a pronounced color shift at the far ends.  Because it was convenient, I inserted power 33 pixels from the end in both cases.  On the other situation, I have 94 pixels of 12V (three RGB LED per pixel) WS2811 strips.  The color shift was VERY pronounced at the ends.  With the strips at full white on all channels, I measured the voltage at the far end at about 9.5 volts.  In that case, I injected power at the far end.  If in doubt, hook up the actual lights and turn them on full white on all pixels and look for a color shift between first and last pixels, and also measure the far end voltage.

 

Wow great information thanks.  I have all WS2811 and I am using the E682 also.  I will run a couple tests.  I'm struggling building the props though with delivery point and so forth.  I know it would make life easier to have each prop/fixture on it's own run, but it just doesn't make sense to me to burn outputs for super small runs.  So I will have a bit of more issue with the sequencing.

Thanks again!

 

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Dave76    4

Jim,

Outside of power issues, would this be OK to do with sequencing or is it spelling trouble.  What this is is three outline pieces of the house all on one output (25, 30, 25 pixels).  At one point I had planned for the 55 pixel window also.  What would you advise?

image.png.a486218f287ea2b1dbe83fb169269eef.png

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k6ccc    484

Not sure what the thing in the upper left corner is supposed to be, but ignoring that, it should not be a problem from a sequencing standpoint.  Without the window, that's 80 pixels which MAY work without power injection.  Test with the actual lights.  If you add the 55 pixel window onto the end, that would be 135 pixels which would certainly need power injection.  Assuming you can take power from the same power supply, I would insert power between the end of the righthand segment and the beginning of the window with power (both the positive and negative voltage) injection configured so that power can flow both directions from the insertion point.  Since the beginning and end of the window are right next to each other, I would tie the power to both ends of that 55 pixel string.  That last part is likely not really required, but would be easy and would help to keep voltages stable.  If you need a drawing of what I'm talking about, I can provide it.

 

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Dave76    4
32 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

Not sure what the thing in the upper left corner is supposed to be, but ignoring that, it should not be a problem from a sequencing standpoint.  Without the window, that's 80 pixels which MAY work without power injection.  Test with the actual lights.  If you add the 55 pixel window onto the end, that would be 135 pixels which would certainly need power injection.  Assuming you can take power from the same power supply, I would insert power between the end of the righthand segment and the beginning of the window with power (both the positive and negative voltage) injection configured so that power can flow both directions from the insertion point.  Since the beginning and end of the window are right next to each other, I would tie the power to both ends of that 55 pixel string.  That last part is likely not really required, but would be easy and would help to keep voltages stable.  If you need a drawing of what I'm talking about, I can provide it.

 

It's great info thanks.  At this point, I"m trying to avoid power injection the best I can. 

The small squares are output delivery points, and the small circles represent small jumper extension connectors so I can break the pieces down for storage.  I was more concerned with the sequencing part.  Being new to the pixels can be rather overwhelming when trying to account for everything.  Distance on runs, power, pixels counts, sequencing, etc. 

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k6ccc    484
1 minute ago, Dave76 said:

It's great info thanks.  At this point, I"m trying to avoid power injection the best I can. 

Don't be afraid of power injection.  It's not that big of a deal to do.

3 minutes ago, Dave76 said:

The small squares are output delivery points, and the small circles represent small jumper extension connectors so I can break the pieces down for storage.  I was more concerned with the sequencing part.

Don't get so hung up on one thing that your bury yourself down the road.  The biggest thing that you DON'T want to do is spend months sequencing only to find that the hardware won't support what you are doing and you have to modify all your sequences.  Generally finding you need to add power injection is not that big of a deal, but you want to know about far earlier than the day before opening night!  Along that line, my goal is to have all the lights fully set up and operational by the end of the weekend a weekend and a half before Thanksgiving.  That gives me 12 nights to watch parts of the show to make sure everything is working.

You said in an earlier post that you are using a SanDevices controller.  If you are using firmware version 4.xx make sure you understand how output clusters work on the SanDevices controllers.  That CAN have some limitations.  Not a big problem, but you need to understand it before you get too far.  There are beta versions of trhe firmware out there that largely eliminate that problem.  I've been running various SanDevices firmware versions since November 2016.  The beta versions are all 5.xx (not to be confused with LOR software beta versions S5.xx).  If you don't understand clusters, I can talk you through them.

 

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