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dbeebe

S4 Visualizer vs PE Preview vs Try S5 Beta?

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dbeebe    0

My husband (dbeebe of our user name here) has been using LOR and setting up light displays since 2010.  He has finally convinced me to join him in the madness.  Basically, he is handling hardware & I'm now doing software.  The big change we are making this year is starting to use smart pixels.  Up until now, the entire display has been traditional incandescent or LED strings. Other than sequencing a song for the singing Halloween monsters a couple of years ago, I am a complete newbie to LOR.  (However, I have a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a MS in Computer Science so I assume I should be able to handle this.)  I've been watching tutorials on youtube & reading PDF documents about S4 & S5.  dbeebe just upgraded us to the latest version Pro so now I need to decide where to start and which version to use.

Keep in mind that I'm pretty much starting from scratch.  The little bit of traditional sequencing I've done was with S3 a few years ago.  I am getting the impression that I should start with either Visualizer or Pixel Editor Preview if I am going to use S4 and these have been combined into a single new thing in S5.  So I have a 2 part question: First, should I start with S4 (more documentation & online help available) or should I jump to S5 since I'm learning from scratch at this point and won't have to re-learn techniques that have changed from S4?  Second, If I stick with S4 is it better to use Visualizer or PE Preview?  Is one easier to move to S5 later or are they pretty similar and it doesn't matter which you use?  Based just on what I've watched/read, they seem to do pretty much the same thing - so is one better than the other?

Our goals for this season are pretty simple.  We want the old sequences for the traditional lights to run as they always have.  We are adding 2 pixel trees (kits from HolidayCoro) with E1.31 controllers.  If we have time, we also have some C9 smart pixel strings to outline the top of a gazebo in our yard - at the moment, neither of us really expects to have that working for this year!  I just need to figure out how to sequence the pixel trees and hopefully be able to play them along with the traditional lights.

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default    56
16 hours ago, dbeebe said:

Basically, he is handling hardware & I'm now doing software.

Haha sucker :P  just kidding, Welcome to the Forums

16 hours ago, dbeebe said:

 dbeebe just upgraded us to the latest version Pro so now I need to decide where to start and which version to use.

I understand this to mean you are now running ver 5.xx and have a Pro License or an earlier version and a Pro License. In either ver S4.xxx or S5.xxx you will have the ability to Sequence with Pixel Editor, Superstar or both. Another advantage of the Pro license is the ability to save your files using Intensity files. (smaller size and more efficient data use) Intensity files are mostly for large displays, but as your display grows you already have the ability to use it.

16 hours ago, dbeebe said:

 First, should I start with S4 (more documentation & online help available) or should I jump to S5 since I'm learning from scratch at this point and won't have to re-learn techniques that have changed from S4?

You may get some different opinions, but if it were me I would start using S5. S5 is new and presently in beta form, but it is the way that LOR is going in the future. As far as re-learning techniques from S4 to S5, the sequencing part has not changed that much. The big difference is that in S5 the Visualizer is gone and the props have to be setup in Sequencer Editor. Since you say you have some Sequences from 2010 that are traditional lights you will be able to continue to use those and add in the new pixel trees in either version you chose to use.

16 hours ago, dbeebe said:

Second, If I stick with S4 is it better to use Visualizer or PE Preview?  Is one easier to move to S5 later or are they pretty similar and it doesn't matter which you use?

Again, with LOR going with S5 in the future (without Visualizer) it would make sense to me to learn to use PE Preview (which is similar in ver S4) From what I have read LOR is not going to support S4 in terms of new offerings. However (S4) does work and will continue to work with your lights.

Visualizer was very handy for those of us who use Superstar. If you are not aware, Superstar is an excellent program that lets you control you Smart RGB lights. Traditionally (S4) Superstar relied on having a Visualizer file to use. However in S5, the Visualizer is gone. You have to use the Preview Editor for Superstar and it has changed somewhat how you put Superstar effects into your Sequence.

As far as using Superstar and/or Pixel Editor, there are things that you can do in Superstar that you cannot do in Pixel Editor and there are things in Pixel Editor that you cannot do in Superstar. Since you didn't mention having Superstar and to this point have not had Smart Pixels I would assume you don't use it. So using the Visualizer file is really moot. You should be able to use Preview Editor to create a nice show in S5. In the future I would encourage you to read up on and try the demo of Superstar it may add some level of Sequencing that you would enjoy see in your display.

Whichever way you chose to go, there are a lot of people here who will give you help.

Just my opinions,

Alan...

Edited by default

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dbeebe    0

HI Alan - thank you very much for your input.  I've decided (based on your info) to totally ignore/skip visualizer.  I messed around with S4 PE Preview a little over the weekend and that went OK.  dbeebe is working on assembling the 2 pixel trees, so once they are finished I can mess around with making sure it all connects together.  I'm still vacillating back and forth on whether to use S4 or just start with S5.  It would have been nice if I could have both on the same PC, but it seems that isn't an option :(  My gut feeling is always to avoid beta versions (after over 30 years of working with computers, I've had my share of issues with betas!) but the idea of learning one version just to need to learn a completely different version next year isn't very appealing either!

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k6ccc    500
On 9/7/2017 at 5:56 PM, dbeebe said:

My husband (dbeebe of our user name here) has been using LOR and setting up light displays since 2010.  He has finally convinced me to join him in the madness.  Basically, he is handling hardware & I'm now doing software.  

Like Alan said: Sucker!  And also, welcome to the forum.  Personally I find that the hardware is the easy part and the sequencing is the hard part for me.  Mostly I an not an artist and lack the creativity to know what I want to do.  I can make the software do what I want, but knowing what I want is the hard part for me.

On 9/7/2017 at 5:56 PM, dbeebe said:

Keep in mind that I'm pretty much starting from scratch.  The little bit of traditional sequencing I've done was with S3 a few years ago.  I am getting the impression that I should start with either Visualizer or Pixel Editor Preview if I am going to use S4 and these have been combined into a single new thing in S5.  So I have a 2 part question: First, should I start with S4 (more documentation & online help available) or should I jump to S5 since I'm learning from scratch at this point and won't have to re-learn techniques that have changed from S4?

The answer to that depends mostly on what you plan to sequence with.  If you expect to use Sequence Editor or Pixel Editor, then you might as well go to S5.  If you are wanting to use SuperStar, stick with S4.  At least at this phase of the S5 beta, the SuperStar implementation is downright horrible.  LOR says that it will get better.  I certainly hope so as it can't get much worse for someone who sequences EVERYTHING in SuperStar.  I really hope that by early 2018 when I start sequencing for my 2018 show that S5 will have a useful implementation because it would be nice to at least have the ability to add an occasional Pixel Editor effect after sequencing the entire show in SuperStar.  However for 2017, I'm sticking with S4.  One of the biggest issues is that to layout a complex display in SuperStar requires a Visualization file created by the Visualizer.  Visualizer is gone in S5 and the Preview Editor does not currently have the ability to create a file that SuperStar can use to import the configuration.

 

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