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jtomason

PE effects for line elements/arches

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So I'm still struggling to understand what value PE might add to my sequencing.   I watched the tutorial videos, which seem to be almost entirely matrix-oriented, and I get the value there.  

 I note one tutorial video described adding an arch as a prop in PE but then moved on to a matrix and never returned... 

 Can someone describe, or - even better - show video of the effects applicable to non-matrix/tree props like roof lines and arches? 

Thanks!

 

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Create a preview with some arches in it. Then open the Effect Generator, set your preview and prop, then have fun with all of the controls. The Effect Generator is your playground!

For arches and rooflines, look for effects that move left and right.

Matt

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8 hours ago, MattBrown said:

Create a preview with some arches in it. Then open the Effect Generator, set your preview and prop, then have fun with all of the controls. The Effect Generator is your playground!

For arches and rooflines, look for effects that move left and right.

Matt

 

I did just that.  Seems like only one or two effects are geared for lines/arches, and they weren't anything I couldn't do in short order in SE.   What am I missing?  Can you offer an example?

 

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Joe,

TL;DR: Your observation is somewhat correct. On my matrix-less displays of thousands of pixels, I find myself reverting to the following effects when I'm animating it across a single "line" of pixels:

  • Colorwash
  • Bars / Blended Bars
  • Butterfly
  • Single block (MOST of my programming - TY Matt for intruducing this)
  • Occassionally Garland

You can also use twinkle, scanner, snowflakes, and meteors on a single line.  I'm counting 10 :).  Scroll down to the end of my post to watch my videos which primarily only use these effects.  Let me know if you want to do these in the traditional Sequence Editor...

Long Answer:

1) Perhaps this is about discussion on technology design / automation of said display.  Hang on for a second.

If you have a 'light display' of one flood light (a single point - 0 dimensions), there's not much you can do with just one, single-colored flood light. You can turn it on, off, fade up, fade down, shimmer, twinkle, etc. (Heck, why even use LOR when a home dimmer switch can do all these effects?!)  When you order a bunch of lights in a row (a line - 1 dimensional), you suddenly have a lot more options for how to animate said 'line' of lights (chases, fades, twinkles, scanner, etc.) . It's a lot more lights to control, but it's possible to do manually.  When you enter 2D space, as a "matrix", you have even more ways to animate said grouping of lights (a plane - 2 dimensions). Programming this without the pixel editor is near impossible.  And when you move to 3D light setups (a 'cube' - 3 dimensional), you have even more ways to illuminate and animate; and this is impossible to do without complex software.  LOR doesn't support "3D" lighting yet, and xLights is just beginning to support it. So we'll stay in the 2d realm. 

In some ways, using the Pixel Editor on a line of lights is overkill; it's designed for a 2d setup (i.e. video content).  We've been 'manually' programming a line of lights for years (row of mini trees; rows of windows, etc.) in the traditional sequence editor.  But now that we have the pixel editor, I find myself using more complex technology to accomplish a simpler task -- simply because it's easier and quicker.  It's way easier to throw the "bars" effect on 8 RGB flood lights (heck, even 8 normal flood lights) in order to chase them along the house than manually drawing that in the sequence editor. Is it possible manually? yes, but it's faster to do so in the PE.  It's also muuuuuch easier to quickly program different colors and different effects at once; something that doing manually would take hours.  On a simple "line" setup, I think it boils down to the ease of using automation to programming 50 or 100 lights in a row, and I think that's a lot of the value that it can bring to your workflow.

2) Or, perhaps your question might suggest that because you can only find 2 effects to apply to a single line, there may not be value in using pixels in forms other than a matrix.  This is certainly an assumption on my part, but I would challenge that notion!

While the effects I tend use are relatively simple, their ability to create a neat display grows exponentially when combined with other pixel elements.  I would find it difficult to make a single roof-line of pixels visually interesting -- given the 10 or so effects.  It's almost like a drawing, or a painting: one single stroke doesn't do much for you; but even a few dozen brush strokes or pencil lines can create something interesting. If you have 6 roof lines, even the simplest effects can be interesting!  Your options increase by six-fold. (Think: going from 1 mini tree to 16 mini trees)  And I think this is the key when working with pixel elements: the more the merrier; the more pixel elements you have, the more options you have for animating elements across your home. (Heck, this is even true with 'traditional' lights and channels).

One last comment with which to leave you.  The easiest way to use a 2D grid is in a matrix - like most people do. However, there are other ways to use 16x50 strings, and I would challenge ANYONE to re-organize their matrix in something other than a grid.  I've taken it and wrapped it around a round tree. Sure, it's a "matrix", but when you animate it, it can look like a tree is growing. I've also taken a 24x50 matrix and spread it apart and hung it from the limbs of trees. Now, I can walk through said "matrix" and it's visual quality takes a drastic turn from the traditional "TV screen on your house".  I've also taken a traditional "line" and curved it: I've wrapped it around pillars and placed them on curved paths.  Garland is another way to use them; wrap them around windows, along path ways, etc.  The animation component to a light display, as your question targets, becomes less about applying video content to a TV, but more about telling a story with display elements.  IMHO, there's something much more compelling about a house wrapped in pixels if the areas of light move across different elements, as opposed to a constant "blanket" of the house in various effects. 

Here's some videos of mine:

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHWXm7IIUfs Pixels on the trees, in the trees, on the roof, on the windows.
  • https://youtu.be/Uz6X3SR8BdI?t=72  Used pixels on the pillars, on the roofline, on the "logo feature". (skip around, but please ignore the erroneous LOR glitching near the end)
  • A cool logo feature I made using pixels in a non-linear methodology. The logo also lights up and "joins" the strings.
    enoch_logo.gif   enoch_logo2.gif
  • Thanks 1

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