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Template Changes

Donny M. Carter

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Hello all. I have built a new template for my 2011 show. It is saved and looks great if I open up sequence editor and open up the sequence named Template 2011. When I go to an old sequence to import it, it completely changes the tracks within the sequence. Now I must say that I modified my old template. the only thing mainly different is the old sequence did not contain more then one track. The new one has 8. Thanks for the help.

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I've posted about how to best manage your channels a few times.

I've modified it a bit ... here's the post. (Hey George S., this is my opinion only, okay? ;))
The Tracks feature within the Light-O-Rama sequence editor is often confusing to people. This article will try and explain it for you.

When you are working within a sequence there are two people who control what is going on. You and the computer. As we all know computers like to store things in their language. However, the LOR programmers gave us a method to store things in our language. (Or as I call it, human readable form.)

Internally, LOR will store the channel information with a tag called "SavedIndex". This index never changes, regardless of what you do to the channel. This means if you reassigned a channel from "Controller 1/Channel 1/Red Bush" to "Controller 3/Channel 8/Santa" the "SavedIndex" does not change.

This can cause issues when you go to update sequences from year to year.

Let's go over an example of how you might set up Tracks, to get the most out of them.

In this example you have 32 channels, or 2 16 channel controllers.

1) Create an animation sequence. (We don't need music here, we're just working on our template)
2) You will have 32 channels for this sequence. They will have default names. *Do not move any channels.*
3) If you already know your layout, you can go ahead and re-name the channels in this track. *Do not move any channels.*
4) Edit -> Duplicate Track. Name it "Working Track"
5) Change to the working track.
6) Now, click/drag channels into the order you want. *Do not simply rename channels*, but click/drag to re-arrange. [That's important.]
7) "Edit -> Export/Import Configuration -> Export" and save to a file.

When you create a second track, you are visually making a second copy, but internally the events are only stored once. This is why when you import the sequences from last year, everything is in the right place. With the steps above you don't change the internal associations.

Note that you will want to work within the "Working Track" from here on out. Do not make changes to your "Default" track. (Which you can rename by clicking the "Track" button in the toolbar. It's near the "Timings" button.)

Now when you import into another sequence from last year you will "Import" the LCC file created in step 7 above. Your events should now be associated with the correct channels.

Why? The LOR software keeps track of the channels internally, via a method not shown to you on the front-end of the software. When you rename a channel, the actual internal association does not change.

Now, let's say you want to add a 3rd controller to your display. Here's how you would do that.

Create a new animation sequence, and import your Channel Configuration File.
In the "DEFAULT" track, add 16 channels to the *BOTTOM*

Now, the fun part, (at least as of 2.9.4) you will have to Right-Click -> Copy to Other Track each of those 16 channels that you just added. It's tedious, but it's important to do.

You can now change to the "working" track, move the channels around as needed. Remember, *do not simply rename channels*, but click/drag to re-arrange. [That's important.]

Putting it all together

Let's say in the above example you have 4 bushes the first year (32 channel configuration) and each bush had two colors. Now for your upgraded display (48 channels) you have 4 bushes with 4 colors. When you created your working track, you moved the two new colors to be near the 2 old colors. You now want to import the new channel configuration to a sequence from last year.

You simply need to open a sequence from last year, and import your new LCC (Light-O-Rama Channel Configuration) file. Since the internal "SavedIndex" is now the same, the events from last year will remain associated with their current channel. The new channels, for example the new colors on the bushes, will be empty, as they were not in the sequence last year.

With the above method you can make changes to your channel configuration, and not have it adversely affect your current sequences. It does require planning and initial setup, but it does work.

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I'll tell you what I know about tracks and what I have learned the hard way. If you export a channel configuration and then try to import it later. There are a few things I can tell you from my own experiences.

Ok, so you have several tracks with X channel configurations. Now lets say you want to do an upgrade. In example you add an item to an unused channel on a controller or you add a controller and you add elements to those channels.

Open an older sequence, which will automatically import your old configuration into the old seq. Make your changes (aka add those controllers and channels and maybe tracks).

Now the one thing I learned almost the hard way is this. All of your sequences have to have the same channels and those channels have to be the same controller and channel information. Tracks have to be in same order. Meaning that track 1 in all sequences have to be lets say roof with same channels as track # 1 and Track #2 has to be the same in all seq. called lolly pops and with the same channels.

If you change one seq. export the channel config and import it to all of the other seq. right then and there. If you dont and you do any changes in another sequence be it old or new. You will have nothing but problems updating other sequences.

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Thanks for the great advice. What I was working on when I ran in to the problem was building a new template. This my first year with LOR running 80 channels. I know what I want to do next year so I was upgrading my tempplate. I WILL MAKE SURE TO CHANGE EVERYTHING AT THE SAME TIME. What a PAIN... But I really love LOR!

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