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Adding Pixels to Visualizer


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I've been rooting around the forum trying to find the best way to add smart pixels to the visualizer.  I'm not adding thousands, just a little over 200 for now... So I'm not worried about the fixture limitation I keep hearing so much about.  I am only adding the pixels to the gutter/eve line this year.

 

Here is what I did.  I first added a CCR ribbon to follow my gutter lines.  I set up the exact number of pixels I needed on each section.  Then I changed the color to show slight grey color and then set it to a level that I have disabled so I cant accidentally select it.  Then i placed a single bulb fixture on top of the first CCR bulb.  I changed its settings to include its name, RGB, Universe, DMX Size, etc, . Copy/paste and placed it over the next one and so on until I had individual single bulb fixtures over each CCR bulb.  Then I simply deleted the CCR Fixture for reference.

 

I saved the file, then opened the .lee file directly in Notepad.  I searched for the name of the fixture.  I then just edited the names of each one in order, then the channel assignment in order.   For example: the items I changed are highligted below.  the only part of the name I changed was the number since they all had "Upper Gutter" and then the number.  Then I just moved on to the next pixel down.

 

</AssignedChannels>
            <DrawPoints>
                <DrawPoint ID="1" Type="16" X="10773" Y="3519"/>
            </DrawPoints>
        </DrawObject>
        <DrawObject ID="279" Name="Upper Gutter 50" BulbSize="4" BulbSpacing="1" Comment="" BulbShape="1" ZOrder="2" AssignedItem="0" Locked="False" Fixture_Type="3" Channel_Type="2" Max_Opacity="0" LED="True">
            <Sample Background_Color="0" RGB_R="255" RGB_G="0" RGB_B="0"/>
            <AssignedChannels>
                <Channel ID="1" Name="Upper Gutter 50 ®" DeviceType="7" Network="1" Controller="0" Channel="148" Color="255" Sub_Type="0" Sub_Parm="0" Multi_1="16777215" Multi_2="16777215" Multi_3="16777215" Multi_4="16777215" Multi_5="16777215"/>
                <Channel ID="2" Name="Upper Gutter 50 (G)" DeviceType="7" Network="1" Controller="0" Channel="149" Color="65280" Sub_Type="0" Sub_Parm="0" Multi_1="16777215" Multi_2="16777215" Multi_3="16777215" Multi_4="16777215" Multi_5="16777215"/>
                <Channel ID="3" Name="Upper Gutter 50 (B)" DeviceType="7" Network="1" Controller="0" Channel="150" Color="16711680" Sub_Type="0" Sub_Parm="0" Multi_1="16777215" Multi_2="16777215" Multi_3="16777215" Multi_4="16777215" Multi_5="16777215"/>
 
 
Using this method I was able to knock out about 210 Individual pixels in a few hours.  I found this much quicker to do it this way rather than edit each individual channel directly in the visualizer.  It takes way too long to scroll to the channel you need three times for each pixel!
 
So, have I discovered something new here?  I seriously doubt it.  I know it won't work for those of you with larger pixel counts, but for those of us starting out, I think this might be helpful.   That is until someone else comes up with a different way.  -HINT HINT LOR!!!!!

 

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For those of us (me) that are not comfortable roaming around in the xml file, here’s the way I do the exact same thing.

If you notice, I select the “Fixture Arrow” prior to adding the next pixel in line. If not, the next bulb placed will become part of the last bulb placed and will act as 2 pixels with the same channel #s.

One note to mention.

When creating the first 9 pixels, if you name them “Fixture # 01 through 09”, instead of keeping the default “Fixture # 1 through 9”, the first 9 pixels will be ahead of the 10th pixel in numerical order. (I always forget to do that).

 

Using the "Prop" tool with the "Rename" and "Channel" wizards makes this quite simple.

 

I'm not trying to take away from Dan's way of doing it, just an alternate method. I myself, am not comfortable messing around in the xml files.

 

https://vimeo.com/91285425

 

As Dan said above, maybe this will help someone.

Edited by Ron Boyd
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Ron, thanks for that video. That is very helpful! I never thought of grouping the fixtures into a prop. I will have to play around with this tonight. For some reason, I didn't have any audio, but maybe there wasn't any?

To be honest, we need more videos like these. Sometimes it's really hard to understand what someone is trying to say in text form. The videos are clear and to the point, thanks again!

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No there is no audio. I did that right before work this morning, and I didn't think it would look good for someone to walk into my office, and see me talking to the computer. If you think audio would help better, I'll redo it tonight after I get home.

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That's ok, I talk to myself all the time... I was able to figure out what you were doing without the audio but that doesn't mean everyone will understand.  So if you feel inclined, knock yourself out!

Thanks again!

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I got tired of doing things like this so I use LOR with CCR's, CCB's & CCP's and convert to DMX with this utility.

 

With the latest sequences I shut off compressed sequences, and use this utility to convert to DMX.  It puts the converted files in a new directory which gets copied via dropbox to my show computer.

 

The utility is rather crude in that you need to specify the in/out directories and the translation in a file, and know how to do it.   If you need help with the file just ask.    I make it easy by using LOR networks as an aid.   for example my pixel mega tree is LOR network D and the CCR's are 1-C (12) and translate directly to DMX network 1-4, I then put my arches on LOR-E and start at DMX universe 5.

 

As an aside this also helps get around the fixture limits.

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Khawes, thanks for the input. I'm pretty new to the rgb, Dmx world here and am having trouble grasping what you are trying to do. Sometimes things makes sense to you, but are incomprehensible to others. In your case, I'm lost. Is there any way you can elaborate on what you are doing? Perhaps making a video like Ron has done, would help me and others to understand. Thanks!

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Yea clear as mud.  Unfortunately I'm not good at videos, and there is not really much to show visually.

 

Imagine, if you will, working in SuperStar, the sequencer and the visualizer as if you have only LOR products (no DMX).  When you are ready to try the sequences out on your physical setup,  you'll need to magically make some of the LOR hardware in your sequences work with the DMX hardware you actually are using.  That's where the program comes in.  You then point it at the directory on your PC where the sequences are and it makes copies of them in a different directory and changes the protocol, and cannel information to DMX for the channels you need changed.     

 

For example:  My directories are setup like this:

 

LOR

 + Audio

 + Sequences

     + Christmas

           + 2012

           + 2013

           + 2014

 

My LOR hardware only sequences are in LOR\Sequences\Christmas\2014.  I have the program put the translated DMX version in the LOR\Sequences\Christmas directory and I copy that directory to my show computer via DropBox.  To keep the DropBox size down I can choose to exclude the 2012, 2013 & 2014 directories since they are not needed for the show computer.

 

Of course the show used the files in the LOR\Sequences\Christmas directory, and it will create compressed versions on the fly for me, if I forget to do it manually.

 

I'm using from the ground up it this year and it's made working with the visualizer much easier; drawing CCB/Rs is much easier the dropping individual bulbs. 

 

If you want to give this a try, just put the CCB/Rs that you want to be DMX in reality in a separate LOR network away from your real LOR stuff, and let me know how the LOR channels translate to the DMX ones like this:

 

LOR Network A controller #1 through #12(decimal not hex) with 50 pixels each need to be translated to DMX starting with universe 1 with 510 channels per universe.

 

I'll post the config file that will do the translation and you can use it.  If we get enough config files as examples it will be easy to build a new one by example.

 

By they way the program also works in reverse, which is how I got my DMX sequences into the LOR world mid season last year.  It can also just move channels, I used that ability when a triac went bad.  Translated LOR controller 7 channel 9 to LOR controller 7 channel 16 in all my sequences, wen out side and moved the plug from 9 to 16 and I was done.

 

 

 

Here's my configuration file -- in case you want to see it.

{
    sourceDirectory: "s:\\Light-O-Rama\\Sequences\\Christmas\\2014",
    destDirectory: "s:\\Light-O-Rama\\Sequences\\Christmas",
    mappings:[
        {
            name: "mega tree",
            From: {
                protocol: LOR,
                network: D,
                units: [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,A,B,C],
                startChannel: 1,
                maxChannel: 150
            },
            To: {
                protocol: DMX,
                universes: [1,2,3,4],
                startChannel: 1,
                maxChannel: 510
            }
        },
        {
            name: "bad triac",
            From: {
                protocol: LOR,
                units: [7],
                startChannel: 9,
                maxChannel: 9
            },
            To: {
                protocol: LOR,
                units: [7],
                startChannel: 16,
                maxChannel: 16
            }
        }
    ]
}
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No there is no audio. I did that right before work this morning, and I didn't think it would look good for someone to walk into my office, and see me talking to the computer. If you think audio would help better, I'll redo it tonight after I get home.

Hey Ron...thanks for the video, made alot of sense...I do have a question though on your house...are you using some CAD software or what?  Its nice and clean and looks very much to scale 

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Did the drawing in MS Visio using a picture of my house that I used in the visualizer last year. Saved it as a jpeg and imported it in. Much smaller file than an actual picture and I still get the same effect.

Edited by Ron Boyd
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Dan, no you have not discovered something new. Do that all the time. That's also very useful for placing the pixel locations accurate. I have also created pixels with Notepad, but if you are not careful with that, it I'd easy to end up with a corrupted file.

If you do manually edit the XML files, save OFTEN with a new filename each time so it's easy to go back to the previous version. This is the important part. Open the revised file in Visualizer after EVERY save to make sure the file is correct. For example, last night I was doing this (for location updates) so every time I made a change, I saved it in this format:

Tree and Star 2014-04-09a.Lee

Tree and Star 2014-04-09b.Lee

Etc.

Each rev changes the letter after the date. Usually at the end of the day I will delete the earlier versions.

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Hey Ron...thanks for the video, made alot of sense...I do have a question though on your house...are you using some CAD software or what?  Its nice and clean and looks very much to scale 

Or you could do what I did.  I laser scanned my house, and modeled it in 3D! :)  makes measuring for light placement and extension cords an exact science! :)

 

MyHouseScanned.jpg

 

Full3DModel.jpg

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Laser scanning and 3D modeling is what I do for a living. I borrowed the scanner one weekend, did the registration, and modeling in my downtime. I realize it's not something everyone can do, but thought it would be cool to show.

Unfortunately I'm not able to divulge a lot of our projects, due to security reasons, but we have done some work for Disney. And we are currently working on some more.... Let me just say, I wanted to do a projection light system like the magic kingdom castle has, but I can't afford the projectors.

I was serious about exact science. I have a model that I can place each light and then measure in 3 dimensions the length of the cables, the exact placement, and configuration off my entire display including the ground stuff.

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  • 1 month later...

For those of us (me) that are not comfortable roaming around in the xml file, here’s the way I do the exact same thing.

If you notice, I select the “Fixture Arrow” prior to adding the next pixel in line. If not, the next bulb placed will become part of the last bulb placed and will act as 2 pixels with the same channel #s.

One note to mention.

When creating the first 9 pixels, if you name them “Fixture # 01 through 09”, instead of keeping the default “Fixture # 1 through 9”, the first 9 pixels will be ahead of the 10th pixel in numerical order. (I always forget to do that).

 

Using the "Prop" tool with the "Rename" and "Channel" wizards makes this quite simple.

 

I'm not trying to take away from Dan's way of doing it, just an alternate method. I myself, am not comfortable messing around in the xml files.

 

https://vimeo.com/91285425

 

As Dan said above, maybe this will help someone.

Thanks Ron for the video.  It helped me out a lot.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just as a side note... I have used Keith's utility ..and it beyond Awesome ..

Once you set up the configuration file it is push, pull click click and an 1800 channel CCR tree designed in SuperStar becomes a cut & paste file DMX Sequencer file..

I did a "little" testing.. I say a little because it didn't take much to get the results I was looking/hoping for ..

Bob

Disclaimer: I'm Bob Moody and Keith didn't approve this message .. but if I ever get to San Jose .. I'll buy him dinner .. LOL

Edited by bob_moody
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Just as a side note... I have used Keith's utility ..and it beyond Awesome ..

Once you set up the configuration file it is push, pull click click and an 1800 channel CCR tree designed in SuperStar becomes a cut & paste file DMX Sequencer file..

I did a "little" testing.. I say a little because it didn't take much to get the results I was looking/hoping for ..

Bob

Disclaimer: I'm Bob Moody and Keith didn't approve this message .. but if I ever get to San Jose .. I'll buy him dinner .. LOL

 

Bob, I'm glad it's working for you.  

 

I didn't even envision your use case:  SuperStar -> LOR2DMX -> Sequencer.   I built it to go  SuperStar -> Sequencer -> LOR2DMX -> Show Player,  so that I didn't have to draw DMX pixels in the Visualizer (and so that the Visualizer didn't crash on the 2000th fixture (or whatever that number is).

 

Another cool use case is remapping a bad channel or moving a prop from one controller to another.  Build the config and then run it on all your sequences then re-export the channel layout for future use :)

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