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Sequence File Size


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I have a pretty small setup compared to most here. I have one CTB16PC, 3 CCR's Formed into 3 Circles, a CMB24D, and most recently 3 Cosmic Color Pixels. Before sequencing for the CCP's my file sizes for a song were 2.5k to 5.k The addition of the 3 CCP's and using Nutcrackers and Glediators "patterns" added to the sequence for the CCP's, the file sizes have jumped up to 70k.

It's not a complaint, I understand I'm adding alot of info to be processed but I was kind of suprised to see a jump in the file size for only adding 30 - 40 seconds worth of Nutcracker and Gleditors patterns. The song I am sequencing for is Chuck Berrys Johnny B Good and is only 2.47 minutes long. I am saving the sequences as compressed. I am using Superstar, Sequence Editor, Nutcracker, and Glediator. No DMX - does that reduce file size?

That got me to wondering what size files others are dealing with? I realize the more props, lights, patterns etc. will affect the over file size. Mega trees must really add alot.

My apologies if this has been asked before, I didn't see a topic like this, I'm just curious.

Alan...
 

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Your file size is ok so no worry. Anything dealing with color change will increase the file size.

 

I have several over 900 meg so you have plenty of room to play...

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Darryl Lambert

I have one last year that was 324 meg. I beleive I read that " The Barron " has some that are 1.4 Gig!!  :o

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The reason why file size increases so rapidly is that LOR stores everything (for now) in an XML format. XML is similar to HTML and is a markup language. It uses tags to establish a logical hierarchy of information. XML is also widely supported for nearly every development environment. While XML is extremely good at organizing information it uses tons of file space to do it.

 

This little chunk of XML turns on channel snowflake 1 with a fade.

 

<channel name="SF1" color="202" centiseconds="13897" savedIndex="0">

<effect type="intensity" startCentisecond="654" endCentisecond="965" startIntensity="100" endIntensity="0"/>
</channel>
 
Not including returns this takes up 186 bytes.
Removing the tags and formatting there is only 31 bytes of actual information. Assuming that "Intensity" maps to some value, it is more like 23 bytes of data.
 
That is 163 bytes of overhead for ever 23 bytes of data (probably isn't true across the whole file, but in the ballpark). So for every byte of data you have 7 bytes of formatting. This causes the file to grow big very VERY fast.
 
When people had configurations of 16-200 channels files would get kinda big. Lots of timing grids, groups, and the built in visualizer add as well. However; when people starting doing pixels and configurations when from hundreds to 10's of thousands is when filesize really exploded. The compression option works very well, it strips out alot of the 'extras' and reduces load time for the show by alot.
 
This overhead is why xlights stores files as binaries and why LOR is adding that feature for the Pixel Editor and SuperStar. Binary formatting also has some formatting costs (padding 0's), but is far less than 7X.
 
While XML does make for large filesizes, it also allows for flexibility where if you really want to do something, you can write a script and muck around with your LMS files on your own too.
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Thanks for all the info.

My concern was, although I don't think I mentioned it was the Gen3 mini Director Card with MP3 Player wasn't going to like the file size increase.

Unforunately the Mini Director choked on the sequence. It was very laggy. It was my hope that I could continue to use it with the new props, but that thought is gone now. I tested a notebook pc to run the show and it didn't hiccup once. I knew I had added alot of patterns to the song and being it's a fast tempo, the sequences done in superstar were many and back to back. The addition of xlights and Glediator sequences just compounded the lag.  I guess I'm at that point were I outgrew my original show ideas. :)

In the end it's all good, I can continue on with the notebook, I convinced the wife the tree would look SO much better with another set of CCP's on it and she agreed. :) (got to remember how I did that :) )

I have to research a little more about running 2 networks and splitting the channels up now that I have a taste of what is possible on these props, I'm not going to slow down... :)

Is there a benefit to using DMX as far as lag is concerned or is it still the issue of just trying to push that much info to the props?

Thanks again

Alan...

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I suspect that your lag problem is the channel count.  One of the general rules of thumb around here is that a single network can handle about 6 CCRs (900 channels).  You are running just under 1400 channels, so if you're doing much, the network is gonna get choked.  That would not be a problem on a 500K speed network, but as I recall, the mini-director can't do 500K (I could be wrong on that since I've never used any director).

 

If I were you I would plan on upgrading to one of the directors that handle 500K and 2 networks.  Put the Cosmic Color stuff on it's own high speed network.

 

BTW, I strongly doubt your file size numbers.  Those numbers seemed WAY too small.  So I created an animation sequence with a CTB16, CMB24, and three CCRs.  With absolutely no lighting commands at all, the uncompressed file was 105K and compressed version was 21K.  I then added a single chase across the 3 CCR and saved it again.  Now the file sizes were 150K and 56K.  You said that you had file sizes for a song that was (before adding the CCPs) between 2.5K and 5K.  I'm thinking that was MegaBytes and not KiloBytes.  As John said, the XML is very wordy.

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BTW, I strongly doubt your file size numbers.  Those numbers seemed WAY too small.

 

 Yes you are correct, I mistyped that info. It should have said mb. My bad sorry for the confusion. As far as adding networks thats the way I intend to go. I was so excited to see all the sequencing I could do in Superstar and Sequence Editor, Nutcracker, and Glediator,  I got ahead of what my setup could handle. :wacko: The ease of using the Mini Director has been great, but now it's time to upgrade.

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