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Props Vs. Fixtures?


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Ok, maybe I'm overlooking it, if so slap me with a soggy noodle and point me in the right direction, but I can't find any tutorials explaining how to best use props and fixtures.


Like, I understand importing/exporting a prop, and how fixtures can be components of a prop, ( I think ) but when I try and set that up in the visualizer, it's not behaving like I'd expect. 


Here's what I'm trying to do...maybe someone can tell me a better way to do it?


I have a large circle of lights on the ground, divided up into 8 wedges, like a pizza. I create each wedge as an individual channel. (All the wedges are multi-color, for what it's worth)


When I was fiddling earlier, I accidentally set them all to the same fixture, BUT as I created each wedge, (using the light string function) I added that section to it's own channel (theoretically) -- that didn't work, as various lights throughout the entire circle flashed, rather than each section lighting as a whole unit.


That led me to realize that I really don't understand how fixtures incorporate into props, and how to leverage these two functions. The only way I can currently get the whole "tree skirt" to work as I want, is to create individual fixtures and props for each wedge.


Does that make any sense at all?

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Think of it this way:


A fixture is a collection of channels in specific areas.  It could be a single fixture, a single location, or multiples of either.  ---


A fixture is one or more channels in one or more areas.  A prop is simply a collection of fixtures.


In your wedge example, you would have 8 fixtures - 1 for each wedge and each fixture will consist of a single channel.  You would have 1 prop (probably called 'The Skirt') that would have those 8 fixtures attached to it.



Lets now say however that your skirt has 4 colors for each wedge and is completely controllable - that is 32 channels.


Each fixture (a wedge, so there will be 8 of them) will consist of 4 channels (because those 4 channels are in the same location -- that particular wedge).   The skirt again will be a collection of those 8 fixtures.


Props are completely OPTIONAL.  They just give you a way of smacking together a bunch of fixtures to treat them as 1 unit.  

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So, I guess the main advantage is that I could say, draw each wedge once, and create the 4 different channels of color without having to re-draw the wedge 3 more times?


As an aspiring power-user, I'd love to know what other advantages there are to be had from grouping the fixtures into a single prop, other than to share the prop online?


EDIT: forgot to say thanks for such a clear explanation! 

Edited by webgoof
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Yes, you could do that.    You could create a single wedge, assign 4 channels to it and then copy/paste the fixture.  For each copy change the channel settings and it is done.


However let me now point you to the Tree Wizard - >


Set up the Tree Wizard as 360 degree using strings in a wedge, with base.  Set number of bundles to 8 and density to 1.

Now grab the vertical slider and drag it all the way to the top (so the background is completely green).  What you have now is a top-down look of a tree that actually looks 2D - the skirt.  Name it (Skirt) and press OK.


Next allow it to create a new fixture for every bundle


On the prop properties goto Wizards and 'Run Channel Wizard'


Normal channels

New Channels

Repeating channels for fixture 4 & set the 4 colors properly

Select the Device Type (LOR) and Legacy addressing

Automatically use next unit & UNchecked same channels on every fixture

Set the parameters of the first channel of the first bundle correctly (Network Unit Circuit)

Press OK


What you now have is a prop named 'Skirt'.  it contains 8 fixtures Skirt Bundle 1 - Skirt Bundle 8.Each fixture consists of 4 channles 1 each of the 4 colors you specified.  


The whole thing will consume 2 controllers, with channels 1-16 on each.  Bundles 1-4 are on the first controller, 5 - 8 are on the second.

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Ah, the tree wizard! Didn't think of that! Would have been perfect! Hehe

I'll have to remember that for next time. ;-)

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Besides sharing prop files, another major advantage of crating props is the ability to use channel wizards, and simply moving things around on the screen.  For example. moving your 8 wedges of pizza is much easier if it's all one prop rather than having to move each wedge individually.  BTW, I love your pizza analogy (eating some right now in fact...)

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