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Correct way to make 2 color mini-tree prop?


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I am trying to get our display setup in a preview.  We have 8 red/green mini-trees (white plastic with a strand of red and strand of green each plugged into it's own channel).  The 8 trees use all 16 channels on an AC Controller.

Right now, our display is all regular lights with 2 pixel trees (on DMX).  Over time, I'm sure there will be more pixels.  I want to be certain I setup the preview "correctly" so I don't have to rework tons of stuff later.  It would be nice to be able to be able do basic motion effects or superstar effects with the regular lights.

I see 2 different ways I can setup the mini-trees. 

1) I can create 2 separate "trees" using the Traditional lights/Custom placement where one is green and one is red and place them on top of each other.  Then group each pair together (Maybe arranged with "nesting"?) and then group all the sets together into a full Mini-Trees group (arranged with horizontal stack).

2) I can create a tree using Traditional lights/Custom placement with both colors selected and using numbers 1 & 2 in the grid to represent the 2 colors.   There would only be 8 trees this way which can be grouped into the Mini-Trees group.

My gut feeling is that #2 is the "correct" way to do this.  But when I try to create the first tree prop and put in the 1's and 2's for the 2 colors (strands of lights), when I get back to the prop screen, I now have 4 channels - no clue what is happening with that and it certainly won't work since each tree only has 2 - one for green and one for red.

If I then try to remove a color - I have 2 channels, but they are both the same color.  Needless to say, I am confused.  Any ideas?





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I think I've made some progress here, but I'm still not sure this is the best method...


(Sorry this is so long - I couldn't find a way to describe this that was shorter....)

I finally found an old post about something similar and it seems that the prop should all be "1's" and the program displays them all as either red/green.  I've attached screenshots that show this and it looks good - the channels are correct.  This should work just fine for traditional sequencing.  I made all 8 mini-trees and then grouped them into a MiniTrees group with "horizontal stack arrangement".  I added a Motion Effect row for the group as well.  I've included pictures, but I think this all worked as expected.

I started a new sequence to test it out.  Adding a motion effect to the MiniTrees group seems to work fine.

I haven't done anything with SuperStar before, but I do have a 4_CCR license.  I've been working through all the LOR Tutorials and in the S5 section there was one on using SuperStar with traditional lights.  After watching that, I also watched most of the SuperStar tutorials as well.

To see what would happen, I tried inserting a SuperStar effect for my MiniTrees.  I have attached below the error message that popped up.  I am certain that several of the tutorials I watched for SuperStar included props with bundles of traditional strings (e.g. a mega-tree with 3 or 4 colors of traditional lights), so what I am I doing wrong?

For further testing, I went ahead and made up the version of the props that uses 16 trees as pairs of red/green trees on top of each other and grouped, then the 8 pairs grouped to make the MiniTrees group.  That version can be insert a SuperStar effect without any error messages and seems to work (I tried just doing an Instant sequence for it and it looked ok.)

In terms of creating Previews that are somewhat "future proof" where I won't have to re-create these later if I decide to start using SuperStar or will work just fine in future updates of S5, which method is better?  The first one seems cleaner to me and like it should be correct, but the inability to use is with SuperStar is making me second guess myself.

The pictures below should be:

Custom prop grid for both colors on a single mini-tree, the prop screen showing the 2 colors match 2 channels, the group definition screen, the motion row definition for that group and, finally, the error when trying to insert a SuperStar effect into that motion row.






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Keep in mind that there is absolutely no need to have a preview for a mini tree to even look like a tree.  The preview only makes it handy for the person doing the sequencing to see something on the screen.  You could just as well model each mini tree as a single large bulb (there is a triangle shape).  All you really need is one "red bulb" and one "green bulb" to represent each tree.  Similarly there is no requirement to have a preview exactly match the actual lighting arrangement (although that could cause issues if you start doing whole yard effects).  I have a rather odd shaped yard so most of my props are not arranged in nice even horizontal or vertical rows.  That means that there are major props that are not located in the preview at the correct location or angle.  Does not cause a problem at all.

Here is my 2019 preview.  Having almost everything ordered neatly makes it easier to sequence, but it does not really look like that.



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