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S5 Preview prop with "bundles of tradition strings" = Superstar error?


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I am something of a newbie - my husband (dbeebe) has been doing our lights for years.  He has handed over all the software to me.  Most of his sequencing was done years ago in S3.  He upgraded to S4, but I don't think he did much with it.  I decided to just start at S5 (although I have watched a LOT of earlier version tutorial videos to get up to speed on basic stuff.)  As part of my binge-ing on tutorial videos, I watched most of the Superstar videos and was interested in how it worked with Traditional lights.  Ultimately, we will have more pixels in our display, but at the moment we are mostly Traditional.  If I get it all together, we have 5 AC Controllers (so 80 channels) - not the biggest display, but seems like it should be enough to do some interesting auto effects with Superstar.

I am slowly building up our Preview.  I started out very basic and am currently running the Halloween show which is only 4 faces and a bunch of pumpkins (40 channels).  Now, I am creating the Xmas Preview and putting some of the Christmas specific items into it.  We have a set of 8 mini-trees (white plastic with a string of red and a string of green lights).  Based on reading the help files (Yes, I'm crazy - I downloaded the whole thing to my kindle and read it through) I thought the "best" way to put these trees into the preview was to create a minitree prop using Traditional lights/Custom placement with both colors selected and using the number 1 in the grid to make the shape.   I created trees 1 through 8 and grouped them into a Mini-Trees 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.

However, when I tried inserting a SuperStar effect for my MiniTrees, I got an error (see picture).  It tells me that "Using SuperStar on bundles of traditional strings will not produce the expected result".  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 and windows with 3 or 4 colors ), so what I am I doing wrong?

I've been messing about with this for a while and also tried making separate red mini trees and green minitrees and stacking them on top of each other.  Since there are no bundles, this goes into SuperStar without trouble, but it doesn't really seem like the correct way to do this.  I have 16 separate trees instead of 8.

I realize that I'm not really going to do anything interesting in SuperStar with just 8 2 color trees, but I want to setup the preview so that once everything is in there I will be able to use SuperStar if I want to.



Any thoughts?

Edited by dbeebe
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You are a very thorough person, you actually read the help files!

You are correct that the limitation of not being able to use superstar with traditional lights is not documented. The limitation comes from the fact that the Sequencer processes traditional strings differently than superstar. Hopefully next year this difference can be addressed, but for now the work around is to create a motion effect for each light string color and do one color at a time in superstar.

In other words, you could have a motion effect row for your red strings in your tree and you should be able to do some red effects in superstar and the red lights should come on. And you could have a different motion effect row that you use for your green light strings etc.

You will still get the warning about not getting expected results, but just answer yes and proceed.

Let me know if you are able to get it to work.

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Hi Brian - Thank you for the quick reply. 

I'm not sure I understand.  Do I need to change my prop in my preview to separate red trees and green trees (just layered on top of each other in the same locations) or is there some other way to get separate motion effect rows for each color?

I currently see something like this in my grid:

+ MiniTrees (group of 8 tree props) - 1 motion effect row
       MiniTree 01: Red
       MiniTree 01: Green
       MiniTree 02: Red
       MiniTree 02: Green
       MiniTree 03: Red
       MiniTree 04: Green

I don't see any way to group all the red channels in the Preview - I can only seem to group complete props.  Or should I be creating a motion effect row for each channel?  That doesn't seem to make sense.

If I make separate trees, then I assume I would group all the red MiniTrees into one group and all the green into another group.  Each of those has it's own motion effect row?

If I do separate red/green trees, then bundling is no longer an issue.  This doesn't feel like the "correct" method for this prop, but I could certainly switch to this if is a better solution.  Is this going to be the type of thing that is a work around now, but will eventually be more trouble to fix in the future?  The current way I have this setup feels like a more "elegant" solution that models the reality, but obviously, it isn't going to work if I want to try using SuperStar!

If in the long run, it is better to define the prop as it is now and just wait for a future version of SuperStar, that would be OK.  I'm not really to the point of doing a lot of new sequencing just yet.  I just don't want to end up at a point down the road where I'm cursing myself for setting up the Preview "wrong" way back at the beginning!

Thanks - PJD

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Actually, I had tried this with individual strings but never with a mega tree. I just tried it, and it's more involved than I thought.

You need to make a single color mega tree for each color. For example, make a mega tree with only red strings, then you need to click on "enter a channel for every row" because the channels won't be consecutive, you'll have to enter each one.

Then make a mega tree for the next color, etc.

And I think that is what you are describing above. And I agree with you, that you may just want to wait for next year and hopefully this issue will be resolved.


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Thank you!  I think I'll leave it for now. 

At the moment, my primary goal is to get the Preview together for everything that plugs into a controller and be able to run the "old" sequences on them.  They weren't terribly involved, so it shouldn't be too bad.  I think I'll worry about learning/using SuperStar next year.  We'll probably have more pixels by then - right now it's just a pair of 16x50 trees and I can get by with Motion Effects if I want to get something sequenced onto those this year.

I appreciate you taking the time to explain it. - PJD

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