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Newbie question: Should my pixel tree look like this?


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I just upgraded SuperStar so I can mess about with our new pixel trees (16x50).  I am using S5 and they are setup in my Preview (DMX over 1.31, Alphapix16 controller) and they work fine for motion effects.  Actually, I'm pretty sure they work fine from SuperStar as well, since I have used a couple of shared .sup files that have worked great.

However, the screen looks "weird" to me.  I have a very tall, very skinny tree on the left side of the screen.  Should it look like this?  It makes it really hard to see what the effects are actually going to look on the real tree because it is all squished together.  Is there some way to spread the tree out?


All the tutorials I have watched, the tree is much wider - but I suspect those are using CCR strips and not DMX pixels.  Is this just a limitation if you are using DMX?

Also, is there any in depth documentation for SuperStar?  I have been reading the Help file, but it seems pretty high level.  I'm one of the crazy people that actually reads the manual, so would love it if there was other documentation available somewhere.

Thanks - PJD

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SuperStar displays the tree the same way it is drawn in the Preview in the Sequencer. The type of addressing such as DMX has no effect on the appearance of the tree.

Go into Preview design and select the tree and there should be handles you can grab and you can resize the tree to however you want.

Also, it looks like you chose "180 degree tree" in Preview design. If that is how your tree really looks then keep it that way. However, if you have a "flat tree" then when you click on "Add Item" in Preview design, choose "superstar (online)" and one of the options is a 16 CCR tree with a star at the top. Import that and if you don't have a star you can delete the star. And you can change the addressing to DMX as well.

As for documentation, there are the help files, the tutorials and there are some PowerPoint presentations at the bottom of the "Tutorials and PDFs" page. Admittedly there could be more documentation on using SuperStar in S5, but feel free to post to the forums for any questions you have.

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Hi Brian - thank you for the response.  Oddly, my tree does not look the same in my preview as it does is SuperStar.  It is a 180 tree in real life - not flat.

To test it and try and figure out what is wrong, I created a test Preview with just a single tree. 

If I just add the tree and then create a test sequence and insert a SuperStar effect, everything is fine. (Pictures A & B below).

If I then scale that tree smaller - same proportions, but smaller on the Preview - the tree that displays in SuperStar is narrower (Pictures C & D below)

I then assumed that if I scaled UP the tree in my regular Preview, it would make it wider/more spread out in SuperStar - Sadly, that did not happen. (Pictures E & F)

For the time being, I can work around this by just using the temporary Preview with the single tree.  Once I figure out how I want to sequence it, I can save the .sup file and then apply it to the tree in my regular Preview.  Not a big deal, but SuperStar isn't really working as I would expect with my Preview.

Sorry about the super long post with all the pictures - I couldn't figure out how to explain it otherwise.








Edited by PJD
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Hmmm, not sure why that is happening. Try updating to the latest version of S5 and if it still happens please attach your .loredit file to an email and email it to brian@superstarlights.com

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I received your Preview, thank you. In my testing this is what I observed:

1) There are two pixel trees, one is labeled "Pixel Tree 180 - 1" and the other is "Pixel Tree 180 - 2"

2) "Pixel Tree 180 - 1" is larger and of a normal aspect ratio.  "Pixel Tree 18 - 2" is smaller and is tall and skinny

3) When I do "insert superstar effect" on "Pixel Tree 180 - 1" and superstar launches, the tree is indeed slightly more tall and skinny than in the Preview but not dramatically so

4) When I do "insert superstar effect" on "Pixel Tree 180 - 2" and superstar launches, the tree is tall and skinny and indeed slightly more tall and skinny than in the Preview but not dramatically so

5) For both props, if I grab the resizing handles and make the tree fatter, then when I go into superstar the tree gets correspondingly fatter

Another thing I noticed for the first time is that you can resize the Preview Design screen. And when you resize it then everything can become shorter or fatter. But it has no effect in how it is rendered in superstar.

Is it behaving differently for you?

I might note that the Sequencer passes all the Preview information to SuperStar and superstar renders whatever is passed to it.

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Hi Brain - Pixel tree 1 is the one I was playing around with and resizing.  For my preview to look "right" (as in, approximately the right size on the picture of my yard), it would be much smaller and on the far west edge of my space (left side).  I resized it to be larger and wider to see if it would help.  This would be something like 30 feet tall and 45 feet wide if it was real!


Pixel tree 2 is the smaller tree just above the faces.  This is more "in scale" with the rest of the preview.

For Pixel Tree 2, I am seeing the exact same thing as the screen shot from my first post.  It is very skinny and it's really hard to tell what effects will look like.

The re-sized, much larger Pixel Tree 1 looks like the picture below in SuperStar.  It is definitely better, but is still narrower than I would expect based on the proportions in the Preview.  The tree in the preview is around 2:3 (Height:Width - based on measuring on my screen with a ruler so not super accurate).  The tree in SuperStar is closer to 2:1.


This is NOT a show stopper for me.  It just seems odd, but I can definitely work around it.

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In your most recent post the screen of superstar is displaying "Pixel Tree 180 - 1"

If you have superstar display "Pixel Tree 180 - 2" does it still show tall and skinny?


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Yes - below are screenshots of Pixel Tree 180 - 2 in SuperStar.  One is from my Home PC and the other is my Work PC.  It is consistent between both computers.  My show computer is currently on 5.3.6 and I am not going to update it until after the Halloween show is finished (this weekend).  It shows the same thing if I open the sequence on there, but its not the latest version so that might not mean as much.


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I would like to understand why it is doing that. I am not experiencing it and I have had no other reports from others.

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I think I've made some progress in figuring this out.  I think it has to do with the proportions of my background photograph.

I started from a new blank preview and put in the two 180 trees.  Tried sizing them up and down and there were no issues.  Then I added in some of my other props and continued to have no problems.  The trees looked fairly normal in SuperStar after each change.  

I started thinking that maybe there was just something corrupted in my Preview, so figured it wouldn't be that big a deal to just recreate it - I don't have that many props yet.  As soon as I added my background picture, the scale/proportions of the already placed props changed.  Everything became much wider.  I had both the pixel trees and the 8 mini trees in there with around a 2:1 proportion.  As soon as I added the background picture, the width increased for each of those props so they looked more like a 2:2 or even 2:2.5 proportion.

I tried looking at SuperStar immediately, without resizing anything, and everything was still OK.  The trees in SuperStar looked the same as before I added the background picture  - of course, this means that they were "skinnier" than the trees showing on the preview.

I then resized the trees on the preview to look more like the 2:1 proportion I had before adding the background and then tried SuperStar again - I was back to tall skinny trees.

Since my yard is 3 lots wide (180' x 100') I created my background photo by taking individual pictures and splicing them together (not a true panorama - just trying to get the general look).  The photo is 2510 x 670.

I'm guessing that S5 isn't really designed to handle a long narrow photo like this for the background.  I'm thinking I may change to a more abstract preview that I can make closer to "normal" photograph proportions.


P.S. Sorry for not getting back to you on your email last night - I didn't get home until very late.

Edited by PJD
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