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Singing Faces and Matrix's


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Hello community,

I have been watching video after video (some old and some new) and reading up and down.  I'm trying to figure out, along with looking for guidance on how I should proceed, in making, building, planning for adding singing faces.  I have currently only used incandescent lights with CTB16PC's to control two different 8 line each faces.

I plan to build one or two matrix's which I have been told I can add "virtual" type singing faces to.  Similar to doing the same a mega tree.  1) Is this an option?  I have only mainly found videos on importing and setting up singing faces on the LOR props(the four different singing trees for example) which leads me to question 2) if I have a prop I made and/or from another vendor, can I simply use a picture of that prop or build that prop?  I believe I watched a video on this.

Ultimately, I would like to use the two matrix's instead as two different singing props.  This also gives me the flexibility to play videos and display pictures, along with freeing up space where the physical singing props are.

3) If I am using the matrix's can you add singing elements to anything?  Say a picture of Jack Skellington, or Frosty the snowman, and are there any defaults provided or available anyplace or any good tutorials/videos on this?

Lastly, will I need to have SS and/or S5 to do this?  If I do need SS, would I only need a license with enough pixels to cover the two matrix's?  I would be ok still using Pixel editor to control all other elements of my show, and just using SS for the Matrix's, is that an option?

Really appreciate any info the time anyone takes to assist.  This is lots of time the hardest part, figuring out WHAT you can do, IF you can do, and HOW to do.

Thanks! Dave

 

S4 Pro

Pixel Editor

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Yes, you can do singing faces on a matrix.  HOWEVER, unless it is a fairly high pixel count matrix, the resolution is too low for it to look decent.  Think about it this way.  Look at one of the strings on your traditional light faces - for example one of the mouth shapes.  You will see many places where from one light to another, there is a fairly small difference in location for one or the other axis - maybe only 1/8 of an inch.  This is particularly true for curves.  If you build a pixel matrix with 1 inch spacing (a fairly tight matrix), that nice curved shape is not going to come out a nice smooth curve.  Part of that also depends on how far away the viewers will be, and how large the image on the matrix will be.

 

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41 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

Yes, you can do singing faces on a matrix.  HOWEVER, unless it is a fairly high pixel count matrix, the resolution is too low for it to look decent.  Think about it this way.  Look at one of the strings on your traditional light faces - for example one of the mouth shapes.  You will see many places where from one light to another, there is a fairly small difference in location for one or the other axis - maybe only 1/8 of an inch.  This is particularly true for curves.  If you build a pixel matrix with 1 inch spacing (a fairly tight matrix), that nice curved shape is not going to come out a nice smooth curve.  Part of that also depends on how far away the viewers will be, and how large the image on the matrix will be.

 

I'm looking at 6'x'6 at 1.5 inch spacing.  I totally get what you are saying and will keep that in mind.

Any background on adding to a picture?

If you or anything has any video clips, would love to see them.  Thanks again.

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21 minutes ago, Dave76 said:

I'm looking at 6'x'6 at 1.5 inch spacing.  I totally get what you are saying and will keep that in mind.

Any background on adding to a picture?

If you or anything has any video clips, would love to see them.  Thanks again.

James gave a class for the VCS.

it’s on YouTube, that would be good for you to see how to do faces on CCR tree or matrix

JR

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6 minutes ago, dibblejr said:

James gave a class for the VCS.

it’s on YouTube, that would be good for you to see how to do faces on CCR tree or matrix

JR

Thanks JR!  I have not seen that one yet. 

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1 hour ago, Dave76 said:

I'm looking at 6'x'6 at 1.5 inch spacing.  I totally get what you are saying and will keep that in mind.

That's 48 x 48 pixels.  That's a lot better than trying to do images on a 12 string tree, but still not exactly high resolution.  Note that the low resolution is more obvious on static images rather than rapidly moving ones because the brain will fill in the missing pieces.  Simply, there is not enough time to observe and analyze a rapidly moving image.  So the rapidly moving mouth lines may look fine, but you notice that the curved line for the bottom of the tree does not look as good.

With all that said, a lot of this is MY OPINION.  Not everyone will agree with it.  But that is the case with a lot of this lighting stuff.

 

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My lates special project is 24x50 at 3/4” spacing matrix , roughly 29” x 37” for my golf cart.

Is about as close tO a tv as you can get with WS2811

HS sells a 3x5 with 1200 and 4x8 with 1200. I tested the 3x5 for him and it was great so he made my much smaller one with 1200 nodes as well.

Now gotta set it all up on the golf cart to drive around.

One thing to mention, technology has come a long way and this year you will see a roll out of some great quality matrix face sequences, I will leave it at that.

Remember the farther the spacing the father the viewing distance should be. That is why those of us with CCR trees can get away with larger spacing.

JR

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1 hour ago, k6ccc said:

That's 48 x 48 pixels.  That's a lot better than trying to do images on a 12 string tree, but still not exactly high resolution.  Note that the low resolution is more obvious on static images rather than rapidly moving ones because the brain will fill in the missing pieces.  Simply, there is not enough time to observe and analyze a rapidly moving image.  So the rapidly moving mouth lines may look fine, but you notice that the curved line for the bottom of the tree does not look as good.

With all that said, a lot of this is MY OPINION.  Not everyone will agree with it.  But that is the case with a lot of this lighting stuff.

 

Understood. I guess I’ll have to try it out to find out. Do you have any videos you can share?

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22 minutes ago, dibblejr said:

My lates special project is 24x50 at 3/4” spacing matrix , roughly 29” x 37” for my golf cart.

Is about as close tO a tv as you can get with WS2811

HS sells a 3x5 with 1200 and 4x8 with 1200. I tested the 3x5 for him and it was great so he made my much smaller one with 1200 nodes as well.

Now gotta set it all up on the golf cart to drive around.

One thing to mention, technology has come a long way and this year you will see a roll out of some great quality matrix face sequences, I will leave it at that.

Remember the farther the spacing the father the viewing distance should be. That is why those of us with CCR trees can get away with larger spacing.

JR

Good point. My crowd is probably 50 ft away. Do pretty close. I’ve ran a pixel tree for a few years, so I totally understand the resolutions. 
 

I thought about going a smaller matrix with closer spacing, but wanted a little bigger for more a wow factor. My tree is 2” spacing. I figured I’d land in the middle with 1.5 and not have two 5000 pixel matrix’s. That would probably be too much for me. 

 

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35 minutes ago, Dave76 said:

not have two 5000 pixel matrix’s. That would probably be too much for me. 

Ah, come on, put in a P10 matrix :)  At about 6 x 6 feet, that would only be 36,864 pixels...

 

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11 hours ago, k6ccc said:

Ah, come on, put in a P10 matrix :)  At about 6 x 6 feet, that would only be 36,864 pixels...

 

😵 I don't know much about the P10's.  Not sure if it would be more work, more/less cost, and I do however know requires building an enclosure.

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For clarification, I run S4.  SS is an add-on. So Say I wanted to control/program/sequence two matrix's that are 2500 pixels each, I would need to get the $350 license for that?  And the rest of my show I can use the standard S4 Pixel editor to sequence?  Or can I get $250 license good for 3000 pixels, and would that allow me to sequence program one Matrix with SS, export that to S4, and then could I use it on the other matrix with different effects?  Or is it locked to the first matrix.  Lastly, is SS all or nothing, meaning it's an add on, but do I need to add it for ALL my show, if my show is 12,000 pixels, but I am only using SS for the two matrix props.  Thanks.  That part has always been a little confusing to me. 

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43 minutes ago, Dave76 said:

😵 I don't know much about the P10's.  Not sure if it would be more work, more/less cost, and I do however know requires building an enclosure.

 

8 minutes ago, Dave76 said:

For clarification, I run S4.  SS is an add-on. So Say I wanted to control/program/sequence two matrix's that are 2500 pixels each, I would need to get the $350 license for that?  And the rest of my show I can use the standard S4 Pixel editor to sequence?  Or can I get $250 license good for 3000 pixels, and would that allow me to sequence program one Matrix with SS, export that to S4, and then could I use it on the other matrix with different effects?  Or is it locked to the first matrix.  Lastly, is SS all or nothing, meaning it's an add on, but do I need to add it for ALL my show, if my show is 12,000 pixels, but I am only using SS for the two matrix props.  Thanks.  That part has always been a little confusing to me. 

1 ccr = 50 pixels

if you only plan on sequencing one matrix at a time you only need enough ccrs to cover the prop with the most pixels.

SS is not based on a certain prop.

Once you have the ccrs you can use them for anything you design based on the number of ccrs.

You can have multiple SS windows open at once.

JR

Edited by dibblejr
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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, dibblejr said:

 

1 ccr = 50 pixels

if you only plan on sequencing one matrix at a time you only need enough ccrs to cover the prop with the most pixels.

SS is not based on a certain prop.

Once you have the ccrs you can use them for anything you design based on the number of ccrs.

You can have multiple SS windows open at once.

JR

Got it JR.  So I would not have any problem sequencing my house, and other props using pixel editor (save that intensity data).  Then I could use SS to sequence Matrix one (save that intensity data).  Then lastly use SS to sequence matrix 2 (save intensity data).  Then when I play the sequence they would all come together?

 

That is my plan.  To use a combination of Pixel Editor and SS (if possible).

Edited by Dave76
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17 minutes ago, Dave76 said:

Got it JR.  So I would not have any problem sequencing my house, and other props using pixel editor (save that intensity data).  Then I could use SS to sequence Matrix one (save that intensity data).  Then lastly use SS to sequence matrix 2 (save intensity data).  Then when I play the sequence they would all come together?

 

That is my plan.  To use a combination of Pixel Editor and SS (if possible).

I found this from 2015 post...

 

"The way the Intensity Data works is that the Intensity Data is put into a file with a name that starts out the same as the name of the .lms file but ends with .ss.lid. For example, if the name of your sequence was MyAwesomeSequence, then the exported .lms and .lid file would be:

MyAwesomeSequence.lms

MyAwesomeSequence.lms.ss.lid

 

If you had exported Intensity Data from the Pixel Editor then the data is in a file named:

MyAwesomeSequence.lms.pe.lid

When the Sequence Editor launches it looks for the existence of Intensity Data files by the same name as the sequence and if they exist it adds them as a line in the Sequence Editor."

 

Sounds like it just looks for the files.

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You really ought to consider S5. The integration of PE into the Sequencer is so much improved over S4, plus many new effects. You might not even want SS. There is a learning curve to master the changes, particularly the Preview and how configurations are handled, but it is well worth it and now is the time to try.

Most if not all of the early teething troubles have been taken care of and it continues to improve with each release. As far as I can tell 5.6 is probably more stable than S4, since the program can access more memory in a 64 bit machine.

At the very least, if you have a second machine, it is worth taking a look and playing with it.

There are plenty of videos around to help you get started, and of course, all of us here.

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I would agree with Phil that moving to S5 really is the way to go.  The integration between what was Pixel Editor and the Sequencer is far better.  The integration between SuperStar (what I do almost all of my sequencing in) and Sequencer is a lot better than it was in the early days of S5, but is quite different than it was in S4.  The ability to sequence a given prop with a combination of what used to be Pixel Editor and SuperStar is FAR better.  In S4, a given prop had to be one or the other in any particular song.  Now they can intermix - even at the same time.

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3 hours ago, PhilMassey said:

You really ought to consider S5. The integration of PE into the Sequencer is so much improved over S4, plus many new effects. You might not even want SS. There is a learning curve to master the changes, particularly the Preview and how configurations are handled, but it is well worth it and now is the time to try.

Most if not all of the early teething troubles have been taken care of and it continues to improve with each release. As far as I can tell 5.6 is probably more stable than S4, since the program can access more memory in a 64 bit machine.

At the very least, if you have a second machine, it is worth taking a look and playing with it.

There are plenty of videos around to help you get started, and of course, all of us here.

I was told there were not any new effects.  But there are?

I have always looked with the old "if it ain't broke, why fix it".  But maybe I should.  I think I'm starting to stress myself out with trying to figure what I want to do, and how I should do it...

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1 hour ago, k6ccc said:

I would agree with Phil that moving to S5 really is the way to go.  The integration between what was Pixel Editor and the Sequencer is far better.  The integration between SuperStar (what I do almost all of my sequencing in) and Sequencer is a lot better than it was in the early days of S5, but is quite different than it was in S4.  The ability to sequence a given prop with a combination of what used to be Pixel Editor and SuperStar is FAR better.  In S4, a given prop had to be one or the other in any particular song.  Now they can intermix - even at the same time.

I kinda follow, but guess I would need to see an example to know what you are talking about.

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It has been a long time since I looked at S4 and even longer since I looked at PE, never could get along with it at all and hardly used it. S5 is much better in that regard, IMO.

S5 has a number of new effects, but the latest addition is Audio, which draws a waveform or a graphic EQ in real time, and is quick and easy to apply. What used to take 4 hours using the VU wizard can be done in few minutes, with better results. There are more but I don't recall which ones are new compared to S4, and some are just improved from user feedback.

There are also many LOR favorite effects in 5.6 which are combinations of Motion Effects to get even more interesting results.

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21 minutes ago, PhilMassey said:

It has been a long time since I looked at S4 and even longer since I looked at PE, never could get along with it at all and hardly used it. S5 is much better in that regard, IMO.

S5 has a number of new effects, but the latest addition is Audio, which draws a waveform or a graphic EQ in real time, and is quick and easy to apply. What used to take 4 hours using the VU wizard can be done in few minutes, with better results. There are more but I don't recall which ones are new compared to S4, and some are just improved from user feedback.

There are also many LOR favorite effects in 5.6 which are combinations of Motion Effects to get even more interesting results.

Hi Phil,

I was just reading and watching the video in another post with the waveform.  You and JR had a bunch of discussion on it.  I also read a bunch of other posts.  Looked like a lot of people having issues bringing in their older S4 sequences.  Hard to know if it's the program/process or more of just users getting familiar with a new product.  I'm a little nervous to be honest.  Since working with S4 over the past 3-4 years and Pixel editor which I just know.  But I'm open to some of the new stuff, as long as it's not going to set me back.  I'm even eyeing SS as an add-on.

So once you start the upgrade, there is no going back?  Unless it's on a different computer, which I don't know how that works out with the license (or even possible).  I really don't have a second show computer anyhow.

I did check, and looks like I'm approved for up to S5 5.6.*

image.png.acc60382004598dd44262cd50b37610f.png

Oh DECISIONS DECISIONS... What to do.

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The conversion can work well or have issues. I think the concensus is the best way is to create your Preview, think Visualizer plus config in one place and use that to import your existing sequences. Having said that, there is an option to create your Preview using the S4 visualizer file which may work or may have issues. However there is no harm done in trying it to see how well it works. Importing or upgrading to the S5 format does NOT change the original LMS file in ANY way so you absolutely are not burning your bridges. The new format .LOREDIT will be used going forward. Once you make additions or changes in that file you will not be able to go back, but your original LMS will still be unchanged.

All versions of the software allow five seats, so you can have up to five installs on five different pc's in any combination of versions, but you cannot have S4 and S5 on the same machine at the same time.

There is a video by Matt from the VCS a few weeks ago with a lot of detail on upgrading to S5.

 

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11 minutes ago, PhilMassey said:

The conversion can work well or have issues. I think the concensus is the best way is to create your Preview, think Visualizer plus config in one place and use that to import your existing sequences. Having said that, there is an option to create your Preview using the S4 visualizer file which may work or may have issues. However there is no harm done in trying it to see how well it works. Importing or upgrading to the S5 format does NOT change the original LMS file in ANY way so you absolutely are not burning your bridges. The new format .LOREDIT will be used going forward. Once you make additions or changes in that file you will not be able to go back, but your original LMS will still be unchanged.

All versions of the software allow five seats, so you can have up to five installs on five different pc's in any combination of versions, but you cannot have S4 and S5 on the same machine at the same time.

There is a video by Matt from the VCS a few weeks ago with a lot of detail on upgrading to S5.

 

I'll watch this.  I didn't catch this on when the VCS was going on thanks. 

 

Right now, I never use the visualizer.  I use pixel editor and the previewer in there. 

 

So if I install LOR on say a second PC, that won't be a problem.  I could put it on my tower computer to try out, before upgrading on my show laptop.  Hmm

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7 minutes ago, Dave76 said:

So if I install LOR on say a second PC, that won't be a problem.  I could put it on my tower computer to try out, before upgrading on my show laptop.  Hmm

Sure can. 

I can't speak to how well PE stuff comes in. I had no ME in use when I converted. 

There is also an option to let the software create a preview from the contents of the LMS. Worth a try but might not work out. You probably will end up creating a new Preview.

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I had this great reply typed, and then got called for lunch before sending.  Pretty much everything I typed already got said...

 

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