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Completely overwhelmed and on the verge of tears


Jaynee
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Earlier this year I upgraded my software from S4 to S5 because I wanted to add singing faces (which I purchased in the summer sale). When I upgraded the software I spent an entire weekend trying to figure out how to do setup in S5 and ended the weekend in tears.  I then ignored anything related to my Christmas show for months.

Last year we did not do the dancing lights because it was all we could do to get a few lighted animals out on the lawn.  We took a break.  And overwhelmingly everyone begged us to have the full show going this year.  

Last weekend I dove into S5 again, determined to figure it out.  After 2 days, I once again ended the weekend in tears, and now I regret upgrading to S5 because I cannot figure out for the life of me how to configure it.  It's just WAY too different from S4.  I was able to add one singing face, but not the other one.  I was able to create one mini-tree from scratch, but have three more to add in and can't figure out how to just duplicate the first one and edit the channel assignments.  And I'm not even sure that the first mini tree has the right configurations in the first place because the interface is so different. 

I've told my husband that I'm not doing singing faces this year even though I bought pre-programmed sequences for them.  I'm so dejected and he's sad that I invested all that money and now am not even using them.

But the main reason I'm posting - I recall someone saying in the forums that you can't have S4 and S5 on the same computer because they conflict. Is that definitely the case?  If it is, then I think this weekend I'm going to download S4 onto my laptop (and keep S5 on my desktop) and just add in the mini-trees and program those into my pre-existing songs even though I've used the same 8-10 songs for the past 3-4 years.

 

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Jaynee, S4 and S5 are quite different in how you configure stuff, but in the long run you will be better to migrate to S5.

HOWEVER with that said, it's late October.   Stick with what you know.  Run your 2021 show in S4 - even if it means you just run your 2019 show as you ran it two years ago.  In January or February, go back to S5 when you have the time and people have the time to help.  We're getting into the time of year when most of us are starting to get busy setting up our own shows and have less time to help.  BTW, copying your one min-tree to make three more would take about 20 seconds.

Yes, for all practical purposes, you can't have S4 and S5 on the same computer at the same time.

 

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When you go from S4 to S5 you have to pretty much forget everything you learned in S4. This is why we always tell everyone to stick with S4 this time of the year and start learning S5 in January.

You can still do singing faces in S4, you just do them differently then you would in S5.

As Jim stated, stick with S4 for this year and add your singing faces in and start on S5 in the new year.

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i started with S4 and made the jump to S5 and agree, a lot to learn, but once you get the preview right, much is close enough.    I would be willing to spend some time with you to see how far you have got.   I will message you directly with my contact information (not a professional but use it a lot).

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Thanks everyone.  Just to clarify - I upgraded to S5 back in May and it was then that I realized I was overwhelmed.  My intention at that time was to just carry over all of my S4 programming with no changes other than adding in programming for the new mini-trees that I made in the spring, and then add 4-5 Lightorama sequences that I purchased specifically for singing faces. 

I know full well that I can't get anything done in S5 for this year's show (especially since we go live with our show during T'giving weekend, which is only one month away). 

Thanks for confirming that S4 and S5 cannot live on the same computer.  I'll definitely have one on laptop and one on desktop.  My follow-up is: can I redownload S4 since I deleted it?  I assume as long as I have the original email with the original key that I can download it?  or is the key restricted to only one copy of ANY software at any given time?

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12 minutes ago, Jaynee said:

Thanks for confirming that S4 and S5 cannot live on the same computer.  I'll definitely have one on laptop and one on desktop.  My follow-up is: can I redownload S4 since I deleted it?  I assume as long as I have the original email with the original key that I can download it?  or is the key restricted to only one copy of ANY software at any given time?

No problem at all.  During the S5 beta, I must have swapped back and forth at least a dozen times.  The only recommendation is to uninstall S5, and then delete the C:\Program Files\Light-O-Rama (or C:\Program Files (x86)\Light-O-Rama folder - depends on your hardware and version of Windows which it is).  This will NOT delete your sequences.  DO NOT DELETE the Light-O-Rama directory structure that is normally under My documents (or else you will delete your sequences).

 

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You can redownload S4 and install it again and have S5 on the other machine too. In fact, if you had the software on the machine previously, it will likely still remember the licence key, but if not you can just activate it again. I don't think the key ever changes as you upgrade.

When you are ready to try again we can all help you get the hang of it.

In the meantime check out the Luminous Harmony help videos by Aubrey. 

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Where in SC are you, if you are close enough I would be happy to help.

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It is overwhelming to see the response and the kindness here in the forums.  This is my first time here.  I'm setting up my Halloween show for the second year and I'm doing Christmas this year for the first time.  I started with a simple AC controller last year and had no issues using purchased and shared sequences.  But this year I decided to add RGB pixels and bought a pixie 8.  LOL let me tell you how frustrating it has been getting this bugger up and running and working nice.  I have no experience so I'm learning S5 as I go but that may be an advantage over upgrading like you have Jaynee.  I don't have anything to fall back on.  Non the less, Don't bring yourself to tears.  I live in Northeastern PA.  Even though I'm a bit out of the way I'd be happy to travel and stay a weekend with you helping you get your faces going.  I am around regularly and have a strong internet connection.  If you would like to screen share with me via a zoom meeting or discord I would be happy to help you.  It would also be a learning experience for me, sometimes you just need two heads to make it work :)  feel free to hmu I'll be on these forums a lot now.  You can also email me kenshin9022@gmail.com

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9 hours ago, TheSignGuy said:

Where in SC are you, if you are close enough I would be happy to help.

I'm near Charlotte.  Not close enough. =)

I'm feeling better about the whole thing after reading the thread.  I'll download S4 onto my laptop tonight and get to work adding in my mini-trees and their programming into my current songs, and then start from scratch with y'all's help with S5 in 2022.

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21 hours ago, Jaynee said:

Earlier this year I upgraded my software from S4 to S5 because I wanted to add singing faces (which I purchased in the summer sale). When I upgraded the software I spent an entire weekend trying to figure out how to do setup in S5 and ended the weekend in tears.  I then ignored anything related to my Christmas show for months.

Last year we did not do the dancing lights because it was all we could do to get a few lighted animals out on the lawn.  We took a break.  And overwhelmingly everyone begged us to have the full show going this year.  

Last weekend I dove into S5 again, determined to figure it out.  After 2 days, I once again ended the weekend in tears, and now I regret upgrading to S5 because I cannot figure out for the life of me how to configure it.  It's just WAY too different from S4.  I was able to add one singing face, but not the other one.  I was able to create one mini-tree from scratch, but have three more to add in and can't figure out how to just duplicate the first one and edit the channel assignments.  And I'm not even sure that the first mini tree has the right configurations in the first place because the interface is so different. 

I've told my husband that I'm not doing singing faces this year even though I bought pre-programmed sequences for them.  I'm so dejected and he's sad that I invested all that money and now am not even using them.

But the main reason I'm posting - I recall someone saying in the forums that you can't have S4 and S5 on the same computer because they conflict. Is that definitely the case?  If it is, then I think this weekend I'm going to download S4 onto my laptop (and keep S5 on my desktop) and just add in the mini-trees and program those into my pre-existing songs even though I've used the same 8-10 songs for the past 3-4 years.

 

That's my ONE BIGGEST COMPLAINT with S5, the way you have to add in EVERYTHING in your display as a preview and prop or what have you.  That's why I'm still in S4 currently, but trying to learn S5 as well on my other desktop I purchased just for that reason.  But it's so complicated, or sure seems to be.  And I've watched all of Aubrey's Luminous Harmony Tutorial Videos as well.  But it is still confusing and complicated in getting things to work, at least for me {and apparently you too}.

I had really hoped that all you'd need to do is just IMPORT your S4 sequence into S5, like it had always been with all prior sequencing software suits, but NOOOOoooooo, this was, and is so dad burn complex it drives me nuts trying to get things to just light up in it.   I detest this having to assign every dad blasted item in S5, this, too me, should have been just as easy and seamless as in PRIOR versions of the software suite before S5, by just loading the original older sequence in and have it work WITHOUT major changes, additions or modifications in S5

However, with that said, I'm going to give S5 another try in 2022, but if I still have a ton of issues just trying to get things to work in S5, then I'm done.  It WILL be getting deleted, and I'll never upgrade past what I'm using now, S4.4.16 PRO.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Orville said:

That's my ONE BIGGEST COMPLAINT with S5, the way you have to add in EVERYTHING in your display as a preview and prop or what have you.  That's why I'm still in S4 currently, but trying to learn S5 as well on my other desktop I purchased just for that reason.  But it's so complicated, or sure seems to be. 

Actually in the long run, the previews make your life FAR easier.

 

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5 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

Actually in the long run, the previews make your life FAR easier.

 

That may be, but I still have yet to actually make any work that I've tried to create for just a couple of simple strands of 50 RGB C9 bulbs {LOR 5V} using a CCB100D controller.  Can't ever seem to get the sequence to light up a single bulb when I've tried adding the lights and controller, I always get nothing, control lights is on, I always set that as the default.   I keep referring back to the tutorial videos, but I've got to be missing something.  I just can not get any lights or controllers to function in S5 at all.  Very frustrating.

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Sounds like you are missing something because it's actually pretty simple.  I could build a preview for a couple strings of bulbs from a CCB100D in about 10 seconds that would work with any of your S4 sequences.

 

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2 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

Sounds like you are missing something because it's actually pretty simple.  I could build a preview for a couple strings of bulbs from a CCB100D in about 10 seconds that would work with any of your S4 sequences.

 

I agree, I gave up on S5 a few times. Looking back at it I should have moved up with 2 of the pioneers You and Phil Massey.

Now it is so simple a caveman can do it.

Orville you can do it.

The preview is the visualizer on steroids and with almost everything being pre built much simpler.

JR

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18 hours ago, k6ccc said:

Sounds like you are missing something because it's actually pretty simple.  I could build a preview for a couple strings of bulbs from a CCB100D in about 10 seconds that would work with any of your S4 sequences.

 

I'd very much appreciate that Jim.  Maybe if I see something that works, and made by someone that knows how this all goes together, that would give me a great starting point to figure it out from there.  When I first started sequencing, shared sequences sure helped me along the way back then, so if you could do that, I think I should {hopefully}, be able to get a good handle on how to build the rest I need in S5.  I just need a good starting point to get moving on along my way, as I really want to migrate into S5 for 2022, but it's been mystifying me since I started messing around with it!   I've been attempting to build a working preview, and sequence in S5 that would actually DO something, but I keep getting, or doing things that just don't ever seem to work! LOL

 

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23 hours ago, Orville said:

I had really hoped that all you'd need to do is just IMPORT your S4 sequence into S5, like it had always been with all prior sequencing software suits, but NOOOOoooooo, this was, and is so dad burn complex it drives me nuts trying to get things to just light up in it.   I detest this having to assign every dad blasted item in S5, this, too me, should have been just as easy and seamless as in PRIOR versions of the software suite before S5, by just loading the original older sequence in and have it work WITHOUT major changes, additions or modifications in S5

I do this all the time. It works.

*shrug*

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Apparently I am some sort of unicorn.

In 2020 installed S5 and imported my S4 Visualizer file.  It all came across as far as the channels are concerned.  However some of the props did not render well.  One that really did not do so well was a pixel fan that I had created in the S4 visualizer.  What I did was to create a new fan prop, assign the proper channels and then save the preview despite the fact it was indicating duplicates.  (Can't be too careful)  I opened an .lms sequence and things came over just fine.  I then closed the sequence, deleted the old fan from the preview and again opened the same .lms sequence and things came over fine again.  Since that worked so well I decided to clean up many of the other props since S5 had prop structures that were much more pleasing to the eye than the props I had built using the old S4 visualizer.  The only thing that I had a bit of trouble wrapping my head around was the end of pixel strings and their location relative to the controller and how to properly define them.   I have two CCR I strings that are mounted in a manner where pixel 50 would actually be the first pixel if I wanted to do an end-to-end chase across the two strings.  With S4 I had to manually invert the order the 50 pixels on the one CCR so I could create a chase that would span the two CCR I units.   With S5 I just defined the prop indicating the location of the controller, how I wanted the string to behave and that manipulation of the pixel order became unnecessary.

On a somewhat related note, I ran my show last year on a computer that had S5 installed.  I had only one file that was created/edited using S5, the remainder of my show - 20 sequences - were S4 .lms files.  The show ran flawlessly. 

My advice is to keep at it.  You will figure it out.  I you were able to figure out how to use a grid to indicate what light should come on at what point in time you definitely have the skills to figure out S5.  If you have a Visualizer file that works properly today you are well on your way.

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On 10/22/2021 at 4:02 PM, dibblejr said:

I agree, I gave up on S5 a few times. Looking back at it I should have moved up with 2 of the pioneers You and Phil Massey.

Now it is so simple a caveman can do it.

Orville you can do it.

The preview is the visualizer on steroids and with almost everything being pre built much simpler.

JR

that's what I'm missing JR.   Where are these "pre-built" props/previews located?   I don't seem to be able to find anything, but then again, I'm not too sure what I should be looking for, example: file extensions that could be loaded and used in S5 as a prop or preview file.

Like said, if I could find something that works, then I think I could be on my merry way of figuring S5 out.   As it is, I'm still quite lost, but not afraid to ask for directions either! ROFL

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Just now, Orville said:

that's what I'm missing JR.   Where are these "pre-built" props/previews located?  

In the Preview Editor, when creating a prop, the first thing you see is a windows that is titled "Add New Item".  The first selection on that list is" Create a new PROP using one of the built-in shapes, or define a custom shape".  If you select that option, you get the Prop Definition window.  In the center section of that page is "Shape".  The dropdown has dozens of pre-built shapes and then you can customize the options for any of those.

Back on the Add New Item page, part way down the list are options to import a Prop file, a Visualization file, and xLights model file, plus currently six online prop layout files.

 

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10 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

In the Preview Editor, when creating a prop, the first thing you see is a windows that is titled "Add New Item".  The first selection on that list is" Create a new PROP using one of the built-in shapes, or define a custom shape".  If you select that option, you get the Prop Definition window.  In the center section of that page is "Shape".  The dropdown has dozens of pre-built shapes and then you can customize the options for any of those.

Back on the Add New Item page, part way down the list are options to import a Prop file, a Visualization file, and xLights model file, plus currently six online prop layout files.

 

Been in that area several times Jim.  But when I try to create a prop for 100 RGB bulbs, 2 strands of 50 for the CCB100D controllers, I never seem to get anything to work, or take properly.  So I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, because all I can ever get is ONE bulb, not 50 or 100, and I can't even get that ONE bulb to light up!  So that's where I'm having the biggest issue with getting something to work in S5.  I *know* I must be missing a step, or something, somewhere, but I just can't seem to figure out where I'm going wrong.

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This video was just released by Aubrey. It may help.

 

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4 hours ago, Orville said:

that's what I'm missing JR.   Where are these "pre-built" props/previews located?   I don't seem to be able to find anything, but then again, I'm not too sure what I should be looking for, example: file extensions that could be loaded and used in S5 as a prop or preview file.

Like said, if I could find something that works, then I think I could be on my merry way of figuring S5 out.   As it is, I'm still quite lost, but not afraid to ask for directions either! ROFL

They are in the "Preview Design" use the + button to add a prop from any of the lists . One of them being "Pre built" . send me a vis, send me a pic, send me a list of controllers, props and a pic with networks and unit IDs and more than likely I can build your preview in an hour or less

JR

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I use 100 CCBs to make a wreath.  I did this by making two half circles (two props) - one for the first 50 CCBs and the other for second set of CCBs.  I named them right half and left half.

They are defined as RGB pixels - in my case a string of 50 each - so I have two strings of smart RGB pixels.

The first string is defined as on a LOR network Aux-A - channel 20

The second string is defined on a LOR network Aux-A - channel 21

In the hardware utility, you assign the first channel ID in this case 20 to the CCB controller.

Make sure you define Aux-A in the Network setup otherwise it will not work.  LOR Network = Aux-A  Comm # (whatever it comes up as) and 500K for the speed.

In SE, you add those two props and you should be able to control them.

Hope this helps!

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7 hours ago, dibblejr said:

They are in the "Preview Design" use the + button to add a prop from any of the lists . One of them being "Pre built" . send me a vis, send me a pic, send me a list of controllers, props and a pic with networks and unit IDs and more than likely I can build your preview in an hour or less

JR

I can send you an S4 sequence that has all the controllers assigned in it with the latest channel config I was planning to use until the Pixie16D quit working.  But everything is assigned in there, and the sequence is set up in tracks. Which I don't think S5 uses, does it?  

The only vis file I ever created was for the two singing trees I have, Ralphie and Zuzu., since I don't have all 4, I just use this one for testing the singing tree's mouth movements.  However, all 4 are in my sequence, just in case I may ever add Felix and Elden to my display sometime in the future.   Other than that, all my sequences in S4 rely mainly on the internal animation option, as that is what I've always used, too bad that can't be exported as a vis file.  That might have made things a wee bit easier if that were possible.

 

Note: All the RGB controllers may have different bulb counts, but they should be easily seen in the sequence, I tried to include that info of the bulb counts when you open the group channel button, The CCR's are only 26 on the Pixie16D, and only for the first 7 channels, and I don't think I defined that on their channel buttons.  But once you crack open the sequence you can check out everything and see what's what, however, where it says they are placed, that info is not, or may not be correct, as most hasn't been decided until I start placing the bulbs, and seeing where I will use them at or not, and where their controller will be placed.   Just the way I do things every year, because I always move things around every year, never in the same place twice, if I can avoid it.

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