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(Re)generate SuperStar Files on Show Computer


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When I transfer a sequence file (via Dropbox) from a computer used for sequencing (there are more than 1) to the show computer, I copy just the .loredit file (and the media, if it's not there already). I was under the impression that the latest S6 show player would automatically generate the necessary files to play the sequence, and that SuperStar effects would be included, but this is apparently not the case.

For example, the player log shows this:

2022-11-19 12:04:02 PM Player Information Creating new playback file because it was out of date by 13.1 days: C:\Light-O-Rama\Sequences\Carol of the Bells (short).loredit
2022-11-19 12:04:06 PM Player Information Starting Override Sequence: C:\Light-O-Rama\Sequences\Carol of the Bells (short).loredit

But when the sequence played, it was missing the SuperStar effect that was on the pixel tree. When I opened it with the sequence editor on the show computer (which I rarely do, because the show computer is in the garage, has a small screen and a flakey mouse), I got this error:

Number of files referenced by motion effects that cannot be found: 1
Go to Sequence > File References to fix these.

At this point, it seemed I had 2 choices: Go back into the house, find that file, copy it to the show computer, then go back and play the sequence; or re-generate the AVI file on the show computer by bringing up the SuperStar effect and then closing it without making any changes.

This is annoying. I request a feature in which as part of the process of preparing a sequence for playing, a missing SS_*.avi file is automatically regenerated by sending it through SuperStar in a command line interface way.

I am surprised that the player log doesn't mention a missing motion effect file reference. Why not?

I know workarounds have been mentioned. They include:

  • Transfer the entire Sequences directory to the show computer
    The issue is that I may have "work in progress" files on the sequencing computer, and even if I didn't, I don't want to wait for the entire Sequences directory to be uploaded every time I want to update one sequence.
  • Put the Sequences directory on a file server
    See the previous item about the "work in progress" files. Also, I don't have a file server, and this adds another potential point of failure. One of the sequencing computers is someone else's, so it can't join my home network anyway.
  • Transfer the necessary SS*.avi files
    Yes, this is what I ended up doing before, but it means I have to take more effort to find the right files (by looking at the modification date). It also adds more unnecessary stuff to my Dropbox and my show computer. When I modify a SuperStar effect, the old SS*.avi file gets deleted on my sequencing computer (I think), but sits around forever on the show computer until I clean it out. There is no tool that tells which files are no longer needed.
  • Put each sequence in a subdirectory
    This is an elegant solution, and solves the problem, but it makes it more difficult to browse through my sequences in date modified order, because the modified date on the directory is not always updated.

Am I overlooking something obvious? Any other ideas?

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FWIW, I am in the same boat, and am already seeing interesting issues.

What I have mostly found with many years of sequences (many are versions of earlier, and some incomplete - more than I'd like to admit have been incomplete for a long time), and an important goal for me is to try and purge a fair amount of useless cruft that has collected over the years, so copying the entire Light-O-Rama directory is not an option.

While it was previously easy to just copy the LMS file, newer tools/features have made the number of files needed for a single sequence to be non-trivial.  Part of the reason I'm trying the subdirectory method.  However, not all files needed for a sequence will show up in the specified subdirectory.  Though most can be readjusted, one interesting file is the LORPreview.xml file.  If this isn't current on the show machine, there are a handful of gotcha's that pop up.  But, similarly, if the Control Panel or Sequencer is running when copying the file, changes won't happen as expected.  I've even shown this to be a problem if this file is shared between the show computer and the sequencing computer.

I've even gone as far as enabling rsync on the show computer, but the windows version doesn't work that well, and a remote machine that performs a push still hits the same problems as above (will the show computer actually pick up the changes - would tend to argue this is a bug, but would settle for a feature request to sync with a remote show computer).

So, my current process is to pull from the show machine when I have made changes on the sequencing machine:  share the directory on the sequencing machine and have a network mount, and then simply copy the directory - note that having a usb stick for transfers can perform the same task, and also offers a simple backup method for the files in question.  Enabling Remote Desktop allows me to perform this entire process from one computer (also allows me to easily monitor how the show machine is performing).  And keeping archives elsewhere keeps extra cruft at a minimum.

What I am also experimenting with is a different method that shows promise, and I will likely share in the next couple of days.  It still requires the Control Panel to be stopped/restarted, but also performs a fair amount of logging and timestamping.  There is some other overhead here, and may not be fore the meek, but it potentially covers lots of ground.


But, if the folks at LOR have some insight into how users are expected to run a separate show machine, or what has been built into S5 to more easily support this model, I'd also like to hear it too.

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Since the automatic generation is still missing, I  cleaned my old AVI files by doing this:

  1. In the Sequences folder, I made a sub-folder named AVI and moved all my *.AVI files to that directory.
  2. I ran this command: C:\Light-O-Rama\Sequences>find "SS_" *.loredit
  3. I copied the output of that command, put in a BAT file, and edited it to MOVE all the files found back to the Sequences folder.

Once I had the directory cleaned, I removed all the AVI files from the show computer and copied the clean set from the sequencing computer.

This still doesn't keep the directory clean for the future.

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Here's another side effect:

If you put a new .loredit file in the Sequences folder, but don't include one or more of the SS_*.AVI files, the show player will initialize that sequence without the SuperStar effect without issuing any warnings. When you later realize that the SuperStar effect(s) aren't playing, and drop the needed SS_*.AVI file in the Sequences folder, they will still not play, because the sequence has already been initialized by the show player.

The only solutions are to find out where the cached show player file is and remove it, or to modify the .loredit file to make the show player initialize the sequence again.

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