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Show editor | Preview | Sequencer - Questions after a long break. [5.6.10 Pro]


lightingman117

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Been a minute since I last ran a show. Ran into a few questions.

Yes, I Re-RTFM (re-read the friendly manual)

5.6.10 Pro


I guess some of these questions are mute as we'll all be going to S6 after this season.

Show Editor:

  1. Shouldn't the lights auto-off if "turn used lights off...sequence" is checked in the shutdown section?
    • I thought my lights would turn off but they stayed on; I created a lights-off sequence that is 1s long to fix this.
  2. Animations running simultaneously* on the same network should work right?
    • I wanted to run an 'all-on' and a mini-mega animation in separate files, but the mega-tree glitched and lights flickered.
    • Yes, concurrently was selected; yes "turn used lights off..." was unchecked.
  3. Background flickers?
    • I ran the all-on and mini-mega animation here first and found that they flickered (once per minute; upon starting from the top). But it went away when using the animation tab.
  4. Show not syncing between computers
    • I have all my LOR directories point to dropbox folder so everything sync's up.
    • S4 worked very well IIRC (been a bit)
    • S5 seems to lose the pointers.
    • If I modify the show or calendar on a non-show computer I have

Preview:

  1. How do I set the default preview?
    • Super annoying to constantly change it for every new sequence
  2. Why does preview lose the background image on different computers?
    • I have all my LOR directories point to dropbox folder so everything sync's up.
    • S4 worked very well IIRC (been a bit)
    • S5 seems to lose the pointers.
    • If I open a preview in sequencer I have to re-associate the background image every time.
    • Yes, it is in the same location on all computers.
    • It is under sequences; should I put the background image in a different folder?
  3. Import: If I accidentally match a beat channel I can't figure out how to undo it.
    • NVM, click next > double click item > select '<none>'
  4. Import: Can I mass de-match upon preview import;?
    • The single dropdown per item is rather tedious/annoying.
  5. Is sorting via letters in front of prop names the only way to sort?

 

Sequencer:

  1. Can I set a default Grid Configuration?
    • Seems weird something so personalized isn't auto-loaded.
  2. Set default timing for creation?
  3. How do I select cells, then define effect?
    • I feel like I used to be able to do this. Or I'm crazy.
    • I want to select cells using shift or ctrl and then click on/off/shimmer/twinkle and the effect shows up
  4. Might be my install, but create/toggle are super slow to respond; very weird IMO.
    • Not HW power, SW related (though not necessarily LOR).

 

I'm sure I have other things, but this is just a quick list off the top of my head that I've ran into and wasn't quite sure what I should do about it.

Not sure what other info needed, but I think this is robust enough to post.

Nathan

 

  • Win10 Pro x64 (all computers in question)
  • Basic network 56k just 7x 16ch AC controllers
  • i5 or above CPU processors
Edited by lightingman117
used sequentially instead of simultaneously
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4 hours ago, lightingman117 said:
  • Animations running simultaneously* on the same network should work right?
    • I wanted to run an 'all-on' and a mini-mega animation in separate files, but the mega-tree glitched and lights flickered.
    • Yes, concurrently was selected; yes "turn used lights off..." was unchecked.
  • Background flickers?
    • I ran the all-on and mini-mega animation here first and found that they flickered (once per minute; upon starting from the top). But it went away when using the animation tab.

Both of these are related.  sounds like you have multiple sequences running at the same time that are using the same channels.  So what you end up with is one sequence commanding a channel of while another sequence is commanding that same channel to some on state.  The solution is to not have multiple sequences trying to command the same channels at the same time.  I will point out that a channel that is off is NOT the same as a channel not present.  So what you need to do is have multiple previews.  For example, one preview has channels 1, 2, & 3 and is used in sequences X, Y, & Z; and another preview has channels 4, 5, & 6 and is used in sequences A, B, & C.  Without me checking, my year round landscaping uses something like six different previews for different sequences.

4 hours ago, lightingman117 said:

How do I set the default preview?

  • Super annoying to constantly change it for every new sequence

When you create a new sequence, one of the options at the bottom is something like "Use these settings as default".  That sets among other things what preview will be used by default for new sequences.

4 hours ago, lightingman117 said:

Why does preview lose the background image on different computers?

  • I have all my LOR directories point to dropbox folder so everything sync's up.
  • S4 worked very well IIRC (been a bit)
  • S5 seems to lose the pointers.
  • If I open a preview in sequencer I have to re-associate the background image every time.
  • Yes, it is in the same location on all computers.
  • It is under sequences; should I put the background image in a different folder?

That make something else that seems to be computer specific.  In my case, all three computers at the house have a mapped network drive on my file server of L:\.  The LOR programs all point to L:\  I recently found that if you use the Sequence Compressor from one computer, another computer does not see the files as compressed.  I reported that here a few weeks ago, but have not heard any response from the developers on why that happened.

5 hours ago, lightingman117 said:

Is sorting via letters in front of prop names the only way to sort?

In the default view of "Show all items" the props will always be sorted alphabetically.  However if you create new views, you can sort them in any order that you like.  You also can have views that only show some of your props.

5 hours ago, lightingman117 said:

Can I set a default Grid Configuration?

  • Seems weird something so personalized isn't auto-loaded.

Yes.  You can load grid views similar to the same function in S4.

5 hours ago, lightingman117 said:

Set default timing for creation?

Part of the defaults when creating a sequence and checking the box to save these settings as default.

5 hours ago, lightingman117 said:

How do I select cells, then define effect?

  • I feel like I used to be able to do this. Or I'm crazy.
  • I want to select cells using shift or ctrl and then click on/off/shimmer/twinkle and the effect shows up

The workflow is different, but once you get used to it, it works quite well.  Rather than me typing a novel, read the section of the manual that talks about selecting cells, and how to manipulate them.

 

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11 hours ago, k6ccc said:

Both of these are related.  sounds like you have multiple sequences running at the same time that are using the same channels.  So what you end up with is one sequence commanding a channel of while another sequence is commanding that same channel to some on state.  The solution is to not have multiple sequences trying to command the same channels at the same time.  I will point out that a channel that is off is NOT the same as a channel not present.  So what you need to do is have multiple previews.  For example, one preview has channels 1, 2, & 3 and is used in sequences X, Y, & Z; and another preview has channels 4, 5, & 6 and is used in sequences A, B, & C.  Without me checking, my year round landscaping uses something like six different previews for different sequences.

 

Understood, thank you. I thought it worked via HTP.
 

Seems strange. I thought the whole point of the props was to unify the preview.

Oh well.

 

11 hours ago, k6ccc said:

When you create a new sequence, one of the options at the bottom is something like "Use these settings as default".  That sets among other things what preview will be used by default for new sequences.

Seems that works for everything except the Grid Configuration. Thanks!

11 hours ago, k6ccc said:

That make something else that seems to be computer specific.  In my case, all three computers at the house have a mapped network drive on my file server of L:\.  The LOR programs all point to L:\  I recently found that if you use the Sequence Compressor from one computer, another computer does not see the files as compressed.  I reported that here a few weeks ago, but have not heard any response from the developers on why that happened.

I figured this out a bit. Came home to my show not running yet I had it running earlier in the day for a party. I realized some computers have the root Dropbox folder not at C:\ level. And I know on my desktop my Dropbox folder is on a different HDD. I'll use symbolic links to fix that.

The reason I didn't catch it is because the previews all updated between computers. But the background image and show/schedule files weren't.

Seems weird to me some LOR pointers are contained in the install location and others aren't.
 

 

11 hours ago, k6ccc said:

In the default view of "Show all items" the props will always be sorted alphabetically.  However if you create new views, you can sort them in any order that you like.  You also can have views that only show some of your props.

Yes.  You can load grid views similar to the same function in S4.

Part of the defaults when creating a sequence and checking the box to save these settings as default.

The workflow is different, but once you get used to it, it works quite well.  Rather than me typing a novel, read the section of the manual that talks about selecting cells, and how to manipulate them.

 

I understand going to props and how it is better. But for my simple shows I still like channel view, hah.

Sequencer workflow is definitely different.

I wasn't planning on sequencing anything, just copying over old S4 files which all worked fairly well.

But I wanted an animation sequence... welp I was confused as to how to make anything do anything (fast) obviously I could work slowly.

 

At any rate - Thank you!

I'll implement some of this new knowledge and report back any discrepancies.

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2 hours ago, lightingman117 said:

Understood, thank you. I thought it worked via HTP.

I have no idea what you mean by HTP.

2 hours ago, lightingman117 said:

Seems strange. I thought the whole point of the props was to unify the preview.

If I understand what you're saying, it's kinda the other way around.  Props largely forces you to think that the prop is what matters and not the controller.  In S4 and prior, it was so common to hear people setting up a sequence and they would ask something like "I added the controller to SE, now how do I assign that to my arches" for example.  That's doing it backwards.  With the Preview, you build props and assign channels to them - not build a controller and figure out what props will use some portion of that controller.  The Preview makes a FAR easier way to change channel assignments for large numbers of sequences.  For example, less than a week before opening night this year, I changed the channel assignments for almost 1,000 channels.  Made the change in the Preview.  I could have done nothing more than run the show, and the Show Player would have updated every sequence before it played the first time.  Yes, it would have taken several minutes before each sequence played, so the first playing would have been done in advance of the actual opening night.  I actually made it a little more complex because I changed the Preview name, so I had to open each sequence in Sequencer and assign the new preview to each sequence.

Back to your original point about flickering due to multiple sequences playing at the same time with overlapping channels involved.  All the channels assigned in a preview will be commanded when a sequence plays that uses that preview.  So for example if you have a preview that has 100 channels in it and only one is doing any lighting at all, the remaining 99 channels are still there and the Show Play will correctly send commands for those 99 channels.  The command sent for those 99 channels will all be: Off.  If you use the same preview for another sequence that is using let's say 10 different channels, the Show Player will again correctly be sending commands to ALL 100 channels - in this case 90 of those channels will be: Off.  So what you have is one sequence resulting in Off commands to be sent and another sequence sending some lighting commands.  All the controller knows is that I received a command for let's say channel 01 to be 80% and 100mSec later it receives a command to be off, and 100mSec later it receives a command to ramp down from 80% to 20% over the next 1.5 seconds.

The solution is to have multiple previews.  Let me explain part of my landscape lighting.  I have three steps up to my front porch with dumb RGB strips on the underside of the bullnose brick on each step (nine channels total).  There are three different triggers that will cause the steps lights to ramp up and later back down when someone either opens the front door or walks up to the steps.  Additionally as part of the landscape show startup, the steps lights are turned on to a fairly dim state.  Once the landscape lighting show is running, there are about 100 channels (not including the steps) that do stuff.  So I have three Previews for the process I just described:  "Landscape with steps", "Landscape without steps", and "Steps only".  The names should be pretty obvious.  The landscape startup sequence uses the "Landscape with steps" so it can among other things, turn on the steps lights to the dim state.  Once the two evening landscape sequences start, they use the "Landscape without steps" preview, so those two sequence have no effect on the steps lights.  The interactive sequences that get triggered when for example the front door is opened, use the "Steps only" preview so they control the steps lights, but nothing else.  Does that make it more clear?

 

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50 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

I have no idea what you mean by HTP.

Highest Takes Priority.

Simply:
If
Ch1 is at 100% in the background sequence
and
Ch1 is at 50% in the animation sequence
Then
Ch1 is at 100% output to controller.

50 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

If I understand what you're saying, it's kinda the other way around.  Props largely forces you to think that the prop is what matters and not the controller.  In S4 and prior, it was so common to hear people setting up a sequence and they would ask something like "I added the controller to SE, now how do I assign that to my arches" for example.  That's doing it backwards.  With the Preview, you build props and assign channels to them - not build a controller and figure out what props will use some portion of that controller.  The Preview makes a FAR easier way to change channel assignments for large numbers of sequences.  For example, less than a week before opening night this year, I changed the channel assignments for almost 1,000 channels.  Made the change in the Preview.  I could have done nothing more than run the show, and the Show Player would have updated every sequence before it played the first time.  Yes, it would have taken several minutes before each sequence played, so the first playing would have been done in advance of the actual opening night.  I actually made it a little more complex because I changed the Preview name, so I had to open each sequence in Sequencer and assign the new preview to each sequence.

Thanks, I think I got all that.
I think it is just different perspectives of the same concept.
Unify the preview (to me) means bringing all channels into one location by looking at destination (prop/light) rather than source (animation, sequencer, excel file, etc).

The downside is you have to buy more hardware as you add more props :lol:

And yes, moving to props is very important for large shows. S6 keeps moving that way unifying the different programs.

50 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

Back to your original point about flickering due to multiple sequences playing at the same time with overlapping channels involved.  All the channels assigned in a preview will be commanded when a sequence plays that uses that preview.  So for example if you have a preview that has 100 channels in it and only one is doing any lighting at all, the remaining 99 channels are still there and the Show Play will correctly send commands for those 99 channels.  The command sent for those 99 channels will all be: Off.  If you use the same preview for another sequence that is using let's say 10 different channels, the Show Player will again correctly be sending commands to ALL 100 channels - in this case 90 of those channels will be: Off.  So what you have is one sequence resulting in Off commands to be sent and another sequence sending some lighting commands.  All the controller knows is that I received a command for let's say channel 01 to be 80% and 100mSec later it receives a command to be off, and 100mSec later it receives a command to ramp down from 80% to 20% over the next 1.5 seconds.

Yeah. Refer to HTP. Seems silly. I can think of no benefit.

I also thought if HTP wasn't happening then at least no values = no sent values. IE nothing programmed in a channel in the sequencer was a null value not a zero value.

That said, that was definitely my issue when playing a background & animation sequence at the same time with all channels.

50 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

The solution is to have multiple previews.  Let me explain part of my landscape lighting.  I have three steps up to my front porch with dumb RGB strips on the underside of the bullnose brick on each step (nine channels total).  There are three different triggers that will cause the steps lights to ramp up and later back down when someone either opens the front door or walks up to the steps.  Additionally as part of the landscape show startup, the steps lights are turned on to a fairly dim state.  Once the landscape lighting show is running, there are about 100 channels (not including the steps) that do stuff.  So I have three Previews for the process I just described:  "Landscape with steps", "Landscape without steps", and "Steps only".  The names should be pretty obvious.  The landscape startup sequence uses the "Landscape with steps" so it can among other things, turn on the steps lights to the dim state.  Once the two evening landscape sequences start, they use the "Landscape without steps" preview, so those two sequence have no effect on the steps lights.  The interactive sequences that get triggered when for example the front door is opened, use the "Steps only" preview so they control the steps lights, but nothing else.  Does that make it more clear?

 

Yeah you gave perfect insight/help.

I have successfully updated my previews to:

image.png.9333e6f475d6819e77b0f1c297351aa7.png 

ALL - everything (for musical sequences)
House - everything except things I want separate control for (for all-on)
MiniMega - So I can have it triggered or whatever in a separate animation

Eventually I might add a few props on their own so I can have kids press random buttons and the toy soldier turns on or this or that...

To me this is all convoluted. Just have an option for HTP in S6 and let'er'rip.

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2 hours ago, lightingman117 said:

To me this is all convoluted. Just have an option for HTP in S6 and let'er'rip.

NO!  I came up with several reasons in less than 10 second where HTP would NOT give the desired result.  You likely could use it in some places, but you would need to be able to enable or disable it on a channel by channel basis.  It also might work better on a DMX network where every channel is updated 45 times per second as opposed to a LOR network where a channel may not get any commands for hours.

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1 hour ago, k6ccc said:

NO!  I came up with several reasons in less than 10 second where HTP would NOT give the desired result.  You likely could use it in some places, but you would need to be able to enable or disable it on a channel by channel basis.  It also might work better on a DMX network where every channel is updated 45 times per second as opposed to a LOR network where a channel may not get any commands for hours.

Really?

Yeah okay.. you caught me, I come from DMX lighting world so I'm more used to modifying entire looks/scenes on a case by case priority for HTP or LTP or Last command (LOR).

But I don't see how it wouldn't work for LOR?
Reading between the lines; let me know if I get this wrong; You're thinking a CH might behave reprehensively (no deterministic behavior) if it doesn't get a command for hours/days?

You already said the behavior is not deterministic when running multiple commands to the same channel from different sequences. Thus LOR already can't operate with multiple channels receiving the same information thus there'd be no loss.
Or put differently.
If you do LOR wrong, It fails spectacularly and the end-user has no idea why (yes upon re-reading the background section I see the green statement saying to use different preview, but I re-read that section 2 or 3 times and never noticed it until now).
If you use HTP for background sequences then you'd gain a feature and lose nothing.

FWIW, I did say 'option,' but I'd want the option at the preview level (or sequence level, or maybe show level).
I wouldn't say no to CH level.

---

In other news. 

Syncing is all fixed now that I've done the symbolic links and I also ignored the 'Logs' & 'LORInternal' folders.

That was a face-palm moment for me. Thanks for the help!

https://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshellext/linkshellextension.html#introduction

https://help.dropbox.com/sync/ignored-files

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