Prop Definition

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A prop in the Sequencer allows you to define a single item that is in your display. This item could be simple, like a string of lights, or a wreath; or it could be complex, like a pixel tree or matrix. For every prop, you assign it a name and then define the type of lights that it uses, its shape, and its assigned channel(s).

 

PropDefinitionTraditional

 

 

Name

 

Each prop must have a name. The name must be unique within the preview.

 

 

Comment

 

This is an optional field for you to make notes about this prop.

 

 

Lights Section

 

Use this section to define the types of lights your prop consists of.

 

Dimming Curve

 

Some controllers have the ability to apply dimming curves in the hardware. This setting allows you to apply a dimming curve in software, for controllers that do not have the capability or where that capability is disabled. You do not want to have dimming curves enabled in both software and in the controller.

 

Use the Linear Curves for traditional lights. The percentage at the end of the curve name indicates the maximum brightness.

Use the Pixel Curves for RGB pixels. The percentage at the end of the curve name indicates the maximum brightness.

Use the Strobe Curve for strobes. It will prevent intermediate values (e.g. 50%) from reaching the string.

 

Traditional

 

Choose the “Traditional” tab of the Lights section of the Prop Definition window to model:

strings of LEDs or incandescent lights (single color or multicolor)

strobe lights

wire frames

rope lights

net lights

single-color flood lights

 

Colors for your string are defined on the left. Click the “Custom” button to choose a custom color. By default, the custom color is close to an incandescent warm white bulb; however, you can change the default custom color by selecting "New prop defaults" from the Design Tab's Options Menu.

 

PropDefinitionTraditional2

 

Set the “Type” drop-down as follows:

 

Select “Multicolor string 1 ch” for single color strings or single color flood lights or a single string with various light colors. Choose the colors that make up the string.

 

Choose “Channel per color” for bundles of single color strings (sometimes referred to as "superstrings"). Select color(s) for the strings on the left. For each color you choose, that color will show up in the “Order” list on the right. The Sequencer will assign one channel for each color that you choose. If the channels for these strings are numbered consecutively, it is recommended that you use the up and down arrows on the right-hand side to put the colors in the order that their channels are assigned (click on a color to select it, then use the arrow buttons to move it into the correct position). This way, the channels will be assigned correctly without any additional action.
 

RGB

 

PropDefinitionRgbTab

 

Choose "RGB Pixels" for Light-O-Rama Cosmic Color Devices and any other pixel-based strips, nodes, bulbs, or panels.

 

Use the "Motion Effects Rows" button to define default motion effect rows that will be incorporated into new sequences (this setting has no effect on existing sequences). The number in parentheses on the button reflects the number of default motion effect rows that have already been defined for the prop. The dialog for adding default motion rows to a prop works just the same way as the dialog for adding motion effect rows to an existing sequence. See the Motion Effect Rows Dialog topic for more information.

 

Choose "Dumb RGB (3 channel)" for display elements that have a single red, green, and blue channel. This includes RGB floods and dumb RGB strips and nodes.

 

The channel order should be set to reflect the way the red, green, and blue channels are physically wired. If you are unsure, this may take some experimentation. This setting applies to both RGB Pixels and Dumb RGB.

 

 

Shapes Section

 

Use this section to define how your prop looks on your computer screen during sequence playback. Defining the shape accurately is also very important for pixel-based props so that motion effects get displayed correctly.

 

PropDefinitionShapeSection

 

In the Prop Definition window, choose a shape that most closely matches your prop. Use "Lines-Connected", "Lines-Unconnected", "Lines-Closed Shape", or "Custom" to define a shape that isn't listed. Any shape can be resized and rotated, so you are not limited to the traditional orientation of the shape.

 

The description of the numerical entries in the middle of the shape section will change depending on the shape that is selected and type of lights (traditional, RGB pixels, or dumb RGB). Many shapes will require you to specify the number of lights in the prop (or in a section of the prop). For props with traditional or dumb RGB lights, this number can be an approximation -- set it to a value that looks good on your computer screen. For RGB pixels, the value must be the exact number of physical pixels.

 

At the bottom will be diagram of your shape primarily intended to show channel number orientation for props with multiple channels.

 

 

Channels Section

 

In the right-most section of the window you define the channels assigned to the prop. This section should be filled in last because the entries will change automatically based on the values you enter in the “Lights” and “Shape” sections. Take care to enter this information accurately, or your lights will not come on.

 

The Channels section (LOR device type)

The Channels section (LOR device type)

 

The Channels section (DMX device type)

The Channels section (DMX device type)

 

Uses The Same Channels As

 

Normally, you can leave this field set to "<none>". However, if you connect more than one set of lights to the same channel, then you can create a "Master prop" and one or more "sub props" to model this configuration. For example, if you have several candy canes that are all connected to the same channel and turn on and off together, then you can create one candy cane as the Master Prop. The master candy cane will have the "Uses The Same Channels As" field set to "<none>" and it will appear in the sequence grid (as an example, assume this prop is named "Candy cane master"). The other candy canes will be "sub props" --  the "Uses The Same Channels As" field will be set to "Candy cane master" and the props will not appear in the sequence grid. In the Prop Definition for each of the sub-props, the channel section most specify one or more channels from the master prop.

 

Should you change the channel(s) assigned to the master prop, it is up to you to also update the related sub-props. If you fail to keep them synchronized, you will get a warning on the Other Warnings tab in Preview Design.

 

Device Type

 

Select the device type from the drop-down that matches your hardware.

 

Use "LOR" for Light-O-Rama controllers using the Light-O-Rama protocol (or enhanced protocol). Note that the PixCon16 controller can use the Light-O-Rama protocol or E1.31 (DMX) protocol -- so your Device Type selection on the Prop Definition screen needs to match the way you have configured the controller..

Select “DMX” for controllers that connect via the E1.31 protocol over Ethernet or connect via a DMX USB adapter..

A device type of “Undetermined” is available for situations where the device type is not known. With this device type, lighting effects will be displayed during playback on the computer screen, but the prop cannot control real lights.

 

Max Circuit (or DMX Channel)

 

The number box at the top right defines how many channels are in each DMX universe or the maximum circuit number if LOR is selected. For DMX, you can leave this at the default value of 512, unless your pixel controller does not allow an RGB pixel to cross universe boundaries. In this case, set the DMX universe size to 510 (170 pixels per universe).

 

Channel Numbering

 

There are 2 options for channel numbering:

 

Enter channel on first row, auto-number the rest: with this option, you must enter channel information for the first string only. Subsequent strings will be calculated automatically. This works well for many situations, but there are exceptions. For those exceptions you should use the second option.

 

This prop uses 4 consecutive channels

This prop uses 4 consecutive channels

 

Enter a channel on every row: with this option, you enter channel information for every string.

 

This prop uses 2 channels on controller 05 and 2 channels on controller 06

This prop uses 2 channels on controller 05 and 2 channels on controller 06

 

Separate Unit ID (or DMX Universe) for each RGB String

 

This check box will cause each string to start at circuit 1 of the subsequent Unit ID (or DMX Universe) from the previous row. If this box is unchecked, then each row starts from the last Unit ID and circuit from the previous row.

 

Channel Grid

 

It is very important that the values you enter in the channel grid match your controller settings. The values you enter depend on the device type that was selected:

 

For LOR: enter the network (Regular, Aux A, etc), Unit ID as a hexadecimal value (01 to F0), and the circuit (between 1 and the Max Circuit)

For DMX: enter the universe number (1 to 999) and channel (between 1 and the Max Circuit)

For Undetermined: there is nothing to enter

 

Carryover Column

 

When defining pixel-based props, the last column in the channel grid will be labeled "Carry Over". In most cases, this column will contain a 0 in each row - meaning the channels required for that pixel string are less than or equal to the value in the Max Circuit/Channel field.

 

But let's say you have an E1.31-based pixel controller, such as the Light-O-Rama PixCon16, and you have 200 pixels connected to one port. 200 pixels requires 600 channels (200 * 3) which does not fit into a single DMX universe.

 

600 channels on a DMX pixel  string

600 channels on a DMX pixel  string

 

In this example, Max Channel is set to 510, so there are 90 channels that do not fit in universe 1 (600- 510 = 90). These 90 channels (the carryover) will be assigned to the next universe - 2 in this example.

 

Pixels

Universe

Channels

1 - 170

1

1 - 510

171 - 200

2

1 - 90

 

Now let's consider a more complex example. Let's say you have a pixel-based tree of 10 strings, with 200 pixels on each string. If you leave the box for "Separate Universe for each RGB string" checked, it is similar to the previous example:

 

Pixel tree with 10 strings of 200 pixels

Pixel tree with 10 strings of 200 pixels

 

Notice how string #2 starts on universe 3. The Carryover column on row 1 tells us there 90 channels are already assigned to universe 2. Because we have "Separate Universe for each RGB string" checked, the next string must start on channel 1, and the next universe with channel 1 available is universe 3.

 

Pixels for String #2

Universe

Channels

1 - 170

3

1 - 510

171 - 200

4

1 - 90

 

What happens if we take the same example, but uncheck the "Separate Universe for each RGB string" box?

 

Pixel tree with 10 strings of 200 pixels

Pixel tree with 10 strings of 200 pixels

 

Now string #2 starts on the next available channel, which is universe 2 channel 91.

 

Pixels for String #2

Universe

Channels

1 - 140

2

91 - 510

141 - 200

3

1 - 180

 

What about the last string, string #10?

 

Pixels for String #10

Universe

Channels

1 - 70

11

301 - 510

71 - 200

12

1 - 390

 

 

The most important thing is that you configure the channels in this grid so that they match the settings in your controller!