The Preferences Dialog Box
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The Light-O-Rama SuperStar Sequencer has the following choices in the Preferences dialog:
If you use the Light-O-Rama Hardware Utility to try various setting for the RGB values of CCR pixels, you will find three important characteristics:
1.The brightness is not linear. For example, a setting of 100 is only a little brighter than a setting of 50, but 50 is significantly brighter than 25.
2.The red, green, and blue elements are not balanced. For example, on a computer screen, setting red to 100 and green to 100 will result in yellow, but on a CCR pixel, it will be more of a greenish yellow. This is because the CCR's green element is stronger than the red element. Setting red and blue to 100 will result in a bluish purple, because the blue element is stronger than the red element.
3.The LEDs are so bright that the perceived colors will not be as deep as what you see on the computer screen. This must be taken into account when comparing the colors on the computer screen with what you will get on the ribbons. For example, red 100 and green 50 will give a bright orange; red 60 and green 30 will give a dim orange that will show as a muddy orange on the computer screen, but on the Cosmic Color Ribbons it will still be a fairly bright orange.
Making the brightness linear
The Light-O-Rama SuperStar Sequencer automatically adjusts the start and end settings to make them linear. For example, a start setting of 50 in the SuperStar Sequencer will export to a setting of 25 in the Sequencer. This gives the proper intensity for the start and end color of an effect. But realize that a ramp that goes from 100 to 0 will not go from 100 to 0 smoothly: The hardware will bring the voltage down from 100% to 0% smoothly, but the brightness will go down slowly at first, then quickly at the end. The SuperStar Sequencer simulates this fast drop off when it plays the sequence onto the ribbons. Note that this fast drop off can be solved using the "Smooth Ramps" setting.
Balanced Color Mode
The SuperStar Sequencer defaults to "Balanced Color Mode". In this mode, the red element is used in its full range, but the green and blue elements are limited to less than full brightness. So, for example, if you set red to 100 and green to 100, you will get a true yellow on the ribbon.
Full Range Color Mode
To set this mode, go to the Tools menu and select Configuration. When in Full Range Color Mode, the color controls will have the following ranges:
In this mode, setting red, green, and blue all to 100 will give the same results as in Balanced Color Mode. Setting red to 100, green to 120, and blue to 130 will give a bluish white. The SuperStar Sequencer simulates this color shift, but to do so it must "dim down" the settings that are 100 and below in order to support simulation of the colors that are at 100 and above. Realize that even though the colors on the screen are dimmed down, the colors on the Cosmic Color Ribbon will not be.
Go Back to Balanced Color Mode
When going back to Balanced Color Mode, the SuperStar Sequencer advises that any settings greater than 100 will automatically be adjusted down to 100. Note that after going into Balanced Color Mode, the next time you click on a color control, a warning box may appear that says "Enter an Integer between 0 and 100." This is a bug which will be fixed in the future. Click "OK" on the warning box; if another warning immediately appears, click "OK" on that also. These warnings can be ignored.
Most Cosmic Color Ribbons have “cool white” LEDs which means they are bluish white when Red, Green, and Blue are completely “on.” But some batches of Cosmic Color ribbons have “warm white” LEDs which means they are a true white when Red, Green and Blue are completely “on.” Although they are a true white, when held next to a “cool white” pixel that is completely “on” they will look yellowish.
The same is true for DMX ribbons and strings. Some of them are “cool white” and some are “warm white.” Choose the setting that matches your particular lights and the colors on the lights will more nearly match the colors that you saw on the computer screen when you made the sequence.
When this checkbox is not selected all effects are transparent. This means that effects that where effects of different colors overlap the colors will mix. For example, , if a red effect is place on top of a green effect, in the places where the effects overlap the red and green will mix and will be yellow.
When this checkbox is selected the effects on low time layers will render in front of effects on higher time layers. For example, if you place a morph on time layer 1 and you place a scene on time layer 3, then if the morph goes across the same area as the scene then the morph will render on top of the scene. In other words it will look like the morph is above the scene.
For backward compatibility sequences created before this feature was available will have this feature unselected.
Each of the effect dialog boxes has the options Transparent, Semi-Transparent, and Solid. Their behavior is as follows:
•Transparent – The effects are transparent. For example, if a red effect is place on top of a green effect, in the places where the effects overlap the red and green will mix and will be yellow.
•Semi-Transparent – The colors in an effect that are dim will be transparent, but the colors in the effect that are the full color of the effect will be solid. For example, if a green morph with a tail is placed above a red scene, then the green head of the morph will be solid but the tail will be transparent. This is probably the setting you will want to use for scenes, morphs, and smooth effects.
•Solid – All colors in the effect will appear solid. This is probably the setting you will want for use with images, and text.
As discussed in the Color Mode (Balanced vs. Full Range) section, the start and end setting of each color is adjusted by the Light-O-Rama SuperStar Sequencer so that the brightness is linear. However, on a single fade, the SuperStar Sequencer cannot control the rate at which the brightness changes in between the start and the end. To get around this, the SuperStar Sequencer can use "smooth ramps". In smooth ramps mode, ramps that are one second long or longer are actually treated as ten short ramps. In this way, the SuperStar Sequencer gains control of the rate of change of the ramp.
The fast change of ramps is not easily perceived for short ramps, but with very long ramps you will notice it. To see the difference, try the following:
1. Set Smooth Ramps mode
•Click on the Tools menu and select Configuration.
•Select Smooth Ramps in the Configuration dialog box.
2. Add a non-smooth ramp
•Launch the Scene dialog box.
•Select pixels 0-10 on the pixel grid.
•Set the time duration to 1.00 to 1.95 seconds.
•Set the start color to red = 100.
•Set the end color to red = 0.
•Click on the Add button.
The scene will be added to layer 1.
3. Add a smooth ramp
•Select pixels 11-20 in the pixel grid.
•In the scene dialog box, set the time duration to 1.00 to 2.00 seconds.
•Leave the start color at red = 100.
•Leave the end color at red = 0.
•Click on the Add button.
The scene should be added to layer 2 so that they both are stacked on top of each other.
4. What are we doing?
Both of the scenes cover almost the same time range. The two scenes should be stacked on top of each other. The pixels you selected should not collide (that is, each scene should turn on a different set of pixels).
5. Observe the difference
Click on the Play button. The first scene added is of a duration less than one second, so the ramp will not be smoothed. The second scene is a second long, and so the ramp will be smoothed.
Note that the top pixels (belonging to the first scene) will not drop in brightness as fast as the bottom pixels (belonging to the second scene).
When in Smooth Ramps mode, only ramps 1.00 second long and longer are smoothed. Even if you are in Smooth Ramps mode, smoothing is not done for ramps less than 1.00 second. This is because the smoothing of short ramps is not easily perceptible to the eye. Realize that any ramp that is smoothed gets chopped up into ten ramps, and thus the number of commands is ten times greater, and the length of the exported sequence file is ten times greater for that effect. This is why smoothing of short ramps is not done.
Smooth Ramps mode defaults to off, but you can turn it on, and then the setting gets stored in both your launch configuration file and in the .sup file. It affects the export of a Light-O-Rama .lms or .las file, and as mentioned, exported files using smoothed ramps will be larger.
When exporting a sequence, SuperStar will adjust the color values so they appear best on your lights. This is because LED lights require adjusted values in order to get them to best match the colors that you see on the computer screen. The result is that the colors you see in the exported file in the Sequencer may look a bit different than in SuperStar, but they will look good on your actual lights.
If you do not want SuperStar to adjust the exported values, then select “Export Raw Color Values.” This will make the colors in the exported file match what you saw on the computer screen in superstar, but the colors will not look as good on your actual lights.
Use this setting to change the orientation of the sequencing grid between Horizontal and Vertical.