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What's New in Light-O-Rama
•When installing 4.3.32 on new computer (one that has not had S4 installed on it previously), The Post Install program would error out on creating the Downloads directory.
•When installing 4.3.28 or 4.3.30 over the top of an older version of the software (an upgrade) the install would appear to work successfully. However on some computers starting any of the LOR programs would then re-start the install process as if it had not completed or had an error. The installer for this version should fix that behavior.
•In Superstar, opening a file with the extension .supe, making changes, and exiting the program could sometimes cause an error that the filename did not end in .sup
•In Superstar, in some cases when scenes are part of a group, grouping could be incorrectly changed.
•In Superstar, fan effects longer than 1:51.3 would not display on time layers
•In Superstar exporting in half ribbon CCR mode was not working properly.
•In Superstar the colors of scenes did not render properly when used on a visualization.
Several support libraries were updated to use the same packages in Pixel Editor as in the upcoming S5 Sequencer for compatibility. This should be transparent to the user.
It was possible in previous versions of the Pixel Editor that the user was not notified if the save of Intensity Data failed.
In order to better support new hardware, several files can now be downloaded automatically from the internet by the software if the user is online. As of this release, the software can now download the LOR_DeviceFile.txt file, as well as a new file for supporting Pixie based Props in the Hardware Utility. These new files are downloaded into your LOR Data Directory. They can be found in LORInternal/Downloads.
You should not modify any of the files in the LORInternal folder.
Even though the software can download these files, it is not required that your computer be online. If you are not online, the LOR software will still work, although it may be with outdated data.
The Hardware Utility has been updated to allow for the configuration of new LOR Props. These props will be physical items you can purchase, like Singing Faces, and quickly integrate into your show.
New firmware for the LOR Pixie controllers will be released that allows for Props as well as by port Triplet Ordering.
Previously Scenes and Morphs did not have a clip rectangle. That has now been added so all effects now have a clip rectangle. The Modify Selected Events button was also modified to support these new clip rectangles.
•In the Hardware Utility when working with the configuration of a Pixie, changes may not have been picked up until the Refresh button was pressed.
•In Superstar if the .sup file opened has more ribbons than is currently displayed, and the audio file fails to open, the program would crash.
•In Superstar the Shockwave maximum for the head and tail are now 200. Formerly it was 50.
•In Superstar when using Instant Sequence Trigger Size could exceed the maximum.
•In Superstar a left single click on time scale may not have marked the beginning of the selection.
•In Superstar when using the Image dialog box. If "Apply X,Y in Preview" was selected and an image was selected, the image would not be drawn at X,Y unless the user pressed "Modify".
•In Superstar when using the Text dialog box occasionally no font would be selected
•In Superstar the state of some controls in the Scene, Morph, Smooth Effects, Image, and Text dialog boxes were not being saved/restored when switching between modes using the toolbar buttons.
•Fixed a bug where if you do a "move or scale selected group" then immediately do a "group modify move" and it moves everything to the location of the first selection. This has been fixed.
•Fixed a bug where if a scene has pixels that have been moved to the left of the visible sequencing grid it could cause the program to hang when playing the sequence or exporting to sequence editor
•Added the button "Set Grid Bitmap and Add Image" to the image dialog box
•Increased the maximum number of Intensity data files that you can merge from 10 to 15
•Images with a preRamp or postRamp in wrapAround mode could cause superstar to crash when played or exported to sequence editor.
•Group Modify of Text preRampLength, PostRampLength, FadeToBright, FadeFromBright, and clipRectangle, were not working.
•Changed it so if you do "Select All", "Select All Right", or "Select All Left" and you are not in a group, then it selects things in all groups in addition to things that are not in a group.
•Fixed a bug where if you have a sequence with star effects and you import a visualization without a star and it removes the star effects, it removed the star effects but it did not update the Scene dialog box, so the effects still showed up in the dialog box.
LORNetworkPreferences supports PixCon16 MkII boards.
•The Hardware Utility when started would occasionally not send heartbeats to controllers, leading to seemingly erratic behavior: not being able to detect units, only detecting some units not others, etc.
If the current license level does not support exporting the current layout, the associated .sup and .scb files are encrypted and can only be opened on the computer that created them.
Users can now change and create folders in the dialog.
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. Added Transparent, Semi-Transparent, and Solid in the Effect dialog boxes. These settings are used when the "Time Layer Priority Feature' is enabled.
•In SuperStar the export of a sequence would sometimes only export the effects from where the time ruler is currently at.
•In SuperStar in the Load/Save Clipboard dialog box, the effect counts were not being updated if you navigated to a folder.
•In SuperStar the number of rows for the Timing Map was being incorrectly set to 3.
•In SuperStar when using Instant Sequence, the program was not taking into account if the number of rows changed, so the Timing Map also did not reflect the correct rows.
•In SuperStar improved the Image Group Modify dialog as well as the added a Preferences Box.
•In SuperStar When saving a clipboard to a file, the file that was added becomes selected in the list.
Firmware 1.4.13 of the PixCon board has been released. There are no new features - this is only a maintenance release.
•In some cases if a board that was not in the DeviceFile was searched for in the Hardware Utility, the hardware utility could incorrectly log debug information as if the device were a Pixie board. This did not affect the end user, but should not have been occurring.
•In Pixel Editor the OpenGL version on certain computers was not being detected correctly, leading to a race condition.
A new File Format is now created when writing an SD card with the Hardware Utility when a Network contains Enhanced Light O Rama commands. This new file format improves the performance of the MP3 director when using high speed (500K, 1000K) networks. To take advantage of this performance enhancement, you must re-create your SD card using the Hardware Utility, as well as update your MP3 director to the latest firmware.
New firmware for G3 MP3 directors has been released to support the New Enhanced File processing above. This firmware also corrects a bug that would sometimes cause a PixCon16 running at 1000K to misfire/not connect.
•When writing an SD card with the Hardware Utility, in some rare cases where the first sequence only had REGular LOR commands and a non-G3MP3 director was selected, a blank Enhanced file could be written to the SD card instead of regular commands.
•In the Hardware Utility, the progress bar when writing an SD card was not correctly reflecting actual progress.
Hardware Utility support for Pixie16, Pixie 8, and Pixie 4 controllers has been added. You can now configure these devices for use. Please note that the Sequence Editor has not been updated to include Pixie devices, and the Visualizer will only support 50 pixels on a Unit ID until a future update.
In support for the new 4 port MP3 director and other future improvements to SD card handling, the way SD cards are written in the Hardware Utility has changed somewhat. The old 'Final Options' screen has been replaced with a wizard. There are no functionality changes.
•In Superstar, if you clicked on an effect in the list box and the effect was in a group, the grouping would be corrupted.
•In Superstar, if you right clicked to bring up the color picker dialog while moving the mouse, the dialog was not updated.
•In Superstar, on some computers, saving sequences to audio files to the desktop was not working.
•In Superstar, spiral and fan effects that were part of a group would not stay as part of the group when saved.
•In Superstar, in some cases importing a matrix wizard with the origin set at the top were not working.
•In Superstar, Star hotspots were being incorrectly drawn when in CCR and Floating window mode. The hotspots are no longer drawn, matching the behavior when floating windows are turned off.
•In Superstar, changed an error message instead to a warning if an effect were added that straddled a text action mask. The action is now allowed.
•In Superstar, saved state of the "Pixel Extender" if it was active, and warn the user that it is ON the first time they try to run a sequence.
•In Superstar, when using the Pixel Extender, morph coordinates were being incorrectly clipped if the Pixel Extender is shrinking effects.
•In Superstar, if you exceeded 64 columns by using force row/column in a prop and/or fixture, the program would crash instead of producing an error.
•In Superstar, in some cases groups were not saved to clipboard files properly.
•In Superstar, while doing a copy/paste between two different instances of the program, the groups were not pasted properly.
•In Superstar, the maximum number of image actions has increased from 5,000 to 10,000.
•In Superstar, the 'Scene Group Modify' wrap check box now supports 'no wrapping'.
•In Superstar, properly convert star scenes to RGB scenes when importing a visualization that has a Superstar RGB star.
Firmware version 1.4.11 (filename PixCon16 Firmware Showtime (S4)-V1.4.11.nhx) has been released and includes support for the new pixel types and test mode entry from above.
Firmware version 5.36 has been released for the MP3g3 (filename: MP3g3-V5_36.lhx), uMP3 (filename: uMP3g3-V5_36.lhx), and LOR1602g3MP3 (filename: MP3g3-V5_36.lhx) MP3 directors. This firmware allows for faster show start-up when using DMX output exclusively.
•In some cases if a PixCon16 board were connected and searched for and the 'Minimum Required Version' for the board was higher than the software could handle, it would not be shown at all when it should have been shown in red.
•In SuperStar, a bug was fixed that was limiting Visualizer locations to 50 in the y direction. This has been increased to 360.
The ServoDog Utility now adjusts servo parameters relative to the channel's neutral trim and not with absolute values.
•SuperStar's mapping of visualization colors to the four basic colors has been improved. In particular, 128,0,128 was being mapped to red, and now maps to purple.
•In the past, if you launched two instances of SuperStar and used a different audio file in each one, the first one launched would use the other one's audio file. This has been fixed.
•When the Hardware Utility created a show for an MP3 Director with DMX channels, the DMX channels would always be turned off at the end of the sequence regardless of what the value of the "Keep lights ON at end if using DMX" option was.
This version contains no functional changes, only some textual changes.
Version 1.05 of the firmware for the CF50D has been released (filename CF50D-V1_05.lhx). This version fixes problems with delayed response when attached to an Enhanced LOR network. It is the first version of firmware for the CF50D to be included with the LOR software suite installer.
•If you did an "Export to Sequence Editor" in SuperStar when in CCR mode with DMX selected in Configuration dialog box, then the first time you played to the screen, the effects would get shifted and scrambled.
•If you used an imported visualization in SuperStar, and the visualization contained a DMX Prop name that contained an ampersand or quote character, then the Sequence Editor would fail to open the exported file, displaying the error "Expected entity name for reference".
•If a sequence has the white color in it, SuperStar now displays the white color even if the display only has red, green, and blue in it. This is so that you can remove the white color if you want.
•In SuperStar, white lights that were on a row that was below an RGB matrix could not be sequenced. The effects could be added, but nothing would happen when you played it back.
•In very rare circumstances, the Visualizer could fail to start because of an issue with detecting the Network Adapters available on the computer.
•If a computer had more than 32 Network Adapters, or more than 32 IP addresses assigned to a network adapter and the user selected 'Local' as the IP adapter to use, the Visualizer would incorrectly report that the IP address could not be found, was blank, or was 0.0.0.0 when going into simulation mode.
•In SuperStar, if a smooth effect with white in it painted to the first pixel of a CCR, then it would write to the pixel resolution macro and cause the CCR to blink.
•SuperStar's clipboard was fixed so that you can copy from one instance of SuperStar and paste into another.
•A PixCon16 reboot is highly dependent on how fast a network DHCP server responds to the IP lease request. On certain networks with slow DHCP servers, an update of the configuration of a PixCon16 with the Network Preferences program could sometimes throw an error. More time is now given to the update process, and should that still not be enough an informational message is generated rather than an error.
•When an update of a PixCon16's configuration failed, only a single error was used regardless of the reason. Additional errors have been added to the update process as well as debug information in some circumstances.
•On computers that are set up to use Japanese, and probably various other languages, the Comm Listener would often put out strange error messages (ostensibly about having received malformatted messages) and fail to work properly.
•SuperStar was not detecting the largest screen resolution, and was setting the wrong view size.
•The maximum number of RGB strings in SuperStar has been increased from 160 to 200.
•SuperStar no longer saves the enable state of the pixel multiplier. Instead, it will always launch with the pixel multiplier disabled. This is because if you were to launch with it enabled and start sequencing, it would be very confusing because the playback of the sequence would be different than expected, and it would look like things were broken if you didn't realize it was enabled.
•If RGB dumbstrings in a visualization are assigned the same DMX addressing, then when imported into SuperStar, each RGB dumbstring was being assigned to its own square on the sequencing grid. This has been fixed so that all RGB dumbstrings with the same DMX addressing will be treated as if they are one fixture, and that one fixture will be assigned to only one square on the sequencing grid.
The Pixel Editor's "About" window now has a "Copy to clipboard" button to make it easy to paste the displayed system information into forums and help tickets.
•In some cases, the second time that a sequence was played during a run of a show, it would fail with an error message saying "ERROR WITH SEQUENCE (Invalid play state (3) for InitializeForPlay)", and the sequence would never successfully play again during that run of the show. Now, if the Show Player notices a sequence in this invalid play state, instead of giving up on trying to play the sequence, it will attempt to reset the sequence to clear out the problem so that it can be played again.
•In some cases, a seemingly random string of Chinese characters (seemingly not actual meaningful Chinese text) would appear in LOR Control Panel's Status window. At least some instances of this have been fixed.
In the Channel Configuration screen of the Sequence Editor, the Delete Controller function used to remove the channels of the selected controller from the track. You can now choose whether you want that to happen or instead to leave the channels in place but blank out their settings (such as unit ID and circuit).
In the Sequence Editor, there are now keystrokes to move the display to ensure that the start or end of the current selection is onscreen. Shift-Alt-Up and Shift-Alt-Down will display the first or last row in the selection, respectively, and Shift-Alt-Left and Shift-Alt-Right will display the first or last column in the selection, respectively.
Three SuperStar font files have been modified: The characters i, j, u, v, and w have been modified in 10-12x12_Thin.custom.font and 10-12x12_Thin.system.font, and the characters u, v, and w have been modified in 10-12x12_Thin_Vertical.system.font.
Three new effects were added to the Pixel Editor: LinesVertical, LinesHorizontal, and Twinkle. LinesVertical can be used to create marquee-style chase effects on rooflines, arches and frames. You can use the Twinkle effect for a very slow twinkle, or a very fast strobe, and everything in between.
You can now create new sequences directly in the Pixel Editor using the File > New menu item. You no longer need to switch to the Sequence Editor to do this task. If your preview has props where the Sequence Method=Sequence Editor, the channels for those items will automatically be created in the LMS/LAS file and will be grouped by prop.
In the Pixel Editor, prop groups have a new arrangement option of "nested". In particular, this allows nested stars to be grouped together and sequenced as a single item. Using this arrangement, the Bar effect with direction=up moves from the inside out. Bars left/right will move around all of the nested props.
As you move your cursor across the Pixel Editor's sequence grid, a marker is now displayed on the timeline/waveform.
In the Pixel Editor's Preview Info warnings box, all props are now checked for channel conflicts. Previously only props with Sequence Method=Pixel Editor were checked.
For the Pixel Editor's picture and text effects, a repeat parameter was added. Default is "on" to emulate previous functionality. Repeat=off causes just one scroll of the picture or text across the screen.
Changed the minimum number of props in a group in the Pixel Editor from 2 to 1. This allows you to create a preview group (a prop group where the arrangement setting=preview) for a single frame or wreath, which can be useful for certain effects like fire.
When effect thumbnails are displayed in the Pixel Editor, bulb size is now taken into account. This is especially helpful for RGB floods.
Better thumbnails are now generated for Curtain and Fireworks effects in the Pixel Editor.
Prop and group definitions can now be viewed in the Pixel Editor by right-clicking on a prop name in the sequence grid and then selecting "View Prop Definition" from the pop-up menu. It is no longer necessary to go into preview design just to check on the definition of a prop.
In the Pixel Editor, icons are now displayed in the Effect Generator's favorites tree so that folders can be easily distinguished from effects. Also, organizing the favorites tree is now accomplished by right-clicking on any item in the tree. New actions have been added that allow items to be moved up or down, copied, exported to a file, or imported. There is also now a help icon in the favorites area - clicking on it provides detailed instructions on how to use and manage effect favorites.
In the Pixel Editor's Preview Design, the prop list no longer scrolls if you modify a prop (as long as the prop name is unchanged).
Columns for Sequence Method and Dimming Curve have been added to the Pixel Editor's Preview Info grid.
When switching to manual brightness for the first in time in the Pixel Editor's Effect Generator's mixer, the default brightness value has been changed from 0% to 50%. Previously, when switching to manual brightness, nothing was displayed in the middle window because the brightness value was 0.
The Pixel Editor's Effect Generator's Preview and Prop selection drop-downs were made wider, so that longer names are visible.
•When the maximum number of sequencing rows has been exceeded, SuperStar will now display an error message and suggest increasing the sequencing grid's "Max Length".
•Setting SuperStar's manual clip rectangle was only working correctly if you did the mouse drag from upper left to lower right.
•Users who participated in the original S4 beta releases (4.0.0 - 4.0.38) and who had Advanced licenses were granted access as if they had purchased Pro. That access would have allowed the user to set the 'Enhanced Network' for an LOR network ON. At the end of the Beta period, their licenses reverted back to 'Advanced', but the 'Enhanced Network' setting was still incorrectly set.
•If you selected 1000K for the speed of an LOR network in Network Preferences, the "Enhanced" checkbox would automatically become checked (as 1000K is currently only supported for Enhanced networks). However, Enhanced networks are not supported if the license level is less than Pro, and so the network would not work, but also you would have no way to turn off the Enhanced setting.
•In SuperStar, if you had a scrunched visualization, and were doing instant sequence, there were cases where it would only use red, green, and blue; if there were white strings they would never get any effects.
•If a sequence's filename, or the name of the directory path it was in, contained any of various characters such as a parentheses, and the sequence were used in an interactive group in a show, the sequence would not properly be loaded when the group's trigger was pressed.
•If using a visualization of a mega-tree made with the S4 Visualizer Tree Wizard, the auto-clip region for SuperStar images was only using 12 rows of the mega tree. This caused images to get clipped to the first 12 rows.
•If the audio path was not in the default path, SuperStar was not storing the path properly in the sequence file exported to the Sequence Editor, and so the Sequence Editor would fail to find the audio file.
•On some computers, the Pixel Editor's text effect would display text in the entry box but not in the preview area. This has been fixed.
•If errors occur in the Pixel Editor while calculating intensity data, a more detailed error message is now displayed.
•For picture and text effects in the Pixel Editor, if movement is not "none", the initial positioning has been fixed so that the text or picture starts off-screen and scrolls on-screen.
•For picture and text effects in the Pixel Editor, Peak-A-Boo movement now starts immediately. Previously, the effect waited for a "peak-a-boo hold time" before the text or picture was first displayed.
•When the selected prop is changed in the Pixel Editor's Effect Generator, the current effect now restarts.
•The mouse wheel and keyboard shortcuts now work while a tooltip is displayed on the sequence grid in the Pixel Editor.
•A potential Pixel Editor crash after double-clicking on a blank cell in the sequence grid was fixed.
•A Pixel Editor crash when any arrow key is pressed and nothing is selected on the sequence grid was fixed.
•Preview Info warnings in the Pixel Editor now show network name instead of network number (i.e. Regular, Aux A, etc), and unit id's are now displayed in hexadecimal notation.
•A Pixel Editor crash in the Effect Generator when bulb size is invalid was fixed.
•The Pixel Editor's Visualizer import so that it no longer generates invalid bulb sizes was fixed.
•Fixed string assignments for the Fan shape clockwise layout (-CW) (previously the strings were reversed) in the Pixel Editor.
•When double-clicking on an effect favorite in the Pixel Editor to recall it, if that effect had manual brightness, the brightness value was not being restored.
If a PixCon16 is using Network Settings that are not compatible with the computer you are using, you may not be able to configure it. The PixCon16 will appear in the list of devices, however selecting it will produce an error stating that the board cannot be configured. When this occurs, the Network Preferences now offers to start an IP troubleshooter which can try to fix the issue.
LOR Diagnostic now collects additional information that may be useful for troubleshooting purposes, via Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI). It collects some by default, and also now has an "Advanced" screen that allows other WMI-based information to be collected.
•The Pixel Editor's Fire, Fireworks and Meteor effects could have locked up (i.e. the effect freezes) during the intensity calculation that occurs when a sequence is loaded. Once this happened, those effects would be permanently frozen until the program was restarted.
•SuperStar's vertical matrix string pattern with the origin in the upper right or lower left was importing backwards.
•The Pixel Editor could crash in rare instances while starting up.
The Pixel Editor has a new menu option: Tools > Preview Playback > Playback window is always on top. If you are displaying the preview in a separate window and you press one of the play buttons, when this option is enabled it will cause the playback window to immediately gain focus. Testing has shown that this will help on some computers, but on others it will cause playback to be worse (more jerky). Use with caution!
•The Light-O-Rama Control Panel can be set to automatically launch when Windows starts up. It was not doing this in exactly the manner that it should have, and if some other program (unrelated to Light-O-Rama) were doing it in the same incorrect way, that program and the Light-O-Rama Control Panel would interfere with each other's automatic launching settings.
•In SuperStar's Image mode, if you had manual clip set and did a left mouse click while holding the Shift key to get the color of a pixel, it would also set the manual clip rectangle to that one pixel. This was fixed so that you would now need to click and drag more than one pixel to do a manual clip rectangle.
•In SuperStar's Scene mode or Image mode, if you do a left or right mouse click while holding the Ctrl key, it sets or clears all the pixels. A warning box was added to ask if you want that to happen.
•The Pixel Editor would hang while pasting when the number of rows in the clipboard was greater than the number of writable grid rows.
•The Pixel Editor's calculation of intensity data for groups of traditional strings has been fixed.
•Playback in the Pixel Editor is now halted when switching tabs (i.e. when moving between sequences).
The Pixel Editor's sequence grid now displays tooltips similar to the way the Sequence Editor does. In fact it uses the same set of tooltip display preferences. So if you want to change the way the Pixel Editor is displaying tooltips on the grid, then you will need to open the Sequence Editor and select Edit > Preferences > Display Preferences from the menu. Updated tooltip preferences will be read by the Pixel Editor whenever you open a sequence.
•When displaying props whose sequence method is "Sequence Editor" in the Pixel Editor's sequence grid, in some cases the channel name would show "no matching channel" even though the PE and SE physical channel information matched.
When updating the configuration of a PixCon16 board, the Network Preferences program can automatically create the E1.31 multi-cast settings necessary to run the universes defined. However some users may have already created these settings and may not want them created again. Setting this option will bypass that automatic creation.
In some situations, when the lights for a DMX universe using E1.31 are all off, the Comm Listener will now deliver fewer E1.31 packets than it had previously. This will result in less comm traffic on the ethernet network, especially during long stretches of time when the lights are all off (for example, idle time between shows).
Two new sample visualization files, 24x50Tree_8RowGlobe_BottomControllers.lee and 24x50Tree_8RowGlobe_DMX_BottomControllers.lee, have been added.
"Cool White" and "Warm White" selections were added to the Configuration dialog box in SuperStar. Some ribbons/strings are a cool white (they look bluish white when fully on) and some are a warm white (they look yellowish white when fully on). Set this setting appropriately to best get your lights to have colors that match the colors you saw on the computer screen when you made the sequence.
The various programs now have new main icons. It should now be easier to tell apart the various programs in your task bar (and elsewhere). For example, here is an image of the taskbar with icons for the Comm Listener, the Sequence Editor, the Hardware Utility, the Visualizer, and the Pixel Editor:
In prior versions of the Pixel Editor, the order in which props were displayed in the sequence grid was fixed. You still can't change the order of individual props, but now you can change the order by type of prop. To do this, click on the "Props" button - located just to the left of the timeline, above the sequence grid. In the "Select Props" window you can change the "Display Order" drop-down selections to suit your needs. As an example, this feature can be used to move your beat track from the bottom of the grid to the top.
In prior versions of the Pixel Editor, when using File > Save As from the menu a suffix of "-Copy" was added to the end of the original file name. This suffix is now configurable by going to Tools > Preferences > Save As. One of the options is to add a suffix that contains the date and time, which makes it very useful for creating backup copies of your sequence.
•When updating the configuration of a PixCon16 board, the Network Preferences program may occasionally throw an error 523 - Update Failed. If you subsequently check the configuration of the board, you'll see that the configuration actually succeeded. This is due to an incorrect check that was being performed.
•The Pixel Editor no longer crashes if the "Arial" font is missing or corrupted, although you will be unable to add or edit props until the Arial font is restored.
•The logic that refreshes the Pixel Editor's sequence grid during playback has been improved. As a result, playback's "Force Refresh" option is no longer required and has been removed.
There's nothing stopping a Windows user from trying to start a program any number of times, but only one instance of the LOR Control Panel should be running at any given time. So, in previous versions, if the Control Panel were started while another instance of it was already running, the newly-started instance would simply stop, allowing the already-running instance to continue being the sole running instance.
In some situations, this could be confusing, because it might seem to the user that they told the Control Panel to start, and nothing happened. To address this issue, now, instead of just stopping, the newly-started instance will first send a message to the already-running instance, causing the already-running instance to display its status window, and also to refresh its icon in the computer's system tray, in case it had disappeared for whatever reason.
In the Sequence Editor, the Ctrl-Left and Ctrl-Right keys now operate as Page Left and Page Right. Ctrl-Shift-Left and Ctrl-Shift-Right do the same but expand the selection instead of moving it. Also, although Page Up and Page Down functionality was already covered by the Page Up and Page Down keys, for the sake of consistency, Ctrl-Up and Ctrl-Down now operate as Page Up and Page Down (similarly, Ctrl-Shift-Up and Ctrl-Shift-Down as Shift-Page Up and Shift-Page Down).
Please note that unlike in the Page Up/Page Down case, there is not necessarily any relationship between a "page" and the cells. That is, for Page Up/Page Down, one "page" consists of a certain number of cell rows - i.e. a certain number of channels. But for Page Left/Page Right, one "page" consists of a certain length of time, not a certain number of cell columns - i.e. a certain number of timing marks. Timing marks can be anywhere, willy-nilly, or even nowhere, and do not necessarily have any relation to the page. So, as compared to Page Up/Page Down, it may be more difficult to predict exactly where your selection will move or expand to after a Page Left/Page Right.
Several changes have been made to the process and dialog boxes for PixCon16 configuration in an effort to simplify them. Boards that were configured with earlier versions of Showtime will be automatically converted to the new configuration. However there could be some incompatibility between the old version and the new. You should carefully review your boards configuration the first time it is edited in this new version.
To prevent future incompatibilities, once you have edited the configuration of a PixCon16 in the Network Configuration, you should not use the PixCon16 assistant program in the future. If you do use the PixCon16 Assistant program, be sure to double check your configuration to ensure that settings were not changed.
The Network Configuration program used very conservative timing when searching for PixCon16 boards and during the load/save of the board's configuration. Those times have been shortened and improve performance.
•Tightly Packed: Uses all 170 channels available in each universe. Strings can have transitions to the next universe in the middle of the string.
•Semi Packed: Puts as many full strings as will fit into each universe. Strings will not have a transition to another universe in the middle of a string.
•Not Packed: Each string starts with a new universe.
The new Pixel Extender in SuperStar's configuration dialog box makes it so you can export 50 pixel CCR sequences to DMX strings of any length from 50 to 170 pixels. This will make all the 50 pixel CCR sequences that have been written transportable to displays that have DMX strings that have more than 50 pixels.
•After configuring a PixCon16 board, the user is asked if they would like to create the E1.31 entries in the Network Configuration for the DMX Universes in use on the board. However in versions previous to this, the 4 bridge port entries were not created even if they were in use.
•Using Instant Sequence rapid fire on 13 or more rows would cause a crash in SuperStar.
•If a DMX fixture that was not part of a prop were used in SuperStar, it could cause an invalid name to be put in for the fixture, leading to the Sequence Editor being unable to load the exported sequence.
•If SuperStar were unable to load the visualization at startup, it would cause a "failed to load visualization" error every time it was launched. It will now instead change to use the default visualization (which is "Sample.lee").
•If you had entered an invalid number in the "Sensitivity" or "Length of Effects" fields in SuperStar's Timing Map dialog box, the invalid value would get saved to a file, and every time you launched or shut down SuperStar, you would get a warning message saying that the value needs to be in the range 1-10.
If your trigger (no matter whether a show startup trigger or an interactive group trigger) is configured to use a network that does not have a comm port set in Network Configuration, the Verifier will now warn you with the new warning message number 53, "Trigger uses undefined network".
Also, since triggers are not supported on LOR Enhanced networks, the Verifier will now issue the new warning message number 54, "Trigger uses LOR Enhanced network", if a trigger using such a network is found.
Finally, despite the fact that triggers are not supported on LOR Enhanced networks, they can still be tested on such networks by using the Hardware Utility. They will not, however, work during your show. Therefore, if you have any LOR Enhanced networks designed, the Hardware Utility's input testing screen will warn you about this fact.
A new speed of 1000K has been added to the Hardware Utility when creating SD cards for G3 MP3 directors. To use the new speed, you must have a G3 MP3 director with updated firmware. The only device that can currently run at 1000K is the PixCon16 in Enhanced LOR mode.
In previous versions of the Sequence Editor, there was a "Paste from Foreground" option. If it were turned on, then when you pasted, only the copied effects that were not completely off would be pasted. This sort of control has now been expanded into the "Paste From/To" options: In addition to Paste from Foreground, you can now also Paste from Background (i.e. pasting only the copied effects that are completely off), and also Paste to Foreground (paste only onto effects that are not completely off) and Paste to Background (paste only onto effects that are completely off). You can even combine the "from" and "to"; for example, paste from foreground to foreground.
In SuperStar, you can now put the sequencing grid and the visualization each in their own floating window. Before, there were cases where the visualization would be very small. This gives control over the size of the region used for the sequencing grid, and the size of the region for the visualization. Also, if you have two monitors you can move the sequencing grid to one monitor and the visualization to the other monitor.
To activate the feature, click on the "View" menu and select "Floating Windows".
Memory used by the Pixel Editor has been dramatically reduced. This should allow you to easily open longer sequences with more pixels and more prop groups. Memory used is now proportional to the total length of the effects populated in the sequence.
There is a new menu option in the Pixel Editor: Sequence > File References. This will open a window that lists all files referenced by Movie and Picture effects. It also has an option to specify a new location for those files - which can be useful if you move your sequence directory.
The Pixel Editor is now compatible with Windows' "Jump List" feature. If you pin the Pixel Editor to the task bar and right-click on it, you will see a list of recently opened LMS/LAS files from which you can select.
The Hardware Utility now is able to correctly identify 50W Cosmic Color Flood controllers.
The Pixel Editor's "snowflake" effect has an additional parameter to control snow accumulation. Please note that in order to accommodate this change, the meaning of the first and second palette colors in the snowflake effect have changed. Now, the first color is always the main color and the second color is the highlight color. In versions 4.1.2 and prior, the first color was the highlight color the second color was main color for flake types larger than single-pixel flakes.
When needing to update the configuration of a PixCon16, the Network Configuration program would look at the Firmware Revision of the board to decide if it could be used to update that board or not. However, in the future there could be firmware updates that do not require changes to the Network Configuration program. This would force a user to update LOR Showtime for no other reason than to use a new PixCon16 firmware.
Now if the board revision is found to be greater than 1.4.6, additional checks are performed to see if an older version of software can successfully update the board.
•If the SuperStar configuration file SSEdit.cfg did not exist when SuperStar was launched, the program would crash. This could happen on a fresh install to a computer that has never had the Light-O-Rama Software Suite installed on it.
•If a sequence having a Windows shell command were changed to no longer use any such command, the command would be eliminated from LOR's internal list of known commands. This would have the intended effect that the sequence would no longer cause the command to run, but it would also have an unintended side effect: If you were to restore a backup of your sequence save file, which still was supposed to use the command, that restored old version would also not run the command. Moreover, if any other sequences had been using the same command (which would have required manual modification of the save files), they also would no longer run it. Now, instead of eliminating the command from LOR's list of known commands, the command is merely eliminated from the sequence itself.
•In the Sequence Editor, if you tried to copy, cut, or paste in a loop level, a bizarre and minimally comprehensible error message would appear. It now more clearly states that you cannot copy, cut, or paste loop levels.
•The Comm Listener port, as well as the 'Send To' Port on a DMX Universe when using E131 was not validated and could be set to nonsensical values. The value is now checked to ensure it is numeric and between 0-65535.
•In very limited circumstances after an upgrade from a beta version, the Network Configuration program would refuse to start and give a cryptic 'Runtime Error 380' and/or 'Invalid Property' error. This error has been resolved.
•Depending on the source sequence, an SD card written by the Hardware Utility could have been incorrectly throttled leading to out of sync sequences when run on a MP3 director. SD cards created by earlier versions of S4 should be re-created with this version.
•In the Insert Device dialog of the Sequence Editor, the DMX Universe option would not pay attention to the "Name" field. It would instead always name the channels as if you had selected a name of "DMX".
•When using the Advanced Rendering Engine, the Visualizer was ignoring the Max Opacity setting of RGB Flood Light fixtures. A bug fix in Version 4.1.2 for the same root cause failed to fix the problem for RGB floods.
•In SuperStar, group modify for scenes used in the star were not being modified.
•When exporting the SuperStar display as intensity files, all the channels in the 16 channel controller that controls the star were being exported. Now, only the six channels used to control the star are exported. This is important because if the other channels in the controller for the star are used to control other lights, then the blank intensity data for those channels would make them shimmer and blink.
•In SuperStar, when using morphs with a visualization, only the 1a and 1b morph anchor labels were being displayed in the visualization. This has been fixed so that the 1a, 1b, 2a, and 2b labels are drawn. In addition, lines are drawn between the labels in the same manner as they are drawn in the sequencing grid. If using a matrix or tree made of RGB lights this can make it easier to specify morphs by clicking on the visualization instead of the sequencing grid.
•Bugs in the Pixel Editor's drawing of the red playback marker have been fixed. Users have a new menu option: Tools > Playback Options > Fast Playback Marker. Normally, this option should be enabled/checked, as it uses the least system resources. However, if you are using a tool such as Screencast-O-Matic, the red playback marker may still display incorrectly. In this case, turn the "Fast Playback Marker" option off (uncheck), and the grid and playback marker will display normally - even during screencast recording.
•If you built the sequence that is part of the Pixel Editor Introduction (video or PDF presentation), in the final version with the cross-fades the effects reset at the end of the ramp up and at the start of the ramp down. This is especially noticeable in the Countdown effect. This has been fixed - so the ramp-up, full intensity, and ramp-down are considered one continuous effect.
•Improvements to the Pixel Editor's Spiral effect: no more gaps on 100% thickness, fully consistent as rotation is changed, Show 3D can now trail either left or right, and spirals are spaced more evenly.
•A Pixel Editor crash could occur while audio was being loaded if the audio contained a sample with the absolute minimum value. This has been fixed. It was noted in the "Open Beta Bug Reports" forum as bug SC08.
•Fixed a few remaining Pixel Editor screen layout issues on high resolution displays - any time Windows' "Text Resolution" setting is greater than 100%.
•The firmware for PixCon16s was using the LHX extension, however these firmware files can not be loaded by the Hardware Utility, they must be loaded by the Network Configuration program. The extension was changed to NHX to prevent confusion.
A consolidated list of all props with their associated channel information has been added to the Pixel Editor's Preview Info window (accessed from the Tools > Manage Previews menu). There is a Copy button that will put all of the channel information on the clipboard so it can be pasted into Excel, or a similar spreadsheet program.
Documentation for the Pixel Editor, which was previously distributed as a standalone file, is now integrated in this help file.
Previously, there was a separate option the Tools menu where you could delete/copy/rename your Saved Palettes in the Pixel Editor. This function has been moved to inside the Effect Generator's 'Star' menu and called 'Manage Palettes'.
The naming of the wrapped tree visualization file and the wrapped guide text file in SuperStar have been enhanced so that all parameters of the wrapped tree are encoded in the name.
•In some situations, for sequences that have animations, deleting a controller or channels in the Sequence Editor would lead to various errors, for example a "subscript out of range" error. Such errors would not necessarily occur only in the Animator; the fact that the sequence had an animation would cause the problem elsewhere as well.
•The Pixel Editor's startup check for the correct version of OpenGL has been fixed. The user can no longer open sequences if the version of OpenGL is less than 1.5.
•The Pixel Editor would not correctly handle when a pixel string had more channels than the "max channels" setting.
•The "More Info" button in the Pixel Editor's Sequence Editor migration tool now displays messages in a scrollable window. Previously, if there were a lot of messages, the window size could exceed the screen size.
The Pixel Editor's preview design now has undo and redo capability. This applies to prop movement, but not to adding or deleting props.
The Pixel Editor's prop definition window is now resizable.
Documentation for the Pixel Editor is now available. It has not yet been worked into this help file document, but can be found on the web at:
A copy of the document is also distributed by the installer. It can be found in the Light-O-Rama program files directory, which is typically, but not always, either C:\Program Files\Light-O-Rama or C:\Program Files (x86)\Light-O-Rama.
•The Pixel Editor was unable to load some large sequences when attempting to migrate channels.
•Drawing of timing marks in the Pixel Editor was not working correctly on high DPI displays.
•The Pixel Editor would crash when the device type was set to Unconnected/None in the prop definition.
In previous versions, when simulating Cosmic Color Devices, the Visualizer required that the fixture when assembled had exactly 50 pixels with no gaps. CCDs now instead follow the relaxed rules that DMX Pixel Universe fixtures follow. That is, you can skip pixels and/or use less than 50 pixels.
When using the Visualizer's 'Force to Front' option along with channels that required the use of the Listener, the Visualizer could not be set back into the background. This was because of periodic data messages the Listener is required to send, even if no data is changing. These periodic updates would force the Visualizer back to the top even if no sequence was currently running. Instead now the Sequence Editor sends a separate message to the Visualizer to tell it that you are starting play of a sequence. This will only happen once when you start the sequence, allowing the Visualizer to be pushed back into the window stack afterward.
When the Visualizer is placed in Simulation mode, two new buttons have been added that allow you to start and stop playing the active sequence in the Sequence Editor. To start the active sequence press the 'Play SE' button. This performs the same action as if you went to the Sequence Editor's 'Play' menu and then selected 'Start This Sequence'. To stop the play of a sequence, press the 'Stop SE' button.
Version 4.0.34 introduced changes that decreased the loading times of sequences (for example, in the Sequence Editor). Unfortunately, these changes also increased the length of time that various other things took, including, notably, saving, exporting, importing, and opening the right-click popup menu on a channel group button. These things have been sped up again, including some that are now even significantly faster than they had been before version 4.0.34 slowed them down. For example, on a certain huge sequence on a certain machine, saving took about 16 seconds before 4.0.34, but 142 seconds in 4.0.34, and is now back down to about 16 seconds again; importing a certain huge configuration file took about 518 seconds before 4.0.34, 663 seconds in 4.0.34, and now takes about 85 seconds; opening the right-click popup menu took about seven seconds before 4.0.34, and about 39 seconds in 4.0.34, and is now basically instant.
"Clip Rectangle" has been added to SuperStar's Image Group Modify dialog box.
"Rotate Selected Image" has been added to SuperStar's Image setup dialog box.
In the Pixel Editor's preview design, props are now displayed with a rotation handle to the right of the selected prop (similar to the Visualizer). Just grab the handle and drag it with your cursor to rotate the prop. Note that only one prop can be selected for the rotation handle to be displayed.
The brightness of the Pixel Editor's preview's background image can now be adjusted from the main window. With a sequence open, click on the small down arrow next to the preview name. Select "Background Image" from the dropdown menu, then select the desired brightness (10% - 100%). Note that this setting only affects image brightness during preview playback; image brightness during preview design is a separate setting.
Zoom in and zoom out buttons have been added to the Pixel Editor's sequence toolbar (the same buttons that are in the Sequence Editor). You can still zoom in and out using the previous methods - dragging over the waveform to zoom in, and right-clicking on the waveform to zoom out - but there are now two ways to zoom.
Changes have been made to improve performance related to channels, RGB channels, and other channel groups. For example, a certain enormous sequence which previously took 143 seconds to load on a certain machine now takes 81 seconds on the same machine. The vast majority of the remaining time is taken by loading effect events within channels, as opposed to loading the channels themselves, and the Smooth to Fades tool can be put to good use on the effect events of this particular sequence: The same sequence, but modified via the Smooth to Fades tool, used to take 82 seconds to load before this performance improvement (as opposed to 143 without Smooth to Fades), and now takes 19 (as opposed to 81 without Smooth to Fades).
Various small changes have been made to the Network Configuration program to simplify its use. For example, the X10/Dasher and Options tabs have been combined into a single new tab called 'Misc'. These changes are cosmetic only and do not change any functionality.
The Sequence Editor now has a Change Intensities command, which can be used to change the intensities in the selected area in a wide variety of ways. For example, you can add to or subtract from intensities, impose caps or floors, and scale them (for example, double them or halve them). The tool can be set up to apply to all channels or only to certain types of channels (for example, to RGB channels' red channels).
Version 1.21 of the Cosmic Color Bulb/Cosmic Color Pixel firmware has been released. This version fixes a problem with LOR Enhanced mode and the last channel (310) of the unit not working when in Extended ID Mode.
Version 1.34 of the CMB16D 16 Channel DC controller firmware has been released. This new firmware will continuously read the status of the address switches so the Hardware Utility can no longer be used to update the Unit's ID. This change also allows for the CMB16D to now have a speed setting while in stand-alone mode. Setting an address that starts with F (F0-FF) will actually make the unit's ID 01, and the second digit (0-F) will control the speed of the stand-alone program running from 0:Slow to F:Fast.
The Show Player options Use Compressed Sequences and Show Player Memory Restarts (both accessible via the LOR Control Panel's right-click popup menu) both, when enabled, give possible benefits while causing no drawbacks. They are thus both recommended to always be enabled. The only reason the option to disable them is given is as a sort of "safety" in the case of some hypothetical, unforeseen bug, so that if you have some very specific reason to believe that one of them is causing a problem, you can turn it off. The Verifier now checks to see whether or not they are enabled, and if not, issues warning messages saying so (messages number 51 and 52, respectively).
In the Pixel Editor's Effect Generator, many effects use a slider to control effect behavior. In this release, the slider has been upgraded to allow the setting of a start value (effective when the effect begins) and an end value (effective when the effect completes). This allows you to do such things as having a spiral slow down or speed up during the course of the effect.
The top of the slider (green) represents the start value. The bottom of the slider (red) represents the end value. By default, the start and end values are locked together. To specify different start and end values, the slider must be unlocked. This is done by double-clicking anywhere along the slider. When unlocked, the top and bottom pointers can be moved independently. To relock, just double-click the slider again.
•In SuperStar, strings of lights that are not CCDevices or DMX pixels were always being given the incandescent dimming curve. Now the strings use the LED dimming curve if they are RGB dumb strings or if they are specified as LED in the channel dialog box of the Visualizer.
•The Pixel Editor requires video drivers supporting OpenGL version 1.5 or later. If a PC did not support this, the Pixel Editor would crash when opening a sequence. Now, the Pixel Editor instead detects this situation, gives the user an informative message when the Pixel Editor starts, and disables the opening of sequences.
•A bug in the movement of scenes when using the Rapid Fire trigger in SuperStar's Instant Sequence was fixed. If it was more than one pixel, the scenes could get messed up when traversing over an unused area.
The Sequence Editor's right-click context menu now has a "Change Effect Type" submenu that can be used to change the effect types of all the events in the selected area of the sequence, while keeping their intensities the same. For example, a fade up from 0% to 37% followed by an intensity of 37% can be changed to a twinkling fade up from 0% to 37% followed by a twinkle of 37%.
The Sequence Editor's right-click context menu on a track grid now has a new submenu "Test Track's Physical Lights". Using the various items in this submenu, you can make the physical lights for all of the channels in the track turn on, off, shimmer, or twinkle, or else do whatever the sequence says they are supposed to do at the time that you clicked in the track grid.
In the Pixel Editor, the background image for the preview can now be displayed during main window playback. This feature is controlled via a new menu option: Tools > Preview Playback > Show background image.
•If the Sequence Editor's "Test Physical Channels" command were used on a Cosmic Color Device, commands would be sent not only to its pixels, but also to its macro channels, potentially leading to strange results. The commands are now only sent to pixels, skipping the macro channels. However, note that it is possible to control an actual physical Cosmic Color Device from the Sequence Editor without the Sequence Editor knowing that it is a Cosmic Color Device; the macro channels will only be skipped if the Sequence Editor knows that the channel group represents a Cosmic Color Device (for example, if it had been added to the sequence as a CCD via Insert Device).
•If the Sequence Editor's "Test Physical Channels" command were used on a channel group or RGB channel (as opposed to on a single channel), it would be needlessly inefficient with the commands it sent to the lights over the comm line. This wouldn't have a noticeable effect in most cases, but it could possibly cause lagginess if a very large number of channels were in the channel group.
•In the Pixel Editor's prop setup window, the maximum allowed segments per line has been increased.
•During the Pixel Editor's sequence playback, pixels were often not square when playing back on the main window. Now, pixel dimensions are even recalculated if the playback window is resized during playback.
The "Test Physical Channel" commands in the Sequence Editor's right-click popup menu on channel buttons used to apply only to actual channels, as opposed (for example) for RGB channels. You could use them on the individual channels comprising an RGB channel, but not on the RGB channel as a whole. You can now use these commands on RGB channels and other channel groups, turning on or off all channels in the group in one fell swoop.
Sometimes, sequences (especially those created with the help of various automatic tools) will have sections wherein a channel will have many very rapid consecutive effect events. For example, "From time 0.00 to time 0.05, 10%; from time 0.05 to time 0.10, 30%; from time 0.10 to time 0.15, 40%; from time 0.15 to time 0.20, 70%". If done on many channels, this sort of thing can lead to laggy or bursty behavior. Moreover, it's often more or less indistinguishable (to the human eye) from the simpler "From time 0.00 to time 0.20, fade up from 10% to 70%", which is significantly more efficient. The Sequence Editor now has a "Smooth to Fades" tool which will attempt to automatically smooth out effects in this way, which can improve the performance of the sequence (reducing lagginess) and also decrease loading and saving time. You can get to the Smooth to Fades tool via the track grid's right-click context menu.
•Consecutive picture effects in the Pixel Editor would not display the correct images.
•When creating a new prop in the Pixel Editor, an error would occur if the user selected the string type as "strobe string 1 ch" or "multicolor string 1 ch" before selecting a color.
The Pixel Console in the Hardware Utility could previously only test PixCon16 devices when running in E1.31 (DMX over Ethernet). It can now also test PixCon16 boards, or any other LOR controller that are connected to the REGular LOR Enhanced network running at 500K.
In the Pixel Editor's Visualizer import function, string, single bulb, and flood fixtures now default the Sequence Method to Sequence Editor. CCR and DMX fixtures default the Sequence Method to Pixel Editor.
Pixel Editor prop groups can now contain any prop, not just those with a Sequence Method of Pixel Editor.
"More Info" buttons were added on the Sequence Editor-to-Pixel Editor migration tool, to show exact channel mismatches.
•In SuperStar's Smooth Effects dialog box, if the Enter key were pressed while the tab pane had the focus, the pane would go blank. It now does not go blank, and sets the current values to the screen.
•When importing or exporting a network configuration in the Network Preferences program, if the filename contained a special character (such as a space), the import or export could fail silently or the file could be saved with an incorrect filename.
•When changing the Unit ID or Universe ID in the Pixel Console, the pixels displayed should have reset to show the first pixel. However this was not happening.
•When changing a DMX universe to use E1.31 in the Advanced Network Configuration, if there were no previous settings the IP is set to Multicast with the correct address rather than Specify with an IP of 0.0.0.0.
•If the user previously configured a DMX Universe in the Advanced Network Configuration, those values are used as the defaults for the next DMX Universe edited if that universe has no previous settings.
•The Pixel Editor would crash when opening some sequences.
•The Pixel Editor would sometimes have incorrect channel assignments on custom props.
•The Pixel Editor's preview playback would not update when in a separate window.
•The Pixel Editor's Effect Generator was not detecting the "none" effect correctly.
If you right click on a physical channel in the Sequence Editor, you can now send an ON command directly to that channel. This will allow you to test if you have properly configured and connected your equipment, and that you have correctly set the channel's parameters. The channel will remain ON until you select to turn the channel OFF, or you play a sequence.
You can now import Visualizer files (*.lee) into the Pixel Editor. In the Pixel Editor, select Tools > Manage Previews from the menu, then click on the "Import Visualizer" button. This functionality is preliminary - only fixtures get imported at this time. It is intended that in a future release, Visualizer props will also get imported as Pixel Editor prop groups.
The performance of sequence playback has been improved in the Pixel Editor.
•In the Pixel Editor, the timing mark display no longer bleed through if the user switches to another window/application during playback.
Only one program can have a comm port open at any given time. For ports associated with LOR Enhanced networks and DMX networks, typically the Comm Listener will have the port open. In previous versions, this meant that if you wanted to use the Hardware Utility on such a port, you would have to ensure that the Comm Listener was not running, which is typically done via "Unload Light-O-Rama" in the LOR Control Panel's right-click popup menu. Now, instead, when the Hardware Utility cannot open a port and it suspects that the reason might be that the Comm Listener has that port open, it now offers you the choice of whether or not it should ask the Comm Listener to temporarily give up control of the port. Thus, you can use the Hardware Utility on such ports without completely unloading the LOR Control Panel.
Two things should be noted: First, if you ask the Comm Listener to give up control of the port, then no program other than the Hardware Utility will be able to control lights on that port (until the Comm Listener retakes control of it). Notably, this means that if a show is running, any lighting commands from the show for the lights on that port will not take effect. Similarly with lighting commands from the Sequence Editor or Pixel Editor.
Second, the Hardware Utility does not really know that the Comm Listener is the culprit that is preventing it from opening the port; it just has a good guess that this might be the case. The culprit might instead be some other program entirely; for example the Sequence Editor might have the port open, or even some program completely unrelated to Light-O-Rama. So, if the Hardware Utility asks you if you want it to ask the Comm Listener to give up control of the port, and you say yes, this might not cause the Hardware Utility to be able to take control of the port. In some cases, you might still have to (for example) close the Sequence Editor.
When configuring the PixCon16, the only way to automatically have the board assign ascending Universe or LOR Unit IDs previously was to use the 'Advanced' configuration and manually create the parameters for each port. The PixCon16 configuration can now perform this task automatically in simple or advanced mode. In simple mode, select the 'One UID/Universe per port' radio button. In Advanced configuration use one of the 2 buttons which automatically update all lower ports with ascending unit IDs.
•In the Hardware Utility the 'Lights Off' button on the bottom right of the main screen was not turning all lights off on Cosmic Color devices
Previously, when finished drawing a DMX Pixel Universe or a CCR String, it was always required to create a new prop. However many times these wizards are used to continue adding pixels to existing fixtures. These wizards now ask if you want to create a new prop or not.
The PixCon16 has 2 operation modes: It can be used as an E1.31 controller on an Ethernet network, or it can be used as an LOR controller on an LOR RS485 network. Now the user can specify which mode to use the board in, and will change its operation accordingly (Unit IDs instead of Universes, Circuit IDs rather than Channels, etc.)
When the PixCon16 is in E1.31 (DMX) mode, saving the configuration will bring up an option to automatically create the necessary DMX Network configuration changes. If the user selects yes, for each DMX universe in use on the board the system will create Multicast entries in the network configuration.
Previous versions took a very conservative approach when reading or writing to the board, including during firmware updates. Now the read/update process will retry more often and at a faster rate in an effort to reduce the number of errors the user has to deal with.
•When creating DMX Pixel Universes using a Wizard, the Visualizer would not correctly display fixtures with available pixels. Instead the wizard would crash and leave the Visualizer in an inconsistent state.
•The Hardware Utility main window was improperly sized allowing for controls that should have been hidden to be visible.
There is a small colored square in the bottom right corner of the Sequence Editor which indicates the status of various networks: Blue means everything's OK, red means some sort of problem exists, and orange means other (for example, if Control Lights is off). This has been improved in several ways in this version of the Sequence Editor:
•In S3, it would only indicate the status of LOR networks. In earlier beta releases of S4, it would actually indicate less than that: It would only indicate the status of non-enhanced LOR networks. It now also indicates the status of non-enhanced LOR networks and of DMX networks (although see below for a caveat).
•Previously, if an error existed on some network, its tooltip would simply say that there is an error. It now indicates which network or networks have errors.
•Previously, starting play would in some cases make the panel turn from red to blue even if some network still had an error.
•It now updates in close to real time when some sort of status change happens.
Two things should be noted: First, for LOR enhanced networks and for DMX networks, the status describes whether or not the Sequence Editor is successfully communicating with the Comm Listener; it does not necessarily indicate that the Comm Listener is successfully communicating with the network. Check the Comm Listener itself for that information. Second, only the statuses of LOR and DMX networks are taken into account at this time; the statuses of Dasher, X10, Digital IO and BSOFT Digital IO networks are not reflected.
Previously, the Hardware Utility Test screen could only test up to 32 circuits on a device. Cosmic Color devices however can have 150 or more circuits, which could lead to user confusion. Now when a Cosmic Color device, like the Cosmic Color Ribbon or Cosmic Color Bulb, is selected the test screen changes to testing the entire device with a particular color rather than circuit by circuit.
On the Pixel Editor's prop definition window, the details of setting up a traditional string have been moved to a separate tab from RGB strings.
In the Pixel Editor, traditional strings can now have a custom bulb color (defined with the rest of the string colors). Press the "Custom" button to set the color.
Bulb shape and bulb transparency were added to the Pixel Editor's props. These can be set in the preview design window after one or more props have been selected.
The Pixel Editor has a new prop shape of "Bulbs". Each bulb in the prop can be individually positioned.
The maximum possible bulb size in the Pixel Editor has been increased so as to better accommodate flood lights.
It is now possible to override the default channel settings for every channel in a prop with traditional strings in the Pixel Editor. For example, a traditional megatree with red and green strings can now have a channel configuration of RRRR...GGGG.... Previously, it had to be RGRGRGRG....
The Pixel Editor has a new comment field for props, which you can use to enter your own notes about the prop.
The Pixel Editor's "Traditional" sequence method has been renamed to "Sequence Editor".
Color selection palette hidden for effects that do not use it
The color selection palette on the Pixel Editor's Effect Generator window is now hidden for effects that don't use the palette (e.g. Picture and Movie effects).
The Pixel Editor's Movie effect can now read uncompressed AVI files produced by the ffmpeg program.
The Pixel Editor's "Remove prop channel data from Sequence Editor" migration tool defaults to checked if the Pixel Editor and Sequence Editor channel counts match and the Has SE Events column is Yes.
You can now create your own dimming curves for the Pixel Editor, placing them in the "Pixel Editor\Curves" directory within your LOR data directory.
The Pixel Editor now shows a wait dialog while saving intensity files.
•The Pixel Editor would hang after pressing play when the audio file was missing.
•The Pixel Editor would crash if a sequence was opened, closed, re-opened, and then the preview was changed. A memory leak related to this was also fixed.
•A bug in the Pixel Editor's onscreen playback of strobes was fixed.
•A Pixel Editor bug dealing with custom RGB props with multiple strings has been fixed.
•After a "Save As" was done in the Pixel Editor, the Pixel Editor file (LPE) had a timestamp that was current, but the new LMS/LAS file's timestamp was the same as the original file. Now both files will have a timestamp that is current.
The Pixel test Console in the Hardware Utility has been improved to now be able to test DMX pixels. DMX Pixels can only be tested when the Comm Listener is running and if your software is registered at the Advanced level or higher.
In previous versions of the Sequence Editor, if any particular comm port for an LOR network could not be opened, the Sequence Editor would automatically turn off Control Lights and therefore not attempt to control lights on any network. The reason for this was that it would be very resource-intensive to keep trying to open a comm port that just could not be opened, to a degree that would noticeably affect play. Now, instead, the Sequence Editor will leave Control Lights on, but not attempt to control the specific problematic network (or networks). If you find yourself in this situation, and you fix the problem with the comm port, you can get the Sequence Editor to attempt to open the port again by manually turning Control Lights off and then on.
There are two new buttons on the Network Preferences Advanced configuration that allow for the export and import of user network configurations. These functions can be used to keep multiple configurations on the same computer, or to move configurations between computers.
In the Pixel Editor, you can right-click on an effect thumbnail and select "Copy" from the popup menu. This puts the effect on the clipboard, from where it can be pasted anywhere on the grid.
In the Pixel Editor, you can drag an effect thumbnail onto a grid cell, and that cell will then be populated with that effect.
In the Pixel Editor's Preview Management window, clicking the "Info" button now lists warnings where channel assignments overlap (in addition to listing basic statistics about the preview). This is a great way to check whether you have any errors in creating your preview.
The Pixel Editor's prop types "Line-Horizontal" and "Line-Vertical" have been replaced with "Lines-Closed Shape", "Lines-Connected", and "Lines-Unconnected", which can be used to create a much larger variety of shapes. Any Line-Horizontal props in your preview will be automatically converted to a Matrix-Horizontal that is one string high. Line-Vertical props will be automatically converted to a Matrix-Vertical that is one string wide.
When doing a "Create Timings" in SuperStar, a dialog box now appears, giving control over the range that the beat interval can be. The default range is what it used to be a year ago so that Carol of the Bells is given a short beat interval that matches what is in the first SuperStar tutorial.
•In some very limited cases, the Network Preferences program would produce an error stating that a COM port and a DMX adapter were in conflict but were not. This same bug could also manifest itself as an 'Error 9 - Subscript out of Range' error and crash when starting the Network Preferences program.
•The position of the Visualizer Advanced Rendering Engine window would not be remembered between executions.
The Pixel Editor now shows a checkmark in the menu next to the currently selected waveform size.
•In some situations, the Light-O-Rama Control Panel would issue an error message saying "Error in Form_Unload: (91) Object variable or With block variable not set".
•The way that SuperStar's configuration is saved has been changed for better backward compatibility.
•On some computers, if the Pixel Editor's preview playback window lost the focus, the playback would be blank.
•The Pixel Editor would only allow one universe for custom props.
•Media files longer than twenty minutes were not loading in the Pixel Editor.
A new option has been added to Hardware Utility when creating SD cards for MP3 directors to either leave channels on DMX Universes at their current intensities or else turn them off when a sequence ends.
The Light-O-Rama Control Panel's right-click popup menu is now also accessible from its Status window, as the "Commands" menu. Generally speaking, this may (or may not) be more convenient in some situations, but it could be very useful in certain situations where Windows repeatedly keeps closing the popup menu automatically before you get a chance to select the menu item that you want to use from it.
In previous versions, the Light-O-Rama Control Panel would not start up the Comm Listener unless at least one network was configured in Network Preferences to use the Comm Listener. It now no longer requires any such networks to be configured. This allows commands to go through the Comm Listener to the Visualizer even if no networks at all are configured to use the Comm Listener.
The Pixel Editor migration tool to remove channel data associated with Pixel Editor props from the sequence file (LMS or LAS file) is now operational. This tool should be used only after you have first imported your sequence using the Sequence Editor import and/or the xLights import. The benefit of this tool is that it eliminates any overlapping channels between the sequence file and the intensity file, which is necessary for proper playback outside of the Pixel Editor. It can also greatly reduce the size of your sequence file.
The Pixel Editor previously stored the preview data file under the hidden AppData directory. It now stores it in the standard LOR data path, and no longer stores any data under AppData.
The Pixel Editor's Design & Playback window has been split into two separate windows, one for design and the other for playback. This was a prerequisite for solving other playback issues.
The Pixel Editor's toolbar above the sequence grid has been revamped to look more uniform. Also, playback buttons were added, as were some options that were previously in the Sequence menu.
The Pixel Editor's preview playback can now be hidden, shown on the main window, or shown on a separate window. Even when on a separate window, the grid remains interactive. The choice of which mode to use is under the new Tools > Preview Playback menu, and applies to all sequences.
Windows Media Player is now used for all media playback in the Pixel Editor. Previously, the displayed audio waveform (compressed audio) was used for playback on the main window, but this had low sound quality.
•The SuperStar star was not getting marked properly if it also had row/column coordinates.
•In the Pixel Editor's Preview Design window for "Dumb RGB" and traditional strings, moving an end point on such a string would cause the drawn string to collapse to a single point.
•The Pixel Editor's media file search was not locating files in subdirectories under the default LOR media directory.
Version 1.33 of the firmware for the CMB16D has been released (filename CMB16-1-33.lhx). This new version has no effect on functionality; it is being released because the recently released previous version 1.32 would incorrectly be displayed in the Hardware Utility as being version 1.31.
In the Pixel Editor, dumb RGB elements can now be members of a group.
In the Pixel Editor, the user can now specify Window Frame props to use clockwise (CW) or counterclockwise (CCW) pixel order. Users who have created Window Frame props with previous beta versions will need to go back into those prop definitions and update the Start Location value to match their prop.
In the Pixel Editor's prop creation dialog, the number box next to the DMX radio button (max channel/circuit number) now applies to both DMX and LOR networks. In particular, this resolves an issue when defining props based on the CMB24DC card.
•The Comm Listener is designed to shut down when the LOR Control Panel shuts down. In previous versions, this behavior relied upon the LOR Control Panel periodically sending "keep alive" messages to the Comm Listener; if the Comm Listener didn't receive such a message within a reasonable amount of time, it would shut itself down. This worked fine most of the time, but in some situations (typically involving very large shows), the LOR Control Panel would sometimes not get a chance to send such a message to the Comm Listener for a while, leading to the Comm Listener shutting itself down prematurely. Now, instead of relying on these messages, the Comm Listener periodically directly checks whether or not the LOR Control Panel is running.
•SuperStar's progress dialog box works smoother.
•In SuperStar, play of a song sometimes wouldn't stop until the end of the song was reached.
•The Verifier is supposed to check for the existence and correct version numbers of various program files (in Verifer message number 7 and number 16 respectively), but it was not doing so for several relatively new files.
•The Network Preferences program could incorrectly identify two or more networks as being in conflict when they were actually not.
•The Pixel Editor could crash during migration of custom props.
•The preview calculation for LOR channels in the Pixel Editor was producing a range of 0-100 instead of 0-255, which made them appear dim (both as part of the preview and as part of the Sequence Editor migration). Users should rerun any Sequence Editor migrations they performed using version 4.0.6.
In the Pixel Editor's table of effect thumbnails, the current thumbnail is now highlighted, making it easy to distinguish which thumbnail is playing in the right-hand window.
Previous versions of the Comm Listener required FTDI drivers to be installed on the computer, even if the Comm Listener weren't supposed to drive any lights that use FTDI-based adapters. It now no longer requires these drivers. If they are not installed, then the Comm Listener will not be able to control any lights on FTDI-based networks (such as LOR Enhanced networks and most types of DMX networks), but it will be able to control the Visualizer, and also control lights on E1.31 networks.
The Pixel Editor has a new Sequence Editor migration tool. From the menu: Sequence > Migration Tools > Import from Sequence Editor. It will allow sequences for RGB props to be copied into the Pixel Editor. The result will be an exact pixel for pixel copy displayed as a single effect that spans the length of the sequence (one effect per imported prop). Portions of that single effect can then be removed and replaced with Pixel Editor effects as desired.
The Pixel Editor has a new effect: Movie. This effect will play AVI movie files on your props (files with an "avi" extension). This effect is a bit limited in that the AVI movie files must be "uncompressed". Various third-party programs (such as VirtualDub) can be used to produce such uncompressed AVI files.
The Pixel Editor has received some performance improvements: There has been some modest improvement in the preview calculation speed, and a large speed improvement to the Pinwheel effect (meaning it now takes far fewer CPU cycles to calculate).
•In SuperStar, if you attempted to export an intensity file to a directory other than the sequences folder, the empty *.lms file got placed in the correct folder, but the associated intensity file always got placed in the sequences folder.
•Preview of text on SuperStar's sequencing grid was being clipped to only the matrix in a visualization that contained a matrix and other lights. It will now display the preview of the text to the entire sequencing grid.
•If the Comm Listener were configured to use some particular adapter, but it could not open that adapter, lighting commands sent to the Comm Listener for that adapter's network would build up without being processed until the adapter was successfully opened. This would result in the Visualizer unnecessarily not receiving the lighting commands either, and also potentially lead to an out-of-memory condition eventually.
•Ramp up effects on the left side of the Pixel Editor's grid were displayed incorrectly.
•The Pixel Editor's xLights 3 import tool is now located under the Sequence > Migration Tools menu.
•One of the things that the Light-O-Rama Post Install utility does is to give you a chance to choose the directory that Light-O-Rama will (by default) use to store your data files (such as your sequences and visualizations). If you previously had chosen a data directory, then ran Post Install again and told it to use a different directory, it would copy your data from the old directory to the new. However, it would not copy all such data; in particular, data files that you had stored in subdirectories would not typically be copied over to your new data directory.
The Pixel Editor has a new predefined prop shape called "Spokes", for props that have spokes that radiate from a central hub.
The Pixel Editor's pinwheel effect has new controls: Two sliders to control the center of rotation, and one to control the length of the arms.
The file format of Visualizer files has changed. When saving an S3 file in S4, the Visualizer will first back up the editor file. Should you choose not to move to S4, you can use this backup file to restore to an S3 format.
When issuing a log message about one of its clients (such as the Sequence Editor or Show Player), the Comm Listener would refer to the client via the IP socket that the client used to connect to the Comm Listener. For example, it might refer to a certain client as "Socket 127.0.0.1:57223". This is enough to uniquely refer to the client (at least until it disconnects and later reconnects), but it's not terribly informative for troubleshooting purposes. Now it additionally refers to the client by name (such as "Sequence Editor"), if the client has identified itself to the Comm Listener in that way. Please note that not all clients will necessarily identify themselves to the Comm Listener in all situations, so in some cases the Comm Listener will still only log the IP socket information.
Tracks and props now remember whether they are hidden
In the Sequence Editor, when you opened a sequence, all tracks and the props section would be unhidden, even if you had previously hid some of them while that sequence was open earlier. The sequence now remembers whether or not they should be hidden even after it is closed and reopened.
A new sample visualization file, 24x25Tree_8RowGlobe_dmxPixelTool.lee, has been added.
•When the Pixel Editor was displayed on a secondary monitor, the timing marks would display incorrectly during prop playback.
•In the Pixel Editor, when creating custom props that skipped node numbers, the program would crash.
•In the Pixel Editor, when creating custom props that used the same node number more than once, the prop would display some nodes in the wrong locations.
•When loading certain sequences into the Pixel Editor, the program would crash. This would happen with sequences that had more than one channel assigned to the same physical circuit. It would also happen with sequences that used the same channel name more than once.
•The version number displayed in the Pixel Editor's "About" box did not match the rest of the Light-O-Rama programs (it had an extra ".0" in it).
•The caption on the Pixel Editor's main window was missing some of the information displayed in the captions of other Light-O-Rama programs.
•In certain cases after unexpectedly disconnecting from and successfully reconnecting to the Comm Listener, a client may not have correctly told the Comm Listener whether or not lights should be turned off the next time that it disconnects.
•When the Pixel Editor displayed effect thumbnails in the left window, thumbnails for Firestick props were bunched too close together. A similar problem could occur for horizontal lines.
•When a log message is added to the LOR Control Panel's status window and it is beyond the end of the visible portion of the log, the log should automatically scroll to the bottom in order to display the message. In certain situations, this was not happening.
•The Pixel Editor was requiring unit IDs for LOR networks to be entered using their decimal value. Now unit IDs are entered with their hex value, just like every other LOR program. Users of version 4.0.0 will need to go back into each prop that is on an LOR network and update the unit ID to use the controller's hex value.
There is now an additional license level, "Pro", above Advanced. A Pro level license enables several new features designed to help with very large displays: The Light-O-Rama Pixel Editor, intensity files, and enhanced Light-O-Rama networks.
The Light-O-Rama Pixel Editor is a new program which can be used to produce lighting effects for sequences in a visual way. It produces intensity files, which can efficiently support large lighting displays.
Intensity files are a new way to store lighting commands. An intensity file, generated by the Light-O-Rama Pixel Editor or the Light-O-Rama SuperStar Sequencer, is associated with a sequence, and will play at the same time that the associated sequence plays. Instead of storing lighting commands in the traditional high-level way (such as "fade up over the next five seconds from 0% to 100%"), an intensity file stores large blocks of instantaneous intensity values for potentially many circuits. This allows the intensity file to be very efficient during play, and so enables better support for very large lighting displays.
Only Light-O-Rama controllers and native DMX devices can be used in an intensity file, and the Light-O-Rama controllers must be on enhanced LOR networks. The LOR Comm Listener must be running in order for the lights to be controlled. This feature only works under the Pro license level.
A Light-O-Rama network can now be set to be an "enhanced" network. This causes the network to use a new communications protocol (an extension of the standard Light-O-Rama communications protocol) which can deliver lighting commands for many channels efficiently. If an intensity file is used, any LOR controllers from the intensity file must use an enhanced LOR network, but enhanced LOR networks also support effects defined directly in a sequence.
The Hardware Utility can also write SD cards for G3 Directors for Enhanced Networks. Again, all controllers connected to a port must support the Enhanced Protocol, and the G3 directors firmware will need to be updated to at least version 5.32.
Not all Light-O-Rama controllers support the enhanced protocol, and some may require firmware updates in order to do so. The LOR Comm Listener must be running in order for lights on an enhanced network to be controlled when using a computer. Enhanced LOR Networks only work under the Pro license level.
In the Sequence Editor, converting channels to RGB channels would get slower and slower as the sequence got larger and larger, and eventually the sequence would become large enough that the conversion would take a very long time. This has been sped up significantly.
The Visualizer now supports a 'DMX RGB Pixel Universe' fixture. This fixture allows for up to 170 RGB pixels to be part of a single fixture which is defined as a DMX Universe.
Previously the Visualizer was limited to creating a single fixture for a symbol. This limited the selection of a font glyph to one that had less than 256 vertices. The Visualizer will now create a prop and as many fixtures as needed for a single glyph, up to a maximum of approximately 16,000 vertices.
•All drawing wizards that could previously be used with Cosmic Color Devices have been updated to be able to use the new DMX Pixel Universe fixtures as well.
•A new wizard for drawing DMX Pixel Strings has been added.
•A new option for 'Snake' layouts has been added to the Matrix Wizard, as well as a new selection that will show pixel ordering while the wizard is running.
Pressing SHIFT while pointing at a CCR or DMX Pixel Fixture in the drawing area will 'blink' the pixels in the order they are assigned. The speed of the blink can be controlled in the The Visualizer's Options window, Tab 2.
A new advanced rendering engine has been added to the Visualizer to greatly enhance performance of the program while simulating many channels, especially RGB bulbs. The new rendering engine takes advantage of the hardware acceleration available on nearly all modern video cards. This new engine is experimental, however it has been tested on several different cards. The new engine is enabled by default, however it can be disabled if needed.
When entering simulation mode, the Visualizer would give cryptic error messages if it was unable to assemble Cosmic Color Devices into meaningful groups. Those error messages have been improved and expanded to include DMX Pixel Universes.
The Visualizer will now more closely emulate how a real controller presents shimmers and twinkles. Due to differences between actual hardware clock speed and the visualizer, slight differences will remain, however the look is much improved over S3.
A new dedicated window has been added to both Fixtures and Props in the Visualizer to store SuperStar parameters. Previously, these parameters were placed as a keyword in the comments of a fixture/prop. They now have a dedicated area for ease of use.
Certain log messages that were output by the Comm Listener, associated with errors or other information about TCP/IP sockets, would include in their output some numbers that were essentially meaningless from the point of view of the end user. They now instead output the IP address and port of the socket.
Several new and updated pieces of firmware have been released:
•CCB100D-V1_20.lhx (CB100D Cosmic Color Pixel/Bulb Controller) : Added support for Enhanced LOR networks, and fixed a bug where the bulb self test did not correctly run while the reset button was held on the controller.
•CCR150D-V1_19.lhx (CR150D Cosmic Color Ribbon): Added support for Enhanced LOR networks.
•CMB24D-V1_02.lhx (CMB24D): This is the first version of firmware for this device that has been distributed with the LOR software suite.
•CTB04Dg3-V1_01.lhx (the new 4 channel CTB04g3 AC controller; also used in the new LOR400Wg3 and LOR400ELLWg3 controllers).
•CTB08Dg3-V1_02.lhx (the CTB08Dg3 controller card and the LOR800Wg3 controller): Added support for Enhanced LOR networks.
•CTB16PCg3-V1_08.lhx (the CTB16PCg3 card and the gen3 residential controllers): Added support for Enhanced LOR networks.
•CTB32Lg3-V1_12.lhx (the CTB32L card and the LOR16xxWg3 light controllers). Added support for Enhanced LOR networks.
•DC_MP3_V4-20.lhx (DC-MP3): This version of the firmware makes triggered shows start faster.
•iDMX1000_V1_50.lhx (the iDMX1000 controller). Fixed a problem with missed effects when running at 115.4K. Added support for 500K. Added support for Enhanced LOR networks.
•MP3g3-V5_32.lhx (G3 MP3 Dual Network Director): Supports Enhanced LOR networks, and fixes two bugs: (1) In some cases, the firmware would believe that the sound and lights were extremely out of sync when they were not. This would cause error detection code to be triggered which would stop the song that was playing and move on to the next song. (2) In some cases, the firmware would ignore a show's schedule. Instead, a show would start as soon as the SD card was inserted.
•RF-V4_v2-10.lhx (RF-V4 Easy Light Linker): This release allows the RF-V4 to use 115K comm speed.
•uMP3g3-V5_32.lhx (G3 Mini Director): Supports Enhanced LOR networks, and fixes two bugs: (1) In some cases, the firmware would believe that the sound and lights were extremely out of sync when they were not. This would cause error detection code to be triggered which would stop the song that was playing and move on to the next song. (2) In some cases, the firmware would ignore a show's schedule. Instead, a show would start as soon as the SD card was inserted.
In recent times, many customers with very large sequences who have been running into memory-related issues have been using a third-party tool known as the "4GB Patch" to modify the Sequence Editor and Show Player executable files. The effect of this is that Windows will allow the patched programs to use more memory than it would allow for the unpatched programs. Whenever a customer using the 4GB Patch upgraded to a new version of Light-O-Rama, they would have to remember to use the 4GB Patch on the new versions of the two executable files, or else they would start running into memory-related issues again.
Now, though, the Light-O-Rama installer distributes the Sequence Editor and Show Player executable files as if they had been patched using the 4GB Patch. Users therefore should no longer need to run the 4GB Patch on these programs.
Just in case something unexpected occurs because of this, the installer also distributes unpatched versions of the executables. The patched versions are what are used by default, without the user needing to take any action. If for whatever reason you want to use the unpatched versions, though, they can be found in the Light-O-Rama program files directory (which is typically, but not always, either C:\Program Files\Light-O-Rama or C:\Program Files (x86)\Light-O-Rama). They are called LORSequenceEditor-Unpatched.exe and LORMonitor-Unpatched.exe. To start using them, shut down your running programs, then rename the default patched versions out of the way (for example, rename LORSequenceEditor.exe to LORSequenceEditor-4GBPatched.exe), and then copy the unpatched versions into their place (for example, copy LORSequenceEditor-Unpatched.exe to LORSequenceEditor.exe).
The LOR PixCon16 is the first E1.31 and newest controller offering from Light-O-Rama. The board can control up to 16 170-pixel strings using various different chipsets, as well as be a bridge for 4 separate DMX universes all running on Ethernet.
The order of menu items in the LOR Control Panel's right-click popup menu has been changed so as to hopefully more clearly group sets of similar items. Also, the Control Panel would say things like "Light-O-Rama is Disabled" to mean that scheduled play of shows was not currently enabled; this has been changed to the hopefully less confusing "Scheduled Play is Off".
The Sequence Editor now allows MP4 files to be used as the media files for musical sequences. Please note that not all such files will work on all computers; for example, a particular MP4 (or some other type of media file) may be encrypted with DRM or may require a codec or filter that is not present on the computer.
•When using the Arch Wizard, changing from Arch to Fan or vice-versa the minimum number of segments was not being set correctly. This could lead to errors in the wizard which were caught and dealt with, but which should not have occurred.
•When using the Tree Wizard, the Pixels Per Segment spin control did not accelerate the longer the user pressed the up/down buttons.
•The Matrix Wizard was generating errors whenever the form was re-sized. This lead to errors in the wizard which were caught and dealt with, but which should not have occurred.
•Deleting a Prop did not always remove the Prop's definition from the program. In essence, a prop with no fixtures was saved/loaded each time. Any prop that is deleted now also deletes the prop's definition.
•If a sequence file could not be loaded due to an invalid end centisecond for one of its effect events, the Sequence Editor would issue an error message mistakenly quoting the event's start centisecond instead of its end centisecond.
•Some memory leaks (in various programs) associated with interacting with the Windows shell have been fixed. Most of these seem unlikely to have actually caused memory to leak in practice, but in theory they might have. One would definitely cause memory to leak in practice, but a relatively small amount.
•The Simple Show Builder and the MP3 tab of the Hardware Utility would incorrectly allow for more than 99 sequences to be added to a show. Hardware Directors can only handle a maximum of 99 sequences in a single show.
•The Network Preferences program was not correctly deleting old versions of the network configuration from the registry. This was due to a recent change in how Microsoft allows access to the registry.
•The Network Preferences program could incorrectly flag two ports as being in conflict even if they were not. If the ports were in conflict, there was also a chance that the incorrect ports/adapters were reported.
•The Network Preferences program could experience unintended behavior if the column header in any of the list displays were clicked.
SuperStar now supports a new license level for up to 60 CCRs. The highest previously existing license level supported up to 40.
MP3g3 Directors can now output to both LOR, DMX, or a combination of the two devices. All the devices must be the same on a particular port, but a particular port can run LOR or DMX devices now. You must use the Hardware Utility to write the sequence to the SD card, and the MP3g3 director must be updated to version 5.28 of the firmware.
A new version of the firmware for the MP3g3 Show Time Director, MP3g3-V5_28.lhx, allows for the use of DMX or LOR devices on a port.
The initial version of firmware for the Single Network Mini MP3 Director, uMP3g3-v5_28.lhx, has been released. This version of firmware supports both LOR and DMX512 output (DMX512 output requires version 3.12.0 of the Hardware Utility).
Even though this is the first release of firmware for this particular device, the version number is 5.28 so as to keep in sync with the version number of the Dual Network ShowTime MP3 Director (MP3g3-V5_28.lhx).
The Hardware Utility and the Simple Show Builder will now throttle busy sequences so that they better stay in sync with audio. Once the bandwidth of a port on an MP3 director is exceeded, the amount of sequence data written to the card is reduced until the director can catch back up with the sequence. Previously MP3 directors would continue to send all data out the port, regardless of the bandwidth available. During particularly busy sequences, the director would fall back further and further. Once a sequence falls behind now, all subsequent commands are discarded until the director finishes sending the queued data.
The SuperStar Instant Sequencer now has new options including new custom colors, new movement options, and a new trigger type.
The user can now specify pre and post ramp options when using images in the SuperStar editor.
•In some cases, SuperStar could create instant sequences that go beyond the end of a song. This is caused issues since the Sequence Editor fails to play the exported sequence if there are effects that go beyond the end of the song.
•In SuperStar non-CCR strings would sometimes display in dark gray on the screen when clicking on the "VisEffect" checkbox.
•For SuperStar, changed the valid range of morphs to be -50 to 360.
•In some instances, SuperStar was not checking the length of the row it was sequencing.
•In SuperStar if the user clicked twice very quickly on the Play or Play All button, the program Beeped, played and then crashed at the end of the Play.
The menu items Undo Settings and Use Internal Media in the Sequence Editor's Edit menu did not have shortcut keys assigned to them. To give them shortcut keys, the menu items "Turn on Loops" and "Select" were changed to "Turn on Loop Levels" and "Select Zone", which allowed them to be moved to the shortcut keys "v" and "z", thus freeing up "s" and "l" for Undo Settings and Use Internal Media, respectively.
The Verifier now checks to see whether old MC-P compatibility mode has been enabled. This compatibility mode is required for certain controllers, but they are rare, and if it is enabled, it can cause significant overhead on your network. The Verifier therefore warns you if it detects that this mode is enabled.
When the Sequence Editor saves a sequence, it actually saves it to a temporary file first, and then attempts to reload that temporary file. Only if the load is successful will it actually overwrite the existing "real" sequence file with the newly saved temporary one. This is intended to minimize the potential for a save where something went wrong to cause the user to lose a good (earlier) save. This behavior is now optional, via the Verify Load option in the Saving Preferences menu. It is still recommended to have this behavior enabled, but if you work with very large sequences that take significant amounts of time to load and save, and are willing to take the risk of a corrupted save overwriting your previous good save file, you might want to turn it off in order to speed up saving.
The Sequence Editor also creates a compressed sequence whenever it saves a sequence, but you can now optionally disable this behavior via the Export Compressed option in the Saving Preferences menu. Again, it is still recommended to have this behavior enabled, but if you work with very large sequences that take significant amounts of time to save, you might want to turn it off in order to speed up saving. If you do choose to turn it off, it is highly recommended that you manually ensure that your sequences each have an up-to-date compressed sequence before starting your show. You can do so via the Export as Compressed command from the File menu.
By default, the Sequence Editor creates a compressed sequence whenever it saves a sequence, but this behavior can be disabled via the Export Compressed option in the Saving Preferences menu. If you choose to disable that option, it is highly recommended that you manually ensure sure that your sequences each have up-to-date compressed sequences before starting your show. You can now manually create a compressed sequence for a single sequence via the new Export as Compressed menu item on the File menu, or manually create compressed sequences for a show or for the entire schedule via the Sequence Compressor program.
•The LOR Verifier would incorrectly report that three files (AdjMmsEng.dll, amp3dj.ocx, and Asoedmms.ocx) had unexpected version numbers.
•SuperStar's Play 8 Seconds and Play All buttons were not staying depressed when used in visualization mode, and the other buttons were not being grayed out.
•Various Light-O-Rama programs used to depend upon the Microsoft library "SCRRUN.DLL". If this library was missing or misconfigured, various strange problems would occur. An example is that keyboard maps would not function in the Sequence Editor. In recent times, this library seems to be missing or misconfigured more and more frequently on customers' computers, and so Light-O-Rama no longer depends upon this library.
In most cases, if two lighting effects for two different channels on the same controller are supposed to happen at the same time, it does not matter which of the two commands is sent to the controller first. However, in some cases, it does matter: For example, a macro command for a Cosmic Color Device should be sent before a command for a regular channel on that CCD (presuming the two commands are supposed to take effect at the same time). In the past, this was determined based upon the circuit number of each channel. However, with the introduction of Cosmic Color Arrays, this is no longer possible, as their special channels use different circuit numbers than the special channels of other CCDs. So, the concept of "channel priority" has been added, to explicitly set which channels take priority over which others. Please note: If you have created a Cosmic Color Device (or Array) channel group in the sequence, channels within that group will automatically have their priorities set appropriately. You only need to manually set the priority yourself if you have not included those channels in a CCD/CCA channel group in the sequence.
Previously in the Sequence Editor, if you changed which timing grid a track was using, and the old timing grid was empty (i.e. had no timings) and was not in use by any other track, that old timing grid would be discarded. This is now only done if, additionally, that old timing grid does not have a name.
The Hardware Utility now recognizes the CTB08Dg3 card, and the LOR800W which uses that card.
Easy Light Linker (ELL) configuration has been changed in the Hardware Utility: Support was added for the new LOR-RF-V5, which supports 115200 kbps. Also, previously, the LOR-RF-V4 only supported speeds up to 57600, but with the introduction of the LOR-RF-V5, there will be a new release of firmware for the LOR-RF-V4 that will enable it to run at 115200 as well.
Sequences can be removed from the Sequence Editor's Recent Sequences list. To do so, right-click on the file you wish to remove, and a popup menu will open. The menu will have an entry to remove the file from the list.
The Clipboards subpanel of the Tools Panel in the Sequence Editor used to contain controls for both clipboards and for paste options. The paste options have now been moved to their own subpanel. This will hopefully make them a little easier to get at when many clipboards are present, by collapsing the Clipboards subpanel.
Various memory and speed improvements related to sequences have been made. For example, one particular very large sequence which took about 2 minutes 15 seconds to load, consuming about 420 MB of memory, now takes about a minute and a half and about 160 MB.
The Sequence Editor only remembers a certain number of changes (per sequence) for undoing and redoing. This number can now be changed, via the Undo Settings dialog. For most users, the default value will be fine, but users with large sequences who make large changes to those sequences might want to place a smaller limit on the number of remembered changes so as to help avoid running into memory-related issues.
The Hardware Utility will now allow changing input types (NO/NC) with InputPup devices.
A new version of the firmware for the MP3g3 Show Time Director, MP3g3-V5_25.lhx, fixes a bug where animation sequences (non-musical sequences) would not run if two networks were specified in the file.
•The LOR Verifier would report an "error 7" on the file "audioconv.ocx", meaning that the file was missing. This is because the file is no longer used by the current version of Light-O-Rama software, and therefore is no longer distributed. That check has now been replaced with checks for new libraries used by the current version of software.
•On some computers, SuperStar would have a repaint problem that would happen when you replayed a sequence to the computer screen.
•SuperStar would crash when saving a file with a very large image.
•Only one star could be set when applying a star scene in SuperStar.
•If you had more than one sequence open in the Sequence Editor, and they were not maximized (with respect to the Sequence Editor itself, as opposed to with respect to the screen), and you attempted to close them via their "X" buttons, the last one would not close.
•Musical sequences are not allowed to have loop levels, but the Sequence Editor would allow you to add a media file to an animation sequence that had loop levels, which would lead to various issues. Now the Sequence Editor will offer to remove the loop levels, and will not add the media file unless the loop levels are removed.
•In SuperStar, selecting or moving an effect in the time layers in a large sequence could take 30 seconds or more and cause the program to appear to crash.
•If you tried to use a sequence containing a loop that looped back more than 255 times as a standalone sequence, the Hardware Utility would refuse, giving a not-too-helpful error message that merely said "Overflow". The Hardware Utility will still refuse, but it will now give an error message that is, hopefully, more helpful.
•The Sequence Editor could sometimes report that a media file is not present when in fact it is present. This could cause an error within the Sequence Editor or any of its tools. This problem usually manifested itself when adding a track to a new sequence. However, any part of the Sequence Editor that requires media could also have had this issue.
•SuperStar would crash on some computers if the first effect in a sequence was the smallest star in the SuperStar star.
•In SuperStar, visualizations with draw objects that have the same unit ID would display the square in the sequencing grid as disabled, and instant sequence would not properly define effects to the row.
An EPUB (e-book) version of the Light-O-Rama help file is now available, and is published along with the installer as well as on the Light-O-Rama website.
•If SuperStar was launched into CCR mode, the "star in use" setting would get set to "no", and the star channels would get played to ribbons, and you wouldn't be able to add star channel effects either.
•Some dialog boxes in SuperStar would allow the start time of an effect to be after the end time.
The Insert Device dialog of the Sequence Editor now supports an additional device: The CMB24D. It is a 24 channel controller; you can tell the Insert Device dialog to treat it either as 24 channels or as 8 RGB channels.
The Sequence Editor will continue to attempt to create two different internal media formats, for different purposes. However, should one of those conversions fail, the Sequence Editor will no longer refuse to create or open a sequence. Instead, the user is simply informed that one or both of the conversions failed. The Sequence Editor will then choose the best file to use for whatever purpose based upon which of the three files exists and/or the user-specified options. If a format that is required for a particular use could not be created, that use will simply not be available. For example, the Beat Wizard requires that a particular internal media file be created; if it could not be created for a particular sequence, then the Beat Wizard cannot be used for that sequence, and a warning will be presented if you attempt to use it.
A new option, Use Internal Media, has been added to the Edit menu. This option is set per sequence and is saved when the sequence is saved. It allows you to control whether or not Light-O-Rama attempts to use the internal formats with the sequence. It is recommended that this option be on. The option defaults to being on, except when a sequence created using an earlier version of Light-O-Rama is loaded (so that media handling behaves for these sequences as it did in earlier versions, unless you choose otherwise). More details can be found at "Use Internal Media".
SuperStar now supports "visEffects". This gives the ability to apply morphs to the visualization instead of to the sequencing grid, and allows a smooth coordinated sweep across all the lights in the visualization.
You can now import a pair of visualizations into SuperStar, as a "Row Visualization" and a "Real Visualization". The Row Visualization is to be laid out in rows according to how you want the lights mapped to the sequencing grid. The Real Visualization should be laid out how the light display actually appears.
•Musical sequences whose media files had names that included multiple consecutive periods (such as "1983... (A Merman I Should Turn To Be).mp3") would not successfully play.
•In SuperStar, if you clicked on an effect in one of the effect lists and then hit play, the effects wouldn't get rebuilt and played for the new location you are at.
•Export of large sequences could cause SuperStar to crash.
•If a soundboard interactive group were set up in a show, and contained a single sequence on a particular trigger, and that trigger were tripped while that sequence was playing, an error message would occur ("ERROR STARTING SEQUENCE (This key is already associated with an element of this collection)"). The sequence would not start, and could no longer be started during the current run of the show.
•You can now open a file in SuperStar by double clicking on the file in Windows. Previously, SuperStar would crash while attempting to open the file if you did this.
•If you exported a sequence from SuperStar, and then opened that sequence in the Sequence Editor, made a change to it, and saved it, the Sequence Editor would warn you that the sequence was created by an older version of Light-O-Rama.
•A fast double click in the object selection area could lock up the Visualizer.
The Keyboard Preferences dialog in the Sequence Editor would previously display the list of keyboard preferences in order of the keys - for example, an entry associated with the A key would be listed before an entry associated with the B key. Now, the list can be sorted either in that order or in order of operation - for example, an entry that causes the "Apply Fade Down" operation to be performed would be listed before an entry that causes the "Copy Timing" operation to be performed.
In the Sequence Editor's Keyboard Preferences dialog, there are now new buttons to copy the list of keyboard preferences to the Windows text clipboard and to print the list.
When building a sequence, SuperStar now uses about half as much memory as it used to.
And the updated fonts are:
On a very limited number of machines, the Visualizer would be unable to detect the available network adapters. If the detection fails, an alternate method is now used.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, if the schedule was enabled but the Show Player was not running (for example, if it were stopped via Windows Task Manager), the LOR Control Panel would simply change so that the schedule was disabled. Now, it will instead attempt to restart the Show Player. This may also help get the show running again more quickly if the Show Player crashes, but not necessarily: In at least some cases the Show Player might still be "running" in a technical sense until the user dismisses a Windows message box saying that the Show Player had crashed.
If no show is playing, and if no show is scheduled to start playing within the next sixty seconds, and the Show Player is using over a hundred megabytes of memory (commit charge size), it will automatically shut itself down (and will then be automatically restarted by the LOR Control Panel, assuming the schedule is still enabled). The intention of this is a preventive measure to protect against ill effects of possible memory leaks in the Show Player, which could otherwise build up over time to a point that would cause the Show Player to crash.
During a show, whenever a sequence is about to start, the Show Player checks how much memory (commit charge size) it is using. If it is using over a gigabyte of memory, it will attempt to reduce memory usage by decaching sequences that it has previously loaded, until it drops down below 900 megabytes (or until it has no more sequences which it can decache). This is so as to prevent it from caching more and more sequences until it finally runs out of memory and crashes.
If it winds up needing to play one of the decached sequences again, this means that it will have to reload that sequence. Therefore, the sequences are decached in an order intended to minimize loading time:
1.If a sequence is currently playing, it will not be decached.
2.If the Show Player knows for sure that a sequence is about to be played, it will not be decached. Please note, though, that the Show Player may not always know for sure that a sequence is about to play, even if you know it, and so in certain situations you may occasionally see a sequence be decached soon before being played.
3.Sequences that are in sections of the show that are already finished are considered highly decacheable, and will be decached before any other sequences. For example, if the Shutdown section of the show is playing, then any sequences in the Musical or Animation sections are considered very decacheable, since they will never be played again during this run of the show.
4.Compressed sequences are considered more decacheable than non-compressed sequences, since compressed sequences can be loaded much more quickly than non-compressed sequences.
5.Two compressed sequences, or two non-compressed sequences, are compared to each other based upon the number of times that they have been played and the amount of memory that they took to load. Generally speaking, all else equal, a smaller sequence is more decacheable than a larger sequence, since it can be loaded more quickly. However, for any specific pair of sequences, the larger might be decacheable if the smaller sequence were played sufficiently more often.
You can now control various behaviors of how SuperStar will import a visualization by putting certain keywords in the comments areas of props or fixtures in the visualization. For example, you can mark a prop in the Visualizer so that when SuperStar imports the visualization, it will put the prop's lights in certain specific locations in the sequencing grid.
Two more DMX adapters, the DMXKing UltraDMX Micro and the DMXKing UltraDMX RDM Pro, have been added to the list of supported DMX adapters. Both should be configured in LOR Network Preferences to use the "ENTTEC DMX USB Pro" protocol.
In the past, LOR Diagnostic would display certain specific entries from the Light-O-Rama portion of the Windows registry. If Light-O-Rama started using a new registry entry, and LOR Diagnostic was not updated to include it, the information simply wouldn't be displayed at all. It now still shows those specific entries, but also shows raw data from the entire LOR portion of the registry, so that the information is present even if LOR Diagnostic is not specifically updated to include it.
The LOR Diagnostic utility now has buttons enabling you to copy the utility's output to the Windows clipboard or to save it to a file.
The Sequence Editor's Beat Wizard, VU Wizard, and Waveform Display now support more media types, including video files. It also now has better support for the types that it supported in the past - for example, they would be unable to handle certain MP3s, issuing an error message such as "Cannot init conversion".
In past versions, if your musical sequence used a variable bit rate MP3, and you wanted to use certain features in the Sequence Editor (such as starting play somewhere in the middle of the sequence instead of at the natural start of the sequence), you would need to convert the MP3 to use a constant bit rate (using a third party audio editor such as Audacity), or it would not work properly. Now, you may be able to do this without converting to a constant bit rate. Note that it's possible that you may still have to convert in some cases, so keep tools like Audacity in mind just in case.
The Sequence Editor's Video Preferences dialog now has an option which can be used to make the Sequence Editor play only the audio track of a video file in a musical sequence, as opposed to also showing the actual video.
In SuperStar, there is now an option to show the entire head at the start of a morph. This can be used, for example, to have a morph start out 50 pixels long, and get progressively shorter until it disappears at the end.
In SuperStar, morphs can now be set up to accelerate (or decelerate). This can be used, for example, to make a morph going up that slows down, or a morph going down that speeds up, as if under the influence of gravity.
The main test screen of the Hardware Utility now supports 32 channels, rather than 16 as in the past. This allows the use of this screen (rather than the console) to test the DIO32 (in native address mode) and the new CMB24D (which is a 24 channel Direct Current (DC) card).
The advanced configuration screen previously only supported 16 and 32 channel cards. It has been updated to support the new CTB08Dg3, an eight channel card.
Several new firmware updates are included:
The CCB100D and CCR150D firmware includes additional support for 500K. The CTB16PG3 and CTB32LG3 firmware includes support for "noisy AC" (less chance of flicker on noisy power). The DIO32 and mDC_MP3 firmware contain many changes that have previously been posted online, but never before distributed with the software installer.
SuperStar now has an additional option for instant sequences: "Extend Length of Effects". This option will extend the length of each effect up to the start of the next effect. This makes the instant sequence less "blinky".
•In SuperStar, if you created a sequence in Instant Sequence, then clicked on "roll dice" and "sequence all", it would not erase the existing sequence before creating the next sequence. You would end up with multiple sequences stacked on top of each other.
•Some memory leaks related to sequences have been fixed.
•If you attempted to add an effect in visualization mode in SuperStar, and the fixtures involved did not contain any of the colors in the effect, an error would be displayed and you would not be allowed to add the effect. This error would prevent you from using group modify to move pixels on scenes. This error has been changed to a warning, and you are allowed to proceed if you want.
•After moving a selected group of effects in SuperStar, the first active selection could have been moved. This would result in group modify thinking that some attributes had been changed when they had not.
•A memory leak in SuperStar, related to the conversion of an MP3 to a WAV file, has been fixed.
•Non-CCR RGB strings would not process correctly in SuperStar if there were more than 48 pixels.
•If SuperStar's sequencing row max length was more than 50, and if the total number of 50 pixel CCRs was more than 24, it would make the sequence row count be 24.
•If SuperStar's sequencing row max length was more than 50, the location of the SuperStar star was not being calculated properly.
•The time progress display while SuperStar was playing a sequence would flicker.
•If no method returns an available network adapter for the Visualizer, the "Local Loopback" adapter is automatically used.
•When writing a show to an SD card via the Hardware Utility, you could type in the dropdown box which is supposed to allow you to select the show number. Doing so would cause the show number to be 0.
•The "cleanup sequence" in the Musical section of a show was not paying attention to the Musical section's "Turn used lights off at the end of each sequence" option. It would instead always turn the used lights off, no matter whether the option was enabled or not.
•If you open a SuperStar sequence and it fails to open the associated audio file, the time layers would be blank. This has been fixed to default to a five minute length.
•On some computers, various Light-O-Rama programs would refuse to run, saying that "Light-O-Rama is not correctly installed", despite LOR having been installed.
•Undo and redo in SuperStar would sometimes not work properly; sometimes redo would not restore all effects that had been undone, and sometimes undo or redo would cause SuperStar to crash.
Light-O-Rama networks were previously able to use communication speeds up to 115.4K. New Generation 3 controllers, Cosmic Color Bulbs, Cosmic Color Ribbons, and Cosmic Color Pixels are now able to support 500K, approximately four times faster. You can set your network to use 500K in the LOR tab of the Network Preferences program. You may have to update your firmware to take advantage of this new feature.
Also, network speeds are no longer referred to as distances. Instead, the actual speed of the connection is used. "Long Range" is now called "19.2K", "Average" is now "57.6K", and "Short Range" is now "115.4K".
Previously, a Light-O-Rama MP3 Director was able to control a show on a single LOR network. The new Generation 3 MP3 Directors are able to control two separate networks, and the Hardware Utility has been updated to support this new functionality.
Previously, a Light-O-Rama MP3 Director was able to support communications speeds up to 115.4K. The new Generation 3 MP3 Directors are able to additionally support 500K, approximately four times as fast as earlier controllers. The Hardware Utility has been updated to support this new functionality. You may have to update your firmware to take advantage of this new feature.
Various new functions were added to some of SuperStar's dialog boxes: "Move pixels" was added in the scene group modify dialog box; "Move endpoints" and "Reverse direction" were added in the morph group modify dialog box; "Use Head Color" was added in the morph dialog box.
When opening a sequence in the Sequence Editor, a warning is presented if the sequence contains channels that your license level cannot control. This warning appears only once per Sequence Editor session.
The Light-O-Rama Verifier, which can be used to check for various problems with your schedule, shows, and sequences, used to check your schedule, the shows that are on that schedule, and the sequences that are in those shows. It still can do that (and still does it by default), but now you can also ask it to check just a single show (regardless of whether it is scheduled or not), or a single sequence (regardless of whether it is in a show or not).
Note, though, that it's possible that two sequences which each pass individual checks from the Verifier without any problems might still have problems when used together within a single show. So it's always a good idea to run the Verifier against their show, and especially against the entire schedule, at least once before going live with your show.
This new firmware for Cosmic Color Bulbs and Cosmic Color Pixels supports 500K communications speed.
This new firmware for Cosmic Color Ribbons supports 500K communications speed.
This new firmware for CTB32LG3/LOR160xWG3 has the following changes:
•Support for 500K communications speed.
•Support for LED Display sharing with the new G3-MP3-Director when the director is attached rather than the regular Display Daughter Card.
•A bug was fixed in standalone mode when the unit is used as a director for other controllers while running a standalone sequence.
This new firmware for CTB16PCG3 controllers supports 500K communications speed.
The G3-MP3-Director is a new device that will replace the DC-MP3.
•If you did a Create QuickVis on a combination of CCR controllers and standard 16 channel controllers, then SuperStar would place the first row of 16 channel controllers on top of the last row of CCR controllers.
•In SuperStar, only the end points of RGB light strings (strings where all the lights are the same RGB color) were being drawn. This has been fixed to draw bulbs along the entire string.
•When pressing the Play or Paste button in SuperStar, some unnecessary screen redraws were done. These have been removed.
•Selection of an RGB fixture was not working in SuperStar.
•If you change from CCR mode to Vis mode, SuperStar will now automatically rename the file by appending "_vis" to the end of the name. This is to prevent cases where you would otherwise lose the star channels in a sequence that was done in CCR mode.
•If you are in "Full Range" color mode in SuperStar, and you set the color controls with the color picker dialog box, red and green could be set to 130. This caused constant "integer out of range" errors because the color fields in the dialog boxes had values out of range.
•In the Animator, if the file that was supposed to be used as the background image of the animation did not exist, the "Remove Image" button would be grayed out, thus giving no straightforward way to remove the reference to the image from the animation.
•When trying to create a new musical sequence in the Sequence Editor, media files with the extension "m4a" would not be shown unless the dropdown box controlling the types of media files displayed was changed from "All Supported Files" to "MPEG Audio".
•Added support for "superstar cool" and "superstar warm" to indicate the dimming curve to use in SuperStar.
•On a large resolution screen, you could have ended up with more than ten rows in the time layers in SuperStar.
•In some situations, a SuperStar sequence could be erased if you saved after clicking "New Document".
•In SuperStar, after a paste of a group of effects and nudging the pasted effects around, sometimes a "group modify" would modify more than it should.
•When changing configuration or layout information, SuperStar would crash if SSEdit.cfg was "read only" (this would typically only happen if the Lightorama directory were placed in an area that the operating system does not allow write access to). This has been fixed so that SuperStar will instead display an error message advising that configuration and layout information could not be saved.
M4A media files are now supported in musical sequences.
•When upgrading to a new version of Light-O-Rama, existing SuperStar custom fonts would be overwritten with those from the installer. Only the system fonts, not the custom fonts, should have been overwritten (both should be installed if not already present).
•Pressing Delete a second time while the Visualizer's "Are You Sure?" dialog was presented caused a second "Are You Sure?" dialog to pop up. After responding to both of them, the simulation data could be left in a corrupted state.
SuperStar now has a "Max Length" setting to set the length of sequencing rows from 50 to 200. This allows the sequencing rows to be longer, so all fixtures on a row in a visualization will fit on one row.
The creation of standalone sequences (for example, in the Hardware Utility for an MP3 Director) has been made significantly faster. For example, a certain very large sequence that used to take over twenty minutes to convert to a standalone sequence on a certain computer now takes approximately one minute on that same computer.
•If SuperStar had never been run on a particular computer before, or its configuration had never been changed, and you attempted to change the rotation on a new sequence (not on a sequence loaded from a file), SuperStar would hang in certain cases.
•If SuperStar had never been run on a particular computer before, or its configuration had never been changed, and you attempted to bring up the Layout dialog box and change to half ribbons, the text would be clipped so that only the first ribbons got text on them.
•In SuperStar's CCR mode, if you added white text, it would have a red shadow on it.
•In SuperStar, if the regular network was not being used, but had unit IDs in the same range as an Aux network that was being used, channels for those unit IDs would have incorrectly used the regular network instead of the Aux network.
•SuperStar's Import Visualization dialog now has an optional "vertical mode" sequencing grid orientation, which can be used to more easily deal with displays that are taller than they are wide (such as a visualization of an RGB megatree).
•A bug in SuperStar was fixed related to the drawing of floods and bulbs in a visualization.
•Instant Sequence was producing white effects for CCRs, but not for RGB lights. It will now treat strings of RGB lights the same as CCRs.
•SuperStar now supports reversing the order of fixtures in a prop if necessary in order to support a matrix of RGB lights that are not a Cosmic Color Device.
•Having an "&" character in a fixture or prop name in a visualization exported to a sequence by SuperStar sometimes caused an "unterminated entity" error when the exported sequence file was opened in the Sequence Editor.
E1.31 protocol, also known as "streaming DMX over ACN", is now supported for DMX devices. This allows native DMX devices to be hooked up to LOR over an ethernet network, rather than over a serial port. Note that one or more E1.31 gateway devices, which convert E1.31 to standard DMX, would be required between your computer and your DMX devices.
A new program, the Light-O-Rama Network Preferences program, has been made. This program can be used to set up your various network settings, such as for your Light-O-Rama networks, DMX universes, X10 network, and so on.
This new program replaces the Sequence Editor's Network Preferences dialog. It can be launched through the Sequence Editor's Preferences menu, the Light-O-Rama Control Panel, or as a standalone Windows program.
Several efficiency improvements were made related to playing sequences, both at the startup of play and during play itself. These would be most noticeable on very large sequences, or sequences using many events on DMX channels.
When SuperStar would export a visualization sequence, the names of exported channels used to just be the names of the visualization's channels. Now they are the visualization channel names plus the visualization fixture names.
After importing a visualization into SuperStar, the unused portion of a sequencing row is drawn in dim green and is selectable. This makes it possible to apply only one morph across the entire sequencing grid.
The buffer size for writes to serial port devices has been increased, as has the associated timeout value. These changes improve balance across communications networks.
Holding the Shift key while moving the mouse in the Visualizer now reduces the cursor speed, thus making more precise cursor movements easier.
Holding the Ctrl key while moving the mouse in the Visualizer will now limit cursor movement to either horizontal or vertical, depending upon the basic direction the mouse was moving at the start of movement.
When the user selects a different COM port in the "Manual Select" dropdown box of the Hardware Utility, the system asks if the newly selected port was "the LOR Show Port". If "Yes" was selected, the Regular network was set to use that port. A "Don't show this again" option has been added to that dialog, so that the user will not see it over and over, if desired.
SuperStar's Instant Sequence feature now supports a "color by time" option, which enables you to specify an absolute length of time (such as "four seconds") that it will take for effects in a theme to change color.
SuperStar's group delete function has been optimized to be faster when deleting a large number of effects.
•If you imported a visualization in SuperStar, the first and last boxes on the first sequencing row would be set to white, yet if you tried to add a scene, you would get an error saying that no pixels were selected. This has been fixed so that no sequencing row boxes are selected after the import of a visualization.
•When doing an Instant Sequence on a visualization using SuperStar's Color Wheel, and a row of fixtures did not contain a color, there were cases where the row would not receive any visible effects for long periods of time.
Images and text are supported in SuperStar while in Visualization mode. Note that it only makes sense to use images in text in a visualization if you have a grid of lights. To use text, the grid must be at least 5x5.
If the header in a WAV file is of an unknown format, SuperStar now uses default values to open the WAV file. This is an unusual case, but it means that there are some WAV files that will now play properly whereas they would fail to play previous to this change.
A new option, "Force Simulation Window to Front", has been added to the Visualizer's Com/Ref options tab (tab number 6). When this option is enabled, whenever the Visualizer receives data and is in Simulation mode, the Visualier window will force itself to be shown in front of all other windows. This option is off by default.
When in visualization mode, SuperStar now limits export based on the number of channels instead of on the number of sequencing rows. For example, if you have a 2 CCR license, it will now allow export of up to 300 channels when in visualization mode.
•If in one of SuperStar's small views, sometimes the sequencing grid was too wide.
•If a sequence were opened in one of SuperStar's small views, the numbers at the left of the time layers wouldn't display properly.
•SuperStar's effect bar representing a scene for the star could have ended up being any color. This has been fixed so that the bar is always white.
Cosmic Color Devices have a hardware setting option where the pixel numbers can be "flipped" - i.e. instead of pixel #1 being closest to the device and pixel #50 being furthest from it, pixel #50 is closest and pixel #1 is farthest. The Sequence Editor's Insert Device screen's Cosmic Color Device section now has an option to list RGB channels in the device being created from 1 to 50 or from 50 to 1, so as to more easily match up the sequence as shown on the screen with the actual hardware device.
•In SuperStar, sometimes the length of an archive file would become five minutes instead of the length of the original audio file.
•When using the Visualizer's Channel Wizard on RGB props along with a reference file with RGB channels, the second and subsequent fixtures assigned to the prop could have incorrect channel assignments.
The names of various file types that SuperStar creates have been changed: Export files are now "_sup.lms" instead of ".sup.lms"; vis files are "_vis.lms" instead of ".vis.lms"; archive files are "_archive.lms" instead of ".archive.lms". Also, exported files are named ".lms" regardless of whether they have an associated media file, with the expectation that the user will soon add a media file to them.
•On some Windows 7 computers, every time the Visualizer was started, it would ask the user if they wanted to associate .LEE files to the program.
The LOR USB485-ISO is now officially supported for use as a DMX adapter. It should use the "Raw DMX" protocol.
When selecting the sequences to use in the Simple Show Builder, the user is given a choice of which sequences should be displayed so as to be able to choose from: "16 Channels", "32 Channels", and "All Files". The first two are not really based upon the number of channels in the sequence; rather, they are based on the name of the file (for example, if "16 Channels" is selected, all files with "16" in their names are displayed).
Previously, the default would be "16 Channels". Since many people make sequences without any having "16" in their filenames, this would result in a blank list being displayed, often leading to confusion as to why the Simple Show Builder was not listing the sequences. To prevent this, the Simple Show Builder now defaults to "All Files" instead of "16 Channels".
If you load a SuperStar sequence file and then import a visualization, the filename of the SuperStar sequence file is changed to end with ".vis.sup" instead of ".sup". For example, a SuperStar sequence named "AwesomeSequence.sup" will be changed to "AwesomeSequence.vis.sup" upon importing a visualization.
If a SuperStar sequence file's name ends with ".archive.sup", SuperStar will not let you change the file using "Save". Instead, it will prompt you to use "Save As". If you then use "Save As", it will rename the file to not have "archive" in the name. This is to help prevent changing an archive file.
"Modify Effect Type" was added as a check box in SuperStar's Scene Group Modify dialog box. Previously, you could set the effect type individually, but could not set it to a group.
When using a reference file, the Visualizer now gives you the option to update channels based on the channel's name or the channel's key. Previously, the only update available was "by key". Now when updating by name, the Visualizer can update the Device, Network, Unit, Circuit, and Channel Color to what was loaded in the reference file(s). Updating by name will help those people who change the physical layout of their channels.
The Visualizer can now accept filenames on the command line. If you specify a filename on the command line, the Visualizer will attempt to load it, skipping the "On Startup..." option. If it is not successful, the "On Startup..." option will be used.
The Visualizer now registers the ".lee" filename extension with Windows, so if you double click a .lee file in Windows, the Visualizer will start and load that file automatically.
When selecting the number of times to paste vertically, the Sequence Editor's Paste Multiple dialog used to give a choice between pasting an explicit number of times (such as 3 or 7) and "Paste all the way to the end of the sequence", which would paste vertically as many times as it took to get to the last channel in the track. It now also gives the option to paste to the end of any channel group or groups that contain the first channel being pasted to.
When a sequence is opened or saved in the Sequence Editor, the Sequence Editor now remembers the directory of the sequence, so that the next time a new sequence is saved, or the next time the Existing Sequence tab of the New and Open dialog is used, it will default to that directory.
In the Sequence Editor, if you hover your mouse over the expander button for a channel group (the small "+" or "-" button to the left of a channel group button), a tooltip will pop up saying the name of the channel group it is for, and whether left-clicking on the button will cause the group to expand or collapse.
The LOR Control Panel has always had the ability to start up automatically upon the computer being started (and the Windows user logged on), and if the schedule had been enabled when the computer was shut down, it would automatically enable the schedule upon being started as well. However, if the Control Panel were unloaded via "Unload Light-O-Rama", it would not automatically enable the schedule upon being started again. Now, when it is started up, it enables the schedule or not based on whether or not it was enabled the last time it had been running.
•In SuperStar, exported CCR sequences have the RGB values "balanced" so that the colors on the actual CCRs match the colors on your computer screen (think of this as a color correction made to the RGB values). This was being done when in CCR mode, but when in visualization mode, exported CCRs were not having their RGB values balanced.
•After selecting effects in SuperStar, Ctrl-C would not copy the effects that you had just selected.
•If you created a SuperStar sequence in CCR mode using the star, and then imported a visualization, the channels for the star did not appear on the sequencing grid, and made it impossible to change the star channels.
•If two different effects in SuperStar attempt to control a channel at the same time, SuperStar throws out the shortest command. However, this was not being done for the commands in an exported sequence. The result was that sequences with overlapping channel commands played back differently in SuperStar than they did from an exported sequence.
•If you make a selection in SuperStar's star channel grid, selections in the CCR channel grid will be cleared, and vice-versa. Previously, the existing selection would not be cleared, which could lead to confusing effects.
•In SuperStar, if you loaded a sequence with timings, and then loaded one without timings, the timing map would get stuck in Imported Timings mode, and attempting to set the frequency spectrum would not work.
•If you loaded a channel configuration file as a reference in the Visualizer, and then chose to update existing channels, the channel colors for matching virtual channels could be set incorrectly.
•If the Sequence Editor's "Channel Button Colors" setting were set to anything besides "None", the color of the channel buttons' fonts would vary during play even if "Vary Color of Channel Button Fonts" were turned off in the Play Preferences dialog.
•The Sequence Editor's Edit menu's keyboard shortcut for Set Paste Mode was changed from M to O, because M was already in use for Paste Multiple, which led to it being impossible to open the Set Paste Mode menu via the keyboard.
•After a "Disable Shows Immediately" was done in the LOR Control Panel, in some cases a message would appear in the status log saying "tmNextAction_Timer Error: Object variable or With block variable not set".
•When selecting a show file to schedule in the Schedule Editor, the "file type" dropdown box of the file browsing dialog would allow either "Show Files" (which was the default) or "All Files". Selecting "All Files" would allow you to schedule some sort of file other than a show file, which would not accomplish what you were hoping (since the Show Player only supports scheduled shows, not any other sort of scheduled thing). The Schedule Editor now only allows you to schedule shows.
•If a track were hidden, and that track were selected from the Sequence Editor's track dropdown list (in the Tracks and Timings toolbar), the track would become the active track (as it should), but it would remain hidden and the display would not move to show it.
•In SuperStar, if you imported a visualization file and picked a recent file to open such as "Untitled.sup", the program would advise that it changed the name to "Untitled.vis.sup". However, if you do a Save As, the name would default to "Untitled.sup" instead of "Untitled.vis.sup".
•When exporting a file in SuperStar, if you typed in a name such as "MySequence", it would give an error saying that the file name has to end in ".lms" or ".las". This has been fixed so that the appropriate file extension automatically gets appended to such a file name.
•In SuperStar, if you added some macros, selected those macros, deleted them, and then tried to undo the group delete, they would not get restored. Also, if you selected a group of effects that include some macros and did a group delete, it would not always undo properly, and in some cases would cause SuperStar to crash.
•If the Visualizer attempted to load a file that previously existed but was now missing, the error message presented was not clear. The error message now explicitly says that the file is missing, rather than the generic "XML error".
•In some situations, as the Show Player was starting (after having enabled shows), the LOR Comm Listener would shut down. This would happen when the Show Player took longer than the Comm Listener would expect to start up, which might happen, for example, if the computer had the third-party Universal Library and InstaCal installed for controlling digital IO cards. The Comm Listener now gives the Show Player a longer amount of time to start up before deciding to shut itself down.
•On some computers, the LOR Comm Listener would occasionally get in a state where it would shut down and then restart over and over, fairly rapidly. A change was made to fix this in at least some situations.
•In SuperStar's Timing Map dialog box, if you deselected "Also Set TCM" and changed the TCM settings, it would set the TCM settings back to what they were before you changed them.
•Ball Tree (RGB light strings where the color of the whole string of lights changes together) was not playing back properly in SuperStar.
•In the Sequence Editor, if "Loop at End" is turned on, and the play range includes the end of the sequence, and the sequence is a musical sequence, the loop would be done back to the beginning of the sequence rather than to the beginning of the play range.
•When you zoomed channels in or out in the Sequence Editor, any channel group expander buttons on the screen would not be redrawn into their proper new positions until you did something like hover over them.
•SuperStar could crash at startup time. This has been fixed.
In the Sequence Editor, clicking on a channel group's expander button expands or collapses the channel group - that is, it makes the channel group's children visible, or hides them. In addition to this, now you can expand or collapse the channel group and all of its descendents:
Holding the Shift key while clicking on a collapsed group will expand it and all of its descendants except for RGB channel descendants; holding both Ctrl and Shift while clicking on a collapsed group will expand it and all of its descendants including RGB channel descendants.
If the group is expanded, holding Shift (or both Ctrl and Shift) while clicking will collapse it and all of its descendants.
The LOR USB485B and the Lynx adapters are now officially supported for use as DMX adapters. The LOR USB485B should use the "Raw DMX" protocol, and the Lynx should use the new "Lynx" protocol.
One of the supported adapters for native DMX devices, the ENTTEC DMX USB Pro, is capable of offloading some CPU utilization from the computer driving the DMX devices through it. Previous versions of Light-O-Rama did not take advantage of this capability, but it does as of this version.
A new option has been added to SuperStar's Import Visualization dialog, allowing you to "scrunch" the sequencing grid for your visualization. This allows you to pack the most light fixtures possible into each sequencing row. For example, if you have the 2 CCR license level, and you are getting an error message saying that your visualization can only have 2 green sequencing grid rows or less during export, then you can try importing your visualization again and selecting the "Scrunch the Sequence Grid" option, then try exporting again.
Previous to this release, in SuperStar, you could import timings, but could only use them for visual reference. They can now be used to create an instant sequence. You can import up to three timing channels, which will become the top three timings. After importing timings, if you open the Timing Map dialog box, you will see that the "All Freqs" row of timings has been renamed to "Imported".
Twenty new sample system clipboard files have been added to SuperStar. Click on the Edit menu and select "Load/Save Clipboard", and you will see the new files, such as "Sys - BubblesRiseAndPop.scb", "DiamondExpanding.scb", and "Sys - SharkFinForHorizontalRibbons.scb". To use one, select it from the list, click on "Load Clipboard from File", and then click on "Paste". The effects will be pasted into your sequence starting at the time you have selected.
•If you cancelled the creation of a new visualization in the Visualizer, you would incorrectly be prompted for a save filename. Since no visualization was created, there was nothing to save.
•If you loaded a file with a bad signature into the Visualizer, any new file created in that session could also be marked as bad.
•In the Tapper Wizard, if "Insert a timing into the timing grid for each tap" were checked, and "Insert effects into a channel" were unchecked, and taps were collected and then applied to the sequence, starting over with new taps would not be able to collect more taps than the originally collected number unless the Tapper Wizard were exited and reopened first.
•For large audio files (for example, an audio file that is half an hour long), the Beat Wizard, VU Wizard, and Waveform Display would sometimes fail with an error saying that memory could not be allocated.
•When exporting a file in SuperStar, if the audio file was an MP3 file, the filename would get exported as SSEditAudioFile.wav. This has been fixed to use the MP3 audio file name.
•SuperStar's effect bars in the time layer were sometimes white when they were supposed to be colored.
•SuperStar was not handling duplicate channels in a visualization (i.e. channels that are assigned to more than one light fixture). Now, they are displayed in dark gray, and cannot be selected or sequenced.
•SuperStar was not properly detecting rows in visualizations with props that do not contain any lights.
•SuperStar was not exporting macro commands when in visualization mode.
•If you load and play an audio file in SuperStar, then open and play a sequence using the same audio file in the Sequence Editor, you could get an error in SuperStar saying to shut down the other program. If you then shut down the Sequence Editor, and try to play the audio file again, it would not play (even if you tried to load the audio file again).
•SuperStar's Configuration Dialog box previously listed "Unit Nbr" and "Unit ID". A controller's "Unit Nbr" was the decimal number that equated to the controller's unit ID (which is a hexidecimal number). This ended up being confusing, and so now only the unit ID is listed. This is now consistent with the rest of the Light-O-Rama software suite.
The Light-O-Rama Visualizer is a new program in the Light-O-Rama software package. It is intended to give a visual representation on your computer screen of how your lights will look during a sequence or during your show.
Please note that the Animator, which has a similar purpose, is still supported, so that existing sequences continue to work with it. However, the Visualizer is more fully featured than the Animator, so consider using the Visualizer instead of the Animator, especially for new sequences.
The Light-O-Rama SuperStar Sequencer is a new program in the Light-O-Rama software package. It can be used as a sort of front end for the Light-O-Rama Sequence Editor, creating sequences visually rather than via a channels-versus-time grid.
Note that existing Light-O-Rama licenses do not cover SuperStar (except in demo mode). In order to fully use SuperStar, your license will have to be upgraded to have SuperStar support.
The Insert Device dialog can now optionally create devices as channel groups, instead of as raw channels and/or RGB channels. A channel group is a set of channels and/or RGB channels that can be collapsed down to a single row in the display, or expanded to show rows for all (or some) of its members.
Light-O-Rama now supports control of native DMX devices.
Note that only the Advanced license level supports this.
The new Paint Sequence tool can be used to paint effects from another sequence into the current sequence. This can be used to accomplish things similar to what can be accomplished with subsequences, in a potentially clearer and easier way, without the extra complication of subsequences.
It may take a significant amount of time to load a large Light-O-Rama sequence. When loading one in the Sequence Editor, in order to view or modify it, this may be an inconvenience, but the real issue is loading one in the Show Player: When the Show Player has to load a large sequence, it may cause a noticeable pause in your show as the sequence loads.
To resolve this issue, this release of Light-O-Rama introduces the concept of compressed sequences. A compressed sequence is a separate save file, associated with a a sequence but containing only enough information to play the sequence in the Show Player, and optimized for loading speed. This can speed up loading times dramatically - for example, for a certain large sequence that takes eight seconds to load on a certain computer, the associated compressed sequence only takes a small fraction of a second to load on that same computer.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, the Windows shell command associated with a sequence was a static thing - it would be executed exactly as you had typed it. Now, they are instead templates; you can type in pieces that will be executed exactly as you typed them, just as before, but you can also type in variables, which will be replaced with run-time information, such as the name of the song that is being played.
The Sequence Editor previously offered two different modes for pasting: paste by cell and paste by time. There are now two additional new modes: stretch to fit and repeat to fit. Stretch to fit stretches (or compresses) the copied effects so that they fit into the area that you select, while repeat to fit repeats (or cuts off) the copied effects so that they fit into the area that you select.
Gen3 Light-O-Rama Controllers, and pre-Gen3 LOR controllers with Gen3 firmware installed, support customizable dimming curves. A dimming curve determines the output of a circuit from the intensity setting sent to that circuit; for example, some pieces of hardware (such as strobe lights) should never be dimmed, and so a dimming curve can be set for such a device that sets the output at 100% for any intensity of 50% or above, and at 0% for any intensity lower than 50%. Another example is that different types of bulbs (such as incandescents versus LEDs) may naturally get brighter or dimmer at different rates when going from one intensity to another, and so different dimming curves can be used to even them out, making fades on them appear more similar to each other.
In previous versions of the Sequence Editor, both left-clicking and right-clicking on a track's track bar would cause that track bar's popup menu to open. Right-clicking still does, but left-clicking now instead hides or unhides the track.
In previous versions of the Sequence Editor, you could select an entire row or rows, or an entire column or columns, via the Edit menu's Select Rows and Select Columns menu items. Now, you can also do this via the right-click context menu.
The Sequence Editor can now be used to create protected sequences, which are sequences whose sequence grids cannot be viewed or (generally speaking) modified, but which can still be played, control lights, be scheduled in shows, and so forth.
In previous versions of the Sequence Editor, while a sequence was not playing, channel buttons would be displayed as grey (or black for RGB channels). Now, it still operates that way by default, but the Channel Button Colors submenu on the View menu gives you two other options: to be displayed using the channel's full color, or to be displayed using the channel's color at the time of the start of the current selection.
The behavior of keyboard keys in the Sequence Editor can now be configured, via the new Keyboard Preferences dialog.
If one of the effect tools on the Tools toolbar has a keyboard shortcut that applies that tool, and only applies that tool, it is displayed in the tooltip for that effect tool's button on the toolbar.
In the Sequence Editor, several view settings for sequences are now persistent. That is, for example, if you change the width of the channel buttons for a sequence, they will automatically be that size whenever you open that sequence in the future (unless you explicitly change their size again).
This information is automatically remembered outside of the sequence file itself (but associated with it), so you do not have to save the sequence file when you make a cange to such a setting. Also, there had been some such settings which already were persistent, but used the sequence file, so that you would have to save the sequence whenever you altered them; these now are instead automatically persisted outside of the sequence file.
The following view settings are now persisted in this manner:
•The width of the channel buttons
•Whether the channel buttons are displayed or not
•The height of a row of the grid (and of the channel buttons)
•Whether the Animator's controls are shown or hidden
Tools Panel Can Be Completely Hidden
The Sequence Editor's Insert Device dialog used to give no control over the names of the channels that it would create. You can now specify the base name (such as changing the default "SD" for a Servo Dog device to "Animatronic Rudolph", resulting in channel names like "Animatronic Rudolph 03.7" for unit 03 circuit 7 instead of "SD 03.7"). You can also specify that the unit ID should not be included at all (resulting, for example, in "Animatronic Rudolph 7" for circuit 7).
When creating channels, the Sequence Editor's Insert Device dialog would not include any indication of the channel's network in the channel's name. For example, a channel for unit 03 circuit 7 of a Servo Dog device would be called "SD 03.7" no matter what network it was on. Now, if the channel is on an auxiliary network, it will additionally include that network's identifier. For example, "SD C03.7" would indicate that the channel is on the Aux C network, while a plain "SD 03.7" would indicate that the channel is on the regular network.
If a sequence containing a subsequence was loaded, and then the subsequence was changed and saved, and the parent sequence then played, it would play as if the subsequence had not been changed. It will now instead play using the newly saved contents of the subsequence.
In previous versions of the Sequence Editor, if a saved clipboard were changed, the changes would automatically be resaved when the Sequence Editor was closed. This is still done, but there is now a new menu item on a clipboard's popup menu to manually resave it, and an option on the Clipboard Preferences menu to automatically resave. Similarly, there is now a new menu item to reload a saved sequence (in case the contents of its save file were changed outside of the Sequence Editor), and an option on the Clipboard Preferences menu to do so automatically. These changes are intended to ease the use of clipboards by third party tools.
Additionally, a new menu item to remove a clipboard from the list of clipboards has been added.
The channels of a track can now be locked, meaning that you will be unable to add channels to the track, remove channels from it, move channels within it, or modify settings (such as device type and unit) within it, unless you unlock the track first. To lock or unlock a track, use "Lock Track" (or "Unlock Track") from the track bar's popup menu.
In previous versions of the Sequence Editor, the tooltip that would open when the mouse hovered over a channel button would show the name of the channel. It now shows additional information, such as the unit and circuit.
In previous versions of the Sequence Editor, when the Beat Wizard or VU Wizard was opened, it would automatically be set to operate on "the entire song". It will now instead be automatically set to operate on the play range (the freeform play range if one exists, or the play range as set on the Play menu if not).
Note: This behavior can be overridden, for these wizards and also the Tapper Wizard, via the "Use Play Range for Wizards" option on the Play Preferences dialog. If this option is not enabled, then the wizards will default to using the time range of the entire song.
The VU Wizard now displays the percent of time that is above the specified threshold, with the specified settings.
The new Change Controller dialog (which can be accessed from the Channel Configuration screen) presents a list of the controllers in a track, and allows you to select one and change its physical settings. For example, you could use this dialog to quickly change all channels for the Light-O-Rama controller 03 on the Regular network to instead be controller 07 on the Aux C network. Note: The "Channel Configuration" screen used to be known as the Channel Property Grid.
The Channel Configuration screen's Add Controller dialog now allows the network of the controller to be selected (for those device types that have networks). Note: The "Channel Configuration" screen used to be known as the Channel Property Grid.
The mouse scroll wheel is now supported in the Schedule Editor and in the Sequence Editor's Channel Configuration screen. Note: The "Channel Configuration" screen used to be known as the Channel Property Grid.
When the "Print" function is used in the Sequence Editor's Channel Configuration screen, the printout now includes the name of the sequence and of the track. Note: The "Channel Configuration" screen used to be known as the Channel Property Grid.
In previous versions of the Light-O-Rama Control Panel, some of the menu items on its popup menu were paired with each other. For example, to control whether or not the Control Panel should be automatically launched whenever the computer starts up, there was a "Launch at startup" menu item and also a "Do not launch at startup" menu item. This could be a bit confusing, as the way that you could tell (for example) that the Control Panel would be launched at startup was that the "Launch at startup" menu item was greyed out, so that you couldn't select it.
Now, instead, such pairs have been replaced by single menu items, which can be checked or unchecked. For example, if "Launch at startup" is checked, the Control Panel will launch at startup, and if it is not, it will not; there is no longer any "Do not launch at startup" menu item.
One of the possible issues that the Light-O-Rama Verifier can check for is whether a sequence has two different channels with the same physical settings (such as unit and circuit). In the past, this check could take quite a while to perform on large sequences; it has now been speeded up considerably. For example, for a certain sequence, the Verifier running on a certain computer would need ten minutes to perform this check. It now needs only about a second, for the same sequence on the same computer.
The Channel Property Grid has been renamed to "Channel Configuration".
•If multiple sequences were open in the Sequence Editor, and they were not maximized, switching from one sequence to another by directly clicking on a sequence would correctly activate that sequence, but would not update the row of sequence tabs to show that that sequence is now active.
•A bug in an earlier Beta release of the software, which was not released to the general public, would sometimes cause a sequence to accumulate "extra" RGB channels, which were not present in any of the sequence's tracks. These RGB channels weren't noticeable to a user, and they would not affect the behavior of the lights, but their presence in a sequence could cause certain operations, such as deleting channels, to be much slower than normal, for that particular sequence. Such operations have now been sped up.
•If both the Sequence Editor and the active sequence were maximized, and neither vertical scroll bar (the one to scroll between tracks and the one to scroll within a track) were present, and the program was running on the rightmost monitor, then when selecting an area by clicking and dragging, you would be unable to scroll to the right while selecting.
•When loading a clipboard, if you selected the clipboard file's name by double clicking it in the file browsing dialog, and the mouse happened to be over a sequence, then after the clipboard loaded, a phantom mouse click would be applied to the sequence. So, for example, if the Fade Up tool was selected, a fade up would be applied to the spot on the sequence where your mouse happened to be.
•If a show has a jukebox interactive group, and the trigger associated with that group is pushed while a sequence from that group is playing, the trigger should not cause the sequence to be interrupted and the next sequence in the group to be played. This worked fine. However, it would cause the sequence that is considered to be "next" to be changed. For example, if the group contains three sequences, A, B, and C, and A is playing when the trigger is pushed, A would continue playing (as it should), but after A ended, if the trigger were pushed again, C, not B, would play.
•When creating a new musical sequence, if you set the number of channels to zero, and then specify that the channels should be created via a channel configuration file instead of via the specified number of channels, the Sequence Editor would tell you that you need to specify more than zero channels, and then crash.
•In the Sequence Editor, when the time range of a track is scrolled, the time ranges of any other tracks in the sequence should scroll with it. However, this did not occur unless those other tracks had already been displayed at least once since the sequence was loaded or created. It also would not occur during play except when those other tracks were displayed.
•On the Hardware Utility's LOR MP3 tab, if no MP3 controller were connected, the "Set" button (to set the unit's time) should be greyed out. In most cases, it was, but if no comm port existed (as opposed to merely no comm port being selected) it was not greyed out, and so could be pushed. Pushing it in such a situation would result in a crash of the Hardware Utility.
•In the Sequence Editor, when a file was chosen from a file browsing dialog by double clicking on the file, sometimes the sequence grid that was "beneath" the dialog would act as if it had been clicked. For example, an effect tool might be applied to the grid, or a Channel Settings dialog would open.
Previous versions of Light-O-Rama could support Light-O-Rama controllers on up to four different networks ("Regular", "Aux A", "Aux B", and "Aux C"). This has been increased to sixteen (in addition to the original four, "Aux D" through "Aux O").
Old MC-P compatibility mode is required if you have certain old Light-O-Rama controllers (MC-P controllers purchased prior to November 15, 2003). This compatibility mode causes significant overhead on the communications protocol. In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, if you turned on Old MC-P compatibility mode, it would affect all of your Light-O-Rama networks. Now, instead, it only affects the Regular Light-O-Rama network; it does not affect any auxiliary Light-O-Rama networks. So, you can now put all of your old MC-P controllers on the Regular network, and your other controllers on other networks, so that they are not affected by the communications protocol overhead.
In the Sequence Editor, if the currently selected clipboard is locked, copying or cutting does nothing. This is so as to avoid accidentally overwriting the data on a clipboard that you want to keep. However, there is nothing stopping you from hitting "Ctrl-C" or "Ctrl-X", attempting to copy or cut, and in previous versions of Light-O-Rama, doing so would give you no indication that something was amiss until you later attempted to paste, and wound up pasting whatever had previously been on the clipboard, instead of what you thought you had just copied or cut. Now, the Sequence Editor will beep, to indicate that the attempted copy or cut did not take effect.
In the Sequence Editor, you can control whether or not the color of channel buttons changes during play (based upon the lighting effects happening on those channels). In early versions of Light-O-Rama, the text on the buttons was always black, and stayed black no matter what, which meant that sometimes the text was not readable.
In a relatively recent release, this was changed so that the color could be either black or white, depending upon which gives a more readable contrast with the background color of the button itself. However, some users found it to be distracting when a channel button's font would switch between black and white during play, and so you can now control whether or not this happens.
You can control it temporarily (until the next time the Sequence Editor is started) via the Vary Color of Channel Button Fonts item on the Play menu, or set your default preference (which will take effect every time the Sequence Editor is started) via Also vary their font colors on the Play Preferences dialog.
When the Sequence Editor has multiple sequences open, it displays a tab strip across the top, with one tab per sequence. Each tab has the name of an open sequence; clicking on a tab causes that sequence to be displayed. In previous versions, the name of the sequence would include its directory name, if the sequence was not stored in the default directory for sequences. This could lead to some very wide tabs. Now, only the unqualified filename, without any directory information, is displayed.
If a sequence that used multiple Light-O-Rama networks was downloaded to a standalone controller (via the Hardware Utility's MP3 tab or via the Simple Show Builder), previous versions of Light-O-Rama would warn you of that fact, because standalone controllers only send commands out over a single comm line, and therefore the multiple networks would all get amalgamated into a single one when downloaded. Now, instead, only commands for controllers on the Regular Light-O-Rama network are downloaded.
•On some computers, the Clipboards panel would not show its full height, leading to most of its functionality being unavailable due to being offscreen.
•The Hardware Utility and Simple Show Builder would previously allow you to download any type of media file for a standalone sequence, such as WAV files or WMA files, despite the fact that only MP3 files are supported by the controllers. They will now give an error message if you attempt to download a media file other than an MP3 file.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, the Sequence Editor would automatically turn off all lights in a sequence when that sequence finished playing. It can now optionally keep them turned on, via the new "Lights Off at End" menu item in the Play menu. The lights can subsequently be turned off manually via "Lights Off Now".
•If, while importing a channel configuration file, you double-clicked the channel configuration's filename in the file browsing dialog, and if your mouse was over a sequence grid at the time, then after the file was imported, depending upon where your mouse was, this could have caused the grid to behave as if you clicked your mouse on it. For example, if you were over a channel button, the Channel Settings dialog for that channel could have opened.
•If DMX effects were used in a sequence, and the Sequence Editor's Vary Color of Channel Buttons setting was turned on, then during play, for certain DMX effects, the sequence grid could temporarily go blank as displayed in the Sequence Editor (though the behaviour of your actual lights would not be adversely affected).
•If you manually edited certain registry settings related to disk file paths (note: doing this is not recommended) which Light-O-Rama normally sets itself, leaving off a backslash at their ends would lead to unexpected results.
•If an RGB channel (as opposed to one of its constituent channels) was used to draw in the Animator, and that RGB channel was deleted from the sequence, the cells of the Animator using that RGB channel would not be blanked out.
•If a constituent channel of an RGB channel (as opposed to the RGB channel itself) was used to draw in the Animator, then in certain situations, the cells of the Animator using that constituent channel could have been blanked out inadvertently.
•If the Color Fade tool was used to make DMX effects, and those DMX effects were themselves fades, they would not be sent to the controllers. They now are sent, but (as of the time of this writing) LOR hardware does not support fading DMX effects, and so they are converted to regular fades.
The new Advanced OpenGL Settings dialog can be used, experimentally, to try to investigate or work around strange graphics issues. However, this is not recommended; such problems can typically be better resolved in other ways, such as updating your computer's graphics card's drivers.
•When the Chase tool was used with Paste from Foreground turned off, and the chase was done either from the bottom left to the top right or vice versa, in some cases it would not properly overwrite existing effects outside of the actual things being chased with off effects.
•The "+" key is supposed to invoke the Repeat tool, but only the "+" key on the standard part of the keyboard was doing so, while the "+" key on the numeric keypad did nothing.
•When more than one sequence was open in the Sequence Editor, and they were maximized, clicking on the "X" to the right of the menu bar would close the active sequence (as it should), but that sequence's tab would remain open in the row of sequence tabs. Subsequently clicking on that tab, for the closed sequence, would cause the Sequence Editor to crash.
•Various things in the Animator, such as drawing and erasing, were much slower than normal.
An RGB channel represents a light or string of lights that can change colors - for example, a pixel on a Cosmic Color Ribbon. It consists of three "normal" channels, representing the three component colors - red, green and blue. Previously, to sequence such a device, you would have to sequence those three channels for the three component colors individually - that is, you would set up the sequence to have those three channels, and you would (for example) set the red channel to fade up, the green channel to hold steady, and the blue channel to fade down.
Now, you still can sequence the three component channels individually, but instead you could simply add an "RGB channel" to the sequence, and use it to deal more directly with the resulting colors. For example, instead of telling the red channel to fade up, the green channel to hold steady, and the blue channel to fade down, you would simply tell the RGB channel to fade from cyan to yellow.
The Color Fade tool is a new tool that can be used to tell RGB channels how to behave. For example, to specify that the RGB channel should fade from cyan to yellow over a certain time range in a sequence, you would select the Color Fade tool, with its colors set to cyan and yellow, and apply the tool to that time range of the sequence.
The Color Fade tool can also be used to do fills, by clicking the selected area instead of clicking and dragging.
The Repeat tool takes whatever is contained in the selected area of the sequence and makes a new copy of it immediately following the selected area. Using the tool again (without changing what area of the sequence has been selected) will make another new copy immediately following the first, and using it again will make a third new copy immediately following the second. This can be repeated as many times as you like, making as many back-to-back copies of the selected area as you want.
The Intelligent Fade tool is similar to the Fade Up and Fade Down tools. However, using it makes either a fade up or a fade down, depending upon whether you click and drag left to right or right to left.
It can also be used to do fills, by clicking the selected area instead of clicking and dragging.
If you apply the Fill tool to an area that has no effects (i.e. the lights are off in that channel at that time), it will automatically make a fade from the intensity that precedes the empty area to the intensity that follows the empty area. For example, if there is a fade up from 0 to 75, followed by the lights being off, followed by a fade down from 50 to 25, and you apply the Fill tool to the area where the lights are off, it will change that area so that it becomes a fade down from 75 to 50.
The Fill tool can also be used in a similar way on RGB channels, where it will change an empty area so that it fades from the color preceding the empty area to the color following the empty area.
The Fill tool behaves a little differently than most other tools. With most tools, if you click and drag an area, that area will be selected, and when you let up on the mouse button, that tool will be applied to the selected area. The Fill tool, however, does not select an area, and it is applied as soon as you click, and as soon as you drag to a new area, too. This, combined with the fact that the Fill tool does nothing if it's used on an area that already has an effect, hopefully makes it quick and easy to fill a large and complicated area of the sequence just by clicking once and dragging around to the appropriate spots without letting go of the mouse button.
The Chase tool takes a pattern and "chases" it through the selected area. That is, when you click on a spot in the sequence, and then drag through other channels and through time, then when you let go of the mouse button, it will take the pattern in the selected area's corner where you initially clicked and copy it through the remaining channels in the selection, offsetting it a little bit in time with each subsequent channel.
"Paste from Foreground" is a new pasting option. When it is turned on, any portions of the clipboard's copy buffer that have "off" effects won't actually be pasted when you select "Paste". That is, copied "off" effects won't overwrite what you already have in your sequence.
The channel button popup menu now gives a new way to add channels to a sequence: "Add Device". When this is selected, a dialog will open asking the type of device to add (such as an LOR/CTB 16 or a Cosmic Color Ribbon) and some settings for that device (such as its unit ID). The appropriate number of channels will then be added to the sequence, and they will automatically be populated with the appropriate unit IDs, circuit IDs, and so forth.
The left-hand side of the Sequence Editor now has a new Tools Panel, with a few subpanels ("Saved Tools", "Recent Tools" and "Clipboards"). The panel can be pinned to the display so that it is always open, or it can be hidden so that it appears only as a small tab on the left of the Sequence Editor, with the full panel sliding out when the mouse goes over that tab. The individual subpanels can also be collapsed or expanded.
The Recent Tools subpanel of the Tools Panel on the left-hand side of the Sequence Editor shows buttons representing the tools that were used recently (such as "Fade Up 25-75", "Shimmer Down 100-0", or a color fade). Clicking on one of the buttons will make that tool the currently active tool.
Not all tools are put on the Recent Tools subpanel's list; only those that would take more than one mouse click to activate are put there. For example, "Toggle" and "Shimmer" do not get put on the list, since you could activate those in a single mouseclick (from the Tools toolbar).
Right-clicking on a tool's button enables you to put the tool on the Saved Tools list.
The Saved Tools subpanel of the Tools Panel on the left-hand side of the Sequence Editor is similar to the Recent Toolssubpanel, except that it shows only those tools that you have decided to save. Once you put a tool on the Saved Tools list, it will remain there (until you explicitly remove it), even after the Sequence Editor has been stopped and restarted.
In previous versions of the Sequence Editor, there was only a single clipboard for copying and pasting. Now, the Sequence Editor starts with a single clipboard, but you can easily add more of them, and quickly switch between which one is in use at the moment, using the new Clipboards subpanel of the Tools Panel on the left-hand side of the Sequence Editor. That is, you now can have several different things copied at the same time, all of which can be pasted into your sequence.
The Clipboards subpanel also allows you to save a clipboard, so that its contents will be available to be pasted even after you stop and restart the Sequence Editor, and to lock a clipboard, so that it cannot be copied to (but still can be pasted from), to prevent accidental overwriting of a clipboard that you want to keep.
Previously, if you chose to create a sequence with equally spaced timings (such as "a timing every tenth of a second"), the sequence's first timing grid would be a fixed timing grid. You can now optionally make it either a fixed timing grid or a freeform timing grid.
When more than one sequence is open, the Sequence Editor now shows a single one of them, maximized, with tabs across the top having the names of the open sequences. Selecting any particular tab will cause the Sequence Editor to switch to display that sequence.
If you want to see multiple sequences at once, you can unmaximize the currently displayed sequence.
Several hotkeys for various menu items on the Tools menu have been changed, to try to minimize overlap and to give unique hotkeys to as many "high profile" tools as possible.
One changed keyboard editing shortcut which it is worth explicitly pointing out (because it has been requested by several people) is that the Delete key will now apply the "Off" tool to the selected area.
Previously, background and foreground effects mode could be enabled by certain keystrokes. To turn them off, there was a different keystroke for enabling "regular" effects. Now, instead of keystrokes to enable those modes, there are keystrokes to toggle them between being enabled and disabled.
Note that this change is only from the point of view of how they look displayed on your screen in the Sequence Editor; their behavior on your actual lights is unchanged from what it was before.
During play, the Sequence Editor can be set up to change the colors of channel buttons to represent the current intensity of the associated channel. The text of the channel name on that channel button, however, was always black. Depending upon the color of the channel and its current intensity, this could sometimes make the button difficult or even impossible to read. Now, the color of the text of a button will be either black or white, depending upon which would be easier to read at that moment for that channel.
Previously, if a user had a computer that was not connected to the internet, they could only register that computer by calling in to Light-O-Rama Customer Support. LOR Customer Support had a program called the "Offline Registration Utility" which they then used to get the user's computer activated.
This program is now distributed by the LOR installer, along with all the other programs (such as the Sequence Editor). So, if a customer has two machines, one of which is connected to the internet but the other of which is not, they can register their offline computer by using the Offline Registration Utility on the online computer, without calling in to LOR Customer Support.
Offline registration via LOR Customer Support is still available, in case (for example) the customer has only one computer, and it is not connected to the internet.
•In the Sequence Editor, when "Paste by Cell" was set, and a copy and paste was done including an event that was not completely coincident with a cell, in some situations the events pasted wouldn't appropriately match the events copied completely.
•When the DMX Tool, Fade Tool or Intensity Tool windows were closed by clicking on their "X" buttons, the next time that they were displayed, they would be displayed in an entirely new location instead of in the spot where they had been when they were closed.
•The "Paste" button on the Sequence Editor's toolbar would not be enabled until after a copy (as opposed to a cut) had been done. That is, if you started up the Sequence Editor and immediately did a cut, the Paste button would still be greyed out even though you had cut something.
•If you double-clicked somewhere on the New and Open dialog, for example to open a sequence by double-clicking its filename, then depending upon where your mouse was, when the dialog closed and the sequence opened, it could have caused something to happen such as a channel's settings dialog being opened, or the current tool being applied to a cell in the sequence.
This version fixes the following bugs:
•The Schedule Editor only displayed a thin portion of its vertical scroll bar.
Please note that this feature is available only for license levels Basic Plus and higher.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, when the Show Player played a show, a sequence in that show would not be loaded until the first time it was used in the show. Depending upon the size of the sequence and the power of the computer, it could take a human-noticeable amount of time to load a sequence, so this could lead to undesired delays between sequences (the first time they are played during a given run of a show).
This is still the default behavior, but you can now optionally set the show to preload sequences, so that they will all be loaded as the first step in the show, before any of them are played.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, selecting "Disable Shows" from the Light-O-Rama Control Panel's menu would cause the currently running show to stop immediately, abruptly stopping any sequences that happened to be playing. This can still be done (by selecting "Disable Shows Immediately"), but you can now shut down a show gracefully instead (by selecting "Disable Shows Gracefully").
This will cause the show that happens to be playing (if any) to be put into shutdown mode; any song that happens to be playing will be allowed to finish, after which the show's Shutdown section will run. When the Shutdown section finishes, the show will stop, and shows will be disabled.
Several improvements were made to the Light-O-Rama Control Panel:
•The "Current" and "Scheduled" sections of its status window were often mostly redundant (if the currently playing show was the show that was scheduled to be playing at the current time). The "Scheduled" section has now been replaced by a "Next" section, which shows what will happen after the current show.
•Those sections would update only after a noticeable delay of several seconds. They now update in a much more real-time fashion.
•Similarly, the first log messages that were displayed would be delayed; they are now real-time.
•The Control Panel's light bulb icon in the system tray now is different colors depending upon the state of the system: If scheduled shows are enabled, it is blue; if they are disabled, but shows on demand are enabled, it is orange; if shows are disabled entirely, it is red.
•Several new log messages were added, hopefully giving a more informative view into what the Show Player is doing.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, when the Musical Section of a show was set to shuffle the sequences instead of playing them in order, any sequence could be randomly chosen to play at any time. This meant that, for example, the same sequence could play twice (or more) in a row, or some particular sequence could be played a second time before some other particular sequence was played even once.
The Show Editor now allows you to control the way that sequences are shuffled: You can choose whether or not a single sequence is allowed to be played twice in a row, and you can choose whether or not all sequences must be played once before some sequence is played a second time.
Existing show files will continue to behave in the same manner as they did before (unless and until you change their settings): a sequence can be repeated back-to-back, and can be played a second time before all other sequences have been played once.
The default for new shows is exactly the opposite: no sequence will be played twice in a row, and no sequence will be played a second time before all sequences have been played once.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, the maximum allowable circuit number for a Light-O-Rama controller was 256. It is now 512. At the present time, this is primarily useful for controlling DMX devices.
A new version of the firmware for the iDMX1000 has been released (version 1.41). It contains the following enhancements:
•It now has native address support (i.e. there is no longer a need for multiple unit IDs for a single iDMX1000). The old method of having a single iDMX1000 use multiple unit IDs is still supported, as "legacy mode". An iDMX1000 will be in native mode or legacy mode depending upon the unit ID it is set to: If its unit ID ends in a "0" (such as "10", "20", or "30"), it will be in legacy mode, where it actually uses sixteen unit IDs of sixteen channels each (e.g. setting the unit ID to 10 will cause it to use unit IDs 10 through 19 and 1A through 1F). If its unit ID ends in anything other than a zero, it will use only that single unit ID, but it will support all its channels on that single unit ID.
•Previously, only DMX addresses up to 256 were supported. Now, addresses up to 512 are supported (but only in native mode).
•Previously, only 64 "intelligent channels" were supported at a time - i.e. only 64 channels could simultaneously be doing shimmers, twinkles, and/or fades. Now, 128 intelligent channels are supported at a time.
A new version of the firmware for the DIO32 motherboard has been released (version 1.30). This version adds native address support - that is, there is no longer a need to use multiple unit IDs for a single DIO32; it can now support all channels on a single unit ID.
Please note that in order to take advantage of this new functionality, you will not only have to use the new firmware, but you will also have to change a jumper on the board which tells it whether to operate in native mode or legacy mode. Please refer to your DIO32 documentation for details.
A new version of the firmware for the DC-MP3 has been released (version 4.10). It contains the following enhancements and fixes:
•Previously, an individual sequence could only last for up to ten minutes. It can now last up to 44 hours.
•Previously, only certain manufacturer's SD cards were supported. A much larger variety is now supported (list to be compiled - although it will more likely be a list of unsupported cards rather than a list of supported cards).
•Support for SD cards with the FAT32 file system was added.
•Support for SDHC (high capacity) SD cards was added.
•Previously, shows could be set to play every hour or every half hour; they now can also be set to play every 15 minutes or every 10 minutes.
•Digital output (DO) pins 1 through 6 now operate. They react to commands for unit ID F0, channels 1 through 6. They only react on the DC-MP3 that is controlling the show; for example, they will not react on a DC-MP3 controlled via the PC network.
•Under some circumstances, shows would start at midnight, without having been scheduled to do so. This has been fixed.
•Protection against several possible crashes was added to the Light-O-Rama Control Panel. Although it is not known if any of these actually caused any crashes, it is known that some customers have had the Light-O-Rama Control Panel crash.
•When disabling shows, or when unloading Light-O-Rama, the LOR Control Panel would hang frozen for a noticeable amount of time before becoming responsive again (in the case of disabling shows) or closing (in the case of unloading).
•Sometimes, lighting commands were quickly repeated back-to-back. This would not cause any noticeable problems with how the sequence looked, but it did cause a minor increase in network traffic, or standalone/SD sequence file size.
The Light-O-Rama Diagnostic is a troubleshooting tool that displays various information about your Light-O-Rama configuration. It used to be available only as a separate download from lightorama.com, but now is installed as a standard part of the Light-O-Rama Software Package.
•On Windows 98 SE machines, running a show of sufficient length would eventually cause an error message to pop up, saying that an error occurred in "Formhook_aftermessage". Clicking "OK" would close the error message, but it would soon pop up again, and again and again. If it was left without clicking "OK" to close it, eventually the show would stop abnormally.
•If a channel was set up to be a subsequence, and the sequence file assigned to it did not exist or otherwise could not be loaded, then loading of the main sequence would fail when the loading of the subsequence failed. The result of this was that the main sequence could not be opened, and so the problem could not be fixed by modifying the subsequence filename associated with the channel. Now, the main sequence will successfully load, and the missing subsequence will simply not do anything during play. Note that the Light-O-Rama Verifier will still show this error.
•If you set the name of a channel to include an ampersand, then in the Sequence Editor, the name would be displayed on the channel's button improperly. The ampersand would be missing, and the character after it would be underlined (indicating that it could be used as a hotkey for that button).
•If the Sequence Editor was used on a computer with multiple monitors, and the cursor was hovered over a spot on a sequence grid that was on a monitor to the right of the primary monitor, the tool tip would pop up in the wrong place (on the far right side of the primary monitor).
Certain very large operations in the Sequence Editor could take a very long time to do. For example, skewing a track involves changing all of the timings, effects, and loops in the track; in a large sequence with many channels, this could take a prohibitively long time. Much of the time spent is actually due to recording the changes so as to later be able to undo and redo them.
For situations like this, undo and redo recording can now be disabled, via the Edit menu. You will not be able to undo any changes that were made while undo recording was disabled, but the changes that you make will be made more quickly.
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, when a sequence was saved using either a Basic license or else the unlicensed Demo version of the software, the sequence file would be encrypted instead of being saved in plain XML. Now, this encryption is done only for the unlicensed Demo version; a Basic level license (or any other level license) will cause files to be saved unencrypted.
Version 3.2 of the DC-MP3 firmware (DC_MP3_V3-3.lhx) adds one new feature and fixes two bugs:
•Output number 8, which was previously unused, will now be high (+5 volts) when a show is active, and zero when no show is active.
•When a sequence started playing, in some rare cases the music and the lights would start off significantly out of sync with each other.
•A bug was causing trigger number 6 to interact with trigger number 3 in some cases.
Version 1.02 of the Servo Dog firmware (ServoDog_V1-02.lhx) fixes a bug where if channels 1 and 8 were in digital output mode, there would be crosstalk causing random results.
•In the Servo Dog Utility, when a channel button was clicked, if another channel button had previously been selected, there was a chance that the configuration of the channel that was clicked would be set to the same values as the configuration of the channel that had previously been selected.
•In the Hardware Utility, controllers that were connected via Easy Light Linkers were not showing up in all cases.
•If a show was scheduled starting on Saturday and ending on Sunday, instead of playing through, it would continuously shut down and restart. A common symptom of this is that the first sequence in the show's musical section would play over and over.
•X10 controllers were not successfully being controlled in some situations.
The following changes were made in this version:
The Light-O-Rama Control Panel's status window now displays a log of what is occurring with shows. For example, it displays messages indicating that a show or a sequence is stopping or starting, that an error occurred playing a sequence, and that an interactive trigger was detected.
Note that not all Light-O-Rama controllers have more than sixteen circuits, and of those that do, not all support this new feature yet (instead, they use more than one unit ID, each with sixteen possible circuit IDs). Currently, the only Light-O-Rama controller that can be set to use more than sixteen circuit IDs for a single unit ID is the Cosmic Color Ribbon. Support for this feature in some other controllers is planned for the future, at which time firmware upgrades may be necessary to take advantage of it.
The Light-O-Rama ServoDog Utility is a new program which can be used to configure Light-O-Rama ServoDog controllers.
•If an error opening a comm port occurred when the Hardware Utility was being started, this could lead to strange errors later, such as the Hardware Utility unexpectedly closing in certain situations.
•If the musical section of a show contained sequences that could not be played due to errors, then in some situations the first sequence of the musical section of the show might repeat several times in a row.
•On some computers, when a Light-O-Rama program (such as the Sequence Editor) was started, it would open in Demo mode very frequently, despite having previously been activated (and without having upgraded to a new version).
•In the Sequence Editor, if you clicked the space bar to start play while the mouse button was down, then when play ended, you would be in "mouse dragging" mode, no matter whether you subsequently released the mouse button or not.
•If you used a countdown in the Tapper Wizard, sometimes the song would not start after the conclusion of the countdown.
•Various problems would occur if you set the default Sequences and Audio directories to be top level directories of a drive (for example, "C:\Sequences" and "C:\Audio" rather than "C:\LOR\Sequences" and "C:\LOR\Audio").
The following changes were made in this version:
In previous versions of Light-O-Rama, exporting and importing channel configuration from and to sequences that have more than one track could lead to strange, and probably undesired, results. This was due to the interaction between channels that were in more than one track of the sequence and channels that were in more than one track of the configuration file. If the positions of such channels did not match up between the sequence and the configuration file, then the resulting settings of those channels would be changed in a predictable, but probably undesired, way.
In this version, the method of importing has been altered, so as to give (hopefully) better results:
Unlike in previous versions, the first step to importing channel configuration, before any channels are actually imported from the configuration file, is now to check the sequence for channels that are in more than one track. If any such channels are found, then all copies of each channel, except for the first of each channel, are removed from the sequence.
Next, channels are imported from the configuration file. But unlike in previous versions, if a channel is in more than one track of the configuration file, instead of overwriting the settings of an existing channel in the sequence every time the channel is encountered in the configuration file, that is only done on the first encounter of the channel. Instead, on subsequent encounters of the same channel, a copy of the appropriate channel from the sequence is inserted into the track at the appropriate position.
This has two potential side effects to watch out for (although both of these seem minor compared to the side effects caused in previous versions):
First, if a track in the sequence is composed entirely of channels from previous tracks, and the channel configuration file has no track in the same position, then all channels will be removed from that track. Since the track has no channels, it will then be removed from the sequence. However, note that these channels have not been removed from the sequence - they have only been removed from the track. They are still in the earlier tracks.
Second, a channel from the sequence with no corresponding channel in the configuration file could get "pushed down" towards the bottom of the sequence's track, if the channel configuration file contains channels in that track which are copies of channels from earlier tracks.
Different licensing levels can control different numbers of controllers; for example, the Basic level can control two controllers, while the Advanced level can control an unlimited number of controllers. If a sequence contains a lighting effect for a controller that the license level cannot control, the effect is simply not sent to the controller.
In previous versions, this also applied to sending commands to Holiday Lights Designer: lighting effects could be sent to Holiday Lights Designer only if they could be sent to an actual controller, based on the license level. Now, lighting effects can always be sent to Holiday Lights Designer, regardless of the licensing level.
•If a show contains some sequences in a "Magic Toy" interactive group, and a trigger in that group is triggered, any playing sequences that happen to be from that same interactive group should be, but were not, stopped, before the newly triggered sequences start.
•There must be a channel in every track; Light-O-Rama should prevent you from removing the last channel from a track. Due to bugs, though, it's possible that the last channel could be removed from a track; in such a case, if the sequence were saved, it could not thereafter be reloaded. In this version, the sequence can now be loaded, but any tracks without channels will automatically be removed from the sequence during the load.
The following changes were made in this version:
The Tapper Wizard was improved in several ways:
•It now knows about timing grids. You can select an existing grid to use, or create new grids to use, from within the Tapper Wizard itself.
•You can play a particular part of a song, rather than the whole song. When the Tapper Wizard is first opened, its play range will automatically be set to the active track's freeform play range, if there is one, or to its normal play range (such as play full sequence or play visible screen) if not.
•You can set the play speed, either to normal speed, half speed, or double speed.
•It can be used repeatedly without closing, with or without tapping again. For example, after applying your taps to the sequence, you could collect a whole new set of taps, or you could apply your existing taps to the sequence again, in a new way (such as applying them to a different channel, or with different flash and fade times), all without ever closing the Tapper Wizard.
•It supports undo and redo within itself; you do not have to close the Tapper Wizard to undo or redo its changes.
•It no longer relies on helper forms to collect information (such as the length of time that a flash should take); this information is now set via fields on the Tapper Wizard itself.
•The settings that you choose, such as whether to use a countdown, how long that countdown should be, whether to use the mouse, the keyboard, or both, what kind of effects or timings should be inserted, and so forth, are remembered, so that you do not have to change them every time that you enter the Tapper Wizard.
Recent efficiency improvements to the Animator increased the speed it could redraw at. This had the side effect of making its twinkle effects twinkle too quickly, almost looking like shimmers. The Animator's twinkle effect has now been slowed back down, to more closely resemble the twinkle effect on actual lights.
Please note that this change does not affect the way that twinkle behaves on your lights at all; they will behave exactly as they always have. It only affects how twinkle is represented in the Animator (which is an approximation, not an exact representation, of how it looks on actual lights).
In previous versions, clicking of the Fade Tool Settings toolbar button would open the Fade Tool Settings dialog, as would clicking on the Tools menu's Fade Tool Settings item. The only way to close the dialog was to click on its Windows close button, or to use the escape key. Now, the toolbar button (or the menu item) can be used as a toggle - clicking it once shows the dialog; clicking it again hides it.
A similar change was made for the Intensity Tool Settings dialog.
When editing sequences via the keyboard, previous versions would allow you to hit the Enter key to apply the current tool to the selected area of the sequence. Alternatively, to apply a different tool, you could hit some other key, specific to that tool; this would leave the current tool the same as it was. For example, if the current tool was the shimmer tool, you could hit Enter to apply a shimmer, or "T" to apply a twinkle.
However, the current tool itself could not be selected except via the toolbar, or menu items on the Tools menu. It can now be selected via the keyboard as well, by using Shift in addition to the desired effect's normal key. For example, Shift-T will change the current tool to change the current tool to be the twinkle tool. Note that this leaves the sequence itself untouched (but you can still hit Enter to apply the current tool to the sequence, or one of the specific keys to apply some other tool).
Due to this change, certain existing keyboard shortcuts had to be remapped. Specifically, Shift-S, Shift-T, Shift-I, Shift-U and Shift-D used to change the current custom tool to be a custom shimmer, twinkle, intensity, fade up, or fade down, respectively. These have been replaced with Ctrl-Shift-S, Ctrl-Shift-T, Ctrl-Shift-I, Ctrl-Shift-U, and Ctrl-Shift-D, respectively.
When you click on a control in the Animator, after that control's operation has completed, the focus is now immediately given back to the sequence grid. The effect of this is that you can continue using the keyboard to edit the sequence without needing to mouse-click on it every time you change something in the Animator.
Previously, when the Sequence Editor saved a sequence, it would delete the backup file of that sequence, then rename the existing save file to the backup, then write a new version of the save file, then verify that it could load the new version of the save file. If it could not load the new version, it would give a warning message saying so, and giving the name of the backup file.
Instead, it now writes the sequence to a temporary file, then verifies that it can load that temporary file. Only if it can load the temporary file does it then proceed to delete the backup file, rename the existing save file to the backup, and finally rename the temporary file to the real save file name.
•In the Sequence Editor, if the total time of a track was increased, and that track was currently using a fixed timing grid, an error message would pop up saying that timings cannot be added to fixed grids.
This version fixes the following bugs:
•In the Sequence Editor, when the mouse was moved to the left of the channel bar, an error message would sometimes pop up, saying "Invalid centisecond for finding timing", followed by a negative number. This would always happen when the mouse was dragging, and sometimes happen otherwise.
•On some computers running Windows Vista, installation would fail, giving an error about Microsoft's MDAC component.
This version fixes the following bug: Upon upgrade from a previous version of Light-O-Rama, if the user chose a different directory to store sequence and audio files than was chosen for the previous version, the post-install process would neglect to copy the files from the old directory to the new one.
The following changes were made for Light-O-Rama version 2.3.4:
A timing grid is a collection of timings. A sequence can have more than one timing grid, but only one (per track) is displayed at any given time. You can quickly change which timing grid is displayed at any time by selecting from the Tracks and Timings toolbar's timings dropdown list.
There are two types of timing grids: fixed timing grids, which have timings at equal distances from each other, and which cannot have timings added, removed, or moved, and freeform timing grids, which can have timings anywhere, and which can have timings added, removed, or moved.
Timing grids are intended to better fulfill a role that was fulfilled in previous versions of Light-O-Rama by tracks: Allowing different sets of timings to be used on the exact same channels.
For example, perhaps you have a song for which you would like some lighting effects sequenced to the sound of the bass drum, and other lighting effects sequenced to the sound of the lead guitar. You could simply add timings for both, but this could make it easy to forget which timing is for which instrument; it could also make the display seem too cluttered with timings.
To solve this problem in previous versions of Light-O-Rama, you could duplicate the track to a new track, so that you had two different tracks in the sequence, both with the same channels as each other. The two tracks could use different timings, one track representing the bass drum and the other representing the lead guitar.
You can still do that in this new version of Light-O-Rama, but you can now instead solve the problem by using timing grids. Instead of adding a second track, you could add a second timing grid. One timing grid would represent the bass drum, and the other would represent the lead guitar. You could quickly switch which timing grid is displayed using the Tracks and Timings toolbar's timings dropdown list, changing back and forth between drum and guitar as appropriate, all with only a single track.
The Tracks and Timings toolbar also has a timings button; clicking on it will open a popup menu with various timings grid-related options, such as adding a new timing grid or deleting an existing one.
When this new version of Light-O-Rama opens a sequence created with a previous version (in which there was no such thing as a timing grid), it will automatically create one freeform timing grid per track in the sequence.
The new Light-O-Rama Verifier program can be used to check for certain types of problems with your Light-O-Rama configuration, schedule, shows, and sequences. By using the Verifier, you may be able to fix these problems before they cause any issues when your show is played.
In previous versions, the Beat Wizard and the VU Wizard would always add timings, regardless of whether they were also adding effects or not. They can now add timings and effects independently of each other.
Also, when inserting effects, they can now optionally snap them to the timings being used.
In the Sequence Editor, if the play range is set to anything other than the full sequence, and an effect event starts before the play range starts but ends during (or after) the play range, previous versions of Light-O-Rama would not control the lights based upon that event. Instead, now, the portion of the event within the play range is sent to the lights (for example, if the event is a fade up from 0% to 100% from 36 seconds to 38 seconds, and the play range starts at 37 seconds, the lights will be sent a command to fade up from 50% to 100%).
In previous versions, the dialog was a fixed size, which could not be changed. It can now be resized or maximized, and will remember its sizing and positioning even after the Sequence Editor is closed and restarted.
The dialog's Existing Sequence tab used to always show a list of folders and sequences in a single way. It now has an option to change the view, similarly to Windows Explorer. For example, if the "Details" view is selected, then in addition to file names, details such as file sizes and modification dates will be displayed. Clicking on a column header in the "Details" view will sort the files by that column; clicking on it again will sort in reverse order. The dialog will remember the selected view and sorting behavior even after the Sequence Editor is closed and restarted.
The Existing Sequence tab now also has a "Search" box. If you type something into this box, only files with that somewhere in their name will be listed. Wildcard characters (*, ? and #) are supported in the search box.
The Standard Toolbar's "Open" button would previously always open the dialog to the "Existing Sequence" tab. It now instead opens it to whichever of "Existing Sequence" or "Recent Sequence" was most recently used.
When you create a new musical sequence, the New Musical Sequence dialog now lets you base the initial channels for the sequence off of the contents of a channel configuration file, rather than simply specifying a number of channels.