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What's New in Light-O-Rama
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 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.
The Pixel Editor now shows a checkmark in the menu next to the currently selected waveform size.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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".
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:
This new firmware for CTB16PCG3 controllers supports 500K communications speed.
The G3-MP3-Director is a new device that will replace the DC-MP3.
M4A media files are now supported in musical sequences.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
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".
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.
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".
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.
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.
This version fixes the following bugs:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
The following changes were made in this version:
The Tapper Wizard was improved in several ways:
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.
This version fixes the following bugs:
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.
If you create a musical sequence based on an MP3 file, the New Musical Sequence dialog automatically uses the artist, album and song names from the MP3 itself (if the MP3 is tagged with this information). You can still change these in the dialog if you wish.
Previous versions of Light-O-Rama only supported normally open circuits for use as input triggers. Normally closed circuits are now supported as well, via the Hardware Utility's LOR controller configuration screen.
You may need to update the firmware of your controller in order to take advantage of this new feature.
You may need to update the firmware of your controller in order to take advantage of this new feature.
You can configure various settings about the tooltips, such as how long they take to open and how they close, via the Display Preferences dialog.
The Animator used to display fades in a somewhat jerky manner, only updating the display after the color of a cell has changed by a fairly significant amount. Depending upon the speed of the fade, this would lead to fades more as steps through several intensities rather than as actual fades (note that this only affected the appearance of the Animator, not the appearance of any real lights that you had hooked up via controllers). Fades should now appear more smoothly in the Animator.
Various changes were made to the Animator to decrease the amount of CPU time that it takes to display the animation.
During play, the Animator only redraws the animation every so often, rather than every time that something changes. This is to try to ensure that it does not use too much CPU time. In the past, the amount of time between redraws was a certain constant value; now, you can modify it in the Display Preferences dialog, to try to strike an appropriate balance between CPU usage and smoothness of display for your individual computer.
When the Animator's controls are hidden, expanding and contracting the Animator's window is supposed to also automatically resize the drawing area within the window. However, due to certain sizing requirements, the drawing area can only be certain possible sizes for any given animation. So, when the window was manually resized by clicking and dragging a side or a corner, the drawing area would remain the same size, until the window got large enough to hold the next possible size, at which time the drawing area would "jump" to the new size.
To make this autosizing quicker and easier, the ability to manually resize by dragging a side or a corner of the window has been replaced by "zoom" buttons on the toolbar, which will immediately resize the window (and the drawing area) to the next possible size.