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When a sequence grid is displayed on your screen, each row in the grid will be of a certain type. Different row types can hold different kinds of effects.
Some row types are displayed with a symbol as a prefix to help identify the type of grid row. Here is a summary of the symbols that are used:
A channel is assigned to a prop, which belongs to the preview associated with the sequence. A sequence can only control the channels defined in its associated preview. In order to add a channel to a sequence, you must edit the preview using the Preview Design screen. Channel names and colors are also derived from the preview, so changing the name or color requires a change to the preview.
In the Sequencer, channels are represented as horizontal rows. On the left side of a row is the channel name; on the right side is a grid showing what effects are assigned to the channel at what times. The grid for a regular channel is displayed with a gray background. For example, the following sequence has 4 channels, and they are named "Window", "Door", "Eaves", and "Gutter". Each one of them has an "on" effect that turns the respective channel on at 100% intensity for 1/2 of a second.
A sequence with 4 channels
See the Adding Effects topic for more details. To change an existing effect on a regular channel row, just double-click on the effect and a pop-up window will prompt for the new effect. For example, you can use this to change a twinkle to a shimmer.
Prop Definition screen for the Window prop
Right-clicking on a channel's name brings up a popup menu with various channel-related tools:
Regular channel rows can be dragged up and down to rearrange their order. This has no effect on your lights; it only affects the order that they are displayed in the Sequencer. Each grid view can display channels in a different order - changing the order in the currently displayed grid view does not change the order in any other grid view.
When you play a sequence in the Sequencer, the area just to the right of the channel name flashes with the color that you selected as it turns on and off; it will also fade up and down, shimmer, twinkle, and so forth, just as your lights will. You can change the width of the "color sample" area in the Sequence Grid Preferences dialog.
An RGB channel is a group of three channels - a red channel, a green channel, and a blue channel - which can be combined to produce any color. A device may have a single RGB channel, like an RGB flood light; or it can have many RGB channels, like a Cosmic Color Ribbon. In the Sequencer, an RGB channel is displayed with a black background. Lighting effects on an RGB channel are represented in the row as colors:
8 RGB channels, the first one expanded
It is important to note that the colors displayed on your computer's screen in the Sequencer are not necessarily the same colors that will appear on your actual lights, and in some cases may actually be very different. Different RGB devices may produce different colors when their constituent red, green, and blue channels are set to the exact same intensities. So, you may have to experiment a bit to figure out colors as displayed in the Sequencer that wind up looking the way you want on your actual RGB devices.
The primary tool for applying colors to an RGB channel is the Color Fade tool. This tool allows you to specify a start color and an end color; when applied to a time range in the RGB channel, it will cause that time range to gradually fade from the start color to the end color.
Another tool which may be particularly useful for RGB channels is the Fill tool, which (on a normal channel) allows you to click an empty area and cause it to become a fade from the preceding intensity to the following intensity. For example, if you have a normal channel which has a fade up from 40 to 60, followed by the lights being off, followed by a fade down from 80 to 20, then applying the Fill tool to the area where the lights are off will cause that area to become a fade up from 60 to 80 (because the effect preceding the empty area ended at intensity 60, and the effect following the empty area started at 80). On an RGB channel, the Fill tool will instead cause a color fade from the preceding color to the following color, allowing you to quickly set up smooth color transitions across several different colors.
The Chase and Repeat tools may also be of particular use on RGB channels. The Chase tool causes the lighting effects in a single channel (or RGB channel) to be applied through a range of following channels (or RGB channels), offset in time a bit with each passing row, so that the effect seems to be "chasing" through the channels (or RGB channels) as time passes. The Repeat tool causes one or more copies of the lighting effects in your selection to be applied immediately following your selection.
Other tools, such as Max Intensity or Fade Up or Fade Down, can also be applied to RGB channels. Doing so will cause the tool to be applied using the current color shown on the toolbar. For example, if the toolbar color is solid blue, applying the Fade Up tool, with intensities 0 to 100, to an RGB channel will cause the toolbar blue to fade up from 0 to 100, thus making the RGB channel itself fade from black to blue.
To edit an effect on an RGB channel row, just double-click on the effect and a pop-up window will prompt for the new colors and effect.
The RGB Channel Settings dialog
Right-clicking on an RGB channel's button will open up a popup menu with various channel and RGB channel-related tools:
RGB channel rows can be dragged up and down to rearrange their order. This has no effect on your lights; it only affects the order that they are displayed in the Sequencer. Each grid view can display channels in a different order - changing the order in the currently displayed grid view does not change the order in any other grid view.
When you play a sequence in the Sequencer, the area just to the right of the RGB channel name is filled with the color of the current effect; the same color as your lights will display. You can change the width of the "color sample" area in the Sequence Grid Preferences dialog.
RGB channels are added to the sequence by adding props to the preview associated with the sequence.
Motion effect rows contain motion effects, which are moving color patterns applied to props (or groups of props) built with RGB pixels. For example, there are motion effects for spirals, snowflakes, fireworks, pictures, text, etc.
You can only add motion effect rows to a sequence if you have a Pro level license.
Motion effect on a pixel tree
Motion effects can be created using the Motion Effect Generator or the SuperStar Sequencer. The SuperStar Sequencer requires a separate license. To edit an existing effect on a motion effect row, just double-click on the effect -- the Motion Effect Generator or SuperStar Sequencer will open and allow you to make changes to the effect.
Motion effects can be displayed on lights connected to Enhanced LOR networks, as well as DMX networks. They cannot be displayed on LOR networks that are not enhanced. Furthermore, they cannot be used in a stand-alone sequence that is loaded into a controller.
Motion effect rows are displayed with a black background. The row names have a "Δ" prefix. Effects on a motion row alternate colors in order to show where one effect stops and the next effect starts. By default the 2 colors are white and gray. So the first effect on a row will be white, the second effect gray, the third effect white, etc. The colors shown on the grid have nothing to do with the colors that are used in the effect.
3 motion effect rows
You can customize the alternating colors in the Motion Effect Preferences screen. Also on that preferences screen, you can enable a feature that displays the first 4 letters of the effect's name on the sequence grid. This can help identify the effect. Here is the same example with name display enabled. You can see that the first row contains a series of Colorwash effects, the second contains Bars effects, and the third row contains Spiral effects.
Motion effects with naming enabled
Motion effect rows are created automatically for pixel-based props and groups when you create a sequence and set the "Default number of motion effect rows for pixel props" field to a number greater than 0 (see the New Animation Sequence and New Musical Sequence dialogs). You can create them later (or add more) by right-clicking on a prop, group, motion row, or channel name on the left side of the sequence grid and selecting "Add/Modify Motion Effect Rows".
You can remove a motion effect row by right-clicking on the motion effect row name and selecting "Delete Motion Effect Row". You can do some bulk deletions by selecting Sequence > Delete Grid Rows from the main menu.
A subsequence is a sequence that is used as a part of another sequence (its "parent sequence", or "the main sequence"). Subsequences are displayed with a "§" prefix in the sequence grid.
A sequence grid row for a subsequence can be turned on and off, using the Sequencer, in the same ways that other channels can be. When the channel in the main sequence is turned on, the subsequence will begin playing, from its beginning. It will continue playing for as long as the channel remains on; if play of the subsequence reaches its end before the channel has been turned off in the main sequence, the subsequence will simply loop back to its beginning and continue playing.
When the channel in the main sequence is turned off, the subsequence will stop playing. If the channel is subsequently turned back on, the subsequence will start playing again, from its beginning (not from the last point that it left off at).
In S5, the effects contained in a subsequence will be displayed in the playback window while the sequence is being played. This is different from prior versions.
Tip: Do not set up the same physical unit and circuit to be a channel in a sequence and a channel in a subsequence of that sequence (or two channels in two different subsequences of a sequence). Doing so will likely cause unexpected and undesired results, as the two channels compete for control over the same physical circuit.
Note: If a sequence with a Windows shell command is used as a subsequence, that command will not be executed. Only the shell command associated with the main sequence (if any) will be executed.
Right-click on a subsequence's name and select "Modify Subsequence" to change its name, color, or referenced sequence file.
Right-click on a subsequence's name and select "Delete Subsequence" to remove it completely from the sequence.
Beat channels are intended to hold sequence effects related to the beat of the music; however, you can put any regular channel effect anywhere you want in a beat channel. Beat channels can only be added to musical sequences and are shown with a "♪" symbol as a prefix. Beat channels are not shown in the playback window when the sequence is played and they cannot control real lights. Beat channels stay frozen at the top of the sequence grid so they are always visible. You can add as many beat channels as you want to a sequence, there are no limits.
If you have many beat channels in a sequence, you might not want to see all of them at one time - as it could take up a lot of valuable screen space. You can control this by selecting the Beat Channel Row Count item from the Grid View menu.
2 beat channels at the top of a sequence
Beat channels can be created:
•Within any of the 4 audio wizards.
•By right-click on an existing beat channel name and selecting "Add Beat Channel"
Right-click on a beat channel's name and select "Modify Beat Channel" to change its name and/or color.
Right-click on a beat channel's name and select "Delete Beat Channel" to remove it completely from the sequence.
You can copy sequencing from a beat channel to other areas of your sequence using copy/paste.
An animation sequence (but not a musical sequence) can contain loops. When the Show Player or the Sequencer plays a sequence with loops, when the end of a loop is reached, the sequence will go back to the beginning of the loop. This will happen a certain number of times (which you specify), after which the sequence will continue on past the end of the loop.
Each time through a loop, you can have the sequence speed up, slow down, or remain at the same speed.
A sequence can contain many loops. Loops can be nested - that is, a loop can contain other loops.
Loop rows are shown with a white background are fixed to the top of the sequence grid. They do not scroll away when the rest of the sequence is scrolled vertically.
For example, the following picture shows a sequence with a loop starting at 1 second and ending at 2 seconds. The number of times the loop will repeat is shown in the middle of loop (1 in this case). If the loop were to speed up after each pass, then the repeat count would be followed by a "+" symbol. If the loop were to slow down after each pass, then the repeat count would be followed by a "-" symbol. In this case the loop speed is set to stay the same, so no symbol is displayed.
A sequence with a loop starting at 1 second and ending at 2 seconds
See the Loops in Animation Sequences topic for more information.