Creating a preview is the first step in using the Light-O-Rama S5 Sequencer. No sequencing can be done without a preview. While it is possible to create a preview outside of the Preview Design window (via import, or using the Quick Preview feature when creating a new sequence), any editing of a preview must be done in Preview Design.
A preview defines the lighting elements in your display and how they are arranged. It allows your sequences to be simulated during playback. A preview can be a quick rough sketch, or a detailed, highly realistic depiction of your display. It is up to you to decide how much effort you want to put in to it. In any case, the preview must accurately define every channel that will be controlled by your sequences.
The display elements in a preview are referred to as 'props'. You must add a prop to the preview for every display element that you want to control. A prop can be as simple as a single channel string of traditional lights, or as complex as a big pixel tree or matrix. When you create a prop, you define the type and color of lights that it uses, its shape, and the channels assigned to it. If one of the built-in shapes doesn't meet your needs, then you can define a custom shape.
A sample of some of the shapes that come built-in to S5
Props can be grouped together.
•You might do this so that the props appear together in the sequence grid.
•You might also create a group so that you can apply an effect to the group instead of individual props. This enables things like sweeping a color across your entire display.
One preview can be associated with multiple sequences. Update the preview once, and the next time you open any sequence associated with that preview, the update will automatically be applied.
The Preview Design window showing a sample preview
At the top of the Preview Design window are:
•Save button - saves any changes to the preview and closes the window. This also increments the revision number by 1.
•Cancel button - closes the window without saving any changes.
•Help button - opens the help file to the Preview Design topic.
•The Preview Name field. The name must be unique -- having 2 previews with the same name is not allowed. If a preview is already associated with one or more sequences and you change the preview name, the association with sequences will be preserved. See the topic on Naming Strategies for a deeper discussion of how to name previews.
•The Revision Number field. The number is maintained by the system and incremented by 1 every time the preview is saved. You cannot change it manually.
Below this there are 5 tabs:
•Design - this is where you will do most of your work, creating props and arranging them so that they match your display.
•Channel Conflicts & Bulk Changes - this tab will show a green check mark if everything is OK, or a warning sign if there are problems with the channels you have assigned to your props. The tab allows you to quickly identify the issues and resolve them. It can also be used to make changes that affect multiple props, such as when you change a controller's unit id (e.g. 01 to 11) or network (e.g. Regular to Aux A).
•Other Warnings - this tab will show a green check mark if everything is OK, or a warning sign if there are problems with prop definitions (e.g. a sub-prop is not assigned the same channels as its master prop).
•String Summary - this tab displays a table of all strings defined by every prop in the preview. If you want a print-out of your props and channel assignments to carry with you as you wire up your display, you can use this table, copy it to the clipboard, and paste it into any spreadsheet program. In the spreadsheet you can sort and filter the data, add and remove columns, and print it out.
•Statistics - this tab displays statistics about the preview: number of props, groups, pixels, channels, etc.