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A 'Preview' is a representation of your light display. It defines the lighting elements, how they are arranged, and what channels they use. Creating a preview is required before you can create a sequence.
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 define every channel that will be controlled by your sequences.
When you play a sequence using the Sequencer, you can also watch the sequence's preview in the Playback window. The drawing will change as if it were the lights that the sequence controls - that is, parts of the drawing will turn on and off, fade up and down, twinkle, and shimmer, just as the sequence commands.
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.
A preview can be assigned a background image (for example, a photo of your house), which you can draw the lights on top of. The brightness of the background image can be adjusted from within the Sequencer.
One Preview > Many Sequences
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.
You don't necessarily need to create a preview from scratch. S5 can import an existing display definition from a variety of sources.
The Preview Design Window
Previews are modified using the Preview Design window. It can be accessed several ways:
•To create a preview, go to the Previews window and click the "+" icon.
•To modify a preview, go to the Previews window and double-click on a preview name.
•To modify the preview for an open sequence, click the preview name on the sequence's toolbar and select Preview Design from the drop-down menu; or you can select Preview Design from the Sequence menu.
For details on how to create and modify previews, please see the Preview Design topic.
The Preview Design window with lights drawn on top of a background photo of a house