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Torque
09-24-2013, 11:13 PM
Ran a final test of all hardware last night, wanted to share, so here it is.

I have 4 faces measuring 36"X36" at the boards extent. Working from the holidaycoro method, I used rather expensive sheets of dense black plastic, approximately 1/2" thick by the aforementioned 36" square. The hand-drawn sketches were blown up 400% from the 8 1/2 X 11 paper I used, and the resulting copy was then glued to the plastic boards, which I then drilled hundreds of 3/8" holes through for each face. The frankenstein and pumpkin are each 8 channels, with the vampire and skull only having 7. We hot-glued each and every mini incan holder into their respective holes, and the sometimes jagged angle of the bulb seems to add to the effect. 3 layers of a semi-transparent black cloth screen material are stretched across the front, somewhat hiding the 2X6 frame that surrounds each face. I ordered up a Ren8ss and a Ren24ss from Wayne the Thursday before Labor day and they arrived on that Tuesday (tyvm Wayne for the super speedy service), and put them together in about 10 hours time.

I use Papagayo for the lip syncing, and import the phenomes into Vixen using the converter found here on diyc. Doing it this way actually makes the time spent in vixen almost nil, save for fading in/out and adding the blinks to the eyes. An Asus netbook runs the show, with an FTDI usb>rs485 cable I bought from mouser. That cable came bare wire ended, and I soldered the 3 needed wires to a cut end of straight-thru cat5 cable, used a cheap rj-45 female-female coupler, then the crossover cable to the first renard. The installer program from ftdi took literrally only a few seconds and popped up my new virtual com6 port, and vixen easily recognized it. Everything worked well on the first test, except a poor solder joint at one of the opto's current limiting resistor trigger side, and some unexplained short between 2 of the pic's output pins that had 2 channels lighting when either/or was commanded. Diag and repair took only a few minutes, and was back outside setting up the tripod. Hope to add a FM-02 and be up and running this weekend, have alot of songs from last year that shouldn't take long to tweak a little and reimport/sequence, along with of course, the highlight of the show, "This is Halloween".

Without further adieu, enjoy.


http://youtu.be/jBKlmG2oAB8

Skunberg
09-25-2013, 06:32 PM
Fun! Great job!

Brian

Robo
09-25-2013, 08:25 PM
Love Frank!

djulien
09-25-2013, 10:06 PM
nice job!

Are the teeth on the red Drakula hard-wired to one of the mouth shapes, or controlled independently (~ eyes)?

don

scottmcm
09-25-2013, 11:06 PM
Inspiring!

Torque
09-26-2013, 02:19 PM
nice job!

Are the teeth on the red Drakula hard-wired to one of the mouth shapes, or controlled independently (~ eyes)?

don


Thanks!

Drac's 2 teeth are part of the top lip channel. I had initially planned on splitting that lip into 2 channels and having the portion inside the "o" face stay lit, but for some reason totally forgot when it came time to glue them in. To do so would have made for 2 very small channels + alot of unused lamps behind that would require heatshrinking to black out. In retrospect, I'm actually very pleased with the way he turned out, I was very skeptical until I was finally able to see it in action from within papagayo.

Another reply said he liked Frank- he's our favorite, too. Having a total of 5 mouth shapes makes him very easy to lipsync, compared to the other characters' 4 shapes each, which requires some artistic license by altering the phenomes on certain words. For example, the word scare comes out "etc etc E etc etc" which is 5 callouts for the same shape-- i would recode that word something like "etc etc AI etc etc" to get the desired effect.

Torque
10-24-2013, 02:33 PM
Hi all. Finally got some decent video up on the u-tube, wanted to pop in here and share them with you.

First off, This is Halloween from the movie Nightmare Before Christmas.


http://youtu.be/JIN8GeUYlio

Torque
10-24-2013, 02:34 PM
Then we have Boris Pickett's Monster Mash.



http://youtu.be/LYe5GYjT7oA

Torque
10-24-2013, 02:34 PM
Next up, a prequel to the Monster Mash, The Transylvania Twist.


http://youtu.be/S92hdrCNI7U

Torque
10-24-2013, 02:35 PM
A Classic follows, The Purple People Eater.


http://youtu.be/rsgLYT2Er0c

Torque
10-24-2013, 02:35 PM
Adam Sandler performs a perfect rendition of Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London.


http://youtu.be/MJ7E6_giBuU

Torque
10-24-2013, 02:36 PM
Every Halloween Light show must include the Ghostbusters Theme Song.



http://youtu.be/_BOrMRmGLJo

Torque
10-24-2013, 02:37 PM
A Halloween Party favorite since the mid 80's. Dead Man's Party by Oingo Boingo


http://youtu.be/aX4rAQ39Xag

Torque
10-24-2013, 02:37 PM
Now the playlist moves more towards the Hard Rock side of things with Rob Zombie's Dragula.


http://youtu.be/9sBn-YsUep8

Torque
10-24-2013, 02:38 PM
A little known KISS tune follows, entitled "Unholy"


http://youtu.be/h1uT9AeO9uo

Torque
10-24-2013, 02:38 PM
And the finale, which was actually the first song I sequenced last year, and the longest song, a (recorded) live redition of Metallica's Enter Sandman.


http://youtu.be/kzpyx4Bruhg

Thanks all for watching, Questions, critiques, and criticisms are all welcome.

~Torque

DrNeutron
10-24-2013, 02:49 PM
Love it, very well done!
I especially like the different faces.
Frank is the best!

hasoon
10-27-2013, 11:30 AM
Awesome job, Would your share any of your sequences? I really wanted to do the Rob Zombie but ran out of time this year.

ebrady
10-29-2013, 07:00 AM
Awesome job!
Glad you were able to make good use of the plugin! +1 on Rob Zombie, care to share? :)

Torque
10-29-2013, 11:12 PM
Well Dragula seems to be a hit. I have no problems sharing any of my work. Just pm me you email address and which song(s) you want, I'll get a .zip sent to you with my .vix file, the papagayo files and their associated .wav files and one other file you'll want.

jukingeo
11-10-2013, 11:18 AM
...

I use Papagayo for the lip syncing, and import the phenomes into Vixen using the converter found here on diyc. Doing it this way actually makes the time spent in vixen almost nil, save for fading in/out and adding the blinks to the eyes. ...


Excellent job on your Halloween display. I am curious as to more detailed info in regards to how this Papagayo software works and how it interfaces with Vixen. As it is I usually can only add one or two songs a year to my Singing Pumpkin display because it takes such a LONG time to program Vixen. The thing that takes the longest is to sychronize voices. If this program can cut that time down for me, I certainly could add more songs a year.

Thanx,
Geo

Torque
11-10-2013, 12:09 PM
Excellent job on your Halloween display. I am curious as to more detailed info in regards to how this Papagayo software works and how it interfaces with Vixen. As it is I usually can only add one or two songs a year to my Singing Pumpkin display because it takes such a LONG time to program Vixen. The thing that takes the longest is to sychronize voices. If this program can cut that time down for me, I certainly could add more songs a year.

Thanx,
Geo

Well, first things first. Get papagayo, iirc it doesn't even have to install. Then, use an audio file editor, I use a product called wavepad (free 1 week demo, $35 to buy), I'm sure there are freebies out there to get the job done just as efficiently. Open up your complete song in the editor, and then start cutting it up into little pieces, about 13-25 seconds long max. Try to make the cut at exactly a whole second interval. I actually zoom in until I can make the cut @ a thousandth of a second. These little files need to be saved in .wav format for papagayo to use. Once you have your song all cut up into 12-20 little pieces, open papagayo and start a new project pointing to your first .wav chunk.

Now papagayo does not have alot of support or many tutorials available online, but check out the few there are for the basic jist of how to use it. I'm not going to write a complete tutorial here, but I'll give some tips. This year I had all my actual displays done before I started syncing, so I took multiple pitcures of each face from a tripod with the different mouth shapes and made little 200X200 jpegs of them which you can put in your papagayo/faces folder, but realistically, the three sets it comes with for preview will work.

You have papagayo open and your first audio chunk is showing up as a waveform, time to add the "script". Click play several times, and get the lines typed out or copied/pasted into the text box, and listen again to make sure you have ALL the words and lines, before clicking the "english" button. Clicking that button takes all your text and graphically stretches it across the whole audio waveform from one end of the file to the other. Now you click play and you'll see a mess, nothing lines up, but your mouths are moving, just not making sense. Grabbing/dragging near the END of any phrase box will move that end one way or the other, stretching or shrinking the phrase, and grabbing/dragging the box near the center will move the phrase left or right. Work those phrases around till you think they are where they need to be. Double clicking any phrase or word box will play only the audio portion that box overlays, this is real handy. You can also left click/drag across the audio waveform and the audio will play at whatever speed/ direction your pointer moves. Get your phrases set, then move the words within the phrases in the same way. once you think you've done a really good job at just getting each word to correspond to the music just right, click play again and watch the whole piece. You mouths probably move at the right time now, but still kinda looking like an old dubbed asian fight movie. Bottom portion of the waveform has the phenomes, and you can now move down there and start moving THOSE to actually line up to the correct syllables in the word, to further finesse and refine what you see. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT This year, This is Halloween took me 10-16 hours, but was the first song this season, and first song with multiple voices. By the time I got to Dragula- the last one I did for this year completely from scratch, I was done in about 3 hours start to finish.

SO now you have a bunch of little .pgo files. If you are coding savvy (I'm not), you CAN peek into those files with a text editor and see what they do, and get an idea of how ebrady's plugin parses it's data. Really not necessary, but I DID use a text editor to copy/paste my backup singers voices, rather than stretch out their parts individually by hand. Not going into alot of detail on how that plugin works, (see this link (http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/showthread.php?20949-Papagayo-to-Vixen-Plug-in&highlight=papagayo+converter) for more info). Start a new vixen sequence, set your framerate in milliseconds to match the framerate in fps from papagayo, and point to the complete mp3 that you cut apart and converted earlier. Use the plugin to point to your first .pgo file, and define your channels to the phenomes in the plugin's pop up window. Sometimes, after clicking the 'convert' button and then closing the plugin, when you look at your vixen sequence, the converter has actually added a few milliseconds or a few seconds of data. It ALWAYS adds one extra frame, so check your math, computing where you should be at the beginning and end of each conversion, and turn off any unnecessary frames before you import your next 'chunk'. I realised a work around was to open the .pgo in the text editor and make sure that the framecount (2nd or 3rd item at the top of the document) was exactly what I wanted it to be. At any point during the importing if things get botched, just highlight/ turn off all cells in the messed up portion and retry the import again till you get it right.

I literally spend 15-20 minutes from the start of a vixen sequence to having all 32 channels populated and timed, once the work is done in papagayo. It didn't happen on my first song, but really becomes very easy once you got the first one all sewn together properly.

jukingeo
11-14-2013, 12:33 PM
Well, first things first. Get papagayo, iirc it doesn't even have to install. Then, use an audio file editor, I use a product called wavepad (free 1 week demo, $35 to buy), I'm sure there are freebies out there to get the job done just as efficiently. Open up your complete song in the editor, and then start cutting it up into little pieces, about 13-25 seconds long max. Try to make the cut at exactly a whole second interval. I actually zoom in until I can make the cut @ a thousandth of a second. These little files need to be saved in .wav format for papagayo to use. Once you have your song all cut up into 12-20 little pieces, open papagayo and start a new project pointing to your first .wav chunk.

Now papagayo does not have alot of support or many tutorials available online, but check out the few there are for the basic jist of how to use it. I'm not going to write a complete tutorial here, but I'll give some tips. This year I had all my actual displays done before I started syncing, so I took multiple pitcures of each face from a tripod with the different mouth shapes and made little 200X200 jpegs of them which you can put in your papagayo/faces folder, but realistically, the three sets it comes with for preview will work.

You have papagayo open and your first audio chunk is showing up as a waveform, time to add the "script". Click play several times, and get the lines typed out or copied/pasted into the text box, and listen again to make sure you have ALL the words and lines, before clicking the "english" button. Clicking that button takes all your text and graphically stretches it across the whole audio waveform from one end of the file to the other. Now you click play and you'll see a mess, nothing lines up, but your mouths are moving, just not making sense. Grabbing/dragging near the END of any phrase box will move that end one way or the other, stretching or shrinking the phrase, and grabbing/dragging the box near the center will move the phrase left or right. Work those phrases around till you think they are where they need to be. Double clicking any phrase or word box will play only the audio portion that box overlays, this is real handy. You can also left click/drag across the audio waveform and the audio will play at whatever speed/ direction your pointer moves. Get your phrases set, then move the words within the phrases in the same way. once you think you've done a really good job at just getting each word to correspond to the music just right, click play again and watch the whole piece. You mouths probably move at the right time now, but still kinda looking like an old dubbed asian fight movie. Bottom portion of the waveform has the phenomes, and you can now move down there and start moving THOSE to actually line up to the correct syllables in the word, to further finesse and refine what you see. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT This year, This is Halloween took me 10-16 hours, but was the first song this season, and first song with multiple voices. By the time I got to Dragula- the last one I did for this year completely from scratch, I was done in about 3 hours start to finish.

SO now you have a bunch of little .pgo files. If you are coding savvy (I'm not), you CAN peek into those files with a text editor and see what they do, and get an idea of how ebrady's plugin parses it's data. Really not necessary, but I DID use a text editor to copy/paste my backup singers voices, rather than stretch out their parts individually by hand. Not going into alot of detail on how that plugin works, (see this link (http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/showthread.php?20949-Papagayo-to-Vixen-Plug-in&highlight=papagayo+converter) for more info). Start a new vixen sequence, set your framerate in milliseconds to match the framerate in fps from papagayo, and point to the complete mp3 that you cut apart and converted earlier. Use the plugin to point to your first .pgo file, and define your channels to the phenomes in the plugin's pop up window. Sometimes, after clicking the 'convert' button and then closing the plugin, when you look at your vixen sequence, the converter has actually added a few milliseconds or a few seconds of data. It ALWAYS adds one extra frame, so check your math, computing where you should be at the beginning and end of each conversion, and turn off any unnecessary frames before you import your next 'chunk'. I realised a work around was to open the .pgo in the text editor and make sure that the framecount (2nd or 3rd item at the top of the document) was exactly what I wanted it to be. At any point during the importing if things get botched, just highlight/ turn off all cells in the messed up portion and retry the import again till you get it right.

I literally spend 15-20 minutes from the start of a vixen sequence to having all 32 channels populated and timed, once the work is done in papagayo. It didn't happen on my first song, but really becomes very easy once you got the first one all sewn together properly.

WOW! That sure sounds like a 'mess' of a job to get that all done. Yet it seems like in the end the time savings (via to coding straight out in Vixen) is considerable. I guess I would have to see it and follow along with it to make sense of it.

Thanks for the info. I probably will be back with some questions down the road. Right now I have Christmas on the brain and I have to get things sorted out with my Christmas display. There is much to do, and I have yet to put a single string of lights up. (Probably will do that during the Thanksgiving weekend).

Geo

Torque
11-14-2013, 09:18 PM
WOW! That sure sounds like a 'mess' of a job to get that all done. Yet it seems like in the end the time savings (via to coding straight out in Vixen) is considerable. I guess I would have to see it and follow along with it to make sense of it.

Thanks for the info. I probably will be back with some questions down the road. Right now I have Christmas on the brain and I have to get things sorted out with my Christmas display. There is much to do, and I have yet to put a single string of lights up. (Probably will do that during the Thanksgiving weekend).

Geo


Aye. Same here. Will be my first Christmas deal, just getting the layout sorted now, with just under 100 GECE's and about 64ish incan channels, I should have some very minor color coordinated blinky flashy sometime around Dec 23. :cry: We were even throwing around the idea of getting Frankenstein a santa hat, and having him come out for 1-2 songs just for giggles.

Mayhap after the season is over maybe one of those around here more versed in tutorial writing/ screen vidcap creation/editing than I might get with me on teamviewer and I can demonstrate.

plasmata
12-07-2013, 09:18 AM
Well, first things first. Get papagayo, iirc it doesn't even have to install. Then, use an audio file editor, I use a product called wavepad (free 1 week demo, $35 to buy), I'm sure there are freebies out there to get the job done just as efficiently. Open up your complete song in the editor, and then start cutting it up into little pieces, about 13-25 seconds long max. Try to make the cut at exactly a whole second interval. I actually zoom in until I can make the cut @ a thousandth of a second. These little files need to be saved in .wav format for papagayo to use. Once you have your song all cut up into 12-20 little pieces, open papagayo and start a new project pointing to your first .wav chunk.
A really nice free audio editor is Audacity. It can do everything you will need for this and it is, of course, free.

ebrady
12-07-2013, 09:51 AM
+1 on Audacity, excellent program, I have used it for years !

hasoon
09-18-2014, 07:00 PM
Torque , Im having trouble with the Dragula sequence you sent me, can you re-send it along with the profile you used? I emailed you also but was not sure the best way to reach you. Thanks!