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View Full Version : Flickering, shorted out bulb effect programming in Vixen.



jukingeo
09-20-2014, 10:04 PM
Hello All,

This is going to be my first year actually using Vixen and my Renard controllers to control a Halloween display outside of my Singing Pumpkins. So all my triggers will be automated through Vixen.

Now a question I have is that a part of my program involves a dimming and flickering effect as if a light was shorting out. I would like to know what is a convincing way to program this within Vixen.

Edit: I figured that since there was some confusion with my original post I am going to edit it to make it more clear.

First off I am using Vixen 2

Next, what I am mainly looking for is a power drain effect like when something with a lot of power is turned on. Such as the room lights flickering and dimming when someone fires up an electric chair...very similar to that. Not just a regular dimming but with a little bit of flicker in it as well.

Thank You,

Geo

OregonLights
09-21-2014, 12:40 AM
I used to do this in Vixen 2.1 by turning on the intensity of each cell to a different intensity to match magnitude of the music spectrum up above the sequencing window. It's tedious but very convincing. The duration is short so not a big deal. For longer episodes I'd use the "random" function and it worked nearly as well.

I say all that because if you're using Vixen 3 there is no random effect. So the way I suggest is to zoom way in and place many, very small, individual "intensity" effects and vary the intensity to follow the music spectrum. Again, while a bit tedious it should be very convincing. Mine always makes me laugh when I watch it.

Hope this helps!

corytcline
09-21-2014, 09:44 AM
Experiment with candle flicker and shimmer without opening vixen3 and looking I'm thinkin both effects are customizable and you should be able to achieve the look you want without having to place several small effects.

corytcline
09-21-2014, 09:46 AM
You can also do a ramp and go in and add intensity levels in the effect to make it ramp up and down as often or random as you like.

dvc2013
09-21-2014, 12:13 PM
Here's another idea for flickering posted by JackFrost in another thread. If you are using incandscent bulbs try using a fluorescent starter in series. I tried it to satisfy my curiousity and it works great.

See post #38 in this thread,

http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/showthread.php?33688-Halloween-Spooky-Eyes&highlight=Spooky+eyes

sporadic
09-21-2014, 12:33 PM
Not sure this is what you're looking for, but I like this effect in Vixen 3.

Using Twinkle:
- Coverage 50%
- Average Pulse 50ms
- Pulse variation 30
- Min Level - 50%
- Max Level - 100%
- Level variation - 50%
- Twinkle independently

I use this a lot throughout the sequence for a shimmering effect, but a good example of the effect itself can be seen in my upstairs windows starting at 40 seconds here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhwF4Qj-Feo

jukingeo
09-21-2014, 01:04 PM
Hello All,

Thank you for the replies. I don't know why, but I should have mentioned that I have Vixen 2 and not 3. While I do have 3, I am not using it for shows right now because I am not proficient with it yet.


I used to do this in Vixen 2.1 by turning on the intensity of each cell to a different intensity to match magnitude of the music spectrum up above the sequencing window. It's tedious but very convincing. The duration is short so not a big deal. For longer episodes I'd use the "random" function and it worked nearly as well.

I think using random might help, but I would have to see what the outcome looks like. As you said, I do not have to make a long sequence with the flickering, so while programming by hand is tedious, it is only for a very short duration. For my program it is only going to happen once.



I say all that because if you're using Vixen 3 there is no random effect. So the way I suggest is to zoom way in and place many, very small, individual "intensity" effects and vary the intensity to follow the music spectrum. Again, while a bit tedious it should be very convincing. Mine always makes me laugh when I watch it.

Hope this helps!

Wow, I hadn't noticed that in Vixen 3, but then again I am just starting to learn it. But that is a bummer that it doesn't have that feature.


Experiment with candle flicker and shimmer without opening vixen3 and looking I'm thinkin both effects are customizable and you should be able to achieve the look you want without having to place several small effects.

Again, it is my fault to forget to mention that I am still using Vixen 2.


You can also do a ramp and go in and add intensity levels in the effect to make it ramp up and down as often or random as you like.

What I am mainly looking for is a power drain effect like when something with a lot of power is turned on. Such as the room lights dimming when someone fires up an electric chair...very similar to that.


Here's another idea for flickering posted by JackFrost in another thread. If you are using incandscent bulbs try using a fluorescent starter in series. I tried it to satisfy my curiousity and it works great.

See post #38 in this thread,

http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/showthread.php?33688-Halloween-Spooky-Eyes&highlight=Spooky+eyes

Yes, I am familiar with this trick and have used it for stand alone effects. The thing is that for my purpose I am going to use it in a show. The same lights that are flickering will also be steady on and dim on occasions. (They are going to be my 'house lights' so to speak). So unfortunatley this idea will not work.


Not sure this is what you're looking for, but I like this effect in Vixen 3.

Using Twinkle:
- Coverage 50%
- Average Pulse 50ms
- Pulse variation 30
- Min Level - 50%
- Max Level - 100%
- Level variation - 50%
- Twinkle independently

I use this a lot throughout the sequence for a shimmering effect, but a good example of the effect itself can be seen in my upstairs windows starting at 40 seconds here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhwF4Qj-Feo

This is more a candle flickering effect which I must say is excellent, but not what I am looking for.

corytcline
09-21-2014, 03:17 PM
Hello All,

This is going to be my first year actually using Vixen and my Renard controllers to control a Halloween display outside of my Singing Pumpkins. So all my triggers will be automated through Vixen.

Now a question I have is that a part of my program involves a dimming and flickering effect as if a light was shorting out. I would like to know what is a convincing way to program this within Vixen.

Edit: I figured that since there was some confusion with my original post I am going to edit it to make it more clear.

First off I am using Vixen 2

Next, what I am mainly looking for is a power drain effect like when something with a lot of power is turned on. Such as the room lights flickering and dimming when someone fires up an electric chair...very similar to that. Not just a regular dimming but with a little bit of flicker in it as well.

Thank You,

Geo

I would try ramps set to stop short of 100%and start above 0 so that the lights ramp up and down (flicker) but never turn completely off or go full intensity. I can give it a try and share if you like .

dvc2013
09-22-2014, 09:51 AM
jukingeo, you can still accomplish what you are trying to do using the fluorescent starter method. You just need to use 2 channels from an SSR or controller.

For example, channel 1 output is wired to the fluorescent starter. Connect channel 2 output and the output of the starter together to feed you lights. I have it running in my shop right now on an SSROZ and it works great. You can have flickering, dimming, fades, ramps, steady on, or what ever you can program in Vixen. If you want flickering just turn on channel 1. If you want full on or dimming, etc turn on channel 2 which will bypass the starter.

As I said this works good. My only word of advice is make sure you use channels from the same SSR and if the SSR has 2 power feeds make sure that both channel are fed by the same AC feed.

Here is a rough drawing of what I'm talking about.






24853

jukingeo
10-05-2014, 06:13 PM
I would try ramps set to stop short of 100%and start above 0 so that the lights ramp up and down (flicker) but never turn completely off or go full intensity. I can give it a try and share if you like .

I have to play with it once I get my rig up and play around with some combinations.


jukingeo, you can still accomplish what you are trying to do using the fluorescent starter method. You just need to use 2 channels from an SSR or controller.

For example, channel 1 output is wired to the fluorescent starter. Connect channel 2 output and the output of the starter together to feed you lights. I have it running in my shop right now on an SSROZ and it works great. You can have flickering, dimming, fades, ramps, steady on, or what ever you can program in Vixen. If you want flickering just turn on channel 1. If you want full on or dimming, etc turn on channel 2 which will bypass the starter.

As I said this works good. My only word of advice is make sure you use channels from the same SSR and if the SSR has 2 power feeds make sure that both channel are fed by the same AC feed.

Here is a rough drawing of what I'm talking about.

24853

Well, what I had in mind was have the current pull down to an electric buzzing sound effect, so it HAS to go in time with the audio track. That is why the starter method will not work here. Also the channels will need to have full dimming control, so it all has to be done through Vixen.

Thanx for the input guys!

Geo