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Thread: Suggestion for Getting Started with Vixen 3.0 Beta

  1. #1
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    Default Suggestion for Getting Started with Vixen 3.0 Beta

    OK, I posted a lot of negative stuff in the Vixen 3.0 Beta thread. While I still believe my concerns about some folks pushing Vixen in a single direction are valid, I wanted to post an update. Also maybe some information for other folks who may be resistant...

    As I had been trying to do for two months, Friday night I was able to clear my head and keep my A.D.D in-check long enough to have a focused and dedicated Vixen 3.0 boot-camp session. The results were mostly positive and I am once again encouraged that KC and the team did not forget the classic Vixen user-base. While there are things misssing and a few thing that IMHO do not seem logical, it is a huge step in moving towards the Object-oriented sequencing we all want and need. I now feel the hope and see the promise I saw when I first came across the "Prancer" preview videos on the DLA forums.

    For anyone that hasn't played with it yet due to frustration or thinking it is too difficult right now, I would encourage you to jump in. If you do, you will likely feel very encouraged and also much more comfortable with the direction its going. More importantly, you can be a part of developing a great tool for your hobby.

    While not detailed and certainly not the only way, here is my attempt at a good beginner playground approach:

    1. Clear your mind of Vixen 2.x concepts
    While it seems stupid, I think the most beneficial thing for me was when I convinced myself to stop trying to connect the dots from Vixen 2.x to 3.0. While there are certainly basics and core concepts that are the same, it is a completely different Beast. While I knew this, it still didn't keep me from approaching it wrong. I believe that approaching it as an upgarde to 2.x will block your mind to learning and understanding Vixen 3.

    2. Watch AussiePhil's video: (Thank Phil!)
    Phils video is simple and excellent. You should watch it all the way through at least once without even having Vixen open. Then use it as a reference while you are doing things. Link to Beta thread where he posted it: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...832#post186832

    3. Install:
    If you haven't installed 3.0 Beta yet, go to the Beta thread and download it: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...027-3-0-Beta-0. The information for installing and running it is also in this thread.

    4. Reset the Configuration
    If you have done anything with Vixen 3.0 Beta, clean it out. I deleted the the entire "Vixen" folder that was created in "My Documents." Another option is to rename the existing one. When you run the application Vixen 3.0 will create/recreate the Vixen folder as well as create and initialize the configuration files. Note: If you run 2.5 currently, the same "Vixen" containe your 2.5 stuff, so don't delete it all together. I use Vixen 2.1, so I didn't have to worry about it.

    5. Configure Channels/Groups:
    Don't get caught up with getting your whole display in there. Pick some elements that are big enough to learn from, but not so overwhelming. I did my Megatree (probably a bit complicated) and my four Midi trees which are 3 color.

    6. Edit the Preview:
    Although this is an area that could benefit from a great deal of usability work, I now realize that there is great potential here and the developers have the base concepts correct. I don't want to go into a detailed explanation, but try to understand how to use the tools that are there now. It's a bit confusing and if you try to think of the old Adjustable Preview and apply those concepts, you will be frustrated. Items are placed on the preview as "Elements" and Channels/Nodes are added to the "Element." Hint: Within the Element Editor dialog, there's a "Edit Node" button --It's very useful. Phil's video does not cover this topic. Once I understand it fully and I am as comfortable with it as I was the 2.x Preview, I may create a detailed tutorial and video.

    7. Controllers:
    You can skip this step if you want, but I found it was easier to create the controllers and use them to put the Nodes/Channels in the Node Editor. Phil demonstrates this in his video.

    8. Create a Sequence:
    Once you have the install and configuration done, you can create a sequence. Play around with the different effects that are currently available. While there's some stuff missing and some work needs to be done on usability (IMHO) this is the most promising aspect of the tool. You can be as simple or as detailed as you want here. You drop and apply effects and use the the default settings or you can go into each effects detailed settings and modify just about everything in it. The dialogs are so detailed and you have alot of control of how and when the "Effect" is applied to the Nodes.

    Hint:You absolutely need to get the GRID concept out of your mind. I knew this, but for weeks I stuggled with it. The Editor certainly resembles the old GRID, but it's more of timeline where effects can be placed. For me, doing Video Editing helped me make the jump. I have used many Video Editor tools and they all use the "Timeline" concept.

    Hint Two: Relax and Have Fun exploring. I know from experience that if you are Task-oriented in your "playing", you will not have fun and you will less-likely to explore and understand the tools.

    Well, I didn't intend to write that much. It certainly doesn't seem like it would be simple after all that. It's possible all this information exists somewhere. It's also likely that if it does, it is burried in the nearly 400 posts of the original thread. Anway, I hope this is helpful to some of you get started with Vixen 3.0.

    Kelly
    Last edited by kychristmas; 01-29-2012 at 03:23 PM.


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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Suggestion for Getting Started with Vixen 3.0 Beta

    Well done, Kelly.

    I, as you, have been a bit reticent to experiment with 3.0, but you've given me new (and simpler) hope. The problem is not necessarily the 3.0 tool in my case, it's more likely my curmudgeonly tendency against "change."

    (Well, after all, it is another presidential election year and we've encountered "change" once before.... )
    www.diychristmas.org

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Suggestion for Getting Started with Vixen 3.0 Beta

    This does look great.

    Is it going to be possible to have 3.0 run 2.x sequences intermixing 3.x and 2.x in a schedule, or is going to 3.0 an all or nothing proposition? (It would be nice to start something new in 3.0 and have the failsafe of the existing 2.x)

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    Default Re: Suggestion for Getting Started with Vixen 3.0 Beta

    This might be one of the more disapointing realizations I had on Friday evening...

    From the Dev team, it sounds like you will be able to bring them in and run them in some fashion. So that will help. I don't think it's going to be a converter of any sorts. Essentially, to be brought into the editor, it would have to be done as Thousands of Set Level effects. Probably not the most efficient. I'm guessing there will be some sort of the player, that will be able to play the old sequences, but not edit them. Of course, I hope I am wrong.

    For me, so long as I can get 2.1 sequences into Vixen 3.0 and then build new, true 3.0 ones and run them all together in the same Program/Show, then I will be satisfied.


    Quote Originally Posted by buymyemu View Post
    This does look great.

    Is it going to be possible to have 3.0 run 2.x sequences intermixing 3.x and 2.x in a schedule, or is going to 3.0 an all or nothing proposition? (It would be nice to start something new in 3.0 and have the failsafe of the existing 2.x)


    Heading into my 5th season in 2013

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Suggestion for Getting Started with Vixen 3.0 Beta

    Phil has created some additional videos that go into greater detail. Check them out...

    http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...to-type-videos

    Thanks Phil.
    Last edited by kychristmas; 02-04-2012 at 08:27 PM.


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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Suggestion for Getting Started with Vixen 3.0 Beta

    Kelly

    It has been my pleasure to make the two videos so far, I have some more planned.

    I wasn't planning to do the preview so if you have time to cover the preview that would be great. I had a quick look as i typed this and I tend to agree with your summary. The preview functionality is one thing the LSP has covered well and really is needed in an object based tool.

    Your steps are a great guide and I will re-iterate "Start with a few of you display elements" and "forget your Vixen2 habits".

    As an experiment (and some testing) I hand coded some chase sequences in Vixen2 for the RGB strip that even with copy and paste took maybe 30 minutes to do and were fixed in functionality. In Vixen3 they took maybe 10 minutes and were nearly infinitely variable.

    Cheers
    Phil
    2012:
    Software: LightFactory Personal
    Hardware: J1Sys Pixel controllers . [url]Http://www.j1sys.com[/url]
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    You know where to find me....

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