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Thread: My New Sequencer

  1. #31
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    Default Re: My New Sequencer

    Quote Originally Posted by kychristmas View Post

    My only issue would be multiple effects applied to a cells. Will that be able to happen? For Instance I quite often will do a Chase,Spin or Arch effect where I gradually ramp up and ramp down. For instance at the end of a song I may continue the effects, but then gradually fade out to black. Would this require a special custom effect or can I overlay the effects.
    I'm still trying to understand the difference between a spin and chase. I thought they were the same.

    Once I do my first sequence - it will probably be as clear as day. I want to define everything up front in case a change is required.

    Your statement above is interesting. Take what I consider to be a chase: multi-channel - multi-cell - effect where the same effect is applied to adjacent channels only offset by a defined number of time units - Like a long stair step or mirror or a stair step.

    My first gut (not thinking much) reply was going to be - ok - its a chase using step-down. By your statement - the complete time period you are looking at will cover multiple of these (10+ of these). It would be a pain to individually change the hi to lo intensity range of all of these (in the same channel) to get a nice decay to zero.

    I am going to add an effect modifier. Select a group of common ramp type effect (like all of the ramp-downs that would compose your last chase to end) - tell the tool the starting intensity and the ending intensity and the tool will then modify each individual effect to produce the slowly decaying chase sequence.


    Now do I implement it (as you stated) as two effects - one controlling some aspect of the other (this would preserve the design intent and make it apparent) - or have the second effect do an immediate change to the first - thereby producing the wanted outcome but leaving no trail as to how it was accomplished.

    I'm going to look hard into the first - the second is easy as a last resort.

    Consider this - your chase where each segment is a ramp down to zero - have a higher controlling effect that determines the starting/ending intensity of the ramp - so you are getting a chase using fades to zero - and the overall chase scene slowly fades to zero.

    This is a data structure change - to do it now is easy - later (after a sequence was started) - maybe impossible.

    Thanks ky - I really like this!

    Joe
    Last edited by JHinkle; 02-01-2012 at 10:29 AM.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: My New Sequencer

    I've added what I call "Over Control". Over Control is a secondary Ramp affect applied to multiple effects to obtain an over-all ramp appearance.

    Below are two two views of a chase scene. The first one all lights are at 100% and fading to zero as shown. The solid color indicates there is no Over Control in effect.

    Chase.jpg

    The next view - I simply selected everything (all channels and all effects) - once selected - I applied a "Over Control" Ramp-Down effect to the scene.

    The hash indicates a Over Control is in place.

    ChaseOC.jpg

    As you can see - now the chase scene decays from 100% at the beginning down to the last block of Ramp-Downs which are at 25% - fading to 0.

    I think that is what kychristmas was referring to - and I like it.

    Joe

  3. #33
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    Default Re: My New Sequencer

    Looks and sounds sweet.. can't wait to give it a try ;)

  4. #34
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    Default Re: My New Sequencer

    I now have Mirror Vertical just like kychristmas requested - select the block and it flips in place.

    Mirror Vert.jpg

  5. #35
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    Default Re: My New Sequencer

    Joe - we are back to some degree to why there still exists graphic raster editors (state = N x M with RBG each) even with the existance of graphic vector editors (various stroked and filled objects in layers). The latter is more powerful for later editing (you can make a blue circle into a bigger green one with a yellow border, even if it's partially behind another object).

    When you stroke a brush, are you creating a parameterized object, or modifying the RGB values of a raster of pixels? In the latter case the saved state is further from capturing the original intent in abstract form.

    It's kind of an early binding/late binding thing - eventually you will be creating a raster image, but the later you do that the more flexibility you have in modifying your design.

    However, if you are going to be layering effects with fine granularity (airbrushing, sharpens), sometimes it's a lot less complex to just edit the pixels in successive passes (yeah, with a temporary multi-level undo etc). Thus such editors still exist.

    Back to lighting rather than raster vs vector graphic editors.

    You are surfing that edge. For now, you are considering a fully object based layering of a specific effect (the "brush" creates a new fade object which dynamically modifies other chase objects), and a hybrid (your brush would do a one time static modification of the parameters in a group of objects). I hope and expect that you can pull off the former because this is a pretty straightforward (and high utility) case. But if you continue to layer arbitrary effects, a time could come when the complexity isn't worth it.

    It's actually kind of a fun edge to explore, balancing complexity and aesthetics and practicality.

    Cheering from the sidelines for now.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: My New Sequencer

    Zeph:

    I'm not understanding what you are trying to graciously convey to me.

    I considered vectored graphics when I started.

    How to convey effect illumination information to the user - fast and easy. I decided it was easier to simply change the color associated with a brush and PatBlt an area. I use one brush normally - and simply change TextColor.

    When kychristmas suggested an overlay effect - I wanted some way to convey to the user that the effect being presented to them was really a union of two.

    So when I perform a paint of a channel cell - I look to see if the cell is governed by an effect and also by a overlay effect. Based on the results I choose one of two brushes.

    I don't see adding any more types of overlays - so it will probably stay at two.

    Was you concern a performance concern, resource concern?

    Please share.

    Thanks.

    Joe

  7. #37
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    Default Re: My New Sequencer

    I've got both Horizontal and Vertical mirroring working. I have limited Horizontal mirroring to my simple effects (Ramp-Up, Ramp-Down, and Level). In a way it does not make sense to flip a complex effect horizontally. I say that until I need it - then I'll make it happen.

    Joe
    Last edited by JHinkle; 02-01-2012 at 07:52 PM.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: My New Sequencer

    Joe, I apologize for being unclear. I was using vector graphics editing and raster graphics editing as a metaphor. Your approach is more like vector graphics editing (you create objects which will later become a series of explicit levels at controller refresh time); Vixen 2.x is more like raster graphics editing (you edit in the actual values for each cell).

    I was NOT talking about your display to the user per se, but about the architecture, using an analogy about related tradeoffs in the graphical editing world. My words might make at least a notch more sense in this light (sorry I didn't make it more clear).

    My point was more about design philosophy - not a complaint or problem, but a reflection or musing on the design space territory you are so aptly exploring. I've done some thinking along these same lines and as I contemplate the (always dangerous but sometimes exciting) Generalized Case, um, well it gets interesting.

    If I'm understanding, you are dealing with two effects affecting the same set of channels in the same time period and thus interacting. One does a chase by more or less copying one channel to the next but with a time delay; this is represented by an object which specifies the channels and time of course, along with chase parameters. The other effect fades down the maximum brightness; this would potentially affect the same channels and time range, but of course it has its own fade parameters. What if there were a third effect, like a color shift (at a different rate than the chase or fade)? Or a fourth? (Easy answer - don't go there).

    If one was editing a grid of values per channel/timeslot, then just like editing a raster image in an editor, you can apply 100 effects to the same image pixels with no problem - each just affects the results produced by earlier edits. With an object based sequencer such as I understand you are creating, it get architecturally more interesting. So it's interesting to me to see how you approach the challenges.

    In my case, I've only done some conceptual work - no code. The approach I'm exploring (on paper) is sort of a cross between the Moog synthesizer and animation sprites. And it may never be implemented. Whereas you are making great progress on a real world new approach, so I'm enjoying hearing and thinking about it as you share.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: My New Sequencer

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeph View Post
    What if there were a third effect, like a color shift (at a different rate than the chase or fade)?
    I see RGB string between the lines.

    Right now - I don't own any RGB strings so they are outside my consideration. Once I have the tool where I can easily work with constant color strings - I'll probably step in.

    I did do a search in the forum on the various RGB strings that are out there and the different controllers driving them. I looked to see if there was a combination of custom controller/ software sequencer that could help. After about 6 hours I decided to keep on track with standard LEDs for my 2012 display.

    I initially had no intention of doing an overlay - but Kelly presented such a perfect case - I had to do it. It works great.

    Thanks to everyone on their mirror comments - I have them fully functional now also.

    I can't think of any more features to add - so I will actually start sequencing - THAT will be where the tire meets the road.

    Joe
    Last edited by JHinkle; 02-01-2012 at 09:31 PM.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: My New Sequencer

    Quote Originally Posted by JHinkle View Post
    In my tool - there would be a single cell that contains data - that data fully describes the 200 output cells.

    I design in concepts you think of for the sequence and the tool produces the 50msec output values - so my output matches Vixen - but I sequence at a much higher level.

    So all that being said - I can't do matrix type manipulation - I do command substitution. A Ramp-up becomes a Ramp-down, etc.
    I was assuming it was a function that is called to generate the cell values dynamically, so I thought it could be chained with a matrix transform. Thanks for clarifying.

    don
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    web site: http://www.eShepherdsOfLight.com or http://www.facebook.com/eShepherdsOfLight
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