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Thread: In need of good criticism

  1. #1
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    Default In need of good criticism

    I am sequencing a show for some friends of mine. It needs to be really good....Don't ask why. I've used some of the effects from my show last year, but I need to make it better. Please give me some good constructive criticism, and tell me what you would do different.


    http://youtu.be/jsutWR-pOgA

  2. #2
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    Default Re: In need of good criticism

    I like the 1:30 mark going to about 2:15.
    After this around 2:30 When the white on the roof streams up over and over you have the tree doing the same effect (bouncing). I didn't like the tree bouncing maybe try something different on the tree there.
    Early on around 0:35 you have a lot of left and right movements, I got a bit dizzy watching it. I'd suggest with the deep beats doing a beat, from the gutters, to the first horizontal strand on the roofline.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: In need of good criticism

    I have to say: don't be scared of mixing your red, green, and blue. I saw a bit of purple, yellow and cyan at the end; I'd say spread it throughout the song more.

    (Yeah, I know, there is the "building up" aspect of leaving the best for last--which I like to do for my songs, but Joe Average may start to think that an 8-pack of Crayolas has more variety--too harsh? ) How about at least pink, light green, and light blue? Or smooth transitions from one colour to white? I guess you used Nutcracker/Xlights for your effects, so I don't know what's technically possible with it since I've never used it.

    So far, my only experience with RGB lighting is using Vixen 2.1 since not much else was available when I got my RGB floods 5 years ago and I couldn't justify transitioning to new RGB-aware software that was still in it's infancy a few years after that. Since we had a child 3 years ago, the show had very minor upgrades since. Funny, now with 2 children, my goal is to have a couple thousand pixels running for December 2015, and I'm preparing myself for a rude awakening with all the work required for thousands of channels. At least the software choices for RGB are wonderful now.

    P.S. Here's a sample of what I accomplished using software without native RGB control:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUnFJHMEPWA

  4. #4
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    Default Re: In need of good criticism

    IMO...

    I liked it. The roof vertical lines and tree bounce is dead on beat from ~1:54-2:20.

    The one big issue I had was early on. ~:56 is the songs first big beat change. It introduces the frantic pulse beat of the song that made it popular. Your lights reach this spot while in a mellow swaying pattern. They need to hit this beat. Not crazy hard like the middle and end. But certainly need to pick it up. The tree is doing a bad ribbon swirl here too. Not fitting at all with the song or any of the other pulsing lights.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: In need of good criticism

    1 thing I can say looks good but maybe on your arches and maybe other places where you have them fade in you should set them too full on when they come on so they are more noticeable if you are using vixen 3 it is the individual pulse set that too make full light when coming on just a suggestion like I said look good so far
    James WinterHaven Fl

  6. #6
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    Default Re: In need of good criticism

    When people first get the ability to control lights, they blink them off and on -- change colors also. Your sequence does that a lot.

    Since the price of pixels became reasonable, pixel MegaTrees and Matrixes have become popular. Most will place NC effects on them. The NC effect by itself and without music looks cool but most often, the NC effect when dropped into a sequence with a song turns out to be a mismatch. Like watching one tv channel but listening to another.

    Your MT effects built no emotion in me except for one place -- which I thought you did an excellent job. From 1.57 to about 2.20 -- the vertical bars on the MT were perfectly in sync with the music and made me FEEL the underlying beat of the music.

    In general, it appears you are tring to blink every display element with the beat of the music (that's what most do in their early years of sequencing).

    As you grow in the hobby, may I suggest some things.

    You can NOT produce a GOOD sequence in a few nights. A GOOD sequence may take you 40 to 80 hours to do.

    Listen to the music and try to think how you can make your lights extend the feeling of the music. You don't have to use every light in every sequence. If a display element does not add to the emotion, don't use it. Your audience will be more captive waiting to see a prop light up when its meaningful than periodically when a beat occurs.

    Try to get away from blinking lights on and off. You can leave lights on for an extended period of time without blinking them. If you would like to display a beat in time with the music's beat, think about making a subtle color or intensity change -- not a full off - on.

    Learn from some of the movie great directors on how they created emotion in their movie.

    The best illustration is when a scarey event is pending to happen. Typical B level movies use the shock effect --- BOO --- or Jump out at you. Think about it --- it's the same most do with their blinking lights -- Hard on or off with the beat.

    Think about how Hitchcock created terror or emotion -- he never did a BOO or a jump out of the dark. Hitchcock let you see and understand and let it build. The BOO will get you a half second of emotion, a Hitchcock type effect can provide a building 10 to 15 second effect. As an example, if the song is at a low point and then erupts in a few seconds -- try not blinking but start to slowly bring up the intensity of only a few props. The audience will immediately see the props getting brighter and start to feel the musical boom coming as the music builds and the lights get to be of higher intensity. When the Boom occurs - change the color of the prop -- not the intensity -- like building a solid red MT and then it explodes into white at the boom.

    If you are attempting to enhance the beat of the music with lights -- the lights don't have to react with every beat --- try making an event at a two, tree, four beat pace. Try not blinking off and on but just changing color or intensity.

    Disney takes weeks to produce a single light sequence --- you can feel what they do --- the lights add to the emotion created by the music.

    Strive for that and you will always have a great display.

    My 2 cents.

    Joe
    Last edited by JHinkle; 03-06-2015 at 11:25 AM.
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  8. #7
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    Default Re: In need of good criticism

    why does your show need to be really good?

  9. #8
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    Default Re: In need of good criticism

    Quote Originally Posted by JHinkle View Post
    Listen to the music and try to think how you can make your lights extend the feeling of the music. You don't have to use every light in every sequence. If a display element does not add to the emotion, don't use it. Your audience will be more captive waiting to see a prop light up when its meaningful than periodically when a beat occurs.

    Try to get away from blinking lights on and off. You can leave lights on for an extended period of time without blinking them. If you would like to display a beat in time with the music's beat, think about making a subtle color or intensity change -- not a full off - on.
    +1 to that.

    Well, usually. I know someone who drove by our display and probably saw half a song. He passed by the comment a day or so later saying that he was concerned that some lights weren't working since they didn't turn on. Some people get it, some don't. Some people are happy with a bunch of flashing lights and music. But I've talked to others who have more, uh... discerning tastes to appreciate it. I'd rather spend some more time sequencing and get some self-satisfaction knowing I did the best I could--within reason, of course.

    As for leaving lights on for an extended amount of time, I've done that as well for a few of my songs. Leaving lights on and blinking them off is a bit more visually interesting, and it "balances" the display out if something is happening in the other side of your yard.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: In need of good criticism

    I like it. Your doing a good job. There are spots when the lights are low and the music is medium. The beginning the house is going back and forth, the tree is going up and down, try having the tree go with the house. Maybe have the house green and red going back and forth to make it a little less intense (dizzy). Have more elements on dim. Set it aside, do another song or two or three, then come back to it and certain things will be obvious that you want to do. Keep coming back to it. It may look good and leave it alone and the next time you tweak. Do this year to year too.
    2009 - 48 channel MegaTree 4800 lights
    plus 3200 lights static display.
    2010 - 6 Snowflakes on heavy equipment stored in front yard :-(
    2011 - 72 channel Megatree 7520 lights,
    120 channel total about 10k lights total

  11. #10
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    Default Re: In need of good criticism

    You've received some good advice. The one thing I'd suggest is get a better quality version of the music. It may have just been the recording, but the audio sounded very poor quality like it was over compressed or recorded from a cheap microphone.

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