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Thread: Halloween Sequencing Software?

  1. #1
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    Default Halloween Sequencing Software?

    I'm putting together a tiny little show/display for an 8-year-olds birthday party that will be Pirate Themed. In the spirit of DIY (and being incredibly cheap) I can't find any good prop control software other then VSA (~$80). Does anybody control props over E1.131 or DMX? What am i missing?

    Right now I'm setting everything up with hacked E1.31 controllers (ESPixelSticks) and xLights... I just want to make sure I'm not re-inventing the wheel.

    PS. I'll also be using these props for Halloween.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Halloween Sequencing Software?

    If the props are DMX then you can use xLights to control them....you don't need VSA. I've also created a way for xLights to import VSA files in case you find it easier to create the content in VSA instead of xLights. Here's a video showing an imported VSA file playing in xLights to control a skeleton:
    Thanks,
    Gil Jones
    xLights Developer
    CopperCreekLights on Facebook

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Halloween Sequencing Software?

    welp, my mind was just blown.

    WOW.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Halloween Sequencing Software?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrock View Post
    If the props are DMX then you can use xLights to control them....you don't need VSA. I've also created a way for xLights to import VSA files in case you find it easier to create the content in VSA instead of xLights. Here's a video showing an imported VSA file playing in xLights to control a skeleton:
    Excellent.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Halloween Sequencing Software?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrock View Post
    If the props are DMX then you can use xLights to control them....you don't need VSA. I've also created a way for xLights to import VSA files in case you find it easier to create the content in VSA instead of xLights.
    I haven't used VSA and my props are home built and controlled with ESP8266 chips (WeMos d1 mini's) and modified versions of Sporadic's ESPixelStick firmware. In addition to Pixels i've added the ability to control servo's and relays.

    I've looked briefly for some type of documentation on DMX and controlling motion props but I couldn't find anything. I'll just keep moving forward with what I'm doing..

    I'll post a video of the singing Pirates (Buckey Skulls) and Cannons being controlled with xLights when I get home tonight.

    Side note: Its kind of funny, I've been hanging out on the 'Halloween' forums for over a decade. Who knew that all the good information was hiding on the christmas forums

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Halloween Sequencing Software?

    Who needs sequencing hardware? Do it the old fashioned way.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h4bjrf0dI8
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNv4__V1LA8

    or type Christmas lights in st charles in the youtube search bar.
    Leglamp

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  8. #7
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    Default Re: Halloween Sequencing Software?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLost View Post
    I haven't used VSA and my props are home built and controlled with ESP8266 chips (WeMos d1 mini's) and modified versions of Sporadic's ESPixelStick firmware. In addition to Pixels i've added the ability to control servo's and relays.

    I've looked briefly for some type of documentation on DMX and controlling motion props but I couldn't find anything. I'll just keep moving forward with what I'm doing..

    I'll post a video of the singing Pirates (Buckey Skulls) and Cannons being controlled with xLights when I get home tonight.

    Side note: Its kind of funny, I've been hanging out on the 'Halloween' forums for over a decade. Who knew that all the good information was hiding on the christmas forums
    Not sure if you've used it but I created the "Servo" effect for the purpose of controlling servos. The main reason we needed that effect is because some servos are 16bit whereas everything else in xLights assumes 8 bit RGB channels. So the servo effect can be used to output 16 bit values to the DMX channels if you click the 16 bit checkbox. If you use the DMX model you can also set limits and slew rates for the servos. For now I've only created some moving head and skull profiles which could technically be used for other items just to get the limit and slew features but I really need to create a few generic profiles that could be used for any single servo or a generic 3-axis setup, etc
    Thanks,
    Gil Jones
    xLights Developer
    CopperCreekLights on Facebook

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Halloween Sequencing Software?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrock View Post
    Not sure if you've used it but I created the "Servo" effect for the purpose of controlling servos. The main reason we needed that effect is because some servos are 16bit whereas everything else in xLights assumes 8 bit RGB channels. So the servo effect can be used to output 16 bit values to the DMX channels if you click the 16 bit checkbox. If you use the DMX model you can also set limits and slew rates for the servos. For now I've only created some moving head and skull profiles which could technically be used for other items just to get the limit and slew features but I really need to create a few generic profiles that could be used for any single servo or a generic 3-axis setup, etc
    I'll play around with the servo effect and see if i can use it..

    The way i have everything setup now.. I use the 'Faces' layout and define a single node. Each mouth movement (Al,E,O.. etc) gets assigned an RGB color. The colors are then mapped in the ESPixelStick firmware to servo possitions (0-180 deg). I then use the normal xLights face effects procedures to convert the song/voice lyrics into mouth movements. It was amazingly fast to setup 3 songs sung by a trio of pirates.

    The cannons are basically the same.. mapped nodes control the relays (white = on, black = off) setup in the firmware.
    node 1 = smoke machine
    node 2 = fan
    node 3 = lights.
    Add smoke to the barrel for 3 seconds, turn on the fan.. flash the lights in the barrel and canon goes BOOM.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Halloween Sequencing Software?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leglamp View Post
    Who needs sequencing hardware? Do it the old fashioned way.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h4bjrf0dI8
    That was hilarious. Loved it.

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