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Thread: Programming in Vixen 3

  1. #1
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    Default Programming in Vixen 3

    I have been using V2.5.0.8 now for at least 6-7 years maybe longer. I am struggling to use Vixen 3. I have watched a lot of YouTube videos and they are all about how to use the tools, setup the show, etc. What I am struggling with is getting the timing down with effects. I have tried to use my current sequences as a starting point by having both versions open and going back and forth. Are there any videos out there showing techniques in Vixen 3? I really don't want to have a third year without any updates to my show. I have some dumb RGB strips that I want to replace the multi-color strings on my mega tree with. I also have the parts to upgrade my Olsen 595 boards so they are dimmable. But need to use Vixen 3 for the cool effects that it provides.

    Thanks,
    Dave
    128 Olsen 595 Vixen controlled channels
    about 30,000 lights

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Programming in Vixen 3

    Quote Originally Posted by davdue View Post
    ...... What I am struggling with is getting the timing down with effects..........
    Do you mean placing the effect to start at a certain time? Where it ends?
    Kevin

    2016 - 184 channels of Blinking/Flashing using 4 Arduino MEGAs and cheap home-made props.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Programming in Vixen 3

    Timing is different between the two. You might want to simply import your 2.5 sequence into V3. It will bring in all of the timing info in the form of a huge number of small blocks.

    One of the main differences is the lack of those timing boxes (the vertical lines on the grid are gone.) You can draw vertical lines where you want them or start and stop an effect anywhere. The software will (in effect) auto align to the next timing point. In reality the timing is driven by the controllers on a controller by controller basis but you can ignore this while sequencing.

    I also had a bit of grid shock when I found it missing. However, you quickly learn to align things using the "marks" and quickly forget about the underlying timing constraints. Be creative, let the program handle the pesky timing details.

    2017 adding 2 more candy canes, 7 Mid trees and a Halloween show. Removing most 2812 strips and replacing them with bullet pixel mounting strips. Replacing many buck converter waterproof bags with printed boxes.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Programming in Vixen 3

    Play around with the beat and bar mark tool. This will create the marks that make sense for your particular song. This is different (better) to the old v2 method where you had a grid of fixed time slices that had no correlation to the music.


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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Programming in Vixen 3

    Quote Originally Posted by kev View Post
    Do you mean placing the effect to start at a certain time? Where it ends?
    Yes

    Quote Originally Posted by jchuchla
    Play around with the beat and bar mark tool. This will create the marks that make sense for your particular song. This is different (better) to the old v2 method where you had a grid of fixed time slices that had no correlation to the music.
    I have played around with this. I guess I am just having problems wrapping my head around it. I know the beats should be better than the old grid with fixed time slices. I guess I was thinking that V3 should be faster than V2 but it seems like it is the opposite, actually slower. Maybe that is just the learning curve.

    Timing is different between the two. You might want to simply import your 2.5 sequence into V3. It will bring in all of the timing info in the form of a huge number of small blocks.

    One of the main differences is the lack of those timing boxes (the vertical lines on the grid are gone.) You can draw vertical lines where you want them or start and stop an effect anywhere. The software will (in effect) auto align to the next timing point. In reality the timing is driven by the controllers on a controller by controller basis but you can ignore this while sequencing.

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinJueller2003
    I also had a bit of grid shock when I found it missing. However, you quickly learn to align things using the "marks" and quickly forget about the underlying timing constraints. Be creative, let the program handle the pesky timing details.
    How can you import the 2.5 sequences? Since I am planning on adding/changing some things the layout is different so won't that mess things up? I guess I could leave the addressing the same for the import and modify it later. Does the patching come along with the import? If not then I can just redo the patching and then just have to modify the channels that are changing from on/off control to dumb RGB or add fades with the new Ren-C capability.

    My problem has been with how long to make the effect last I guess. If I use the chase effect then I spend a lot of time just like in V2.5 making sure the preview looks right and stops when it needs to. If I could see some videos of how people do it maybe the learning curve wouldn't be so steep.
    Dave
    128 Olsen 595 Vixen controlled channels
    about 30,000 lights

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Programming in Vixen 3

    To import the vixen 2 sequences, you simply open them up as if you're opening a regular vixen 3 sequence. This will invoke the import wizard which gives you the opportunity to map your old channels to the new vixen 3 elements. You need to have any elements set up in vixen 3 before doing a V2 import.

    The mapping step of the import lets you take 3 separate RGB channels from Vixen 2 and combine them into one vixen 3 element. There's no difference from on/off and a full color channel in V3. It's all in what effects you put on the element.

    We haven't thoroughly tested the importer with vixen 2.5 files. It's mainly focused on vixen 2.1 which is what the majority of the community used. So there may be bugs when working with a 2.5 file, but it shouldn't be insurmountable.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Programming in Vixen 3

    Quote Originally Posted by jchuchla View Post
    To import the vixen 2 sequences, you simply open them up as if you're opening a regular vixen 3 sequence. This will invoke the import wizard which gives you the opportunity to map your old channels to the new vixen 3 elements. You need to have any elements set up in vixen 3 before doing a V2 import.

    The mapping step of the import lets you take 3 separate RGB channels from Vixen 2 and combine them into one vixen 3 element. There's no difference from on/off and a full color channel in V3. It's all in what effects you put on the element.

    We haven't thoroughly tested the importer with vixen 2.5 files. It's mainly focused on vixen 2.1 which is what the majority of the community used. So there may be bugs when working with a 2.5 file, but it shouldn't be insurmountable.
    Thanks. Everything I have now is incandescent so the import should be very straight forward. I have a 12 channel semi-circle mega tree that have dumb RGB strips to replace the 12 strings. Need to purchase and build the controller yet. At least importing will give me a starting point for the current songs and maybe I just work on a new song and changes for the Ren-C fading capability on each of the songs I import.
    Dave
    128 Olsen 595 Vixen controlled channels
    about 30,000 lights

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Programming in Vixen 3

    When you add an effect, the rendering software figures out the closest "time slice" to which to output the data (FYI: this is not technically correct but works as a conceptual model for this discussion). You can then use the color and intensity curves to massage the changes to appear at the proper time (or add more effects).

    2017 adding 2 more candy canes, 7 Mid trees and a Halloween show. Removing most 2812 strips and replacing them with bullet pixel mounting strips. Replacing many buck converter waterproof bags with printed boxes.

  9. #9
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    Default Programming in Vixen 3

    Quote Originally Posted by davdue View Post
    Yes



    I have played around with this. I guess I am just having problems wrapping my head around it. I know the beats should be better than the old grid with fixed time slices. I guess I was thinking that V3 should be faster than V2 but it seems like it is the opposite, actually slower. Maybe that is just the learning curve.

    Timing is different between the two. You might want to simply import your 2.5 sequence into V3. It will bring in all of the timing info in the form of a huge number of small blocks.

    One of the main differences is the lack of those timing boxes (the vertical lines on the grid are gone.) You can draw vertical lines where you want them or start and stop an effect anywhere. The software will (in effect) auto align to the next timing point. In reality the timing is driven by the controllers on a controller by controller basis but you can ignore this while sequencing.



    How can you import the 2.5 sequences? Since I am planning on adding/changing some things the layout is different so won't that mess things up? I guess I could leave the addressing the same for the import and modify it later. Does the patching come along with the import? If not then I can just redo the patching and then just have to modify the channels that are changing from on/off control to dumb RGB or add fades with the new Ren-C capability.

    My problem has been with how long to make the effect last I guess. If I use the chase effect then I spend a lot of time just like in V2.5 making sure the preview looks right and stops when it needs to. If I could see some videos of how people do it maybe the learning curve wouldn't be so steep.

    This is my first year with any type of display. I found vixen 3 to be pretty straight forward, but I had no previous experience with anything else. I have chase effects in my design. I just dragged the end of the effect to match the last beat of the music when I wanted the chase to be complete.


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    Last edited by pburton; 09-12-2017 at 05:43 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Programming in Vixen 3

    I got one 2.5 sequence imported and mapped. One other thing I haven't really been able to figure out is what each of the properties in the chase effect do. The documentation just has a placeholder for it. I have figured out brightness and direction. Those are obvious. What do the pulse and depth do?
    Dave
    128 Olsen 595 Vixen controlled channels
    about 30,000 lights

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