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Thread: File size too big?

  1. #1
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    Default File size too big?

    So I have been having a lot of fun creating a nice sequence. Apparently I have some imagination when it comes to things like this. I am happy this program works so well and very easy to understand.

    So I have done up to 2m16s so far and my tim file is already 99MB. This is only for 400 pixels and I have 280 to add later. My plan was to get to 10 minutes so people on the sidewalk don't actually realize it repeats itself...

    I have just downloaded a few songs created by other users (for inspiration) and realized that many of the 3-5 minute ones are MUCH smaller then my file. I still have many more to make too.

    So am I doing it wrong or adding too many small color changes? Will this big file (at this rate, 500MB+ when finished) makes my controller go in meltdown mode? or not even be able to keep up with all the changes...

    I'd rather know this sooner then later as I have already spent about 15 hours making this and I don't want to finish to realize it wont even work. I do not have lights yet so can't try it. Everything is in the mail though.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: File size too big?

    Quote Originally Posted by v3x View Post
    So I have been having a lot of fun creating a nice sequence. Apparently I have some imagination when it comes to things like this. I am happy this program works so well and very easy to understand.

    So I have done up to 2m16s so far and my tim file is already 99MB. This is only for 400 pixels and I have 280 to add later. My plan was to get to 10 minutes so people on the sidewalk don't actually realize it repeats itself...

    I have just downloaded a few songs created by other users (for inspiration) and realized that many of the 3-5 minute ones are MUCH smaller then my file. I still have many more to make too.

    So am I doing it wrong or adding too many small color changes? Will this big file (at this rate, 500MB+ when finished) makes my controller go in meltdown mode? or not even be able to keep up with all the changes...

    I'd rather know this sooner then later as I have already spent about 15 hours making this and I don't want to finish to realize it wont even work. I do not have lights yet so can't try it. Everything is in the mail though.
    It does seem like something is wrong. I have close about 5000 pixels and my largest .tim file is about 26 MB and that's for a 3:30 song. Not sure what would cause you to be generating such a large file.
    Ed
    Happily retired

  3. #3
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    Default Re: File size too big?

    Thank you! That's not reassuring at all ;)

    That's why I thought maybe I was doing something wrong. Or maybe I just filled everything too much.

    Here is a picture of part of my sequence. Sorry for big file, I took a screenshot from my 4k monitor.

    https://i.imgur.com/NCZDfqB.jpg

  4. #4
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    Default Re: File size too big?

    The size of a tim file has nothing to do with how much data is going to be sent to your controllers. A tim file tells vixen what effects go where on the timeline and what their parameters are set to. it has nothing to do with the number of channels, or the framerate, or the length. It's just a collection of the effects and their parameters.

    That being said, 99mb is huge for a sequence that's that short and made for such few elements. My largest sequence file is 15mb and I have about 10,000 pixels in my show.

    There's a few clues in your OP as to why your sequence is huge. First is that you've downloaded sequences from others. How did you do this? If they weren't vixen 3 sequences that came , then you imported them. Doing that will create very inefficient sequences, and it will not help you learn how to sequence. Imported sequences will create many, many tiny simple effects that will cause the lights to do the same as the original sequence. It will not build the proper complex v3 effects. Imports are really intended for a very specific use case. for transitioning for an AC light style V2 show to a display that incorporates pixels and complex effects. If you're importing a sequence that contains pixels and pixel effects, stop there. Don't do it. You're not going to learn from that.

    The file size suggests that you have tons of effects in the sequence file. A sequence and display as small as yours shouldn't need very many effects.

    In V3 you should be using as few effects as possible to achieve the result. That's the whole point of the effects. If you want to do a chase across a group, you should be using one chase effect, not many stairstepped pulses. If you find yourself expanding your prop groups down to the pixel level, you're thinking about it the wrong way. Most of the sequencing for a prop should be done with effects at the group levels. An imported vix file will do exactly the opposite. You'll see almost nothing at the group levels, and lots of small individual effects on the leaf node level. That's why it's a bad example to learn from.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: File size too big?

    Quote Originally Posted by v3x View Post
    Thank you! That's not reassuring at all ;)

    That's why I thought maybe I was doing something wrong. Or maybe I just filled everything too much.

    Here is a picture of part of my sequence. Sorry for big file, I took a screenshot from my 4k monitor.

    https://i.imgur.com/NCZDfqB.jpg
    Yes, your screenshot illustrates the wrong way to use Vixen. I was writing as you posted this.

    See my comments above in post 4.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: File size too big?

    Quote Originally Posted by v3x View Post
    Holy cow..that's A Lot of effects...

    Looks like you are sequencing at the individual output level not an "element" level or even a string....

  7. #7
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    Default Re: File size too big?

    See this screenshot. notice how the color pattern looks very similar to your screenshot, except that this is just ONE effect. Notice also how there's no effects on the string groups, or individual elements. Just on the main matrix group. So that's one effect that's working on 4608 pixels over several seconds.
    Capture.jpg

  8. #8
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    Default Re: File size too big?

    Quote Originally Posted by jchuchla View Post
    The size of a tim file has nothing to do with how much data is going to be sent to your controllers. A tim file tells vixen what effects go where on the timeline and what their parameters are set to. it has nothing to do with the number of channels, or the framerate, or the length. It's just a collection of the effects and their parameters.

    That being said, 99mb is huge for a sequence that's that short and made for such few elements. My largest sequence file is 15mb and I have about 10,000 pixels in my show.

    There's a few clues in your OP as to why your sequence is huge. First is that you've downloaded sequences from others. How did you do this? If they weren't vixen 3 sequences that came , then you imported them. Doing that will create very inefficient sequences, and it will not help you learn how to sequence. Imported sequences will create many, many tiny simple effects that will cause the lights to do the same as the original sequence. It will not build the proper complex v3 effects. Imports are really intended for a very specific use case. for transitioning for an AC light style V2 show to a display that incorporates pixels and complex effects. If you're importing a sequence that contains pixels and pixel effects, stop there. Don't do it. You're not going to learn from that.

    The file size suggests that you have tons of effects in the sequence file. A sequence and display as small as yours shouldn't need very many effects.

    In V3 you should be using as few effects as possible to achieve the result. That's the whole point of the effects. If you want to do a chase across a group, you should be using one chase effect, not many stairstepped pulses. If you find yourself expanding your prop groups down to the pixel level, you're thinking about it the wrong way. Most of the sequencing for a prop should be done with effects at the group levels. An imported vix file will do exactly the opposite. You'll see almost nothing at the group levels, and lots of small individual effects on the leaf node level. That's why it's a bad example to learn from.
    I might have said what I said in the wrong way. I have created everything myself. I did not actually open any of the downloaded files. At this point I realized the file size difference with my project and started to think something was wrong, hence this post.
    So far I have only used one effect, "set level". Absolutely everything was built using this 1 square at a time, time consuming but fun. I did click on a few of the other effects but nothing really happened to I assumed I had to do it this way...
    I just tried using the "chase" effect but can't seem to make it do the same thing that I have built. It seems to be only limited to 1 pixel moving? The way I did it was like 5 pixels going up or down..
    I almost happy I decided to make this post now before I filled the whole thing, looks like I got a few things to learn.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: File size too big?

    Quote Originally Posted by jchuchla View Post
    See this screenshot. notice how the color pattern looks very similar to your screenshot, except that this is just ONE effect. Notice also how there's no effects on the string groups, or individual elements. Just on the main matrix group. So that's one effect that's working on 4608 pixels over several seconds.
    Capture.jpg
    Yeah ok I see what you mean now! It seems I lost many hours for nothing ;) What effect is that though? I can't seem to replicate what you have done...

    You said earlier "The size of a tim file has nothing to do with how much data is going to be sent to your controllers."
    So does this mean the same data will be sent to the controller the way I did it and the way you just showed me? So if I still use my way (which I currently understand) nothing will break and overheat the controller?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: File size too big?

    Not to sound like a smartass, but you can see what the effect is right in that screenshot. Look at the effect editor pane, the name is right on top. That's where you go for all of the controls in each effect to adjust their behavior.

    Most of the effects have a video sample on the page in the documentation. Here you can see how it's intended to work. You can of course adjust colors, speeds, widths and all of that, but you get the basic look from the preview clip. The sample videos show what it would look like on a regular grid style prop. If you want to apply it to something other than a grid like a string, then look at it as just one row of the sample image.

    You said earlier "The size of a tim file has nothing to do with how much data is going to be sent to your controllers."
    So does this mean the same data will be sent to the controller the way I did it and the way you just showed me? So if I still use my way (which I currently understand) nothing will break and overheat the controller?
    you cannot "blow up" a controller by sending it data. All a controller can do is turn lights from full off to full on. You can't tell it to go more on than full on. You can't make a controller fail by telling it to be on all the way. Regardless how you create the effects, Vixen will sample the effects at a regular interval and send out values for each channel. It's doing this all the time vixen is open. The same amount of data is sent when there's no effects on the timeline as when it's completely full of effects. Just as much data is being sent when you're not even playing the sequence as when you're playing the busiest possible sequences.

    On the other hand, you are going to very quickly hit a wall with performance issues and "out of memory" issues on your computer if you continue down the path you're going down. So while you may not hurt the controller or anything like that, your computer will certainly grind to a halt.

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