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Thread: Preview items with 360 degree consideration

  1. #1
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    Default Preview items with 360 degree consideration

    I'm going to use mini trees as an example, but this applies to anything that isn't straight forward. I know I can set the Z depth for items in the preview. I'm not sure what it actually affects probably because of the smaller scale) be it just the preview rendering, or if it affects the way your show renders (ie: how much impact does the preview layout have on the actual live playback), but I set it anyways. Now for props that aren't all pointing forward, that may have pixels pointing to the the back 180 degree, like trees for example, is their a way to account for their direction? Firstly, for mega trees, this does not apply, because all of the above doesn't matter as you can set degree for the strings. But mini trees. Some people say to just set them up as mega trees and shrink them + edit properties. That works if you are using vertical legs. For my example, I have mini trees of 50 pixels that are spirals. Sure, I can use the drawing tools and make a zig zag or some roughly 3d drawn prop,, but then it renders as if it really is a zig zag prop. Making it a mega tree also doesn't really work for the spiral tree. It works, but many effects look odd because they don't realize it's wrapping around. This is particularly noticeable with effects that wipe over or transition across the tree in any direction, or that does so across a group of trees.

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    Default Re: Preview items with 360 degree consideration

    Currently the Z depth in the preview is not used for anything because we don't have 3D capabilities in the effects. 3D is a future enhancement we would like to explore at some point.

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    Default Re: Preview items with 360 degree consideration

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffu231 View Post
    Currently the Z depth in the preview is not used for anything because we don't have 3D capabilities in the effects. 3D is a future enhancement we would like to explore at some point.
    That would be really awesome. So in my example with the spiral trees, is there no way to account for that with how it renders the effect? I assume that falls under the 3d category. It would be truly awesome to be able to do 3d previews, but I'm happy with whatever you guys have the time to develop

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    Default Re: Preview items with 360 degree consideration

    Quote Originally Posted by XmasinVancouver View Post
    That would be really awesome. So in my example with the spiral trees, is there no way to account for that with how it renders the effect? I assume that falls under the 3d category. It would be truly awesome to be able to do 3d previews, but I'm happy with whatever you guys have the time to develop
    The problem you're describing will only manifest itself with location based effects. For location based effects, how it appears in the preview is how the effect renders. Regular string based effects don't care how the preview prop looks, they use the position of each pixel in the string (element order) to render the effect.

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    Default Re: Preview items with 360 degree consideration

    Quote Originally Posted by jchuchla View Post
    The problem you're describing will only manifest itself with location based effects. For location based effects, how it appears in the preview is how the effect renders. Regular string based effects don't care how the preview prop looks, they use the position of each pixel in the string (element order) to render the effect.
    Do you have a suggestion for how to best setup something like a spiral mini tree? Or is the "zigzag" prop made with multi point line best scenario? If I could throw a quick one at you as well that doesn't really need its own thread... For doing a pixel window, I normally use the multi point string and draw out the rectangle then adjust pixel count etc.... How could I control the amount of pixels on the width and height that are very different counts while still being one string? Example, my window is 17 pixels height by 11 pixels wide

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    Default Re: Preview items with 360 degree consideration

    There are two multi point string options in the preview. The basic one just supports equal nodes on each segment. The second smart object one you can break up the distribution however you need in the properties setup under the link elements. In the string setup, you can change how many lights are in each string segment and what elements are mapped to them. So if you used that on the spiral tree to zig zag, you could add more nodes to each segment as it gets near the bottom.

    For windows you can use the square/rectangle shape and set the length of each string on the 4 sides to spread the nodes around in the away they need distributed. In theory you could use the smart multi point string as well for windows, but it is slightly more work to configure than the natural rectangle object. I would then group the elements by the sides as well to ease sequencing.

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    Default Re: Preview items with 360 degree consideration

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffu231 View Post
    There are two multi point string options in the preview. The basic one just supports equal nodes on each segment. The second smart object one you can break up the distribution however you need in the properties setup under the link elements. In the string setup, you can change how many lights are in each string segment and what elements are mapped to them. So if you used that on the spiral tree to zig zag, you could add more nodes to each segment as it gets near the bottom.

    For windows you can use the square/rectangle shape and set the length of each string on the 4 sides to spread the nodes around in the away they need distributed. In theory you could use the smart multi point string as well for windows, but it is slightly more work to configure than the natural rectangle object. I would then group the elements by the sides as well to ease sequencing.
    Thank you much for the insight and advice. Very informative! When you say group the elements by the sides as well to ease sequencing, are you meaning to create groups of sides from the different elements? ie: if there was two windows, have a group with the right side of each window, the bottom of each window etc? Sorry if I misread that

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Preview items with 360 degree consideration

    Here is how I do mine.


    WindowTree.PNG

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