View Full Version : HLS - What are Segments and PixelPlanes - How are they used

09-03-2014, 07:56 AM
I posted this in another thread and thought it would be good in a training thread so I can stick and make it easy to find .......

Let's walk up the HLS Hierarchy

The basic element in any sequencer is a channel. It controls a single light's intensity. The sequencer allows you to change the intensity over time -- usually in discrete time blocks - or tics.

HLS has an RGB object - loosely refereed to as a RGB channel. The purpose of this object is to take 3 channels and compress them into on on the sequencer's editor grid. It gives us a 3 to 1 compaction if we can use it. You can assign any three channels to this RGB. I don't use pixels -- I use colored led strings. I make a MegaString by wrapping 4 different colored strings together -- red, green, blue, and white. I use a RGB channel and a white channel in my grid for sequencing. Most people today will think of RGB related to a RGB dumb string or a single pixel.

The next level of Hierarchy allows you to group many channels together and treat them as one. That is what a Segment does. Say I have 3 strings of incans to go across the top of the roof and I want them to all act the same. I can assign those three channels to a Segment and have only 1 channel (a Segment) channel on the editor's grid. I might have a string of pixels along the top of a window and I want all pixels to do exactly the same thing --- again --- assign them to a Segment.

With channels, RGB channels, and Segments --- you are dealing with channels in TIME dimension. You can use any of the basic effects (level, ramp up, ramp down, custom) and you work with them in time (tics on the grid).

The next level of Hierarchy is a PixelPlane. A PixelPlane (PP) defines a group of channels that are positioned in space in some X, Y order. You physically create that order with your lights. Most will configure that order to be a MegaTree or a Matrix. By creating a PP and assigning channels to it -- you will have compressed possibly thousands of channels into a single channel on the Editor' grid.

Since a PP is a X,Y structure -- you can't add basic effects to it --- does not make sense. You add complex effects that are created with the knowledge of the X,Y structure and can properly apply time to that structure.

HLS has a PP editor that can generate a handful of these custom effects. You can also generate custom effects using tools like After Effects (AE) or Nutcracker(NC). Once you place a custom effect you can do basic manipulation of that effect --- stretch it, make it smaller, make it play faster or slower, etc.

The whole purpose of RGB, Segments, and PixelPlanes is to reduce the number of channels on the Editor's grid to a manageable number that you can work on.

I hope this helps.


The original thread: