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Built in Effects

The following effects are ‘ready made’ effects that can be used to generate an effect straight away. For details of the attributes that can be used and the options available for each effect and for further information , please refer to the section in the manual describing the Effects.

Effects Main.png

Effect Effect icon Description
Off Effects Off.png The off effect simply turns every pixel off on the model it is placed on.
On Effects On.png The ON effect turns every pixel on for a given model.

Only one color may be used with the ON effect.

Bars Effects Bars.png The Bars effect creates straight edged multiple color bars that move across a model.

The edges may be hard, highlighted or 3D (soft).

Butterfly Effects Butterfly.png The Butterfly effect creates seemingly random patterns of color swirling around, based on an initial set of parameters..
Circles Effects Circles.png The Circles effect creates solid sphere like objects that move seemingly in random fashion on a model.

Used most effectively on models such as a mega tree or a matrix.

ColorWash Effects ColorWash.png The ColorWash effect creates a wash effect of the selected color or colors across the model.
Faces Effects Faces.png The Faces effect is used by xLights/Nutcracker to generate singing and talking face effects. It is used and placed on the sequencer as part of the Papagayo import functionality, if the target in xLights/Nutcracker is a Coro face

It is also used within xLights/Nutcracker functionality to generate Singing Faces.

Curtain Effects Curtain.png The Curtain effect creates a color transition of one or more colors across the face of a model depicting a curtain opening or closing based on the options selected.

Used most effectively on models such as a mega tree, a matrix, whole house or grouped arches. Can also be used on singular items such as each arch.

Fan Effects Fan.png The Fan effect creates spiralling blade like objects that move around the model either clockwise or counterclockwise. Used most effectively on models such as a mega tree or a matrix.
Fire Effects Fire.png The Fire effect creates an effect that appears as licks of flames.

Used most effectively on models such as a mega tree or a matrix.

Fireworks Effects Fireworks.png The Fireworks effect creates a fireworks type of effect of exploding lights in a burst.

Used most effectively on models such as a mega tree or a matrix.

Galaxy Effects Galaxy.png The Galaxy effect creates a spiral like effect that expands around the model either clockwise or counter-clockwise. Used most effectively on models such as a mega tree or a matrix.
Garlands Effects Garlands.png The Garland effect creates an effect that simulates a circle of rings that drop on each other (depending on the direction of the effect).
Glediator Effects Glediator.png The Glediator effect enables the import and use of an effect that has been created using the Glediator software into xLights/Nutcracker.

Place the Glediator effect in on timing cells that you wish to have the effect on a model. Click on the filename prompt and browse and select the gladiator file.

Life Effects Life.png The Life effect simulates the Game of Life cellular automation model.
Lightning Effects Lightening.png The Lightning effect generates a vertical lightning bolt type of effect.
Marquee Effects Marquee.png TThe Marquee effect displays scrolling lines or bands of pixels around the edge of an model or from one end of a line to the other.
Meteors Effects Meteors.png The Meteors effect generates a number of meteor like streaks of color.
Morph Effects Morph.png The morph effect creates a movement across a model of one or many strands of lights with a head, body and tail. Morph looks best on megatrees, arches and matrix models.
Piano Effects Piano.png The Piano effect displays a piano keyboard effects where the keys modulate based on the beat and frequency of the sequence audio. the effect also supports representation on user defined shapes besides that of a keyboard layout.
Pictures Effects Pictures.png The Pictures effect is used to import a supported image type (gif, bmp, jpg etc) and render that image as an effect while also allowing the image to be manipulated and edited within xLights/Nutcracker.
Pinwheel Effects Pinwheel.png The Pinwheel effect generates a rotating pinwheel arrangement or radial rays type of effect.
Plasma Effects Plasma.png The Plasma effect generates cycles of changing color to give an illusion of a liquid organic movement effect.
Ripple Effects Ripple.png The Ripple effect generates a ripple like spreading movement of color similar to when an object is dropped into water.
Shimmer Effects Shimmer.png The Shimmer effect provides an effect whereby the lights rapidly turn on and off.
Shockwave Effects Shockwave.png The Shockwave effect describes a circular object that starts small and expands to a larger circle. The effect can be configured to do the opposite i.e. start as a large circle and shrink to a smaller one.
Single Strand Effects SingleStrand.png The Single Strand effect is an effect that is used to implement chases and other such staggered effects on models that are single dimensional in nature such as house outlines, arches as well as AC models.
Snow Flakes Effects Snowflakes.png The Snowflake effect paints a picture of falling particles i.e. a similar to snowflakes falling on snow.
Snow Storm Effects Snowstorm.png The Snowstorm effect paints a picture of particles blowing i.e. a similar to an ice or dust storm.
Spirals Effects Spirals.png The Spiral effect provides different representations of two and three dimensional spirals and helix.
Spirograph Effects Spirographs.png The Spirograph provides an effect described or formed by rolling a circle inside or outside of another circle. The point is placed at any point on the rolling circle.
Strobe Effects Strobe.png The Strobe effect provides an effect where light particles turn off and on rapidly, but at fixed intervals.
Text Effects Text.png The Text effect enables upto 4 lines of text, all individually controlled to be displayed. The content of the text can be static, but can also include countdown timers.
Tree Effects Tree.png The Tree effect creates a series of zigzag branches against a colored background.

This effect is best used against a tree type of model such as a mega tree.

Wave Effects Wave.png The Twinkle effect provides an effect of individual particles turning off and on slowly or rapidly, similar to the shimmer effect but with a different and more random implementation.

Adding an Effect

Click on the effect from the effects toolbar and drag the effect to the grid and release it between two timing marks on the row of the model you wish the effect to play on. You can then select and drag each end to stretch the duration of the effect or reduce the duration of the effect. The effect that you are working with is reflected in the (associated and open) windows to the left of the grid.

Selecting Colors

For most effects, you can change the initial colors selected for the effect by selecting a different color or colors from the Color Window.

Double Clicking on the any of the color icons opens up a Palette window, where the standard colors can then be replaced with a new standard color or a custom color can be selected.

Once you tailor an effect, then use the effect again, the effect will have all the same settings as the previous effect did. However, if you were to highlight any other effect with different colors selected then the colors will change to the colors of the effect that you have selected.

Changing an Effect

1. From the Color window, you can change the Colors that apply to the effect, as well as the Sparkles, Brightness and Contrast values.

2. From the Effect Settings window, you can change various options/attributes that are applied to the effect.

3. An effect or group of effects can be moved, by highlighting the effect, or range and moving it along the same model row/rows on the grid forwards or backwards. Hold the Shift key to move multiple effects.

4.In order to copy and paste an effect, select the individual effect, right click and then select Copy. Move the cursor to where you want the effect to be copied to, right click and select Paste. You can also press Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V to copy and paste the effect. In order to copy and paste a range of effects, use the cursor to highlight and select a range of cells. Then copy, followed by paste.

5. You can delete an effect, by selecting the effect in the grid and pressing delete on your keyboard.

Undo Effect Actions

Many, but not all effect actions can be ‘Undone’ by Right Clicking on the Grid and selecting the Undo action i.e. Undo effect move or Undo delete.. etc

At this point, Ctrl+Z to Undo is not supported.

The Undo actions can be daisy changed i.e. they can be repeated one after another.

Creating Random Effects

Select and highlight an area on the grid. Right click and select the option to Create Random effects. Effects will be randomly selected (along with different colors and options) and effects created in the area highlighted, each between consecutive timing marks. If there are no timing marks active, then a default time value will be used for each effect.

Click on Play to play the effects. You can also use the shortcut key ‘R’ to achieve the same result by highlighting one or more cells and pressing R.

Effect Presets

Presets are a way to save an effect and easily recall it later to speed up sequencing.

To save an effect (which can span layers and models) as a preset, highlight the effects that you want to save, right click and select Effect Presets. You can first create a group that describes the type of effect that you are going to save (Spirals, Bars, etc). Click on Add group and give the group a name (‘Spirals’). Then select the group and click New Preset and give the Preset name (‘Red and White Spirals’) and press OK. To retrieve a preset that has been saved, go to a location on the grid where you wish the preset to be placed, right click on the sequencing grid, select Effects Preset, scroll to and locate the preset you want and double click on it to have it copied to your location, or select Apply Effect.

If you change something within an effect that you have selected, you can update it by clicking Update Effects. You can move an effect preset from one group to another group, delete or rename a preset. You can also import an effect (from someone else), by clicking on Import, selecting an xlights_rgbeffects.xml file and importing the effect from there.

Single Channel Colors

Single Channel colors react only to the color that they are defined as. If you define them as single color blue then it will only react to the blue channel. You can set any color and it will route the blue portion of that color to that model. If you send White (R=255, G=255 B=255), to a single color blue model then it will turn fully blue. If you send blue it will turn fully blue. If you send red or green it won't turn on at all. If you send pink which is R=255, G=0, B=128 you will get a half brightness blue. You can therefore include those single color models inside a group and they will react to the colors dropped on the group. Any of the "blue" components of the RGB values assigned to that model will cause it to fire at the associated brightness of the component. The strings will light up with the intensity of the color for each channel. So if you send Purple R=128, G=0, B=128) , that will light up all the Red and Blue strings but only about 50% intensity. If you just want a string to turn on full brightness without worrying about it then use White.

Playing a video file as an effect

You can play an mp4,avi,mov or (any of over 100 formats) movie on a model such as a matrix or a whole house using the picture effect. To get a list of the formats supported type ffmpeg ­formats at the command line for an output list.

To play a video as an effect, create a temporary directory, and copy the video file there. Then use the ffmpeg utility to break it up into frames.

ffmpeg is run from the DOS command line and is included with each release of xLights/Nutcracker. Example: ffmpeg ­i yourmovie.mp4 ­s 30x50 f­%d.png

Notes: The mp4 file name should be enclosed in quotes if it has a space in the name or an unusual character e.g.

ffmpeg ­i “your movie.mp4” ­s 30x50 f­%d.png

This will create a number of files 'f1­' onwards i.e. frames f­1.png, f­2.png .etc.

The ­s 30x50 is the size output of the png files to be used for playback on your model where the format is ­s WxH pixels.

‘f’ refers to the output filename prefix. You could instead have specified outfile­%d.

Place the the picture effect on your model and browse and point to the first file i.e. "f­1.png". The picture effect will then play the individual files quickly in succession giving the appearance of the video file playing on your model.

Note: Only 'something­1' will work i.e. the application looks for the '­1' and then only picks the others. If you have an entire movie saved, you can export just portions of the video file as follows: ffmpeg ­i yourfile.avi ­s 30x50 ­ss 00:00:00 ­t 00:03:00 movie1­%d.png

This will make a 3 minute capture starting at the beginning. The time is noted in hours:min:sec.

Tip: A quick way is to navigate to the directory with the video file using Windows Explorer. Then make sure no files are selected and hold down SHIFT and right­click and you should get an option for "Open command window here". Now you have a DOS prompt already in the right directory without having to figure out how to type all the commands to get there. You won't get the right options if something is highlighted.