Choreographing the Show

Choreographing the show is a lot like writing music. In an orchestra, there are many different instruments and sounds that a composer can use. In a light show, the instruments are the different elements and the different sounds are the many patterns and colors of light. I am using software called xLights to create the show because it is free, open source, and has lots of community support. Other popular software packages include Vixen Lights and Light-O-Rama.

Creating the show starts with designing a computer model of the house and show element. Every single dot in this model is mapped to a physical light, an element name, and controller outside in the yard. The position on the screen is also recorded to allow for location based effects that move around the house.

 

Once the house and element models have been created, the actual fun choreography and show design can begin. Each element we created before is given its own track in the show editor. From here we can import the audio of the song and start adding effects. There are dozens of light effects to choose from and each one can be further customized to create nearly infinite combinations. Each effect is applied onto the chosen element and can be shortened or lengthened to fit the song.