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Combining two shows into one

 

 


  1. Combine the frame files
  2. Change frame references
  3a. Do you need to change internal ID?
  3b. Change the internal ID
  4. Save the module file
  5. Add the module file to an existing show
  6. Drag-and-drop the new module
  7. Save the combined show
  Advanced notes: Playing multiple shows
  Advanced notes: Loading show elements

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Some clients have asked about combining several shows (songs) into a single show (with multiple songs). The general procedure is relatively simple -- here is a summary:

  1. Combine the frame files; save the combined files

  2. Change the second show's frame references to match the newly-combined frames

  3. If you're using Showtime default shows, change the internal ID by making a new module based on the old module

  4. Save the second show's module file (not the show file)

  5. Add the module file into an existing show

  6. Drag and drop it onto the timeline; stretch it to the same length as in the original show

  7. Save the combined show.

Let's go through the above steps using an example of two shows: "SongA.sho" and "SongB.sho". They will be combined into "TwoSongs.sho". To help you keep track of the process, we have color-coded the first and second song names, and the combined song name.
        Begin by making backups of the two show files ("SongA.sho", "SongB.sho") and two frame files ("SongA.ldb" and "SongB.ldb"). (Note that if you are using LD2000, the file extensions will be ".shs" and ".lds".) The backups are just in case an error is made during the combining process!

1. Combine the frame files

The first consideration is that the final show ("TwoSongs.sho") will load a single frame file. Thus, we must combine the frames from SongA ("SongA.ldb") and those from SongB ("SongB.ldb").
        You can do this either in LD or in Showtime; it is slightly easier to use LD. First, load SongA's frames, starting with frame #1. Next, find the last frame from SongA. (If you are in LD, the program automatically goes to the last frame. In Showtime, use the "Go to/Block end frame" menu to find the last frame.) Write down what frame this is, as you'll need it later.
        Go to the next frame (e.g., the frame AFTER the last frame in SongA). Now, load SongB's frames. Once again, find the last frame in SongA. Finally, save the entire block, from frame 1 to the last frame in SongB. (Again, it is slightly easier in LD to use the "File/Save/All frames" menu.) Call this combined frame file "TwoSongs.ldb".

2. Change the second show's frame references

Next, go into Showtime and load the SECOND show you want. In our example, this is the "SongB.sho". You will need to change the frame references, so they match the newly-moved frames.
        To do this, select the "Show" level (from the Show/Module/Scene option buttons at the left of the main timeline window. Select the "Edit/Add offset to frame references" menu. In the resulting dialog box, type in the number of the last frame of SongA (e.g., one frame before where SongB's frames now start). Click the "Add Frame Offset" button (this must be done even though this step is not described in the instructions). Click the "X" button to close the dialog box. All frames in ShowB will now be offset the correct amount.

3a. Do you need to change the internal ID?

The next step, changing the internal ID, is only necessary under two conditions:

  1. Both shows were created using LD/QM32 Showtime release 1.60 or earlier, AND

  2. Both shows were made by adding to "Default Show 1", which Showtime uses when it first starts.

So, you can skip the next section if you are using LD2000, or if you are using LD/QM32 Showtime release after 1.60, or if you created one or both of your shows using "File/New show".

3b. Change the internal ID (for early Showtime versions)

For shows created using LD/QM32 Showtime versions 1.60 and earlier, it is possible to have shows that Showtime cannot tell apart. This is because of how Showtime creates and keeps track of shows. We'll first discuss how shows can get the same ID, and then how to assign a different ID.
        Every show, module and scene has an unique internal ID number. The ID is a combination of the date/time the show (or module or scene) was first created, plus the serial number of the QM board used. The ID number never changes, even if you change the name or description of the show. This is how Showtime can tell the difference between two shows (or two modules or two scenes) with the same name.
        Normally, there is not a problem if you use "File/New show" to create a show. A unique ID is assigned and the show is different than any other created using "File/New show".
        However, many people create shows by starting with the default show that comes up when Showtime loads. In release 1.60 and earlier, this default show has an unchanging ID. If you created a show one day by editing "Default Show 1", and the next day you loaded Showtime and created another show by editing "Default Show 1", then both will have the same ID numbers.
        This leads to problems if Showtime tries to load in modules or scenes from one show, into the other show. Showtime will see the default ID, will notice that it is the same as an existing ID, and will thus replace the existing modules or scenes -- instead of adding them to the module or scene list.
        It is not currently possible to find out what a show's ID number is. Therefore, if you think both of your shows may have been made in version 1.60 or earlier using Showtime's default, follow this procedure:

  1. With ShowB loaded, select the Show level (from the Show/Module/Scene option buttons on the left side of the main timeline window). Go to the Module List window. Select "File/Create new module". The "Create New Module Wizard" will appear. On the second screen, select "Copy the scenes of an existing module".

  2. Follow the rest of the wizard: tell it what module you want to copy (you probably have only one); give the module a new name (such as "SongB2"), select a group and reusability level (the default selections are fine), and reset all parameters to default values.

  3. When you have completed the wizard, you will have a new module identical to SongB, but with a different internal ID and name (SongB2).

4. Save the module file

Next, we'll save the module (song) in ShowB. With ShowB loaded, select the Show level. Go to the Module List window. Highlight the module in the Module List. Select "File/Save module file". Give it a filename such as "SongB.mod".
        Also, note the "percent of creation time" for SongB. This is usually at 100%. If it is not, make a note of the creation time since you will need it later.

5. Add the module file to an existing show

You are now ready to add the SongB module into the SongA show. To do this, select "File/Open show" from the main timeline window, and open SongA ("SongA.sho").
        Showtime may ask you if you want to open the SongA frames ("SongA.ldb"); do NOT do this. (This is because you already have the larger set of frames from both SongA and SongB, which you combined in an earlier step.)
        Go to the Module List window, select "File/Open module file/Add to existing modules". Load in the "SongB.mod" file.
        You should now see two modules in the list: the original module used by SongA, and the new SongB module. (If you see only one module, what has happened is that the internal ID for SongA's module and for SongB's module is somehow identical. Perhaps you accidentally saved the original SongB and not the new SongB2. Review the "Change the internal ID" section to be sure you make a new module (SongB2) based on the old one (SongB), and that you save the new module (SongB2).)

6. Drag-and-drop the new module

Drag and drop the SongB module onto the Show timeline. Using the right mouse button, stretch the SongB module to 100% of creation time (or whatever the percent was in the original SongB show). Using the left mouse button, move the SongB module left until it runs into the end of the SongA module.
        Test the results by playing the show. To save time, simply click on each module in the Show timeline (to highlight it), then use the "Play selected (SEL)" button to play the selected module. You should see the correct frames and timing in each module.

7. Save the combined show

Finally, go to the main timeline window's "File/Save show" menu. Save the combined show using a new name such as "TwoShows.ldb".

 

 

 

 


Advanced notes: Playing multiple shows

The discussion above is for those who want to merge modules into a single Showtime show. You might not need to go to all this trouble.
        If you merely want to play shows one after another, use the LD Autoplay program. This lets you list the Showtime shows and frame files which you want to play. To set up a sequence of shows from LD Autoplay, click on the "Edit show" button, and select the "Link to next show in list" check box. To play the sequence over and over, choose a show in the sequence and click the "Play continuous" button, located at the bottom of the main LD Autoplay screen.
        You can also use a third-party program, such as ShowControl from Laserlight Showdesign, that plays LD shows in sequence.

Advanced notes: Loading show elements

The procedure above took the approach of saving a show's module (song) as a separate file. You can save time though, by loading in a show file (.sho) from the Module List's "File/Open module file/Add to existing modules" menu. All modules (and scenes and effects) in the show will be loaded.
        The reason this was not discussed in the main text is because it will not work if you have two shows, both made by editing Showtime's "Default Module 1" show. There is no way to create a new show based on an existing show. In such a case, you must save a module file (.mod) and then load it using the Module List's "File/Open module file/Add to existing modules" menu.
        (Note: To make this process easier, you can save all modules at once into a single module (.mod) file by using "Edit/Select all" in the Module List, before saving. Just as LD can save and load files containing multiple frames, Showtime can save and load files containing multiple modules (or scenes, or effects). Then, when you later go to load the module file, all modules will be added at once.)
  

   
  This page last updated: Monday, August 13, 2007 03:34 PM

 
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