February 7, 2021

The next display in the Taking it Apart series, we get to review Ron Howard’s display of xTreme Sequences and the display goes through 3 different Trans Siberian Orchestra songs.

This display is very unique and built with pixels. There’s a lot of different moving parts and it’s a lot to keep up with but it’s designed to go along with the music.

As the display gets started you notice right away how large the display really is. This shows the importance of grouping your lights so that it doesn’t take hours to program through xLights or Vixen.

Using Groups

The display begins with Wizards of Winter which is such a classic for Christmas songs and not to mention a lot of fun as well. The color scheme is kept simple between the red, blue, and greens. There are some effects but having the lights grouped makes it so much easier to program instead of trying to do each prop individually.

Reducing the Colors

Instead of turning props off and on throughout the display, Ron instead reduces the amount of color for the props. You normally do this to help highlight the slower parts of the music.

I will note this is a screengrab from xLights, but note how well everything is lined up. When you take the time to make sure your pixels are lined up it really shows when your display starts going. It looks clean and synchronized.

Sweeps and Spiral Effects

One of my favorite pieces of the display is the soft sweeps of light through the pixels.

Then, he uses the mega tree and the props around it for spiral effects, which looks really good.

Creating a Movement Feel

On the last song for the display, Ron takes a different approach to creating a movement feel in his display. During this song he turns different props on and off.

The effects of the last song are a lot of fun because it’s not your usual Christmas song but he does it well.

The different trees and lights start dancing along to the music which is a lot of fun to watch.

It’s a very busy display but so is the Trans Siberian Orchestra music so it works very well together. If this is your style, then I recommend studying it and finding ways to implement this look in your own display.

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