Choreography Questions and Answers

Can I group effects in my show into different groups and hide/show by group?

To hide or show groups of effects, you can make groups by using the "Track" feature in the Firing View. One of the columns in the Firing View is TRK. You can edit this field by changing the "Select only" selector in the Firing View to "Edit cells" and then typing into the TRK column. You can set the TRK for a range of effects by selecting the desired effects and setting the TRK on all of them at once. To select the effects, shift-click rows on the Firing View or shift-click effects on the timeline. You can also select all the effects at a launch position with the command "Edit > Select all at launch position". To set the TRK for all the selected fireworks, do the action on the right of the Firing View: "Actions > Change track". Once you set up your groups, you can hide and show groups using the "All tracks" filter on the Firing View.

If I script a show with an inventory, and then need to update all PFT times, how do I refresh the times into the script?

Once you have inserted an effect into a script, the effect is decoupled from inventory. Changes to the definition of the effect in inventory will not retroactively change any effects already added to shows. If you only need to refresh the PFT or other properties of a few products, you can do it in the Firing View by selecting all instances of the desired effect, and then from the Actions menu doing "Replace effect." Doing this global replacement operation will update the effect with the new definition and PFT, preserving the effect time in the script.

If you need to update a lot of effects (which was actually your question), the "Replace effect" technique would be tedious one by one. A natural solution would be a menu item called "Show > Update effects" or something of that nature but at the time of this writing Finale doesn't yet have that function. The best solution for now may be to export the script to the Finale Generic CSV format from the file menu, and then to edit the CSV in Excel deleting all columns except Item Name, Launch Position, Product ID, Angles and Effect Time*, and then to re-import the the script as a show ("File > Import show"). Choose the option to match effects when asked during the import process. This procedure will re-create the show from current effects in inventory matching the Product IDs, inserted at the effect times. Make sure to delete the Prefire Delay and Ignition Seconds columns or they will override the prefire defined in the inventory.

To script a fan of candles into one cue, I am guessing the ''Make chain'' function is the way to do it?

If your fan of candles is in fact a chain of candles, then the Make chain function is right, but if your candles are unchained effects all e-matched to the same pin, then you do not need to chain them. Finale will automatically put simultaneous effects on the same pin if the firing system or module is configured to allow it.

You just need to make sure to configure your firing system's Max e-matches per pin in Finale to be large enough to allow all the candles to be e-matched to the same pin. The menu items "Show > Addressing options" and "Show > Set firing system > Customize" give you options to set the e-matches per pin globally for the show. If you are adding modules explicitly to the launch positions, then edit the launch position and click "Edit modules" to edit its modules and then set the Max e-matches per pin for each module.

I have specific quantities of products for a show. How can I count up or count down from these pre-defined quantities?

You need to create a "pack list" for the show, which is an Excel spreadsheet with two columns: Product ID, and Quantity. Each row specifies the number of items of that type of product to be used in the show. After creating your Excel spreadsheet, save it as a CSV and then in Finale, do "Effects > Import/export to pack list > Import target quantities from CSV" to set the "target quantities" for the show based on your spreadsheet. Then switch to Inventory View (control-i), and change the "All quantities" filter to "Show or Target > 0". After doing that, the Inventory View will only show the effects that you have added to the show or that you need to add to the show, and it will tell you exactly how many more you need to add. For further instructions, click here.

How can I make waterfalls that come from the ceiling indoors?

Take a picture of the stage and upload it as your background picture. Then insert many launch positions and change their height by right-clicking on the launch position to edit it, then clicking "edit properties" in the upper right, then changing the height to be the height of the launch position. On the screen it will appear raised into the sky depending on the height you set. After raising it to be the correct height for the picture, then you can add a fountain to it, then rotate the fountain angle to aim down. You can also edit the fountain effect to reduce the force of the particles so they fall more lightly.

Sometimes it is hard to grab an effect in the Sky View. Is there another way to move effects to another launch position?

Indoor effects in particular are small and difficult to grab to move. In addition to dragging items in the Sky View, you can also change their launch position directly from the Firing View, by pressing control-F for the Firing View, then changing the selector "Select only" to "Edit cells" and then clicking the launch position cell of the row of the effect you want to move.

I am unable to chain together some types of effects. I get a message that says the operation does not support aggregate devices such as cakes, chains, or shells with bouquets. What do I do?

To chain aggregate devices like cakes or shells with bouquets, you need to select each one and do "Effect / Break apart cake" to split it into its constituent simulations, and then use one of its constituents to represent the full effect. You can chain the individual constituents.

Categories: Category_Choreography, Category_Questions_and_Answers