Animating Your Megatree

I'm not a mega-tree expert by any stretch of the imagination.  When I decided to put up a full sized one in my display, I realized there were no instructions/samples of all the different patterns you could animate on one.  Finally, I decided to sit down and come up with a bunch of different ones, and create samples. 

You can download all of the following patterns in a sample file for either Animated Lighting, or Light-O-Rama.  The Animated Lighting grids are mine, while the LOR grids are courtesy of Alec from

Download the demo for Animated Lighting's 'Animation Director'
Download the demo for 'Light O Rama' (please note that I did not create the LOR demos, and am not an LOR user.  If you have problems with the LOR demo, please ask your question on the LOR forum.  They are friendly people and can help.)

These sample grids and patterns are designed for a 4 color, 8 slice (32 channel) tree. Of course, you can adapt them to any color/slice combination.  As a bonus, these patterns should also work for lines of mini-trees, roof grids, etc....


I'm sure I have not even come close to hitting all the different combinations you can do.  PLEASE -- If you have other chases, let me know and I'll add them (use the 'Contact Me' link on the left).

All of these patterns are presented as simply as possible.  They assume the channel is just turned on (ramp rate 0), no fading, and at full intensity ('Radar' is the exception).  That doesn't mean you shouldn't experiment with sparkles/shimmers/ramps/etc - give them a try!  For even more variety, each pattern can be modified up to 5 different ways:

Start with channels ON, and instead turn them OFF

Instead of going clockwise, go counter clockwise (or back to front instead of front to back, or right to left instead of left to right, etc)

When you get to the end of a sequence, go in the opposite direction turning things back off.

On Top
Pick a another color and light all unused slices with it instead of leaving them off.

Leave the previously used channels ON instead of turning them off.

Don't forget about these mods. They can expand the number of chases demoed many hundreds of times! 

General Notes:

All of these patterns assume equal time-spaced columns.  You can space yours however you like, but the patterns may not look right with odd spacing.

For the Animated Lighting grids, I tried to merge columns wherever possible.  There are some that are not.  Feel free to merge as your heart desires.  Both files include a top-down visualizer file AND the background image with the slices numbered.

There are not separate grids for all the different modifications for all the patterns.  For the Animated Lighting demo grids, there are several examples at the bottom of the show (under the Xx_____xX line).

The channels in the demo grids are in 'location' order.  That is they are ordered:

Slice 1 Red
Slice 1 Green
Slice 1 Blue
Slice 1 Clear
Slice 2 Red
Slice 2 Green
Slice 2 Blue

If your grids are ordered the same way, then you should be able to just cut/paste and away you go! If you have a 'color' ordered show:

Slice 1 Red
Slice 2 Red
Slice 3 Red
Slice 1 Green
Slice 2 Green

You'll need to modify the demos.  If you would like to take my demo and convert it into color order, let me know and I'll post it here on the website.

While I am NOT a music person by any means, several of these effects will short you 1-3 columns when complete.  What I mean is that the beat in most music is easily divisible by 4.  Thus these effects can be used when your grid timing is not quite perfect.  For example By using the 'around and back' from 1-3 times, you can 'move' the grid by 1-3 columns to line up on the next beat.  I've noted the number of columns each of these will use to help you with the cleanup, and the ones not divisible by 4 with a *.

You should be able to start any of these from any 'wedge' you like.  I tried to stay with '1' when possible, but that doesn't mean you couldn't start on 4, 7, 2, whatever.

A dash indicates that you should move to the next column.

The Patterns:

'Whirling Dervish' (8)
Chase a wedge clockwise or counter-clockwise. Only 1 wedge is lit at one time.

'Around and Back' (* 15)
Same as the Whirling Dervish, except at the last wedge, chase backward from that point.

'Circle Fill' (8)
Start with a single wedge, and fill clockwise, leaving previous wedges ON. Can also be reversed for a 'Reverse Circle Fill'

'Pacman' (* 15)
Combine and around and back with a circle fill. Do a circle fill, and then go in the opposite direction turning wedges OFF.

'Egyptian Eye' (* any)
Start with a middle wedge, and jump randomly from that position 1 wedge clockwise or counter- clockwise. Makes for a cool alien 'scanning' effect.

'Yin Yang Wipe' (4)
Start with opposite side wedges and fill.

'The Propeller' (4)
Start with opposite side wedges and chase.

'Muti Cross' (2)
For multi-color trees. Start with a solid color tree (or dark), Turn on every other wedge with a color, then the remaining wedges with the same color.  On the next cycle use a different color.

'Two Bits' (4)
Chase quarters of the Tree clockwise or counter clockwise.

'Two Bits, No Change' (4)
Fill quarters of the Tree clockwise or counter clockwise.

'JFK' (2)
Chase halves of the tree. Not very interesting, but possible.

'JFK, No Change' (2)
Fill Halves of the tree. Not very interesting, but possible.

'I'll take Door Number 2!' (*3)
Start at the center wedge, then chase with a wedge to the left/and right.

'Zonk!' (*5)
Same as 'Take Door Number 2', but go all the way around.

'Curtain Call' (*3)
A reversed 'Take Door Number 2'.

'Fabulous Prizes' (*6)
Do a Zonk in a bright color (like white), and follow it in the next column with a fill in a different color (say red).
3W - 2W 3R 4W - 1W 2R 3R 4R 5W - 1R 2R 3R 4R 5R 6W 8W - 1R 2R 3R 4R 5R 6R 7W 8R - 1R 2R 3R 4R 5R 6R 7R 8R

'Split Personality' (8)
Light 1/2 the tree in one color, 1/2 in another color, then spin.

1R 2R 3R 4R 5W 6W 7W 8W-1W 2R 3R 4R 5R 6W 7W 8W-1W 2W 3R 4R 5R 6R 7W 8W-1W 2W 3W 4R 5R 6R 7R 8W-1W 2W 3W 4W 5R 6R 7R 8R-1R 2W 3W 4W 5W 6R 7R 8R-1R 2R 3W 4W 5W 6W 7R 8R-1R 2R 3R 4W 5W 6W 7W 8R

'Radar' (8)
Do a Whirling Dervish at a medium intensity, with a fade.  On your selected slice, go to full brightness and fade out longer.

'Jump!' (8)
Light opposite sides of the tree going around in a circle.  Creates a 'negative' spinning effect.

'Sand the Floor' (*7)
Two whirling dervishes in opposite directions.

'Wax on, Wax off' (8)

Two whirling dervishes in opposite directions in 2 colors (say red and green):
1R 8G - 2R 7G - 3R 6G - 4R 5G - 5R 4G - 6R 3G - 7R 2G - 8R 1G

(The demos are Copyrighted by me. The grids and information is free for non-commercial use. Commercial entities should contact me for licensing).