Animation

In the animation tab you can create new animations, change and delete them by navigating through the slider menu’s. With the first installation of the database a few animations have already been added for you, so you can use them as they are, or play with them to understand how it works.

An animation is a group of at least two scenes that will change one after another in the time you configured. An animation can put scenes in sequence an eventually loop through them in a configurable manner and time.

Animations can be ‘stretched’ in time through Homeseer event triggering, where the event trigger will start the animation and the animation ends at a set time or at sunset/sunrise at event execution or when ended explicitly. An animation can be used as an alert, where lights are reset to their original setting after ending the alert. Even another animation will continue to run after a animated alert ends. This is set in the options of an animation
Standard Homeseer icons should make it easy to understanding the functions of the buttons used. All changes on this page are immediately saved once the animation is approved as complete by the plugin.

Creating a new animation

Creating a new animation starts with clicking on the button in the top line of the animation tab. After pressing this button a new animation will appear in the list. The animation slider tab is already opened for editing the steps in this animation.

Options

In the new animation is the first part the slider tab for setting the options of the animation. Click on the triangle to open it.

Stretch time of this animation until set end time

Enabling the stretch option wil enable the use of dynamic timing for the animation. An event is used to start this animation. The event could trigger at sunset and set the endtime for the animation at 11 PM for example. The stratch functionality will make sure the timings in the animation will adjust to have the animation finished at 11 PM.
Or an event can trigger when it gets dark, but if it is dark before sunset it can start an animation to stretch until sunset really starts. No matter if sunset is starting at 4 PM or 9 PM, the animation will be running and ending at sunset time. If light comes back before sunset, another event could cancel the animation if needed.
Or the event could go through sleep colors until sunrise and is triggered by starting sleepmode in the bedroom.

A sample animation using stretch:

An animation “stretchit” consists of three scenes without loops. Stretching is enabled for this animation.
* scene A (stretch * 3) * scene B (stretch * 2) * scene C (stretch * 1) Next, we create an event which triggers at 9 PM in the evening, with the event action set to run animation “stretchit” until 10PM (any time could be used here of course).

First the plugin will calculate the value of stretching needed for correct timing. In this example the base line period is 10 minutes. As a result, scene A will run for 10*3=30 minutes, scene B for 10*2=20 minutes and scene C for 10*1=10 minutes.

With stretching disabled, the column for Stretch factor is replaced by wait time. Wait time is to be configured in 1/10 of seconds, enabling a very precise timing of the animation. In this case you always know exactly how long the animation will run.

When creating a animation based on the wait time, be sure to test it with different timings. If you are using a scene with 4 lights involved, a wait time of 0.1 second is not going to work as each light command on the bridge is already using 0.1 second. As a rule of thumb, minimum wait time to be used is the number of lights involved in a step * 0.1 second.
When addressing groups in scenes, the same rule of thumb should then change to number of groups involved * 1 second.

Return to original settings

This setting gives you the ability to return to original light settings after finishing the animation. When you decide to create some sort of alerting effect and want to return to original settings after this animation, select this option.

Continue after other Hue commands

The second option is to enable the possible cancelation of the animation. With this option the animation will be stopped when any other command of the JowiHue plugin is started. This might be important if you want to make sure a new scene or animation can take over when wanted. Be aware that even an alert or a device on will stop the animation.
Aside from this option, when any animation is running, a button will appear on the bridge device in the deviceutility page of Homeseer. The device string will tell you how many animations are running at the same time. The button will enable you to forcefully stop all animations, no matter if “Continue when other commands are executed” is enabled or not.

Defining steps for the animation

An animation is built in steps. In every step a scene is used and duration (stretch or wait period) configured. An animation should exist of at least two steps (otherwise you could just start the scene right?). Above the defined step you’ll see a marker with the generated formula. If you start with an new animation you’ll see the marker with text like “Please select a first sequence”.

Once you select the first scene, the text will disappear and a formula will be displayed (but not yet approved). The marker will change to an approval sign, once you reach a valid formula. From this moment the animation will be saved. Each approved change will be directly saved for you and is reflected in the formula area:


The animation belonging to the above formula line is shown a bit later. [S*x]=Stretch factor, [T:x]=Transition time, {L-x}= number of loops.

With every step you can define an alternative transition time in tenths of seconds.
Depending on the stretch setting the transition field will be followed by “Stretch *” or “Wait:”. For the stretch value, the base time calculated will be multiplied by the stretch value. For the Wait value, this value will result in a wait time in tenths of seconds.
The last step will have the '+' button on the right side. With this button you can add new steps when needed. Similarly, every step can be deleted by pressing the red cross

Looping through scenes in an animation

A standard sequence will do for many situations, but in some scenarios you might want to loop back a few times before proceeding to the next step. This plugin can handle loops if you need it, preventing you to have to create dozens of steps to reach the same goal. The plugin will show with every step whether a loop is possible and, if so, to which step you could return without getting in trouble. The formula line will show you what is going to happen.

When using loops, the last defined step will be able to set an infinite loop. To prevent things getting out of hand, when you set the infinite loop, the animation will be cancelled when any other command is performed by the plugin. So loop ends when lights are switched off, or a scene is started or another animation starts, or the HS bridge device sends a cancel animation command.

Practical information regarding animations

With animations you can create complex combinations of scenes. There is a bit of a challenge in timings when you use groups in your scenes. Advantage of using groups is that lights responds more synchronous to a command. But it also adds a bit more slowness to the speed of accepting commands by the bridge. You will not notice it when the wait time you are using is generating one command per second and you do not use more then 1 group in a scene. But you might notice it when you are have wait times less than 0.5 seconds. Just be sure to test them and adjust wait times when using high speed animations.