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  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.

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Excellent work, David. You really get to the heart of what constitutes a quality Christmas display through the eyes of your visitors. Thanks for sharing.

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Excellent work, David. You really get to the heart of what constitutes a quality Christmas display through the eyes of your visitors. Thanks for sharing.

I think we often just do things without thinking about why we do them and I hope this presentation gets at that. What's missing from this presentation is a number of videos all playing the same song. Then you can go through each one and pickout what works and what doesn't and why.

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I think we often just do things without thinking about why we do them and I hope this presentation gets at that. What's missing from this presentation is a number of videos all playing the same song. Then you can go through each one and pickout what works and what doesn't and why.

I'm just throwing this out for discussion. I don't intend this to be negative. I'm not trying to insult you or your presentation in any way. (Also keep in mind that I didn't hear the presentation I'm only looking at the text and pictures. I'm sure you talked about things that added a lot to it.) When I went through the material I got the message that in order to really have a polished display you must be animated so that you can treat your display as a stage. To really be refined you not only need sequencing but a high channel count as well. (I realize that this may not have been your intention.) As someone who does not animate I'm not sure what that leaves me with. I'm curious to know what your thoughts are on this. If this was a presentation given to a class for people who use computer control then I may simply be taking it out of context.

TED

Edited by TED

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First, I would like to thank David for posting his presentation on pc. I found the presentation enjoyable.

Having pulled together all the educational presentations for PLUS 2005 and 2007, I know it can be quite a challenge to get agreement from the authors as to what can and can not be posted to the web, due to very real concerns related to copyright issues (using photos, etc without the original owner's sign-off, etc), liability issues (advice that might be taken literally regarding use of electricity), and very importantly concerns as to how folks may interpret what the author is trying to convey.

It can be very difficult to get the flavor of the presentation, without actually being there and hearing the explanations of the bulleted items on the slides, as these are expanded upon during a presentation.

To illustrate, after reviewing this presentation, my take was a little different than Chuck's.

Although I agree it seemed to be biased towards the use of electronic animation in displays, one of the bulleted items stated size was not equivalent to quality.

I think anyone that has been designing displays for any amount of time would agree with that concept.

Size in this case is relates not only to the number of items (ie lights, figures, etc) in a display, but number of channels also.

Some displays with a smaller number of channels look just as good, and in many cases better, than others with a larger number of channels. In displays that feature a high number of channels there tends to be, of necessity as there are only so many sequencing elements that fit well for a given song, more repetition of similar sequencing throughout the display.

The other point raised in the presentation is the concept that the display may look better/more dramatic with most/all of the lights off when not being sequenced. Many would feel different, feeling there should be a balance. It depends on the type of "show" you want to convey to the audience..

Again Dave, nice presentation. I am sure, just like any other written/internet based material that is available for folks to review, that you will get different interpretations based on the perceptions of the folks viewing the material.

It's hard to gauge intent by looking at typed information without hearing/seeing the presenter during the presentation. You miss out on quite a bit.

That is why attending a mini/workshop/PLUS adds so much more than simply viewing downloaded material. And that is not even mentioning all the great interactions with fellow decorators that often carry on well into the wee morning hours!

Greg

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I'm just throwing this out for discussion. I don't intend this to be negative. I'm not trying to insult you or your presentation in any way. (Also keep in mind that I didn't hear the presentation I'm only looking at the text and pictures. I'm sure you talked about things that added a lot to it.) When I went through the material I got the message that in order to really have a polished display you must be animated so that you can treat your display as a stage. To really be refined you not only need sequencing but a high channel count as well. (I realize that this may not have been your intention.) As someone who does not animate I'm not sure what that leaves me with. I'm curious to know what your thoughts are on this. If this was a presentation given to a class for people who use computer control then I may simply be taking it out of context.

TED

My audience was primarily was people with animated/non-static displays, so the presentation focuses on that. An analogy that fits the animated vs. static might be:

Static is to art on the walls of an art gallery (generally speaking)

Animated is to a live Broadway show

Static is to a magazine

Animated is to a TV show

While each is

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It can be very difficult to get the flavor of the presentation, without actually being there and hearing the explanations of the bulleted items on the slides, as these are expanded upon during a presentation.

You are correct, even in the 1 hour slot provided to present, it was hard to convey such complex and interconnected subject matter and in just presentation form alone, it's really hard to fully get all the discussion points I was attempting to get accross. But, something is better than nothing, so I decided to go ahead and post it.

Although I agree it seemed to be biased towards the use of electronic animation in displays, one of the bulleted items stated size was not equivalent to quality.

Not as much biased - it was just that I didn't consider static displays in the construction of the presentation, so yes, it was focused on animated displays.

Some displays with a smaller number of channels look just as good, and in many cases better, than others with a larger number of channels. In displays that feature a high number of channels there tends to be, of necessity as there are only so many sequencing elements that fit well for a given song, more repetition of similar sequencing throughout the display.

In reviewing lots of display videos, I found both to be the case. You are correct that there are just so many elements that can be sequenced with hundreds of channels (may not completely apply to RGB) and you can only have so many elements on in a given song without "distorting" the display. I do feel that high channel counts and lots of elements gives good opportunity for specific use of elements - talking characters in selected songs, matrix displays with songs that spell out things, snowfall lights in "snow" or "soft" songs, etc. The trick it seems in high channel count displays is controlling the urge to turn them all on, all the time. Just like movies - all the actors are not on screen at the same time, all the time.

The other point raised in the presentation is the concept that the display may look better/more dramatic with most/all of the lights off when not being sequenced. Many would feel different, feeling there should be a balance. It depends on the type of "show" you want to convey to the audience..

The quote from the presentation being referenced must be "Dynamic range of an animated display is lowered when lights are on a majority of the time". I wasn't trying to imply that lights should be off most or all (then it's not a display?) - just that in the videos I reviewed, the level of lights should be equal to the level of energy in the music. If sequencing the song o' Holy Night - clearly this doesn't demand 50,000 lights as where Wizards in Winter may, at points, demand 50,000 lights to convey the energy.

I do agree it depends on the type of show and music you select and the audience and "mood" you want to convey.

It's hard to gauge intent by looking at typed information without hearing/seeing the presenter during the presentation. You miss out on quite a bit. That is why attending a mini/workshop/PLUS adds so much more than simply viewing downloaded material.

I couldn't agree more - a video of a well put together presentation would be ideal but I know there is a limit when it comes to the amount of time people can invest.

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