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Effects OverviewDocumentation

Advanced Last updated: July 7, 2021

4 Per-show effects

The effect window in Finale 3D displays a collection of effects that you can choose from the blue selector in the upper right — Generic effects, Per-show effects, My effects, and others.  You can use the filters and search box at the top of the effects window to further refine the results, but it remains the case that all the effects shown in the effects window at one time come from a single collection, chosen from the blue selector.  One of these collections is Per-show effects.

The reason the collections are split out from one another is that they are saved in different places.  Generic effects is a read-only default collection of 6000 effects that is part of the downloaded software itself.  My effects is a read-write personal collection of effects associated with your user account, saved to the cloud whenever you do the “Sync to network” command.  Read-only supplier catalogs, and Finale Inventory accounts also show up in the list of collections.  What distinguishes the Per-show effects from all the other collections is that it is saved as part of the show file.  That’s why it is called “Per-show” effects.


Figure 1Per-show effects is one of the effects collections that the effect window can display.


The saved show file contains its own Per-show effects to avoid having any external dependencies on outside effects collections or databases.  You can send a show file to a friend, and the friend can open it in his Finale 3D with all the effects in tact, no matter what other effects collections your friend has access to.  You see that the Per-show effects is associated with a particular show if you select the Per-show effects in the effects window and then switch between viewing different shows from bottom of the Windows menu in the main Finale 3D menu bar.  When you do so, the content of the effects window will change to show the effects of each show.


What is in Per-show effects, exactly?

If you create a show with three or four different effects in the script, and then look at the show’s Per-show effects, you won’t be surprised to see that it contains the same three or four effects you used in your script.  You might be surprised, however, to see what happens if you delete those effects from the script: nothing.  The Per-show effects will still contain the effect definitions of the effects that you inserted into the script and then later deleted.   Thus it isn’t always the case that the Per-show effects contains exactly those effects currently in the script and nothing more.  In general, it will contain all effects that have ever been in the script, even if they’ve been deleted.

If you have effects in the Per-show effects that are leftover from previous versions of the script and you want to delete them to clean up the collection, there’s a command to do exactly that: “Effects > Delete unreferenced Per-show effects”.


How do effects get into Per-show effects?

Whenever you insert an effect into the script from any collection, the effect definition will be copied from that effect collection to the show’s Per-show effects automatically.  If an effect with the same part number is already in the Per-show effects, then you’ll get a warning dialog asking, “That effect is already in the Per-show effects.  Update the effect?”  It is possible that the effect already in your Per-show effects by that part number has a slightly different definition from the effect you are inserting — or an entirely different definition if it happens to be a different effect!

The Per-show effects is organized by part number.  Every part number is unique.  Thus if you insert an effect into the script whose part number matches a part number already in the script, the Per-show effects is going to end up with a single effect definition associated with that part number one way or the other, and all of the events in the script referencing that part number are going to use that effect definition.

While it might be confusing that inserting an effect into a script could alter the appearance of existing effects already in the script, it is ultimately a good thing.  You wouldn’t want a show to have two different looking effects associated with the same part number, because then how would you ever generate a complete product list for the show?  The unique part numbers requirement guarantees that the show remains consistent.


Quotas, and effects without definitions

The function, “File > Import > Import quotas…”  reads in a CSV file with two columns: part number and quantity.   The data in this file represents what products are planned to be used in a show, and in what quantities.   The quotas show up in the “Quota” column of the effect window, and if they are non-zero, then the cells change color from green to white to red depending on whether the script contains too few, just right, or too many of each item.  Sometimes people script shows to match a sales order or a packing list, which may be the source of the part numbers and quantities.

When you import quotas into a show either with the import function or from Finale Inventory, the quotas get stored as part of the show.  You would expect that, because if you save the show and re-open it, the quotas are still there to use as a reference for scripting.  You might wonder, how are the quotas stored in the show file?

As you may guess, the quotas are stored in the show’s Per-show effects, which you can see if you import quotas and then look at the Per-show effects.  You may see something odd, though, if you look.  The imported rows in the Per-show effects contain only the part number and the quota quantity — and none of the other fields of information.  The reason is that the imported file contains only part numbers and quantities, and nothing else.  The other fields remain blank because the information is missing.

By themselves, the part numbers in the Per-show effects aren’t enough to insert into the script without definitions, so you need to switch to the collection of effects in the effects window that that has those same part numbers and their definitions also.  When you insert effects into the show, you should insert them from the effect collection that has the definitions.  The previous section, “How do effects get into Per-show effects?” explained that when you insert an effect, it updates the definition in the Per-show effects.  You can see how that is important for inserting effects matching imported quotas.  When you insert effects from the collection with definitions, those definitions will be copied into the Per-show effects, updating all the missing fields of information.

One final explanation completes the story of importing quotas.  After importing quotas, if you switch to a collection of effects containing the proper effect definitions for those part numbers (i.e., not the Per-show effects), you will see the imported quotas in the Quota column.  That might lead you to wonder if the quotas mysteriously got imported into a collection other than Per-show effects.  The answer is no, the quotas were not imported into the other collection, and they are not part of the other collection.  The quotas of the Per-show effects “show through” for the matching part numbers of whatever collection you are viewing in the effects window.  In that way, the quotas are similar to the “Used” quantities.  The used quantities are calculated dynamically by counting the effects in the script, and thus the used quantities also are not part of the viewed collection.


Creating effects in Per-show effects

When you create effects with the menu item “Effects > Create new effect…” you get to select a part number for the new effect and what collection it goes into.  The My effects collection is the most common destination, since it is a personal collection for each user.  A common work flow is to create and customize effects in the My effects collection, and then if you have a shared effects list as a company account, you can copy/paste the rows from the My Effects into the other collection when you are ready.

It is also possible to create effects and save them directly in the Per-show effects.  There is nothing wrong with that, as long as you keep in mind that the effect definitions are only saved as part of the show.   You can copy/paste the rows from the Per-show effects to any other collection whenever you want, so it is not an important decision.


Racks in the Per-show effects

Just as the events in the script refer to part numbers and effect definitions in the Per-show effects, so do the racks in the rack layout refer to part numbers and rack definitions in the Per-show effects.  Thus the Per-show effects actually holds more than just effects; it holds racks too.  It is just called Per-show effects because that is what people usually think about most.