Software Documentation

Software Documentation

Firing SystemsDocumentation

Integration Intermediate Last updated: August 31, 2022

36 StarFire

Finale 3D supports the StarFire firing system from Ace Pyro.  To create and download a script for the StarFire firing system, please follow these steps:

  1. Address the show (“Addressing > Address show”).
  2. Export the script (“File > Export > Export firing scripts“).
  3. Use the StarFire software to download the script to your controller.

Step 2 creates the script file, which is a tab-delimited text file with a “STAR” extension.  It is possible to edit this file in a text editor, but the user must be careful not to make changes that make it incompatible with the StarFire controller software.

 

 

Figure 1 – The StarFire firing system controller

 

Table 1 – File format and encoding

File format Extension Text encoding Field delimiter End-of-line
Text .star ASCII Tab CRLF

 

The script contains rows for the firing events, i.e., unique combinations of module, slat, pin, and ignition-time.  Multiple effects can be combined on a single cue.  The special characteristics of the script are shown in the following table.

 

Table 2 – Special characteristics

Special characteristics Description
Script modes Finale 3D supports two StarFire script modes: standard pyromusical “Starfire FM”, and semi-automatic “Starfire FM (Semi-auto)”.
Sort order of rows Rows are sorted ascending by event time.
What rows represent Each row represents a unique firing event, a module/pin/event-time combination.  For example, a chain of five shells will be one row, not five.  A pair of shells shot together from the same position will be one row, not two, even if the shells are different effects.  A flight of shells shot together from multiple positions with the same module-pin using scab wire is still one row.
Header The exported script file contains a header row identifying the column names.

For the standard pyromusical mode, the header is:

Module <tab> Cue <tab> Fire Time <tab> Display Time <tab> Quantity <tab> Part Number <tab> Description <tab> Type <tab> Size <tab> Disable Type

For semi-automatic mode, the header is:

Module <tab> Cue <tab> Fire Time <tab> Display Time <tab> Quantity <tab> Part Number <tab> Description <tab> Type <tab> Size <tab> Disable Type <tab> Sequence Event Name <tab> Sequence Event Page <tab> Sequence Event Number

Time resolution The StarFire system supports 1/100th second time resolution.
Tracks The semi-automatic firing mode “Starfire FM (Semi-auto)” uses the “Track” field in Finale 3D script rows to indicate the sequence to which the row belongs.  Additionally, in the semi-automatic mode the “Notes” field in the Finale 3D script will become the name of the sequence in the StarFire user interface.

The StarFire script format designates sequences using two parameters: Sequence Event Page from 1-254, and Sequence Event Number from 1-32.   The Track field in Finale 3D determines both of these parameters, following these rules:

  • In Finale 3D, the Track must be a number from 1 to 25432.
  • If the Track is greater than or equal to 100, the Sequence Event Page = Track / 100; and the Sequence Event Number = the remainder of Track / 100.
  • Otherwise, if the Track is greater than or equal to 10, the Sequence Event Page = Track / 10; and the Sequence Event Number = the remainder of Track / 10.
  • Otherwise, the Sequence Event Page = Track, and the Sequence Event Number= 1.

Since the Track Field in Finale 3D can hold arbitrary text, you must be careful to ensure the Track value is valid with respect to these rules.  A Track number of 100 is an example invalid value, as it would indicate a Sequence Event Number of 0, which is out of range.

Examples:

  • To create a sequence on Page 1, Event 1 — enter a Track value of 1 or 11 or 101.
  • To create a sequence on Page 1, Event 2 — enter a Track value of 12 or 102.
  • To create a sequence on Page 1, Event 27 — enter a Track value of 127.
  • To create a sequence on Page 3, Event 14 — enter a Track value of 314.
  • To create a sequence on Page 11, Event 6 — enter a Track value of 1106.

 

When you export a firing script for StarFire, Finale 3D presents an “Export Options” dialog with the option to export a Standard Script or Semi-Automatic Script, as shown in Table 3.

 

Table 3 – Export options

Option name Description
Script Type Choose one Standard Script or Semi-Automatic Script.

 

After the header, each row in the script has a number of fields separated by the tab character.  The names of these fields and their descriptions are the following:

 

Table 4 – Specifications of script fields

Field name Description
Module The module number, beginning with 1.
Cue The pin number, beginning with 1.
Fire Time The ignition time in seconds with two digits of precision after the decimal point.   In semi-automatic mode, the time is relative to the first event in the sequence.
Display Time The effect time in seconds with two digits of precision after the decimal point.   In semi-automatic mode, the time is relative to the first event in the sequence, based on the event times.
Quantity The number of devices represented by this row in the script.
Part Number The part number of the effect, or first part number if there are multiple effects firing from the same pin.
Description The description of the effect, or first description if there are multiple effects firing from the same pin.
Type The type of the effect, or first type if there are multiple effects firing from the same pin.
Size The size of the effect, or first size if there are multiple effects firing from the same pin
Disable Type The “Hazard” field in Finale 3D, enabling the user to disable a group of effects in the StarFire user interface in real time as the show is progressing.
Sequence Event Name (Semi-auto script format only) The event name is taken from the “Notes” field in the Finale 3D script.  All events in the same “Track” in Finale 3D should have the same Notes field, since they will be combined into the same sequence.
Sequence Event Page (Semi-auto script format only) Along with the Sequence Event Number, this parameter specifies the sequence on the StarFire user interface corresponding to the Track value in Finale 3D.  See Track explanation in Table 2.
Sequence Event Number (Semi-auto script format only) Along with the Sequence Event Page, this parameter specifies the sequence on the StarFire user interface corresponding to the Track value in Finale 3D.  See Track explanation in Table 2.

 

An example pyromusical script is shown below.

 

Module	Cue	Fire Time	Display Time	Quantity	Part Number	Description	Type	Size	Disable Type
1	1	2.76	5.00	1	G2SH1000	Red Chrysanthemum	shell	2"	
2	1	3.76	6.00	1	G2SH1000	Red Chrysanthemum	shell	2"	
3	1	4.76	7.00	1	G2SH1000	Red Chrysanthemum	shell	2"	
4	1	5.76	8.00	1	G2SH1000	Red Chrysanthemum	shell	2"	
5	1	6.76	9.00	1	G2SH1000	Red Chrysanthemum	shell	2"	
6	1	7.76	10.00	1	G2SH1000	Red Chrysanthemum	shell	2"	
7	1	8.76	11.00	1	G2SH1000	Red Chrysanthemum	shell	2"	
8	1	9.76	12.00	1	G2SH1000	Red Chrysanthemum	shell	2"	
9	1	10.76	13.00	1	G2SH1000	Red Chrysanthemum	shell	2"	

Figure 2 – Example StarFire script

 

Table 5 – Example files

Download link Explanation
test-starfire01.star Example exported pyromusical script
test-starfire01.fin Example pyromusical show file
test-starfire-semi-auto01.star Example exported semi-automatic script
test-starfire-semi-auto01.fin Example semi-automatic show file