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Software Documentation

Software Documentation

Visual Descriptive Language (VDL)Documentation

Last updated: January 5, 2024

1 Glossary of VDL Effect Terms

The VDL language makes it possible to create an almost infinite array of effect simulations simply by typing words and phrases. To create an effect in Finale 3D, go to “Effects > Create effect”. Table 1 below contains a list of the effect terms that are supported by VDL, along with definitions, sample phrases, and videos. Some terms are marked as ‘Not tuned’. These terms are recognized VDL terms, but they have not been fully implemented and therefore will not produce good visual simulations.

 

Table 1 – Glossary of VDL Terms

VDL Term and Description Example VDL Phase
Above
Specifies a layer of stars in a mine is above another layer to create a multi-layer mine effect.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Gold Mine w/ Blue Above w/ Green Above
Aerial
For effects that could be either shells or comets/stars, the term ‘Aerial’ to declare the effect is an aerial shell. For example, using the VDL, ‘Red Crossette Cake’ will produce a cake with red crossette comets, whereas ‘Aerial Red Crossette Cake’ will produce a cake with red crossette shells.video-icon-hover-img
1″ 15s 10 Shot Aerial Red Crossette Cake
Air Burst (Airburst, Air Burst)
A stationary close proximity pyrotechnic device that contains a break (i.e., burst) of colored stars or report composition. Unlike a shell that is launched, an air burst is suspended from above by its e-match wire.
Not tuned.
And
A term used to combine colors that are part of the same multicolor effect, or individual parts of a multipart effect. When used in a VDL phrase, ‘And’ is translated to ‘&’ or ‘+’ depending on the context in which it is used.
See ‘+’ or ‘&’ below.
+
Combines shots of a cake, candle or chain.video-icon-hover-img
3″ 1s Red Peony + White Peony + Blue Peony Chain Of 3
&
Combines colors that are part of the same multi-color effect.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Red & Blue Peony
Aniseed
An aerial shell that breaks into different clusters of colored stars with gold trails.
Not tuned.
Aqua
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Aqua Comet
Artillery (Multi Salute, Artillery)
An aerial shell that breaks into salute inserts.
Not tuned.
Barrel
A break pattern of 5 or 6 rings that make a barrel shape in the sky.
Not tuned.
Bees (Bee, Bees)
A type of stars that are self-propelled, which causes them to turn and accelerate in random directions, like tiny unguided rockets without fins or sticks.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Bees
Big (Large, Big)
A term used to expand the size of the shell break or mine spread. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Big Blue Chrysanthemum
Blue (Sapphire, Blue)
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Blue Comet
Bombette (Bombettes, Bombette)
A small aerial shell commonly used as an insert effect in roman candles.video-icon-hover-img
45mm Red Bombette
Bottom Half
The bottom half of a spherical break pattern of stars, referenced independently from the top half so that its characteristics (e.g., color) can be described.video-icon-hover-img
5″ Green Peony Bottom Half
Bouquet
Another term for ‘Mine’. Often used to describe mine stars fired along with aerial shells or bombettes from the same tube.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Red Peony w/ Blue Bouquet
Bowtie
An aerial shell break pattern with stars that travel out conically in opposite directions, like an hourglass.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Gold Bowtie
Bowtie Rings (Bowtie Ring, Bowtie Rings)
An aerial shell break pattern with two parallel rings that travel apart in opposing outward directions.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Purple Bowtie Rings
Bright
A term used to increase the brightness of stars and their trails of sparks. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
50mm Bright White Mine
Brocade
An aerial shell effect with stars that emit long trails of gold glittering sparks.video-icon-hover-img
6″ Brocade
Bundle
A collection of roman candles bound together and ignited at the same time.
Not tuned.
Butterfly
A bow tie break pattern of stars, plus two stars representing antennae.
Not tuned.
C Shape
A cake firing pattern in which every row of a cake is fired from center-to-outside. See Cake descriptions and Firing patterns for cake and slice rows.video-icon-hover-img
35mm 1s 13 Shot Blue Gold Comet C Shape Cake (1 Row)
Cake (Cake Box, Cake)
A pre-loaded, multi-shot effect made from multiple cardboard or plastic tubes secured and fused together as a single device.video-icon-hover-img
2″ 15s 10 Shot White Flashing Peony Cake (1 Row)
Candle
A pre-loaded, multi-shot effect made from a single cardboard or plastic tube. A candle has a single point of ignition and the timing is controlled by the internal pyrotechnic fuse or delay composition.video-icon-hover-img
50mm 10s 7 Shot Aqua Comet to Lemon Bombette w/ Pink Bouquet Candle
Chain (Finale, Flight, Flt, Finale Chain, Chain)
A selection of aerial shells connected together by a pyrotechnic fuse, and typically ignited by a single e-match.video-icon-hover-img
3″ 2s Silver Crown Chain Of 6
Charcoal
A type of stars that emit fine tails of long, dense, deep amber colored sparks. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Charcoal Willow
Charcoal Glittering Willow
An aerial shell effect with stars that emit long, dense trails of dimly glowing amber sparks mixed with bright, sparse glittering sparks.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Charcoal Glittering Willow
Charcoal Tip
A charcoal star that does not leave a trail of sparks.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Charcoal Tip
Chase Crackling
A type of stars that emit a bright, dense crackle trail that is slightly delayed, causing it to appear to “chase” behind the burning stars.video-icon-hover-img
50mm Chase Crackling Mine
Chrysanthemum (Crys, Chrys, Chrysanthemum)
An aerial shell effect with a spherical break pattern, like a peony, but with stars that leave trails of sparks. Chrysanthemum stars can have colored tips, and will have gold trails, unless another trail color is specified.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Blue Silver Chrysanthemum
Chupacabra Not tuned.
Coconut (Coco, Coconut)
An aerial shell effect, similar to a palm, characterized by relatively few, large stars that leave bright, thick, short duration trails.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Gold Coconut
Comet
A single star, fired as a rising effect from a tube or mortar. A comet may appear as a single point of colored light, or it may produce a trail of sparks, or both.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Magenta Gold Comet
Concentric Rings (Concentric Ring, Concentric Rings)
An aerial shell effect with a break containing a smaller ring inside a larger ring, like a bullseye.video-icon-hover-img
5″ Green & Purple Concentric Rings
Core (Center, Core)
A pattern of stars in the center of an aerial shell break, like a pistil.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Orange Peony w/ Violet Core
Crackle Flowers (Sakura, Small Flowers, Crackling Flowers, Crackle Flowers)
A type of crackle stars that begin with a dark phase and terminate in bright crackle flashes accompanied by short duration orbs of dim amber sparks. The same as ‘Tight Crackle’.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Crackle Flowers
Crackling
A kind of stars that emit a loud, energetic, crackling trail of sparks.video-icon-hover-img
2″ Crackling Comet
Cross Rings (Cross Ring, Cross Rings)
An aerial shell break pattern consisting of two orthogonal rings, like longitude and latitude circles on a globe.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Gold Cross Rings
Crossette (Crosette, Xette, Xettes, Crossettes, Crossette)
A kind of star that splits into four pieces mid-way through its life to form an X pattern.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Blue To Yellow Crossette
Crown
A spherical break pattern with longer duration stars that droop toward the ground at the end of their life.video-icon-hover-img
5″ Brocade Crown
Cyan
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Cyan Comet
Cycas
An aerial shell effect featuring a relatively small number of very large stars, like a Dahlia, but characterized by stars that transition from a bright thick trail of sparks to bright colored tips.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Purple Cycas
Cylinder (Italian, Cannister, Cylinder)
A type of aerial shell, in contrast to a spherical ball shell.
Not tuned.
Dahlia
An aerial shell effect with a relatively small number of large, bright stars with no trails.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Pastel Colors Dahlia
Dandelion Not tuned.
Dark (Black, Dark)
A kind of star composition does not give off light as it burns.video-icon-hover-img
5″ Dark To Multi-Color Peony
Degrees
A term to specify total angle of effects in a fan cake.video-icon-hover-img
35mm 13 Shot 100 Degrees Blue Comet Cake Fan (1 Row)
Dense
A term used to increase the number of stars in an effect. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Dense Green Peony
Diadem Not tuned.
Dim
A term used to darken the stars and their trails of sparks. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
50mm Dim White Mine
Double Half Rings (Double Half Ring, Double Half Rings)
An aerial shell effect featuring two half-rings side-by-side, like the sides of a bridge.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Pink & Lemon Double Half Rings
Double Rings (Double Ring, Double Rings)
An aerial shell effect featuring two parallel rings.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Aqua & Peach Double Rings
Dragon Eggs (Dragons Eggs, Dragoneggs, Dragonseggs, Dragon Eggs)
A kind of stars that emit a loud, energetic, crackling trail of sparks.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Dragon Eggs
Ear
An aerial shell break pattern with stars that are ejected in a cone shape from one end of an insert tube.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Silver Ear
Eight Times Not tuned.
Falling Leaves
A soft-broken aerial shell effect that contains lightweight sheets of substrate, coated with colored star composition. The construction of the falling leaves causes them to fall slowly and irregularly through the air as they burn and glow for a long duration.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Green Falling Leaves
Fan (Firing Pattern)
A cake firing pattern in which the shots are angled. See Cake descriptions and Firing patterns for cake and slice rows.video-icon-hover-img
25mm 15s 49 Shot Red Strobing Willow Cake Fan (7 Rows)
Farfalle (Butterflies, Farfalla, Farfallas, Farfalles, Farfalle)
An aerial cylinder shell effect containing insert tubes arranged in a ring pattern. The inserts are filled with spark producing composition, plugged at the ends, and cross drilled so that they spin as they fly through the air.video-icon-hover-img
5″ Farfalle
Fermata Not tuned.
Fireball (Cremora Fireball, Fireball)
A ground effect utilizing a black powder lift charge and a high fat content powder such as coffee creamer or calf milk substitute to create a rolling ball of fire.video-icon-hover-img
12″ Fireball
Five Times Not tuned.
Flame Projector (Flame, Flame Projector)
A special effect created using a flame machine that shoots a flammable compressed gas or liquid fuel through a nozzle. Not to be confused with a colored pyrotechnic flame called a ‘Ground Flare’.
Not tuned.
Flash Tray (Flashtray, Flash Tray) Not tuned.
Flashing
A type of star that oscillates between light and dark as it burns. Similar to ‘Strobing’, ‘Shimmering’ and ‘Twinkling’, but with a slower blink rate.video-icon-hover-img
3″ White Flashing
Flying Fish (Fish, Flying Fish)
A soft broken aerial effect made from pieces of fast burning fuse that emit a short trail of sparks as they burn and energetically fly around randomly in all directions.video-icon-hover-img
1″ Flying Fish
Fountain
A ground effect made from a tube that emits sparks from one end through a nozzle. A fountain is similar to a gerb, except that it produces longer duration sparks that cascade back to the ground.video-icon-hover-img
25mm 5m 10s Gold Fountain
Four Times Not tuned.
Fresh Yellow
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Fresh Yellow Comet
Fuchsia
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Fuchsia Comet
Gamboge
A type of stars that emit a fiery reddish trail or sparks. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
6″ Gamboge
Gamboge Tip
A gamboge star that does not leave a trail of sparks.video-icon-hover-img
6″ Gamboge Tip
Gerb
A ground effect made from a tube that emits sparks from one end through a nozzle. A gerb is similar to a fountain, except that it produces shorter duration sparks that burn out while traveling upward.video-icon-hover-img
25mm 5m 10s Silver Gerb
Ghost
An aerial shell effect featuring stars that are designed to color change at slightly different times to form complex patterns. For example, a shell with stars that transition from one color to another in segments from one side of the shell to another. By contrast, in a standard color changing shell, all the stars change from one color to another simultaneously.video-icon-hover-img
6″ Green To Purple Ghost
Girandola (UFO, Girandola)
A type of wheel that is mounted horizontally, that spins and flies up into the air under the power of attached tubes, called “drivers”, that emit sparks and create thrust.
Not tuned.
Glittering (Flitter, Glittering)
A trail of sparks that blink on and off. This term applies only to a trail, not to the tip of the star itself. A glittering trail can be Gold, Silver, Charcoal, or Gamboge. Other colors, if specified, apply to the star tips.video-icon-hover-img
2″ Red Silver Glittering
Go Getter (Go Getter, Gogetter, Go Getters, Gogetters, Moving Star, Moving Stars, Swinging, Swinging Star, Swinging Stars, Swimming, Swimming Star, Swimming Stars, Dancing, Dancing Star, Dancing Stars)
A type of star that is made by loading fast burning color composition into small tubes. This process causes the stars to burn from only part of their surface area, making them self-propelled. When used as a comet, or as inserts in a mine or shell, go-getter stars accelerate in random directions, like tiny unguided rockets without sticks.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Red Go Getter
Gold (Golden, Gold)
A type of stars that emit a gold trails of sparks. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Gold
Gold Tip
A star that has a gold tip. Without the word ‘tip’, gold implies the star has a trail of sparks.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Gold Tip
Grass Green (Ocean Green, Sea Green, Grass Green)
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Grass Green Comet
Green
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Green Comet
Ground Flare (Bengal, Flare, Flamepot, Flame Pot, Ground Flare)
A ground effect that emits a long duration colored flame.video-icon-hover-img
25mm 5s Blue Ground Flare
Ground Flash (Flash Pot, Flashpot, Maroon, Ground Flash)
A ground effect that emits a single, instantaneous bright flash of light.video-icon-hover-img
25mm Red Ground Flash
Ground Photoflash (Photon, Photoflash Pot, Photoflashpot, Ground Photoflash)
A ground effect that emits a single, instantaneous bright flash of light.video-icon-hover-img
25mm Red Ground Flash
Ground Strobe (Strobe Pot, Strobepot, Ground Strobe)
A ground effect that emits bright flashes of light over a sustained duration.video-icon-hover-img
25mm 30s Green Ground Strobe
Half And Half
An aerial shell break pattern consisting of two half-spheres of stars.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Blue & Orange Half-And-Half Peony
Half Ring
An aerial shell effect featuring a pattern of stars forming a half-ring.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Pastel Colors Half Ring
Heart Shape
An aerial shell effect featuring a pattern of stars forming a heart.video-icon-hover-img
5″ Red Heart
Horsetail
An aerial shell effect that breaks softly before reaching apex and releases long duration stars that briefly travel upward from momentum and then arch over and cascade down.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Brocade Horsetail
Indigo
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Indigo Comet
Intense Crackling
A type of stars that emit long, dim charcoal trails of sparks mixed with bright pops of crackle.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Intense Crackling
Jet (Jets, Jet)
A short-duration gerb; a quick spurt of sparks.video-icon-hover-img
20mm Silver Jet
Kamuro (Nishiki Kamuro, Kamuro)
An aerial shell effect with stars that emit long trails of gold glittering sparks.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Kamuro
Lace
An aerial shell effect, most common in smaller calibers, that begins with a dark phase and terminates in gentle flashes of color accompanied by delicate, dim amber sparks.video-icon-hover-img
1″ Red Lace
Lancework (Lance Work, Lance, Lancework)
A word or image formed by a pattern of colorful miniature flares affixed to a lattice.
Not tuned.
Laser Comet (Laser Comets, Laser Comet)
A very bright, very fast comet that burns out while still traveling at high velocity.video-icon-hover-img
35mm 30m Pink Laser Comet
Lavender
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Lavender Comet
Lemon (Canary Yellow, Lemon)
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Lemon Comet
Lilac Not tuned.
Lily Not tuned.
Lime (Lycopodium, Lime)
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Lime Comet
Long
A term used to increase the duration of stars. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Long Red Chrysanthemum
Magenta
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Magenta Comet
Maltese Ring
An aerial cylinder shell effect made from many parallel rings, giving the overall ring a three dimensional appearance, like a donut.video-icon-hover-img
50mm Red Maltese Ring
Not tuned in larger calibers.
Meteor
A type of comet that burns as a single point of light without leaving a trail of sparksvideo-icon-hover-img
40mm Blue Meteor
Midnight Snow Not tuned.
Mine
A ground effect containing stars or inserts, fired as a rising effect from a tube or mortar.video-icon-hover-img
50mm Chase Crackling Mine
Mixed
A VDL term indicating that all specified colors apply to each insert effect, as opposed to one color per insert effect. For example, each subshell of a ‘Red & White & Blue Mixed Shell-Of-Shells’ will have all three colors, whereas each subshell of ‘Red & White & Blue Shell-Of-Shells’ will be one color.video-icon-hover-img
6″ Red & White & Blue Mixed Shell-Of-Shells
Mobiles (Mobile, Aeolean Bells, Mobiles, Windbell)
A soft-broken aerial shell effect that contains lightweight, long duration burning material connected by filament that twirls gracefully as it falls through the air.
Not tuned.
Multi Color (Color, Colorful, Multicolor, Multi Color)
A VDL term to indicate that the shots or shells within an effect have multiple colors. The colors are Red, Yellow, Green, Orange, Purple.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Multi-Color Peony
Nautical (Aquatic, Water Shell, Water, Nautical)
An effect that is designed to be launched and then land and perform while floating on water. Nautical effects include shells that burst after landing in water, flares, gerbs or fountains that float on water, mines and comets that shoot up after landing in water, or even small shells that land on water and then burst after being launched to a low height.
Not tuned.
Nine Times Not tuned.
No Trail
A VDL term that removes the trail of sparks from an effect that would otherwise have a trail. video-icon-hover-img
3″ Silver Farfalle w/ Blue Tail No Trail
Octopus
An aerial shell effect featuring a break pattern with stars arranged in clusters (also called “arms” or “branches”). Similar to Stained Glass, except that all clusters of stars in an Octopus are the same color.video-icon-hover-img
5″ Blue Gold Octopus
One Time Not tuned.
Orange
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Orange Comet
Other (Subtype) (Other) Not tuned.
Outer (Exterior, Outer) Not tuned.
Palm
An aerial shell effect, similar to a coconut, characterized by relatively few large stars that leave bright, thick trails.video-icon-hover-img
5″ Palm
Parachutes
An aerial shell effect that breaks into slow falling, burning color composition suspended by parachutes.
Not tuned.
Pastel Colors (Pastels, Pastel Colors)
A term to give the shots or shells within an effect a mixture of five pastel colors. The colors are Aqua, Fresh Yellow, Lime, Orange, and Lavender.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Pastel Colors Dahlia
Pattern Shell (Pattern, Pattern Shell)
A shell whose stars break into a pattern.
Not tuned.
Peach
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Peach Comet
Peanut Shell (Peanut, Peanut Shell)
An aerial shell effect with two breaks that are launched from a single mortar tube.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Purple Chrysanthemum Peanut Shell
Pearl (Pearls, Pearl)
A type of comet that burns as a single point of light without leaving a trail of sparksvideo-icon-hover-img
40mm Aqua Pearl
Peony
An aerial shell effect featuring a spherical break pattern of stars that do not leave trails of sparks.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Red Peony
Photoflash (Flash, Photoflash)
An aerial effect that produces a single bright white flash.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Photoflash
Pink
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Pink Comet
Pistil (Pist, Pistill, Pistil)
A pattern of stars at the center of a larger break, like the pistil of a flower.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Blue Peony w/ Red Pistil
Placeholder
A term used as a stand-in for another effect.video-icon-hover-img
1″ 15s 10 Shot Placeholder Cake
Plate
A pre-loaded, multi-shot effect made from multiple cardboard or plastic tubes secured and fused together as a single device, like a cake.video-icon-hover-img
35mm 10s 8 Shot Pink Comet Plate
Plum
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Plum Comet
Polyp Not tuned.
Popcorn Crackle (Popcorn Crackling, Popcorn Crackle)
An aerial shell or mine effect with stars that begin with a dark phase and terminate in bright puffy bursts of crackle.video-icon-hover-img
2″ Popcorn Crackle
Prefire (PFT, Pre Fire, Prefire)
A VDL term used to specify the time from firing system ignition to the effect time that is synchronized to the music. For aerial shells, the prefire is usually the same as the lift time. See Prefire.video-icon-hover-img
2.5″ 2 PFT Blue Peony
Purple
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Purple Comet
Rainbow
A VDL term to indicate that the shots or shells within an effect have multiple colors. The colors are Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Rainbow Peony
Ramillete Not tuned.
Red
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Red Comet
Relampagos Not tuned.
Report
A small explosion that produces a flash and audible sound at the end of the life of a star or insert.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Silver Farfalle To Report
Ring (Circle, Ring)
An aerial shell effect featuring a pattern of stars arranged in a ring.video-icon-hover-img
2″ Gold Ring
Rising
For effects that could be either shells or comets/stars, the term ‘Rising’ declares the effect is a rising effect. For example, using the VDL, ‘Green Crossette’ will produce a shell with crossette inserts, whereas ‘Rising Green Crossette’ will produce a green crossette comet.video-icon-hover-img
1″ Rising Green Crossette
Rising Flowers Not tuned.
Rocket Not tuned.
Roman Candle (Rc, Roman Candle)
A pre-loaded effect made using a single tube that contains multiple shots fired in a sequence – typically comets, mines, or bombettes.video-icon-hover-img
50mm 8 Shot Pink Bombette w/ Green Mine Roman Candle
Ruby (Cardinal, Cherry, Ruby)
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Ruby Comet
Salute
An aerial shell effect that produces a bright flash and a loud concussive sound.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Salute
Same Color
A VDL term used to specify that each star in an effect with variegated (i.e., multi color) stars should remain the same color after a transition that could otherwise produce a different color.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Variegated To Same Color Crossette
Saturn Not tuned.
Scattering
A type of insert effect that ejects a single star from each end of a small tube. When used in an aerial shell, scattering stars begin with a dark phase, then appear as individual stars shooting out in opposite directions from each insert.video-icon-hover-img
5″ Red Scattering
Sea Blue (Ocean Blue, Sea Blue)
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Sea Blue Comet
Serpents (Serpent, Serpents) Not tuned.
Seven Times Not tuned.
Shell
A device that is launched from the ground and bursts in the sky, and contains pyrotechnic composition in the form of stars, inserts, or other effects.
Shell Of Shells (Thousand Flowers, Shell Of Shells)
An aerial shell effect that contains smaller shells that are disbursed by the initial break and then subsequently appear as many smaller breaks.video-icon-hover-img
8″ Green Shell-Of-Shells
Shimmering
A type of star that oscillates between light and dark as it burns. Similar to ‘Strobing’, ‘Flashing’ and ‘Twinkling’ but with an extremely rapid blink rate.video-icon-hover-img
3″ White Shimmering
Very Short
A term used to shorten the duration of stars. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Very Short Red Chrysanthemum
Shot
A term used to specify the number of shots in a cake or candle.video-icon-hover-img
18mm 30s 100 Shot Blue Comet Cake
Shuttle
A type of insert effect that ejects a single star from each end of a small tube. When used in an aerial shell, scattering stars begin with a dark phase, then appear as individual stars shooting out in opposite directions from each insert.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Blue Shuttle
Silent
A term used to remove sound from an effect.
Not fully implemented.
Silver
A type of stars that emit silver trails of sparks. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Silver
Silver Tip
A star that has a silver tip. Without the word ‘tip’, silver implies the star has a trail of sparks.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Silver Tip
Single Shot (SS, Single Shot)
An effect that is pre-loaded in a single tube.video-icon-hover-img
35mm Aqua Comet w/ Magenta Mine Single Shot
Six Times Not tuned.
Sizzle Crackling
A type of star, most common in smaller caliber effects, that emits bright bushy crackle and a long, thin trail of dim charcoal sparks.video-icon-hover-img
2″ Sizzle Crackling
Sky Blue (Skyblue, Sky Blue)
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Sky Blue Comet
Slice (Single Line, Slice)
A cake with a single row of tubes.video-icon-hover-img
30mm 13 Shot Silver Comet w/ Red Strobing Mine Fan Slice Cake (1 Row)
Slightly Big
A term used to expand the size of the shell break or mine spread. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Slightly Big Blue Chrysanthemum
Slightly Bright
A term used to increase the brightness of stars and their trails of sparks. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
50mm Slightly Bright White Mine
Slightly Dense
A term used to increase the number of stars in an effect. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Slightly Dense Green Peony
Slightly Dim
A term used to darken the stars and their trails of sparks. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
50mm Slightly Dim White Mine
Slightly Long
A term used to increase the duration of stars. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Slightly Long Red Chrysanthemum
Slightly Short
A term used to reduce the duration of stars. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Slightly Short Red Chrysanthemum
Slightly Small
A term used to reduce the size of the shell break or mine spread. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Slightly Small Blue Chrysanthemum
Slightly Sparse
A term used to decrease the number of stars in an effect. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Slightly Sparse Green Peony
Slightly Thick
A term used to thicken the trail of sparks emitted by stars. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Slightly Thick Gold Comet
Slightly Thin
A term used to thin out the trail of sparks emitted by stars. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Slightly Thin Gold Comet
Small
A term used to reduce the size of the shell break or mine spread. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Small Blue Chrysanthemum
Smiley Face (Smile, Smiling Face, Smiley Face)
An aerial shell effect featuring a pattern of stars arranged with an outer ring with eyes, nose and mouth, forming a smiley face.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Smiley Face
Smokeless
A VDL term used to remove the smoke produced by an effect.video-icon-hover-img
25mm Smokeless Red Strobe Pot
Spangle
A trail of sparks that blink on and off. This term applies only to a trail, not to the tip of the star itself. A spangle trail can be Gold, Silver, Charcoal, or Gamboge. Other colors, if specified, apply to the star tips.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Spangle
Sparse
A term used to decrease the number of stars in an effect. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Sparse Green Peony
Spider Not tuned.
Spike Not tuned.
Spinners (Spinner, Spinners) Not tuned.
Stained Glass (Kaleidoscope, Stained Glass)
An aerial shell effect featuring a break pattern with clusters of different-color stars. Similar to Octopus, except that the clusters of stars are different colors.video-icon-hover-img
5″ Stained Glass
Strobing
A type of star that oscillates between light and dark as it burns. Strobing stars have faster blink rate than ‘Flashing’ and ‘Twinkling’ stars, but a slower blink rate than ‘Shimmering’ stars.video-icon-hover-img
3″ White Strobing
Strobing Willow
A type of stars that emit both long trails of amber charcoal sparks and colored strobing micro stars.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Red Strobing Willow
Stutata Not tuned.
Sunflower (Daisy, Sunflower) Not tuned.
Sweeper Ghost
An aerial shell effect featuring stars that are designed to color change at slightly different times to form complex patterns. For example, a shell with stars that transition from one color to another in segments from one side of the shell to another. By contrast, in a standard color changing shell, all the stars change from one color to another simultaneously.video-icon-hover-img
6″ Green To Purple Ghost
Tail (Tl, Tail)
A VDL term for a star that is attached as a rising effect to a shell.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Blue Dahlia w/Gold Tail
Ten Times Not tuned.
Thick
A term used to thicken the trail of sparks emitted by stars. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Thick Gold Comet
Thin
A term used to thin out the trail of sparks emitted by stars. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Thin Gold Comet
Thirty Times Not tuned.
Three Times Not tuned.
Tiger Tail Not tuned.
Tight Crackle
An aerial shell effect with stars that begin with a dark phase and terminate in bright flashes of dense crackle.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Tight Crackle
Tight Crackling
A type of crackle stars that begin with a dark phase and terminate in bright crackle flashes accompanied by short duration orbs of dim amber sparks. The same as ‘Crackle Flowers’.video-icon-hover-img
2″ Tight Crackling
Time Rain (Timerain, Time Rain)
An aerial shell effect, characterized by a relatively few number of large stars that leave long, thick, crackling trails of sparks.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Time Rain
Titanium (Ti, Tit, Titanium) Not tuned.
Titanium Report (Ti Report, Tit Report, Titanium Report)
A small explosion that contains bright titanium sparks and produces a flash and audible sound at end of the life of a star or insert.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Red to Titanium Report
Titanium Salute (Ti Salute, Tit Salute, Titanium Salute)
An aerial shell effect that produces a bright flash with a dense cloud of silver sparks and a loud concussive sound.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Titanium Salute
To
A term used to define the phases (i.e., transitions) of color changing stars.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Red to Blue Peony
Top Half
The top half of a spherical break pattern of stars, referenced independently from the bottom half so that its characteristics (e.g., color) can be described.video-icon-hover-img
5″ Green Peony Top Half
Tourbillions (Flying Dragon, Flying Dragons, Tourbillion, Tourbillions)
An aerial cylinder shell effect produced using a ring of small tubes filled with spark producing composition, typically gold or silver. The tubes are plugged at the ends, and cross drilled so that they spin as they fly through the air. Similar to Farfalle but with a more erratic flight path.video-icon-hover-img
5″ Tourbillions
Trail Not tuned.
Tremalon Not tuned.
Triple Concentric Rings
An aerial shell effect featuring three rings of different sizes aligned in the same plane, like a bullseye.video-icon-hover-img
5″ Yellow Triple Concentric Rings
Triple Cross Rings (Atomic Ring, Atomic Rings, Triple Cross Ring, Triple Cross Rings)
An aerial shell effect featuring three rings at different orientations, like the symbol for an atom.video-icon-hover-img
5″ Aqua Triple Cross Rings
Triple Half Rings (Triple Half Ring, Triple Half Rings)
An aerial shell effect featuring three half-rings side-by-side.video-icon-hover-img
5″ Orange Triple Half Rings
Triple Rings (Triple Ring, Triple Rings)
An aerial shell effect featuring three parallel rings.video-icon-hover-img
5″ Purple Triple Rings
Tulip Not tuned.
Turquoise
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Turquoise Comet
Twenty Times Not tuned.
Twilight Glitter Not tuned.
Twinkling
A type of star that oscillates between light and dark as it burns. Similar to ‘Strobing’, ‘Flashing’ and ‘Shimmering’, but with slower blink rate and more gentle, gradual fading between light and dark.video-icon-hover-img
3″ White Twinkling
Two Times Not tuned.
Ultrafast
A very bright, very fast comet that burns out while still traveling at high velocity.video-icon-hover-img
35mm 30m Pink Ultrafast Comet
Umbrella Not tuned.
V Shape (Firing Pattern)
A cake firing pattern in which every row of tubes is fired either left or right. See Cake descriptions and Firing patterns for cake and slice rows.video-icon-hover-img
25mm 10s 60 Shot White Strobing Willow Comet Cake V Shape (6 Rows)
Variegated (Varios, Varg, Variegated)
A VDL term to indicate that the shots or shells within an effect have multiple colors.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Variegated Peony
Very Big
A term used to expand the size of the shell break or mine spread. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Very Big Blue Chrysanthemum
Very Bright
A term used to increase the brightness of stars and their trails of sparks. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
50mm Very Bright White Mine
Very Dense
A term used to increase the number of stars in an effect. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Very Dense Green Peony
Very Dim
A term used to darken the stars and their trails of sparks. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
50mm Very Dim White Mine
Very Long
A term used to lengthen the duration of stars. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Very Long Red Chrysanthemum
Short
A term used to reduce the duration of stars. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Short Red Chrysanthemum
Very Small
A term used to reduce the size of the shell break or mine spread. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Very Small Blue Chrysanthemum
Very Sparse
A term used to decrease the number of stars in an effect. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Very Sparse Green Peony
Very Thick
A term used to thicken the trail of sparks emitted by stars. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Very Thick Gold Comet
Very Thin
A term used to thin out the trail of sparks emitted by stars. See VDL effect adjustment terms.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Very Thin Gold Comet
Violet
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Violet Comet
W Shape (Firing Pattern)
A firing pattern in which all rows fire in a trident pattern with tubes angling left, up, and right.video-icon-hover-img
15mm 10s 120 Shot Gold Comet W Shape Cake (12 Rows)
Waterfall
An aerial shell effect that breaks softly before reaching apex and releases long duration stars that briefly travel upward from momentum and then arch over and cascade down.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Brocade Waterfall
Waterfall Lance (Fall, Falls, Ground Fall, Ground Falls, Ground Waterfall, Ground Waterfalls, Waterfall Lances, Waterfall Lance)
A ground effect like a fountain, but without a choke or nozzle, that produces a shower of sparks when mounted upside down from a fixed height.
Not tuned.
Wave
An aerial shell effect featuring a spherical break pattern of stars that transition from a fast burning gold or silver composition to a colored composition without trails.
Not tuned.
Wheel Not tuned.
Whirls (Whirl, Whirlwind, Whirlwinds, Whirls)
An aerial cylinder shell effect produced using a ring of small tubes filled with spark producing composition, typically gold or silver. The tubes are plugged at the ends, and cross drilled so that they spin as they fly through the air. Similar to Farfalle but with a more erratic flight path.video-icon-hover-img
5″ Whirls
Whistles (Whistle, Whistling, Screamer, Screamers, Whistles)
An insert effect made from small tubes that contain a composition designed to produce a whistle sound as they fly through the air.video-icon-hover-img
3″ Whistles
White
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm White Comet
Willow
An aerial shell effect with stars that emit long trails of bright gold sparks.video-icon-hover-img
6″ Willow
With (w/, With)
A term used to distinguish between and combine unique parts of a more complex effect.video-icon-hover-img
4″ Blue Peony w/ Red Strobing Pistil
X Shape (Firing Pattern)
A cake firing pattern in which alternating rows fire from outside-to-inside and inside-to-outside, making an ‘X’. See Cake descriptions and Firing patterns for cake and slice rows.video-icon-hover-img
25mm 8s 100 Shot Green Strobing Willow Comet X Shape Cake (10 Rows)
Yellow
An effect color. See VDL colors.video-icon-hover-img
40mm Yellow Comet
Z Shape (Firing Pattern)
A cake firing pattern in which alternating rows fire from left-to-right and right-to-left, making a ‘Z’. See Cake descriptions and Firing patterns for cake and slice rows.video-icon-hover-img
20mm 25s 80 Shot Orange To Sea Blue Crossette Z Shape Cake (10 Rows)