They are over-rated and only work for people with the whole front of their house plastered with matrices.
I'm kidding of course... when done right whole house effects are amazing!
I see negative comments in the Facebook groups all the time buy those who haven't seen it done correctly lol. Let's not forget that in the beginning whole house effects were one of the things that set xLights apart from other sequencing software and brought in many converts from LOR. If the effect is used by someone who knows what they are doing and uses it properly it is an invaluable tool.
The big no-no with this effect is when it is the only effect used for long durations instead of sequencing individual props. I've certainly been guilty of that on some of my first sequences for my residential show! But as time went on I've learned a some very important things to use them properly and effectively.
Whole house effects work best as a base or background layer and you should build layers over it with individual props. This is kind of like the drums, bass and rhythm tracks to the song which sets the color and mood. The additional layers give it some flavor much like lead vocals and guitar in a song. Now knowing when and how to use it and which props to layer above the background whole house layer takes a little more creativity.
My first show was mostly just outlines, a matrix, megatree and some yard props. It was by no means a high density show although the pixels were strategically placed to get more even coverage. Whole house effects still work great on shows like this, way better than most people expect. This is due to persistence of vision. Your eyes will "fill in the blanks" to complete the picture. I've had plenty of practice making the best out of my limited display and even I was shocked how well whole house effects worked.
Some of my most popular sequences look phenomenal on both high and low density shows. To demonstrate this, I've created "Basic" layout versions of them and mapped them to a lower density display. If you want to see what I'm talking about in action take a look at my It Remix sequence and compare the Basic and Premium videos. I think you might be surprised!
Take care and light 'em up everyone!
Owner - PixelSequencePros.com