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drscoop

Options for cost effective control/visualisation setup?

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Hope this question is OK for this group, but would appreciate some thoughts from the community - I'm returning to theatrical LD work after some time away, so my knowledge of the latest Zero88 range and capabilities is a little out of date...

I have been asked by a local dramatics group to re-invigorate their lighting setup - they are looking to purchase an LED based rig and are looking at control options. One option suggested to us is to get a FLX S24. I quite like this option, and the ability to add an iPad as an external touchscreen, and it also has the benefit of fitting the budget, which is not extensive!
 
One of the key constraints the group have with their venue is access time for programming - this is a shared facility and rig and tech time are highly limited.  I wondered what cost-effective options might be available to us to link the Zero88 and a visualiser to programe shows off-line, either with or without the console? I saw mention of Capture as a posibility and wondered if this links nicely with the Phantom ZerOS to allow the bulk of presets to be constructed off-line and visualised?  Capture Solo looks like it might fit our needs, though I wondered how it authenticates and whether it could be installed on different PCs, dependent upon which of the team were using it, i.e. is it donlge-authorised, or just single install licensed?

I'd be grateful if anyone is wiling to share their experiences and advice of a suitable setup for the group, that will not break the bank. We're not going for a huge rig here - a dozen or so LED fresnels and ellipsoidals, a few LED PARs, 2-4 LED cyc lights and 2-4 small moving heads, dependent upon how the budgets are looking - so we don't need anything hugely over-specced. 
 
Be grateful for any thoughts and advice you might be able to offer....

Thanks in advance.

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Hello,

Whilst we wait for any responses from users with their experiences, I’ll just provide a little information on the subject. 

Virtually all visualisation packages allow for either Art-Net or sACN (DMX over Ethernet protocols) input, and therefore work with consoles with this functionality. FLX S consoles support both Art-Net and sACN, however also support the CITP protocol. Capture visualisation software can be controlled by CITP, which allows for 2 way communication between the console and visualiser - this therefore allows you to create a look using the visualisation software without the console being connected, and then when you link the console, you can record this lighting state into a cue. It also allows for selecting multiple moving fixtures in Capture, right-clicking on stage where you want them to focus, and you can then record that as a position palette on the console. 

Another benefit of Capture, is it can be used on the same PC as PhantomZerOS, allowing you to program with visualisation without the need for a console or Unlock Dongle. For information on how to link Phantom ZerOS and Capture on the same PC, see the article below...

http://support.zero88.com/988883201

Hope this helps, if you have any queries let me know. 

Edward

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Thanks Edward, that’s very helpful....  I will play around with the visualiser.  

You mentioned the unlock dongle - I assume Capture, therefore, comes with a USB key to activate, so we can install it on a clue of laptops for different users within the group, then just use the dongle as required to work alongside the console, depending who is programming that show....   Is that acceptable?

And if I have this right, the PC and FLx S24 connect via Ethernet - if this Ethernet router is Wi-fi enabled, we can then use an iPad as external touchscreen too?  So, console and iPad using zMonitor and laptop to see what’s going on?

And for the size of rig we need, Capture Solo, at ca £300, should do all we require?

Apologies for all the questions - spending someone else’s money so want to be confident in my recommendations!

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Hello,

10 hours ago, drscoop said:

You mentioned the unlock dongle - I assume Capture, therefore, comes with a USB key to activate, so we can install it on a clue of laptops for different users within the group, then just use the dongle as required to work alongside the console, depending who is programming that show....   Is that acceptable?

When enabled, PhantomZerOS will talk to Capture on a 127.0.0.1 IP address, without the need for a PhantomZerOS unlock dongle. This IP address basically means that PhantomZerOS can communicate with another peice of software on the same PC. 

I believe that a Capture package will only be able to be installed on a single PC. I don’t believe they use USB unlock dongles. In theory though, if you were to buy multiple packages for multiple PCs, you would then be able to have an instance of PhantomZerOS running on each one. 

10 hours ago, drscoop said:

And if I have this right, the PC and FLx S24 connect via Ethernet - if this Ethernet router is Wi-fi enabled, we can then use an iPad as external touchscreen too?  So, console and iPad using zMonitor and laptop to see what’s going on?

That’s correct, you could simply plug your PC and FLX S24 into a wireless router using standard Ethernet cabling, and then communicate to Capture on the PC and use the Remote app wirelessly. This also gives you the added benefit of using DHCP (automatic IP address assignment) on the router to configure all the devices without the need to worry adjusting IP addresses.

10 hours ago, drscoop said:

And for the size of rig we need, Capture Solo, at ca £300, should do all we require?

This will give you a single universe of console control over Capture. FLX S24 consoles come in 1 or 2 universe variants.

10 hours ago, drscoop said:

Apologies for all the questions - spending someone else’s money so want to be confident in my recommendations!

No problem at all, totally understand!

If you have any queries let me know. 

Edward

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Hi Edward,

Slightly different question having played with the PhantOS PC software.  It looks like the lights we are looking to acquire already exist already in the fixture list (big plus vs some of the other desks under consideration!) and control of most of these are self explanatory.  The beam, colour etc palettes work fine for most lamps.  However, one of the lights we're looking at for effects is a Chauvet FXPar9.  I can patch this in on the desk and see how to access some parameters, but the light has 9 channels per fixture, for the two sets of LEDs, and a strobe control.  These don't auto-generate in the palettes or offer independent control of the two LED light sources.  How do I get control of the lights on a channel-by-channel basis?  I may have missed this in the manual?

Thanks, again, for the assistance...  

 

 

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Hello,

14 hours ago, drscoop said:

It looks like the lights we are looking to acquire already exist already in the fixture list (big plus vs some of the other desks under consideration!) and control of most of these are self explanatory.

Great. We have just released Zero 88 Fixture Library v37, which contains over 9500 fixtures. If you do however come across a fixture that isn't in the list, you can either make the file yourself using our free to download fixture tools, or drop us an email to fixturesupport@zero88.com, and one of the team will be able to email the file across for you to load in.

14 hours ago, drscoop said:

However, one of the lights we're looking at for effects is a Chauvet FXPar9.  I can patch this in on the desk and see how to access some parameters, but the light has 9 channels per fixture, for the two sets of LEDs, and a strobe control. 

To access each individual parameter of a fixture, this is done using the encoder wheels. You can control these in Phantom ZerOS by viewing the front panel of FLX S, and clicking and dragging on the encoder wheels. In Phantom ZerOS you may also find it useful to use syntax to set the parameter levels. You can do this by holding SHIFT and clicking on the parameter name displayed above the encoder wheel, and then type @ followed by the percentage you wish to set the parameter to, and press ENTER to confirm. 

If a fixture has more parameters within an attribute than there are encoder wheels, you have to page through. For example on FLX S24 controlling a fixture with 5 colour controls, you will only access four of these parameters at a time on the encoders. To page through, click the Attribute tab at the top of the touchscreen. You will see the parameters on the encoders change.

14 hours ago, drscoop said:

These don't auto-generate in the palettes or offer independent control of the two LED light sources.  How do I get control of the lights on a channel-by-channel basis? 

Looking at this fixture file, it has 2 sets of RGB control when in 9 channel mode. Currently, FLX S can only handle 1 set of RGB within a fixture to give access to the auto palettes, colour picker and LEE Filters Mood Boards. If a fixture has multiple colour mixing elements you instead can use the encoder wheels directly, and then of course record your own custom colour palettes if you wish.

Hope this helps, any queries let me know.

Edward

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Got it!  Hadn't realised that hitting the "colour" attribute button repeatedly scrolled through the alternate channels associates with that attribute.  Makes perfect sense!

If the group go ahead with the purchase, I will seek out a thorough training course in the locality....  I noticed that the courses local to Manchester are after the show we planned to roll this rig out for, but also noticed you offer in-venue training.  How would we get a cost for this?

I'll also drop the fixtures team a line, as one of the lamps might be absent - whilst the 2K Chauvet Ovation fresnel is present (F-915FC) the newer, smaller version (F-415FC) isn't.  The channel maps appear the same so it may well not be an issue, unless there are any odd idiosyncrasies.

Thanks, again, for the on-going assistance!

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55 minutes ago, drscoop said:

I noticed that the courses local to Manchester are after the show we planned to roll this rig out for, but also noticed you offer in-venue training.  How would we get a cost for this?

For on site training, please drop us an email to training@zero88.com for a quote. 

55 minutes ago, drscoop said:

I'll also drop the fixtures team a line, as one of the lamps might be absent - whilst the 2K Chauvet Ovation fresnel is present (F-915FC) the newer, smaller version (F-415FC) isn't.  The channel maps appear the same so it may well not be an issue, unless there are any odd idiosyncrasies.

The Chauvet Ovation F-415 FC is included in the latest Zero 88 Fixture Library. Version 37 was released this week, and a list of fixtures included in this release is available here...

http://support.zero88.com/975072641

To download this Fixture Library, see the link below...

https://zero88.com/forum/files/file/8-fixture-library-full/

To load this into the console, download and extract the files, and copy them into a USB stick. You can then plug the USB stick into the console, tap SETUP -> Load File, and choose the Fixture Library. You will then need to power cycle the console. To load this into PhantomZerOS, copy the Fixture Library to the file directory that PhantomZerOS looks at, and again tap SETUP -> Load File, and choose the library. 

All the best,

Edward

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Just wondered if PhantomZerOS is platform dependent or can it work on a MAC as well?

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Hi Nigel,

Currently Phantom ZerOS is only Windows compatible.

We do however hear of users running Windows on Macs in order to use Phantom ZerOS.

Edward

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Thanks, I was interested as I want to run Phantom and Capture on the same machine, but using Parallels for Windows may slow things down rather a bit on a laptop.

PC it is then for a while

Regards, Nigel

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