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drscoop

First show on the FLX - arising questions...

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The local theatre group Iwork with and I are currently running our first show on the FLX S24 and our new lighting rig.  Firstly, a bit]g thanks to Edward for answering many questions on setup etc. 

However, actually setting up a show for real has thrown up some odd behaviours that I suspect are our inexperience vs any desk capability issues.  I suspect we’re simply missing some experienced thinking on best practice but I wonder if anyone can help advise on these problems?

- we are running several Chauvet LED fresnels, with a virtual colour wheel.  If we select a colour from this virtual wheel, then select to crossfade to a second colour wheel setting, cross fading from one to the other cycles through all the intermediate options, even with a colour fade time of zero.  If we instead select similar hues from the colour picker, we get a smooth crossfade, as expected as this is fading from one set of LED values to another.  Can we fade from one colour wheel setting to a other without the intermediate colours being evident?

- we also have several Martin Rush MH-5 moving heads that cause us a few issues.  Does anyone have advice on solving the following questions:

  • The heads are rigged with the “Front -> “ markings pointing toward stage, but the home position sets the yoke at 90 degrees to the stage, so the yoke axis is up/downstage, not stage left/stage right.  Tilt, therefore, tilts the head perpendicular to the stage.  We could rotate the clamps by a quarter turn, but surely if the lamp is orientated to face forward as per markings, the lamp should home to have the yoke parallel to the stage?  Is there a reason for this orientation that we’re missing?
  •  
  • We have been using the effects engine on these heads. However, when the effect is not required, say on the next cue, if we clear the effect and set intensity to zero, whilst the heads stop moving etc during programming, when playing back the cue, the heads still move but with no intensity.  To actually stop the lights, we have to program a cue with both a set position and some intensity, then an auto trigger cue with zero intensity to get the effect to stop.  It works, but it is not graceful.  However simply setting the next cue with no specific intensity and position on the moving heads, just an ‘effect off’ command does not record any positional information in the cue so the heads continue to move but with no light output.  How do we get around this continued movement?
  •  
  • We are also struggling with gobo indexing.  On these fixtures, the rotating gobos do not continually rotate with indexed positions as far as we can find.  The degree of rotation is about 280-300 degrees in total, so about 140-150 degrees of rotation. each way.  On running our master cue list, whilst gobos were programmed to appear in a specific orientation, on playback the gobo display was not reliable, with gobos appearing upside down and not having sufficient rotational movement to get back to the right orientation.  I think this variability comes from the random natureof where the previous head movement (e.g a chase or effects engine audience sweep) had stopped, coming out of an effect chase or other movement. Sometimes shortest path (perhaps moving using Move on Dark) to the next cue position was, say, a 50 clockwise rotation to give the yoke 180 degrees from home, rather than a counterclockwise one of 130 degrees to return to home orientation.  On tilt, therefore, this led to the head being inverted compared to where we have programmed from and thus the gobo appears upside down or otherwise misaligned. How do we force a path to next position to give a specific orientation so all our gobo indexing then becomes robust and reliable each time, every time? (Other than requiring  a “go dark” cue followed by a hard return to ‘home’ position”)?

Hope these issue all make sense? Would welcome suggestions and advice on how  we work around some of there unfamiliarity issues?

Thanks in advance...

 

 

 

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Hello,

On 5/13/2019 at 11:35 PM, drscoop said:

- we are running several Chauvet LED fresnels, with a virtual colour wheel.  If we select a colour from this virtual wheel, then select to crossfade to a second colour wheel setting, cross fading from one to the other cycles through all the intermediate options, even with a colour fade time of zero.  If we instead select similar hues from the colour picker, we get a smooth crossfade, as expected as this is fading from one set of LED values to another.  Can we fade from one colour wheel setting to a other without the intermediate colours being evident?

If you have cue 1 with one virtual colour wheel colour, and then cue 2 with a second, cue 2 will need a colour fade of 0 seconds, otherwise you will pass through all other virtual colours between those in cue 1 and cue 2. When using the colour picker, you are using the fixture's colour mixing ability, and therefore you have a full range of colours, hence you fade smoothly from one to the other.

On 5/13/2019 at 11:35 PM, drscoop said:
  • The heads are rigged with the “Front -> “ markings pointing toward stage, but the home position sets the yoke at 90 degrees to the stage, so the yoke axis is up/downstage, not stage left/stage right.  Tilt, therefore, tilts the head perpendicular to the stage.  We could rotate the clamps by a quarter turn, but surely if the lamp is orientated to face forward as per markings, the lamp should home to have the yoke parallel to the stage?  Is there a reason for this orientation that we’re missing?

This will be how the fixtures have been designed. You should find if you select these fixtures and view the Pan/Tilt Grid the cross hair for these fixtures is in the middle when homed. In the next software update, ZerOS 7.9.5, you will be able to edit fixture home values on FLX S consoles. In the meantime, I would recommend panning these fixtures so they are in their "home" orientation you like, and then store this position as a position palette to quickly use later.

On 5/13/2019 at 11:35 PM, drscoop said:

We have been using the effects engine on these heads. However, when the effect is not required, say on the next cue, if we clear the effect and set intensity to zero, whilst the heads stop moving etc during programming, when playing back the cue, the heads still move but with no intensity.  To actually stop the lights, we have to program a cue with both a set position and some intensity, then an auto trigger cue with zero intensity to get the effect to stop.  It works, but it is not graceful.  However simply setting the next cue with no specific intensity and position on the moving heads, just an ‘effect off’ command does not record any positional information in the cue so the heads continue to move but with no light output.  How do we get around this continued movement?

This sounds like the console is in tracking mode. This means that the movement will "track" into the next cues until the fixture is used again. I would therefore recommend to solve this issue, you go into the cue where they are moving whilst dark. Select the fixtures, press No Effect, then press and hold UPDATE. From the Update Options window that will open, tap SmartTag so that it has a blue stripe rather than red. Then press your playback button to confirm the update. You should find this solves the issue. To stop this then happening again, I would recommend disabling tracking, unless you of course wish to use it. To do this press and hold RECORD, and ensure "Cue Only" has a red stripe next to it, and ensure you turn SmartTag back on. You can then press RECORD to close the window and save your settings.

On 5/13/2019 at 11:35 PM, drscoop said:

We are also struggling with gobo indexing.  On these fixtures, the rotating gobos do not continually rotate with indexed positions as far as we can find.  The degree of rotation is about 280-300 degrees in total, so about 140-150 degrees of rotation. each way.  On running our master cue list, whilst gobos were programmed to appear in a specific orientation, on playback the gobo display was not reliable, with gobos appearing upside down and not having sufficient rotational movement to get back to the right orientation.  I think this variability comes from the random natureof where the previous head movement (e.g a chase or effects engine audience sweep) had stopped, coming out of an effect chase or other movement. Sometimes shortest path (perhaps moving using Move on Dark) to the next cue position was, say, a 50 clockwise rotation to give the yoke 180 degrees from home, rather than a counterclockwise one of 130 degrees to return to home orientation.  On tilt, therefore, this led to the head being inverted compared to where we have programmed from and thus the gobo appears upside down or otherwise misaligned. How do we force a path to next position to give a specific orientation so all our gobo indexing then becomes robust and reliable each time, every time? (Other than requiring  a “go dark” cue followed by a hard return to ‘home’ position”)?

When you record a position into a cue, on playback you will always get the same raw pan and tilt values, and therefore exactly the same position. Move on Dark doesn't use shortest-path rules. If the Gobo index parameter has also been recorded as hard values in the cue, I don't see why you wouldn't get the same look on stage for the cue. To help you out, I would recommend recording your Gobo wheel, and gobo index parameters as palettes. Then you can use these palettes for different cues with different positions. If you need to then update these gobo orientations, you can simply update the palette, and all cues will automatically be updated.

On 5/13/2019 at 11:35 PM, drscoop said:

Hope these issue all make sense? Would welcome suggestions and advice on how  we work around some of there unfamiliarity issues?

I hope my responses are helpful, if you have any queries please let me know.

All the best,

Edward

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Edward, as always, thanks for the advice on all this.

- for the moving heads,  they do home with the tilt axis parallel to stage as power is applied, but then the fixtures rotate 90 degrees once DMX is applied so we were unsire if this was a fixture or desk home trait.  We will set up a preset as you suggest.

- the colour wheel explanation makes sense - we can set up some of the colours in palettes to offset this.  We have a mix of Chauvet fresnels and profiles, plus some ETC LED and the RGBAL values for each virtual gel are different.  I guess these need 3 different palettes per colour, one for each light type?  We will therefore need to be choosy so we don’t exceed the 48 palettes available to us on the desk!  Or is there a way to capture multiple light profiles in a single palette?

- still a bit perplexed on the gobo issue - I thought we had hard-programmed the gobo index value by specifically setting the pan, tilt, colour gobo wheel and gobo rotation setting in each scene, as we programmed each scene from a neutral position.  I guess the easiest way to check this is to export the show as a CSV and see which channels have hard-coded values?  We had, we thought, successfully recorded the positions as a palette, but when recalling this it tended to come back in variable orientations.  

I think the plan will be to get he desk and a few heads put the venue and spend some time building experience with them together - I suspect a some of this is beginner’s teething troubles and so we’ll explore a]these suggestions in detail when time is less pressing and there’s not an audience wanting a show!

 

 

 

 

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Hello,

17 hours ago, drscoop said:

Edward, as always, thanks for the advice on all this.

No problem at all. 

17 hours ago, drscoop said:

- for the moving heads,  they do home with the tilt axis parallel to stage as power is applied, but then the fixtures rotate 90 degrees once DMX is applied so we were unsire if this was a fixture or desk home trait.  We will set up a preset as you suggest.

Are they in 8bit or 16bit extended mode? If they are 8bit, their Pan and Tilt values on the Position parameter encoders should display 127 or 128, and if 16bit should be 32,767 or 32,768. If so then they are homing to their correct 50/50% values. 

As of this afternoon, ZerOS 7.9.5 has been released. This can be downloaded here...

This update includes Home for FLX S, and the ability to customise those values. For information on how you’ll be able to do this, see the article below...

http://support.zero88.com/1011411491

17 hours ago, drscoop said:

the colour wheel explanation makes sense - we can set up some of the colours in palettes to offset this.  We have a mix of Chauvet fresnels and profiles, plus some ETC LED and the RGBAL values for each virtual gel are different.  I guess these need 3 different palettes per colour, one for each light type?  We will therefore need to be choosy so we don’t exceed the 48 palettes available to us on the desk!  Or is there a way to capture multiple light profiles in a single palette?

You can record all of these different fixture types into a single palette. Select your first type of fixtures, create your colour, then select your next type of fixtures, and create the same red. You can then record this as a colour palette and all tagged colour values will be stored in the palette. The palette will be colour coded using information from the RGB(W) values. Tagging is displayed as a light blue highlight behind a parameter background above the encoders.

18 hours ago, drscoop said:

 - still a bit perplexed on the gobo issue - I thought we had hard-programmed the gobo index value by specifically setting the pan, tilt, colour gobo wheel and gobo rotation setting in each scene, as we programmed each scene from a neutral position.  I guess the easiest way to check this is to export the show as a CSV and see which channels have hard-coded values?  We had, we thought, successfully recorded the positions as a palette, but when recalling this it tended to come back in variable orientations.  

Interesting, I’ll take a look into this. Hard stored values won’t change, so currently this is sounding more like a fixture issue.

18 hours ago, drscoop said:

I think the plan will be to get he desk and a few heads put the venue and spend some time building experience with them together - I suspect a some of this is beginner’s teething troubles and so we’ll explore a]these suggestions in detail when time is less pressing and there’s not an audience wanting a show!

No problem! Any queries just let me know.

All the best,

Edward

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Thanks Edward,

We’ll update the desk to 7.9.5 and play with palettes for the gobo positions.  Using Capture with these two combined, the reliability looks better.  Out pf curiosity, on a small rig, is there any reason not to just use Snapshot recording for every cue?  I wonder if that solves any tracking issues we might inadvertently incorporate....

This might be better asked in the ZerOS section, but the 7.9.5 update brings options to add further universes, and the upgrade path to 2 DMX universes that was previously available, suggest there is a lot of functionality on the S24 that is simply software locked.  Do you plan other unlock possibilities?  We only need, really, a 48 fixture desk and a single universe but we found that having extra colour palettes for the various LED fixtures would be handy.  Might we, one day, be able to pay to upgrade the numbers of palettes from 48 to 96?  Or to purchase upgrade access to the gel library vs the mood boards so we can look up specific gels?

 

 

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Hello,

1 hour ago, drscoop said:

Out pf curiosity, on a small rig, is there any reason not to just use Snapshot recording for every cue?  I wonder if that solves any tracking issues we might inadvertently incorporate....

I would recommend recording normally without Snapshot/ Record All, as you may find things like Move on Dark won’t work as expected. To ensure the console is not in tracking mode, press and hold RECORD, which will open the Record Options window. In here are tracking options. Ensure that you are in Cue Only mode, and you can then tap RECORD to close the window. Now all future cues you record will not track. 

1 hour ago, drscoop said:

This might be better asked in the ZerOS section, but the 7.9.5 update brings options to add further universes, and the upgrade path to 2 DMX universes that was previously available, suggest there is a lot of functionality on the S24 that is simply software locked. 

ZerOS 7.9.5 doesn’t unlock any extra DMX Universes. What it does allow however, is the ability to patch your 1 or 2 FLX S universes, across 64 universes of DMX. An example of where that’s useful is if you just have dimmers on universe 1. Normally doing this would mean the rest of the unused channels on universe 1 would be wasted, but now you can patch those on a different universe, and send it over Ethernet.

1 hour ago, drscoop said:

Do you plan other unlock possibilities?  We only need, really, a 48 fixture desk and a single universe but we found that having extra colour palettes for the various LED fixtures would be handy.  Might we, one day, be able to pay to upgrade the numbers of palettes from 48 to 96?  Or to purchase upgrade access to the gel library vs the mood boards so we can look up specific gels?

We don’t currently plan to do this. The FLX S range feature set is dependant on hardware, which also aids in controlling the features. For example extra palettes on S48 is convenient with the external monitor, and FLX has a dedicated syntax pad for no fixture limit.

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

Edward

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