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Thread: pixel mapped Fixture Controller as regular fixture profile

  1. #1

    pixel mapped Fixture Controller as regular fixture profile

    I've been using pixel mad to control pixelline and ipix bb4's and i'd really like to be able to control the fixtures "normally" either as one big fixture or as individual fixtures as well as with video from the lighting desk rather than using video footage.

    The idea would be to have a seperate "fixture" called fixture layer for example patched on the desk. This fixture would have control of a new "fixture " within catalyst. Pixeline or other linear or dingle pixel fixtures would be mapped as normal using pixel mad but would be controlled using the fixture layer as one big fixture using conventional control techniques.
    To more clearly explain this idea imagine 10 pixelline in a line end to end. Using catalyst you would run them as one big fixture.
    As one big fixture you could run simple effects (similar to those found in max 2 mode of a pixeline) like a blip (knight rider effect) across the line of 10 pixelines , you could also have a spread control channel so a spread of 2 would give you the effect twice ( each over 5 fixtures), a spread of ten would put the effect on each individual fixture making it run like a normal pixeline with the blip effect on it etc. An effect toolset similar to what is built into the pixeline would be perfect perhaps with a few others like an explode from centre, wipe in from outside etc. You would have an intensity attribute 0 to 100%, intensity effects {with intensity effects like intensity spread, 2's chase , 3's chase , 4 etc.}, colour regular rgb control adn colour effects { colour rainbow, 2's colours, 3's colours, colour strobe, colour running effect, colour spread from zero i.e. one pixel in the array turns on then the next adds etc so you get a growing line of colour ) , strobe {with random strobe , spread strobe, lightning strobe etc}.
    This "fixture layer" could work with any type rgb or cmy fixture if you had the ability to group pixels together as fixtures when mapping . You could also give these individual fixtures a sequence number so that the effect would follow a specified path (particularly useful in random arrangements), you could also have sequence presets where you can change the orientation / path of where the effect would run, all this would give the fixtures back to the operator /programmer as fixtures as well as video elements. I know all this can be done with custom video, but thats a lot of work for one off shows!

    Another version of this would be to patch the fixtures on the desk as regular fixtures in a smaller mode e.g. max 2 for a pixeline,but on dmx addresses different to that of catalyst and indeed the fixtures themselves, catalyst would take the commands from the desk via those dmx channels and map to the fixtures, each fixture would have complete control as a regular fixture as well as a lighting element. This would involve a lot more in terms of catalyst having to have fixture libraries and understand the control of them.

    The control of the individual fixtures is where i got the idea from. I toyed with creating a custom video library that mimiced the bettter effects in the pixeline. Another idea was to try and use a merger to switch between control by the lighting desk as fixtures or by catalyst, though anyone that has ever patched a pixeline in full mode on a desk knows that it eats fixture numbers and dmx lines.

    Finally the beauty of the fixture layer would be that you could have a control attribute recalling effects like the knightrider blip [0] and rainbow effects [1] etc and its default of [255] would make turn the layer off, you could also have [254] as transparent so you could run effects over mapped video.

    On the bb4 side of things i think l.e.d. is soon going to light whole shows, and is already doing so on shows like radiohead for example (current show is completely lit by ipix bb4's satellites and bb7's) it would be great to be able to control a rig like that using video while being able to hold on individual pixels to maintain a lighting state to light stage for particular parts of the show, while also having the opportunity to run the bb7 clusters as one big fixture with effects.

    One other idea as part of this would to be also run this fixture on regular video walls , screens etc, mapped over one of the mix outputs. It would be great if you could map pixels within a l.e.d. video wall as a pixeline clone for example just using linear parts of the screen similar in size to pixeline and have them act the same as the fixtures driven by the "fixture" layer. So a show running a mix of say l.e.d. video wall and mapped pixeline could go from video running with video on the led screen elements going onto the pixeline to the whole lot acting as a massive array of pixeline. And once again the pieces of screen not being used as pixeline could possibly run video?

    Sorry for the long post but its a crazy and mad and long idea!

  2. #2
    Hey Mick,

    I am inspired by your idea. However, I have prided myself on being an expert using the effects generators on many lighting desk. Personally, I still like to use a media server.

    In fact, I fought recently in a new venue design using LED tubes to have the client buy and extra media server to drive the LEDs. They scratched their heads but when I did a demo on a video screen, they understood.

    Everything you mentioned doing is something I can imaging doing with stock content and color or visual effects in Catalyst. In fact, the amount of time to do it with a media server is less than the time I would need to do it in the effects generator.

    To make an example, your "Knight Rider" idea:
    Use the standard Open white file on layer 1 with Green and Blue at zero.
    On layer 2, I use the shutter iris effect with FX1 at full to soften the edges.
    I also rotate the Y until the circle becomes squished very thin.
    I Set an effect to change the X position in steps so it jumps from left to right. Then I adjust the image speed until the red squished dot moves slowly back and forth.

    The cool thing is I can do this on a Mac Mini running Catalyst Express and only require 80 channels for the media server. The Knight rider effect I believe is one of the harder ones you were asking for.

    Still though, as a thought, you can uses something like an ETC net device and serial commands to mix and match DMX so that you can use pixel mad ad a group or use console DMX fixtures as another group.

    ...if it ain't broke...
    gimme 5 and then don't act surprised

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