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Control/Dimming Clarity - Public beta now available

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by NickDenville, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. NickDenville

    NickDenville Member

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    Clarity is our new PC-based lighting control application and has been undergoing alpha testing since May. We think Clarity has come on a long way in the last 6 months and we're excited to announce the public beta phase in a final run-up to launch. We'd love you to try out the software - please head over to www.openclear.com.au where you can register and freely download a fully functional 30-day trial version.

    Some of Clarity's key features, so far:

    - Clear and logical workflow
    - Intuitive operation with a shallow learning curve
    - Powerful pixel mapping with support for Apple QuickTime video formats
    - Innovative performance window, tailored for improvisational usage in live environments
    - Extensive real-time effects
    - Flexible layout, easily scaling up to multiple monitors
    - Extensive and comprehensive fixture library
    - Outputs via ArtNet, EntTec DMX USB PRO and the Peperoni Rodin range of USB interfaces
    - DMX submasters via ArtNet or EntTec DMX input
    - MIDI support for Mackie Control compatible surfaces, such as the Behringer BCF2000

    We're very keen to hear what you think of the software so far and have setup a dedicated discussion forum at forum.openclear.com.au (separate free registration required). Development is ongoing and we have plenty more features to implement over the next few months, so your contribution will help us focus our energy on making Clarity the best PC-based lighting control solution there is.

    All the best,
    Nick Denville
    OpenClear Pty. Ltd.
     
  2. andrei

    andrei Member

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    I have been alpha testing Clarity for the last few months and come from a theatre background. When I first looked at Clarity, I too thought that it would not be suitable for theatre applications due the fact that I could not enter "1 thru 10 @ 30 + 23 @ full" as I do on my Hog 3. With this desk, everything is done with the mouse which takes a bit of getting used to, but the more you use it, you realise how fast it actually is for theatre applications.

    Fixture / channel selection is the biggest difference for theatre people, as you are clicking and dragging vs typing in channel numbers. Groups have been implemented well which makes this task even faster. Cue stacks are also nice and familiar to theatre people. Copying, inserting and editing cues is dead easy...just drop and drag - everything is very visual and playback is all done using traditional looking theatre cue lists.

    If you have some time, I say take Nick up on his offer, download the Beta, try it out in your theatre applications and jump on the Open Clear forum and comment on what you want implemented to make it a better theatre desk.

    Andrei
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  3. NickDenville

    NickDenville Member

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    Yes it's Windows-only for now, but we'll be releasing a Mac version after the Windows version has shipped (we're targeting early '09 for that).

    Cheers,
    Nick
     
  4. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    So, what does this console/program do that none of the competitors do? What can your product do that, say, a Hog can't (keeping in mind Hog PC being what it is)?

    I ask this coming from someone who enjoys having handles and buttons to push. I ran a show on a Hog PC, and I would have been miserable if it were not for the programming and playback wings that I had (including using a normal QWERTY keyboard for shortcuts).

    I'm always curious about new consoles, I'd download your beta if it were available for Mac.
     
  5. NickDenville

    NickDenville Member

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    We think that first and foremost, Clarity provides a particularly fast, clear and intuitive interface that allows you to work faster and more comfortably. In addition to providing all of the features you would expect from any lighting controller, it also boasts some rare and unique components that help it stand out.

    Few controllers offer an integrated pixel-mapping feature for LED arrays: Clarity can use many standard image and movie formats and has many manipulation options that allow you to transform, blend, rotate etc. and can be used in conjunction with the realtime effects as for regular fixtures.

    The performance window is a completely new concept for a lighting controller, and provides seamless synchronisation and re-use of existing cuelists and chases. Performance items (cuelists, chases) can be locked to an internal metronome and triggering can be configured so that individual items will sync to and/or trigger on a specific beat or bar. These items can also re-use existing programming easily: e.g. you could drop an existing cuelist onto the performance grid and decide to use only cues 5 to 10, and only take the position information for a specific group of fixtures. You could also choose that this item should chase through those cues, even though the source cuelist is not configured as a chase. These types of options can all be set with a couple of mouse clicks and do not affect the source cuelist in any way. Combinations of items can be very quickly grouped so that they trigger together. Even without the tempo-synchronisation features (which admittedly are focused on rhythmic/musical applications), this still allows a very powerful way to sketch up ideas and recombine elements from existing programming to achieve new looks, fast.

    There's loads of groovy features throughout the system, e.g. control of and fanning attribute values and timing is fast and accurate; Common attributes (intensity, colour, position, gobo, focus, zoom, iris) are presented with a standardised control alongside detailed channel-specific attribute levels; information is presented efficiently and provides both detailed and summary information at-a-glance.

    For physical control, we've currently provided MIDI interfacing (for devices such as the Behringer BCF2000 motorised fader module) and DMX-input for using an existing desk as a submaster control. Work is underway to support other devices such as the EntTec playback wing and we will continue to expand our support for other control surfaces.

    We're still in a beta phase and there's much more that will be added and refined up to and beyond product launch - we're steering the ongoing development based on feedback we receive and we'll remain very attentive to suggestions from the userbase and community at large.

    All the best,
    Nick
     

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