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Flying movers on an Ion: touchpad?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Jay Ashworth, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Does the Ion software (ours is 2.6.2, going to 2.8.current next week or so) in any way support using a USB touchpad or trackball to adjust the pan and tilt of a mover (and maybe the beamspread, with the ring on a trackball) all simultaneously?

    If it doesn't, is that something programmers would find useful and I should RFE it?
     
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  2. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    There's a trackball option in the ML control that already provides the feature. I think it dates back to the original ML control implementation circa 2010. Personally, I don't like using it because of trackball sensitivity issues and because the mouse click to set pan and tilt also actuates whatever is under the mouse cursor at the time of the click. Then there's trying to wrap my head around >360 degree pan in a 2D space, pun intended.

    upload_2019-4-22_10-39-8.png
     
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  3. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    So, if it could identify a trackpad/ball and use that as a separate controller just for movers? With adjustable sensitivity?
     
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  4. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    It works with any pointing device that can be recognized as a mouse. There's no feature to designate a particular pointing device with a particular action. If you want that then I suspect ETC will point you at developing your own OSC implementation. When 3.0 comes out next fall the 3D engine will likely provide a point-and-shoot mechanism which would be better than a trackball or mouse move implementation.

    FWIW, sensitivity setting are available in the settings area. Trouble is the sensitivity setting doesn't really handle acceleration well.
     
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  5. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    I shouldn't think OSC would be the proper target for implementing mouse tracking myself, but perhaps it's more flexible than I think.

    Do you mean "acceleration implemented in the device isn't accounted for well"? Or "I'd like acceleration and it doesn't do that in the software"?

    Also: obligatory rant about big releases coming out *at the beginning of a season*, instead of the end. :)
     
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  6. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    If you lower the mouse sensitivity to work well as a tool for pointing movers then it requires excessive motion to use as a pointing device for navigating the rest of the application. It's not smart enough to make big gestures move the pointer farther and faster (acceleration).

    ETC's OSC implementation is designed for implementing any controlling action such as encoders, faders, buttons, etc. Translating a mouse movement into a series of pan and tilt messages is pretty trivial for the API. It's all covered in the Show Control manual as well as in the #LightHack forum on ETC's website.
     
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  7. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Got it. Though I did in fact have in mind the application picking off the secondary pointing device and treating it as a separate source. If I go to osc, I have to have a whole separate computer in between The Mouse and the lighting board, which seems overkill. I'll go take a look at the forums. We do use osc, but largely for the alien software remote and qlab.
     
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  8. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    The idea with OSC would be to use an Arduino or something similar. FWIW, the alien stagecraft software implements pan-tilt encoders via OSC.
     
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  9. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    The Alien Stagecraft oscRFR app, about $50, is a very useful tool, runs on a tablet. Has very well thought out encoders that can be configured. It's my go-too tool for refining focus on ML's.

    http://www.alienstagecraft.com/encoders.php
     
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  10. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    And it's what we use; it's on 2 iPads and 3 people's phones, yes. I don't recall that it has X/Y encoders, though, which was the topic of this post, does it?
     
  11. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    The Alien app has configurable encoders that can allow pan and tilt and IMO have reasonable sensitivity.

    And as BTW, I can state I’m getting a bit tired of the snarky attitude, that comes thru clear in this reply, but is in others as well. If you want free advice don’t get testy with those who offer it.
     
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  12. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Sorry you think that's snarky.

    But, in fact, my just having gone back and looked, I'd really like you to itemize; "which was the topic of this post" is the only thing *I* see that fits, and yes, that was purposeful.

    That said, as often happens, even here, a lot of these replies amount to "that's not a reasonable thing to want; you shouldn't want that". It does get tiresome.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
  13. lwinters630

    lwinters630 Well-Known Member

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    I use a touch screen monitors in ML
     
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  14. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Controlling P/T ona trackball was the native mode of operation for the Strand 300/500 series consoles. While it seems like a wonderful idea, it is far less precise than dual rotary encoders. Ultimately, you feel like you should be able to whip a trackball around and have the fixture just get where you want, but most fixtures can’t keep up. Then if you want to make a small tweak, you feel like you are always overshooting.

    Now, maybe a velocity jog via joystick would be cool.
     
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  15. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Well, for the record, I was actually suggesting a trackpad, I think, which seems slightly less troublesome, being absolute, rather than relative, but I'll bow to experience.
     
  16. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Well, that exists in the ML controls screen. On a touch screen, it would effectively be the same as a trackpad.
     
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