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Automated Fixtures Getting to know movers.

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Cschaeffer, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. Cschaeffer

    Cschaeffer Member

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    I was just wondering where to look to get ideas/learn how to use movers more effectively using an ETC Ion. I have 2 Mac 500s and only way that I have been able to make effective moving light looks is using a cue stack. Anyone have any suggestions on where to look for ideas? Thanks.
     
  2. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    What exactly do you need to know how to do? Do you need to know how to program looks as easily recallable presets? Or do you need design ideas for looks?
     
  3. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    Design ideas and theory aren't something I know much about but if your looking at figuring out effective tools that ION gives you to utilize moving lights I would make sure you have a good understanding of how focus points and/or pallets (not really sure what ETC has decided to call them anymore) work as they can go huge lengths in stream lining your time on the console. Also if you're working completely in hard coded cues and not using effects your probably doing more work and getting lesser results than you, the intels, and the console are all capable of. Past that if ION is anything like the Maxxyz I work on there's ten ways to do about anything and time on the desk and even taking the hit and reading the manual will show you which is fastest and easiest for you. Hope that gave you some ideas, if not come back with more detail on what your looking for and I'm sure one of the more dedicated ETC types can help you with more.
     
  4. awhaley

    awhaley Member

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    The cue stack is a good place to be building moving light looks...

    If you tell us a little more about what kind of show you're trying to do, how you usually use the console, etc. we can provide more help to you. I don't know of a good 'get started with moving lights' tutorial... and I suspect that's because it depends so much on what you want to do with them.

    Which brings me to my big advice - before you turn the darned things on, know what you want them to do. You need to know which cues of the show you'll use them in, and for what purpose in order to place them where they need to be to do the job...

    Then, allow yourself enough time to program (as much as possible... your first show with the movers) and just start figuring out how to make them do what you want them to. You WON'T do it the best or most efficient way the first time, but I really think the way to get comfortable with movers is to start doing it... then when you get to something where you say "There HAS to be a better way to do this..." you can come ask us, or read the manual, and you'll often find out that 'yes, there is!'

    Quick specific advice - you need to build focus palletes for every position you plan to use with them. You can build beamshape and color palletes too if you want, and I do prefer to do it that way, but position palletes should be built every time in every place you want them to be. When you're building cues, don't touch the position attributes - recall the palletes every time you need to move a light. If you need to stop and build a new pallete then save that focus pallete into the cue, do that.

    Why? Several reasons, all of them important... but for now, the one I'm going to give you is mark cues. When working with movers, you normally want them to get into the right place, beamshape and color in a cue when the mover isn't on... then you want it to fade in... then fade out.... and then move to the next position/beam/color for the next time it comes on. This means that in at least THREE different cues (maybe many more) you need the mover in the same position/beam/color. You can do this without palletes. You build the cue... then back up a cue and copy the attributes from the mover (other than intensity) into the previous cue and update it. Then move forward to the cue when the mover goes out, take the intensity down, and record that. Done, right? But if you see it in tech and realize it needs to move three feet.... now you have to change at least two (three if you blocked the cue that took the mover out) cues to make the effect work in the new place. If you'd used palletes, you'd just update the pallete and all three cues (or 50 cues... if 50 cues used the same pallete) are correct.

    Beyond that... get your hands dirty then call us when you can't figure out how to do the next cool thing! :)


    Art
     
  5. lazor

    lazor Member

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    This is why I need an Ion for my I-cues, Varilites and other movers. I currently have an Expression 3 and haveing to update a cue (or more accurately 3 cues) when a mover changes, is a real pain in the behind.
     
  6. BenTev28

    BenTev28 Member

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    The Expression 3 has similar (but less wonderful) functionality in the focus point function. If you put your movers where you want them and record as focus point 1, then go to a cue, select your mover channels and do [AT][FOCUS POINT]1, they will return to those positions. If you re-record the levels in focus point 1, the values will change in all the cues as well.

    In terms of efficiency in using moving lights with Ion, I agree that digging in and finding specific questions will be much more helpful. As a general response though, read the entire effects chapter of the manual thoroughly. Then spend some time playing with building some effects to get the hang of how it works. Chances are you'll be able to reduce your cue stacks somewhat.
     
  7. Cschaeffer

    Cschaeffer Member

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    I would say a little of both, I have ideas just from concerts/shows I watch on tv and when I see movers in real life but I guess the easily accessible presets is what I am looking for. I can't really get effects to do what I wan't etc etc.


    I think i know how to use focus pallets. I use them just for focus(obviously) but I'm not sure if there are more things I can do with them other than that. I usually just lay my pallets out with areas. So like 1-3 4-6 7-9 DSR-DSL etc etc. Then put some around my the theatre for moving looks. I don't know what to call them? Meaning the fixtures moving with intensity up instead of a special look in a scene. Hope that made sense. So I do use focus palletes specially for like during concerts so I can use them as key lights when someone has a solo or that type of thing.

    I guess my problem is I can't get the focus palletes into effects (mainly absolute effects, which the guy who demoed our board for us said were the most useful with movers) the way I want them to. Usually they are moving to slow to the final resting place (has to be a term for that too).

    On one of the more recent updates they added something called Q position which controlled how fast the movers actually moved to there new focus spot. Does this value get recorded into the board?

    Basically these kind of details are what get me screwed up when I try to make my "looks".


    I have read the manual and effects portions specifically. My only problem is how do I get the effect to stop in the cue or do I write cue X.1 for that to happen or if I can loop/link through different effects and then have it stop or if I have to write each portion of the cue manually.

    Another thing I worry about is at the end of the song/event and I want the movers to stop doing what they are doing how do I do that without having to gotocue 0 or gotocue X and have the movers fade before they go to their home posistion.
     

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