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Automated Fixtures How to do this?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Les, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction

    I'm not sure if anyone would remember this show, but it came on SciFi seemingly irregularly several years back.

    The coolest part of the show (other than the ghost stories) was the lighting sequences between each segment. One programming trick that I've been wanting to figure out is in this clip. [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LuKiNLaJKQ&feature=channel[/media]
    Fast forward to 6:44. You will see this eerie sweep of moving heads or scanners in blue but strobing in white. How is this done? I know you can get pretty much any moving light to strobe in any color, but how would one get it to snap to white (and back to blue) so fast? Is it possible that the colorwheel of the instrument has blue and white right next to each other and they do a blue-to-white-to-blue cue in a zero or one count?

    I have no console or moving lights to try this out on right now, but I'd like everyone's hypothesis on how this could be done. I'm sure it's simple, but I only have that one theory.
     
  2. ScaredOfHeightsLD

    ScaredOfHeightsLD Active Member

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    I was actually just thinking about this today, but under a different circumstance. I think that you are probably right about the color wheel. Another option would be, depending on what the fixture is, that it's CMY and the flags are just dropping in and out very quickly. If I get a chance, I will try and swing by the lab in the next few days and try it out. I am relatively sure we have a CMY fixture or two and definitely some with color wheels.
     
  3. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    I don't know of any fixtures that can whip CMY wheels or flags around that quickly to go from that ultra saturated blue to open white. My money is on a color wheel with adjacent blue and white, for added effect dim the fixture down when it is in blue and when you pop to white you will get even more punch.
     
  4. Wolf

    Wolf Active Member

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    It could also be as simple as they have several fixtures some with blue color and then others bumping/strobing in open white.
     
  5. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Judging by the gobo earlier on in the clip, I'm going to say its a color wheel with blue next to N/C. VL3000's have something similar with red and congo being on either side of the open slot...
     
  6. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Sounds plausible but it appears that the blue and white are coming from the same fixture. That clip wasn't the best I've seen on the show but it was the best I could find of that particular effect. Some show the circular gobo and strobe. [user]Pie4Weebl[/user], I've actually seen on the show where one randomly strobed in red also. The VL's are possible these fixtures in the clip. How long has that fixture been out?
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
  7. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    The Vl 3500 have been out since 2004 according to this press release. News - Vari-Lite - Express Yourself. The 3Ks were out before that I think. Just because the color wheel lines up with it dosn't mean much. Changing the color wheel around is a pretty simple task, and most lights come stock with super saturated colors on either side of open to allow quick bumps. If I had to spec a light for fast bumps it would be the VL6 hands down.
     
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I would say there's some sort of strobe feature involved. That's just too fast for any typical equipment. Is there a mover with a strobe feature?
     
  9. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    ALL movers using discharge lamps have a strobe feature, using either a lobsterscope or a metal flag to interrupt the light beam. I agree that it's a color wheel effect, with blue next to the open slot. Set the wheel to "snap" and use a sine-wave modulator.

    Fixtures at 4:43 look like Intellabeams (rectangular mirror).
     
  10. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    This might be one downside to the "gafftaper" method of building moving lights, you miss out on little extras like a strobe function. Some lights use the same flags that they use to dim as the strobe function, when entering into strobe mode they will snap really fast.
     
  11. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    True. However, "The Method" is only meant to be applied to the worlds of educational theater and low to medium budget community/semi-pro theater. Not TV studio, not Broadway, not Live Concert applications. In my world there is very little need for strobe effects. In the last 10 years of educational theater I've used a strobe once... and a piece of junk from Radio Shack did the trick nicely.
     
  12. beltsvillecrucib

    beltsvillecrucib Member

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    From what I understand, the VL2c's color wheel is incredibly fast
     
  13. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I think we may have a winner!
     
  14. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I'm bringing this thread up from the dead. Anyone know how to get a similar effect out of Chamsys MagicQ?

    I will have four Elation DesignSpot 250's which I would like to have on a ballyhoo. Each with the same gobo and color (blue), but would like the fixture's color wheels to snap to white and back, "randomly", one at a time.
    (Doesn't actually have to be random- it can be one fixture per second, but I'd like the white phase to be as quick as possible, like lightning).

    I've been looking at MagicQ's FX Palettes and even in the advanced section, all the built-in effects seem pretty basic unless I'm missing something.

    Anyone know how I'd go about building an effect for this, or point me toward a tutorial?
     
  15. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    A good start might be to create another cue list with four cues in it. Each cue takes one of the fixtures to white. Then clear out all the flags from the tracking column and make it a chase. Set the chase to random and play around with the timings to get the right look. If you want more of a delay in between the lights flashing to white simply throw in a few empty cues.
     
    Les likes this.
  16. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks! This really helped me get on the right track. Here's a screen shot of my MagicQ cue list. It could use a few tweeks but it basically it works the way I'd like.

    Each cue just cycles one of the fixtures from blue gobo to open white, and the next cue takes it back - and the process repeats for a different fixture, all with very quick delay times. The 1.00 delay is all blue so there's not always something flashing (I wanted the flashes to happen in bursts). Each cue also contains the same 4.00sec Figure 8 ballyhoo for all fixtures.

    It's a work in progress but I think I am on the right track. I wonder if there is a way to program this as a standalone effect so it will only accommodate one cue?

    [​IMG]

    I still have a ways to go with MagicQ but I'm getting the hang of it thanks to YouTube tutorials and being able to just sit and mess with it. I still need to figure out how to gracefully edit cues, move-in-dark, and all that good stuff. The encoders also confuse me on this but that might be because I don't have an actual mouse connected to my laptop. Just need to learn some shortcuts. My biggest pet peeve so far is that I have a hard time arranging the fixtures in the visualizer or adding any architectural elements. Can't get my VL500's to sit on the "floor", but I'm not letting that slow me down.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  17. wolfman005

    wolfman005 Active Member

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    If you hit shift while in the cue list, one of the soft buttons gives you the option to make the cue list into an effect.

    As for the visualizer, patch in a piece of truss and you can set it to be invisible. Attach the lights to the truss and position at your liking.

    I don't think the visualizer is capable of anything architecture wise. I am working on Godspell now and wanted a accurate stage so I built one using sheets and cubes. Wasn't worth the time I put in on it.
     
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  18. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks! I'll try that. I was hoping to at least get a proscenium arch in place but it's not really necessary. I don't even have the venue's CAD drawings on me, so I wouldn't be able to get it to the correct size anyway. As long as I can see what the fixtures are doing for programming purposes, I'm good. Later on I'll connect a second monitor so the console op will have something to look at without the control surface being so cramped.
     

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