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Into The Woods

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by EHubbard92, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. EHubbard92

    EHubbard92 Member

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    Is our musical, and I'm lighting designer this year (woot!) but...I have way more than I know what to do with. Smith, my director, has me with two Studio Spots on the Smart Fade which will be on stage, 4 Studio Colors on stage run off the 24/48 and I think 6 Studio Spots on the cats and in the juliets run off the 48/96 plus 5 rail techs.

    I have no idea what to do with all of those lights.

    We just had our first complete run through last night and I've got a pretty good idea about the basic lights and the spots, but I haven't really looked at what to do with intells.

    Any suggestions or ideas? Or if you want to share what you've done if you did Into The Woods in the past that would be nice too.
     
  2. EHubbard92

    EHubbard92 Member

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    um...huh?
     
  3. EHubbard92

    EHubbard92 Member

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    I didn't mean help me design it...I meant does it make sense to use that many intells?
     
  4. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Design concept?
     
  5. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Actually, what [user]Charc[/user] and [user]soundlight[/user] said is correct. You need to have a design concept. If you know what you want to accomplish with all the lights, not just the MLs then you can work everything into a unified design. With a little bit of thought and planning you can do a lot of interesting things, but it all comes back to how you, the designer, and the director and the rest of the design team want the show to look.

    The StudioColors are going to give you lots of flexibility in creating color washes on stage. Depending on where you have them hung they may be able to function as toplight, frontlight, backlight, and sidelight. There is your use for them. As for the studiospots that you have in FOH positions, start by thinking of them as moving specials. With a moving light you can have a special almost anywhere. Also think of the other things that they can do. You have lots of flexibility for multiple color and angle front light washes, plus you have multiple template washes too.

    Those are the best ways to start to think about how to include intelligent gear in your plot. You can get more and more creative as you go, but hopefully this gives you a starting point.
     
  6. Malabaristo

    Malabaristo Active Member

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    Are we talking about using two non-ML Smartfade consoles run by two different people to control a bunch of moving lights?

    Hopefully I'm interpreting that wrong, because that just sounds silly.

    Are there conventional fixtures as well, or is it just the movers?
     
  7. rochem

    rochem Well-Known Member

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    For me, I find that the best way to design a show is to start with just a basic idea of what you want to see on stage. Then, once that's completely done, and only then, do you begin to think about specific instruments and angles and such. Into the Woods is a pretty fun show, and one that I'd like to design someday. So think about what you want. I am a firm believer in not overusing moving lights just because you have them (at least for theatre), so I tend to think of moving lights as just "multi-purpose conventionals" almost. Rather than hanging these three specials which will only be used once each, I can hang this moving light here to cover all of them. Rather than hanging 5 different colors of backlight plus a template wash, I can just hang movers to cover all the colors and templates.

    You're very fortunate to have so many moving lights (although I'm not sure about the console choices..), but don't use them just for the sake of using them. Sure, that endless ballyhoo on the stage in bright primary colors while rotating a gobo might look cool, but does it really add to the overall design of the show? Use movers to supplement your existing design, not as a stand-alone feature.
     
  8. EHubbard92

    EHubbard92 Member

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    What's ML?

    And no. There's one SmartFade, and two different boards.
    Yes there are conventional fixtures as well.


    Thanks everyone for helping me find a starting point. I just kind of got thrown into this and I have no idea what I'm doing.

    And rochem,
    those are the only consoles we have...
    but, can you tell me what would be better to use?
    I'd just like to know...
     
  9. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    There are two versions of Smartfade, the SmartFade and the SmartFade ML. The ML version is designed to handle moving lights where the standard version can do it, but is not very good at it. Also, the Smartfade can't handle more than 4 moving lights, where the Smartfade ML can handle 24, this is due to the channel limitations of each.

    I wouldn't change your setup too much if you own all this gear and are not renting things because it will work and if it is free. However, if you are renting gear then you might want to rent a console that can control everything from the same place. The ETC Ion would be a good choice or one of the new Strand Palettes or even a 500 Series. If the 48/96 you are talking about is an ETC Express, you would find working with an Expression 3 very similar, but it could handle all your moving lights.
     
  10. EHubbard92

    EHubbard92 Member

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    We aren't renting, I wish we could though.

    I think we have the SmartFade...we've only ever run two off of it.
     
  11. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Well, to follow up, how many dimmers do you have? Which 48/96 console do you have? Choose wisely and you may find that you can have unified control.
     
  12. EHubbard92

    EHubbard92 Member

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    ETC Express is the 48/96.

    We have four dimmer racks...? (Is that what you asked?)

    Unified control?

    How?
     
  13. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Well, I was kinda hoping you would say something other than the ETC Express 48/96 because the 48/96 can only control 192 channels and your moving lights eat up all that really fast. So unfortunately you can't achieve unified control with what you have. What I mean by unified control, is controlling everything from one console, it would make life easier. Sorry if I got your hopes up.
     
  14. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Yes, one can. There are various methods, depending on the console to be controlled.

    One of the most popular is MIDI implementation.

    From the Express manual:
    "MIDI Show Control (MSC)
    The consoles recognize the following MSC commands, which may be
    either transmitted or received (all other commands are ignored):
    • Go
    • Stop
    • Resume
    • Fire"


    From the SmartFade manual:
    "The MIDI functions of your SmartFade console were created with two main purposes. You can:
    • Slave two or more consoles together for increased control capability
    • Record into a music sequencer for real-time playback."


    However, the above should not be construed as that it's possible to control, via MIDI, a SmartFade from an Express, or vice-versa.
     
  15. plastical

    plastical Member

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    I believe he is saying "no guarantees", although I don't see why it isn't possible (ready to be shot out of water).

    As you asked...if you ever get the chance, see if you can get your hands on an AVOLites Pearl. We have one and it is superb for moving lights. 2048 dmx channels (over 4 universes). Great for busking, although its stack (cue) programming facilities aren't quite as great - although usable.
     
  16. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    You will get lots of different answers from lots of different people reguarding consoles. On the 48/96 your ML's (moving lights ie. your studio spots and colors) will eat channels very quickly. Search around and you will find several threads reguarding consoles and their price ranges. Some guys like to pipe up and say get a GrandMa, for most schools this is a extremely unpratical console and so is the price (45-50k). Lots of the ETC guys say ION. I can program a strand better than an ION. I personally install the road hog in high schools. They are very user friendly and the syntax is very close to the ETC. The price will run you around 10k which is about the same as an ION with a fader wing (you have to have the fader wing in order to use the ION easily). And the road hog gives you 4 universes over just 2 from ETC. ETC will also sell you additional channels to allow you to control your two universes, highend does not do this crap. When you buy a console with x number of universes you should not have to pay more in order to use them to their capacity.
     
  17. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    You neglected to mention that your Express 48/96 is part of an Emphasis system as we learned in this thread (unless that is in a different space). The simplest Emphasis configuration has 500 channels, which is plenty to control all of your moving lights and dimmers from one console. So, you should be able to connect up all of your moving lights to the one console and control them all from one place.
     
  18. EHubbard92

    EHubbard92 Member

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    I didn't know we could...Smith told us that we couldn't do that so I thought it wasn't possible.

    But I could? I could put twenty-ish on just the one board?
     
  19. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    If your Express 24/48 is connected to an Emphasis system you should have a minimum of 500 channels of control. You have to have Emphasis running, but why wouldn't you? So, unless there is some other reason, like your Emphasis computer is not working correctly or you don't have enough DMX cable then I don't see why it shouldn't work. I am not amazingly familiar with Emphasis, but I would imagine, if you get the chance you could test this by going in and creating a blank show and trying to patch 500 channels to see if it works.
     
  20. EHubbard92

    EHubbard92 Member

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    Ok I'll try it on Monday.

    Thanks.
     

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