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Control/Dimming Problem using Groups on Expression 3

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Capi, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. Capi

    Capi Member

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    I've been having some issues using groups on my Expression 3 console. What I've been doing is this: I will create a look using a couple moving lights (Mac 500's) to use later in a show (praise and worship chapel, if you're interested). I will save this look as a group so that I can easily recall it later. I create a few different looks this way. Now my problem: I'll recall one group no problem. However, when I recall another group later on, it will layer the hold the group I had up before and combine the new group with it and create looks that aren't even close to what I made. What am I doing wrong? Is there a better way to do what I'm trying to do on this board (make a look I can call up easily without making a cue)? The only way I know to fix it is to release the channels, but of course that sends them home, which isn't what I want. Help me out here. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    I bet its because when you take this group of channels and make it a group, anything at 00 isn't recorded into the group. So any attribute that isn't used in a certain group isn't part of that group. So, if you call your group up that has the fixture cyan, and then call up the group that has the fixture magenta, your going to end up with the light being whatever cyan + magenta is (its late, sorry).

    I have no way to test this theory, but thats what makes sense.

    Go look up focus points in the manual, they will do what you want it to do.

    (Your doing doing anything with subs, right? Cause subs are HTP and would be a completely different problem/solution.)
     
  3. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    For my theory, I am assuming the groups are being programmed as:
    Ch X Thru Y Record Grp Z

    And that they are being called back as
    Grp Z At Full

    In this case, each channel is a captured channel, and captured channels are always LTP.

    Groups aren't the cleanest way to do this, for all the reasons that the OP is having, which is why I suggested using Focus Points instead.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2008
  4. quarterfront

    quarterfront Member

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    I don't use groups much so I opened up EOL and try this out just to make sure I didn't go telling lies....

    Here's the deal. When you call a group up at a level you capture the channels in the group and move them to proportion of their recorded level that corrisponds to the level you brought the group up to. (Okay, read that three times... sorrry....)

    When you call up the group you capture ONLY the channels in the group - and you capture ALL of the channels in the group even if they were already captured.

    So if:
    Group 1 = Ch's 1-5 at FL and Ch's 6-10 at 50%.
    Group 2 = Ch's 1-5 at 25% and Ch's 6-10 at FL.
    Group 3 = Ch's 1-5 @ 75% and Ch's 11-15 @ 35%.

    Then, with all at 0% to start....

    Group [email protected] brings 1-5 FL, 6-10 @ 50.
    Group [email protected] puts 1-5 @ 25, 6-10 FL.
    Group [email protected] puts 1-5 @ 75, leaves 6-10 FL, puts 11-15 @35.

    The first step, you'd see Group 1 as you saved it.
    The second step, you'd see Group 2 as you saved it.
    But the third step, you'd see Group 3 and Group 2 muddled together.

    Addressing the group makes all the channels in that group active BUT it doesn't release any active channels that aren't in the group.

    Doing a focus point is, indeed, a way around this, because "00" is a level in a focus point where as in a group it's just a "nothing".

    Bummer is that you only get 99 focus points on the Expression where as you get 500 groups. So it goes. But with focus points you can selectively use only the channels you care about, so you can put multiple things in one focus point. Clear as mud? Okay, like, instead of saying "Group 1 FL" you can say "Fixture 1 + 4 Only Position at FocusPoint 1". You haven't called up all the attributes that are part of the point, only the ones you care about. So you could, for example tell your mover to put it's postion at fpoint 1 and it's color at fpoint 2 if you wanted.

    Cool thing about fpoints is when you record several cues with a focus point specified, if you go back and edit the focus point, you've effectively edited all the cues. So if your director moves a spike you just call up any instruments focused on the spike, adjust them, update the fpoint and wherever you used that point in the show, they're all fixed.

    Okay, gotta' get back to work....
     
    derekleffew and (deleted member) like this.
  5. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Very well said, quarterfront! Thank you for taking the time to write that, as I was just not motivated enough.

    FWIW, I've never found the limit of 99 Focus Points to be a hardship, because as you said, each can contain different IFCB parameter groups. Now on the HogII, my stock color palettes for color mixing fixtures equated to Roscolux numbers, i.e. no matter the fixture, when I applied Color Palette #80, I knew it would turn Primary Blue. One could do the same thing on the Expression3, and I assume the Express, (although I've never used one to control movers).
     
  6. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    {Insert sarcasm here}

    Then you really haven't lived life fully until you experience the joy of using the trackpad to set attribute values (required even when building groups, focus points, subs, whatever). Not to mention position of a moving head whose track pad orientation is correct when the fixture points downstage, but whose pan flips when the fixture points upstage.

    Almost make me wish for a Performer with it's 10 minute save show to cassette tape function.

    SB
     
  7. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Funny you mention that, as Morpheus was using PerformerII's (with slightly modified software-IIRC) to control PanaSpots and PanaBeams before DMX and for a number of years, until the Pan Command console.
     
  8. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Yea, except that since its not a Hog its not quite that easy. You have to do the individual channels that make up the position control of that light and send them to focus point 1. (The lack of the Position button and all).

    Otherwise, thats it (I was attempting to explain that at 3:00 am but clearly it wasn't as easy to understand).
     
  9. quarterfront

    quarterfront Member

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    Nah, "Fixture 1 + 4 Only Position at FocusPoint 1" is actual Expression 3 syntax. Fixture attributes show up on softkeys when applicable in the syntax.

    My familiarity with Hog programming (and with ML consoles in general) is pretty cursory, so I imagine that there's a hard key on the console that gets you there without having to drill through any menus. The Expression's weakness is largely that you have to make a lot of keystrokes to record a F-point or to send a fixture to a point ("Fixture 1 + 4 Only Position F-point 1 Enter" = 9 keystrokes. "Fixture 1 + 4 Only Position Record F-point X Return Return Solo" = 12 strokes just to record a position).

    Now, if your using a digitizing tablet (too bad ETC gave up on this and doesn't sell them anymore) you can put all this syntax into a set of macros, attach them to tablet regions and be able to move any or all your lights to a given focus point with two or three pen touches. It's like magic, you touch the point for the fixture you want and then the place on your magic sheet where you want it and it just goes there, fast as thinking.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2008

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