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Pulsing a S4 for movie effect

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by HungLikeASourceFour, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. HungLikeASourceFour

    HungLikeASourceFour Member

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    Hello!

    I'm designing lights for my college's production of Eleemosynary, and the show calls for a movie effect, I'm using a 26 deg. source four with R99 gel. I want to get it pulse, like an old film would, but i don't want to have to tap the bump button every few seconds as i'm sitting right next to the audience. I'm using the ETC express 125 lighting console. Any ideas. :)
     
  2. rochem

    rochem Well-Known Member

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    Well, on the Express it's fairly simple, assuming I understand what you mean. Just program an effect which bumps the instrument to FL every X seconds, and then it will continue to follow that pattern until you advance to the next cue which will stop the effect. Unless you wanted it to continue throughout, in which case you could run the effect on the C-D fader and it would run independently.

    Do you know how to program an effect in the Express? If not it's fairly simple to learn, at least compared to other boards. People who I have taught at my school seem to pick it up pretty quick.
     
  3. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    What Rochem suggested would be the easiest way in my mind. Something else that I've found to be helpful (which I believe I learned here on CB) is instead of having your lights go from 0 to FL or 0 to 80, etc... leave the lights at 20 or 30 and then go to FL. It gives you a much better fade time.

    Also, stop by the new member board and introduce yourself!
     
  4. propmonkey

    propmonkey Well-Known Member

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    thats going to wear down the lamp pretty quickly. you're better off trying to get a strobe that you can control the flash of.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008
  5. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    For help on programming effects, see Chapter 16 of Express 125/250 User Manual v3.1. To flash just one light, you probably want step#1 to be empty, and step#2 to contain the channel of the fixture. As [user]lieperjp[/user] said, setting a low level of 20% will reduce filament inertia and make for a better looking effect. It may also extend lamp life slightly by lessening filament shock.

    However, the above may not yield satisfactory results. The fastest rate an Express can flash is 1/10 second, and an incandescent lamp cannot react much faster. You may need a strobe cap. Movies are 24 frames per second, so to be accurate, you'd want 24 flashes per second.

    In the olden days, we used to use a mechanical contraption known as a lobsterscope for this effect. Good to see at least one company still rents them.:)
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008
  6. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I did a similar effect last year. I used two S4's. I had the benefit of a new Strand console which has a flicker effect built in. I messed around with it for a while. Until I found the look I wanted. Going back to a pet peeve of mine in a recent thread on a fire effect... do you want it to look like the projector is shining directly on the people or do you want it to look like they are being lit by a reflection off the screen. If the projector isn't directly shining on the people we are not going to see a strobe effect. Instead we are going to see random rise and fall of light, never going completely out. I set up two lights on a flicker sequence so that they never went all the way out and so occasionally they both hit full at the same time. Also it's more realistic if the light stays the same level for a while. Turn on your TV, sit next to it facing the couch with the lights off. You'll see what I'm talking about.
     
  7. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    This is a movie effect, it doesn't have to pulse more than 1/10 of a second, and, if you think about movies, the way the light levels change when you watch a film is in a totally irregular and random pattern. Some scenes/shots are brighter. Just because the movie goes at 24 fps doesn't mean the light levels flicker or change that fast. You probably want an effect that has steps at a bunch of different levels between 50-100%. I don't remember if the Express can do this, but if you can, make it a random effect with random timing so that the steps don't always go in order or in the same timing.
     
  8. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    As an alternative, I managed a nice TV effect by having a technician sit next to the light and randomly move a blue gel across the front. Not completely realistic, but I felt it matched what the audience expected in glare from a TV so it worked.
     
  9. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Exactly. For the effect I did earlier in the year both lights had random levels between 30% and 100% and I had a time wait of 2-5 seconds at each level. I'm not sure you can do that on an Express without being an expert programmer.

    Oh and I had something like R360 in one instrument and R02 in the other so the color temperature was switching a lot giving the idea that different colors were on the screen.
     
  10. TimOlson

    TimOlson Member

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    you want to record an effect or a subroutine. the manual tells all about it.

    peace, Tim O
     
  11. DCATTechie

    DCATTechie Active Member

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    By coincidence I found a flyer today advertising GAM's FlickermasterSPE6. Basically it's a small control/dimming module that plugs into the wall and you plug your fixture into it. It has three different modes: dimmer, random flicker, or strobe. It has a built in 2k watt dimmer, it comes in 120v or 240v, but can only work with incandescent lamps. It the description it creates realistic flicker effects such as "Random Flashing of a TV of Movie Screen". I have no personal experience with it so I can't vouch for its quality. I'm not sure what your price range is either. The GAM site link doesn't work but here's another one Gam | Flickermaster Generator (230V AC) | SESPE-6230 | B&H Photo
     
  12. masterelectrician2112

    masterelectrician2112 Active Member

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    Well! That costs a pretty penny! But it looks pretty darned cool!

    Edit: Oops! Sorry for the necropost! Forgot I followed the link to this post from '08
     

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