Spot Following

Robert F Jarvis

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Apr 8, 2017
Location
Sebring, FL, USA
I just posted this in the ECT Connect forum but then realized it is not a specific EOS question so putting it here to a wider audience:

In an upcoming show we want to pick out a singer with a couple of narrow beam MLs and then follow her upstage. Now, we can't use our "P&T" on our little lighhack as both lamps will have different agendas. My original plan was to point them to spot A and record them, then point them to B and record. I would change over during a 20 or 30 second cue.

But, this would require a very disciplined move every show. Is this a case where the master pair crossfaders could be used? Or would perhaps one sub with focus for A and another with focus B that we could run up? Not really sure how this would work.

So bottom line: how do we get two spots to move slowly from A to B in a controlled manner but in a variable time?.
 

aeh20s

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Oct 15, 2013
Location
Northern Virgina
It is entirely possible to have that move programmed into a cue if the singer is doing the same move at the same pace every show (Which is a resonable request of the performer if it is a theater show). You may have to run it a couple times to get the initial timing right, but it should be fine.
 

RonaldBeal

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Jan 24, 2004
Location
TN
position A into cue 1, position B into cue 2, manually crossfade between the two cues.
 
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cbrandt

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Dec 7, 2011
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Michigan
A manual crossfade usually works best. Sometimes it is a complicated path, and you need to do multiple points, and that takes some more practice. Some consoles have some additional options for their faders and cuelists that let you pull off some additional tricks. Get to know your programming options well, and you can make this work. It is *always* harder than doing it with a followspot, though.
 
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Robert F Jarvis

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Apr 8, 2017
Location
Sebring, FL, USA
Well we definitely want to use the MLs rather then follow spots. For simplicity for the operator we're going with the point cue 1, point b cue 2 scenario. If the actor is consistent (and as she is singing they tend to 'walk the tune') then we will just put the appropriate timing on the cue. If the actor has to stop or hesitate on the way we'll put manual timing on the cue and have them pull up a master fader pair to constantly adjust the journey. Another thought - if they don't go in a straight line then we could try an Absolute Effect. But I'm not even mentioning this to the director! KISS
 

Crisp image

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Jun 18, 2017
Location
Eastern Victoria Australia
if they don't go in a straight line then we could try an Absolute Effect.
This is where xyz focus pallets will come in handy. From what I saw on the video it will make the lights follow the path between FP1 and FP2 in a straign line (if possible) where as if it were a standard P/T FP the lights will take whatever path was recorded in the cue. There are videos (using augmented series webinars on ECT youtube channel) that shows how this works. Can't remember which one it was but most likely 3 or 4.

Regards
Geoff
 

Robert F Jarvis

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Joined
Apr 8, 2017
Location
Sebring, FL, USA
This is where xyz focus pallets will come in handy. From what I saw on the video it will make the lights follow the path between FP1 and FP2 in a straign line (if possible) where as if it were a standard P/T FP the lights will take whatever path was recorded in the cue. There are videos (using augmented series webinars on ECT youtube channel) that shows how this works. Can't remember which one it was but most likely 3 or 4.

Regards
Geoff
I'm used to the P&T FPs but really very new (like 2 days) to Augment3d and in that glitchy phase. So will probably not use it in theater for next show. But I will add to my notes to look into this XYZ move at home. Thanks Geoff
 

Robert F Jarvis

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Apr 8, 2017
Location
Sebring, FL, USA
Good luck. Having programmed "follow spot" cues with movers and also been a follow spot operator, using the movers is a lot more trouble and never looks as good.
Agreed. In the right conditions they would be fine and take a lot of work off me. But we only have two spot followers BOH and are using projected back drops. The spot followers angle of attack puts too much light on the image.
On another matter I was bought up in Merstham just down the road from Caterham.
 

almorton

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Dec 17, 2014
Location
Caterham, Surrey, UK
On another matter I was bought up in Merstham just down the road from Caterham.
Well, well, it really is a small world. Lots of volunteer theatres in the area - Miller Centre in Caterham, Archway in Horley, Courtyard in Chipstead etc lots more in church and community halls (such as MADS in Merstham, Woldingham Players) and they all know each other and "cross fertilize" the groups.
 

Robert F Jarvis

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Apr 8, 2017
Location
Sebring, FL, USA
Florida has lots of space between towns so unfortunately we have no interaction with other theaters. It would be great to have some clued up techs just down the road. When I got here we had a 25 year old Expression 3 and all legacy lighting. So had to teach myself ETC Element 2. I keep finding new bells and whistles every day - a lot of it either not in the text or buried pretty deep. Hence my frequent visit here and of course ETC site. This guys over their are (truly and thankfully) very patient. I worked in Redhill hospital when it was still open for a number of years, Anyway, not the subject for this board.
 

Robert F Jarvis

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Apr 8, 2017
Location
Sebring, FL, USA
Having said that in one evening I was able to put some lights into Augment3d point them to the start position and then - get this - long clicked where they were hitting the floor and dragged them all over the stage. Means we have to have someone able to do this during every show but whereas we don't need a lot of virtual lighting models this one feature alone I though was worth installing it.
 

Robert F Jarvis

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Joined
Apr 8, 2017
Location
Sebring, FL, USA
You select the fixtures and work in the open Augment3d panel. It's a large program with many features so as a 2 hour novice it surprised me I was able to walk 1, 2 or more beams around in lockstep.
 

JonCarter

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Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Location
Meridian, Idaho, US
As you are programming, please remember that you need a 5' diameter circle of light which is parallel to the plaster line and perpendicular to the floor, centered about 4' above the floor.

How about a little GPS tracker that an actor can wear, with data sent to the follow spot(s) controller(s)?
 

RonHebbard

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Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
Such gizmos do exist, trackers are worn by the talent and as they move the lights follow them, but they ain't a dime a dozen (and they're still not as good as an experienced follow spot op).
I'm recalling ZZ Top's "Antenna" Tour in 1994.
It was the first arena tour to roll through Hamilton, Ontario where four of us were paid to stand by our spots, arced up and following with our dowser's closed; correct colors loaded, and ready to open at any second. The LD called all our cues as if we were doing them so we always knew who to follow, and in what diameter (sometimes full body, half body, tight on a guitar solo, courtesy bow for one of the girls.)

The LD explained he had three wigglers per each of the Tops, MOST of the time his lamps were accurate, but sometimes he MAY need us on a moment's notice. He was correct; most of each performance, perhaps 98% of the time, his 6 lamps were well behaved.
Occasionally, one fixture would get a mind of its own and wander of ANYWHERE.
It was more than a little bizarre to have a tightly focused, intense back light suddenly wander off into the audience.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
Such gizmos do exist, trackers are worn by the talent and as they move the lights follow them, but they ain't a dime a dozen (and they're still not as good as an experienced follow spot op).
 
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