Tech Topics

Tech Topic: The Magical Layout

Posted on Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Written by: Brad Schiller
One of the newest automated lighting features that is getting talked about often is the Layout View, or Magic Sheet. While this feature has been around on consoles for many years, only recently has it really taken off. The great adoption of multi-touch applications on tablets, phones, and computers has allowed manufacturers and programmers to expand the abilities of this wonderful tool and really make the best use of it. Now lighting programmers are jumping all over it and finding it an extremely useful instrument in their arsenal of programming utilities.

Written by: Brad Schiller

One of the newest automated lighting features that is getting talked about often is the Layout View, or Magic Sheet. While this feature has been around on consoles for many years, only recently has it really taken off. The great adoption of multi-touch applications on tablets, phones, and computers has allowed manufacturers and programmers to expand the abilities of this wonderful tool and really make the best use of it. Now lighting programmers are jumping all over it and finding it an extremely useful instrument in their arsenal of programming utilities.

Read the full article at: http://www.plsn.com/current-issue/42-feeding-the-machines/14283-the-magical-layout.html

 

Tech Topic: What NOT to Do

Posted on Friday, July 18th, 2014

Written by: Brad Schiller

A career as an automated lighting programming can be both fun and rewarding. It is important to always improve your craft and keep up to date with consoles and fixtures. You also need to remain professional in all circumstances to ensure a long and successful career. I have heard about programmers who have ruined their careers through thoughtless actions, bad attitudes and other improper acts. Several of them were once considered the cream of the crop, but now, sadly, they barely even make the “where are they now” list. By studying the actions of others, you can learn how to avoid wrecking your career and ensure a long and profitable programming profession.

Read the full article at: http://www.plsn.com/current-issue/42-feeding-the-machines/13834-what-not-to-do.html

 

Tech Topic: Control Protocols – Where We’ve Been, and Where We’re Headed

Posted on Friday, June 27th, 2014

Written by: Michael Graham

When I was in about tenth grade, I lit my first rock show. It was in my high school foyer during the homecoming dance. We didn’t have any kind of portable lighting control in my school. I ended up taking down four Fresnels in the theatre and hanging them on the volley ball net stands that I “borrowed” from the gym. For control, I went to the hardware store and purchased four household rheostat dimmers and made my own 4 channel lighting control board. It was clunky, but it worked, and my first rock show was (in my mind) a smashing success. Not bad for a 15 year old kid in 1989. Oh, how far we have come since then.

Read the full article at: http://www.plsn.com/current-issue/120-tech-feature/13600-control-protocols-where-weve-been-and-where-were-headed.html

 

Tech Topic: I’ve Been Framed!

Posted on Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Written by: Brad Schiller
Automated lighting fixtures have many great features such as rotating gobos and color mixing. Some also include motorized framing shutters. These blades enable you to crop and shape the output of the fixtures as you desire. Some automated lighting consoles provide the programmer with very sophisticated interfaces for framing shutters, while others simply treat them as any other variable parameter of the light. It is important for a programmer to understand the unique requirements and processes that are involved when programming fixtures that have framing shutter capabilities

Written by: Brad Schiller

Automated lighting fixtures have many great features such as rotating gobos and color mixing. Some also include motorized framing shutters. These blades enable you to crop and shape the output of the fixtures as you desire. Some automated lighting consoles provide the programmer with very sophisticated interfaces for framing shutters, while others simply treat them as any other variable parameter of the light. It is important for a programmer to understand the unique requirements and processes that are involved when programming fixtures that have framing shutter capabilities

Read the full article at: http://www.plsn.com/current-issue/42-feeding-the-machines/13317-ive-been-framed.html

 

Tech Topic: Lights That Battle Video

Posted on Friday, April 11th, 2014

Written by: Nook Schoenfeld

For years, lighting designers have been matching lumens between the lighting and video elements. The video was always brighter. For most of my life, I have had to design live concerts by placing the lighting fixtures, and aiming their focal points, wherever the video wasn’t. It became a science to be able to design lighting that wasn’t washed out by the big TV upstage center. In the last couple years, much of that has suddenly changed. That’s because we lighting guys now have some powerful weapons in our fight against video dominance.

Read the full article at http://www.plsn.com/current-issue/35-ld-at-large/13095-lights-that-battle-video.html

 

Merging Art-Net with an MA2

Posted on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Written by: Vickie Claiborne
A while back, I wrote an article describing the process I used for pixel-mapping the RGB values from a media server to the LEDs of a lot of GLP impressions in my rig (“Video Digerati,” March 2012, page 52). Fast-forward to December of 2013 when, on another gig, I again set out to pixel-map RGB values from a media server (an ArKaos MediaMaster Pro) to 48 MagicPanel 602 fixtures while controlling the other features of the panels using a grandMA2. Luckily for me, the grandMA2 has a very convenient feature for merging incoming Art-Net values to outgoing Art-Net stream. Here are the steps involved for setting up this Art-Net /DMX Merge functionality.

Written by: Vickie Claiborne

A while back, I wrote an article describing the process I used for pixel-mapping the RGB values from a media server to the LEDs of a lot of GLP impressions in my rig (“Video Digerati,” March 2012, page 52). Fast-forward to December of 2013 when, on another gig, I again set out to pixel-map RGB values from a media server (an ArKaos MediaMaster Pro) to 48 MagicPanel 602 fixtures while controlling the other features of the panels using a grandMA2. Luckily for me, the grandMA2 has a very convenient feature for merging incoming Art-Net values to outgoing Art-Net stream. Here are the steps involved for setting up this Art-Net /DMX Merge functionality.

Read the full article here: http://www.plsn.com/current-issue/39-video-digerati/12945-merging-art-net-with-an-ma2.html

 

Making It Affordable

Posted on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Written by: Nook Schoenfeld
Illustration by Andy AuFew shows are put on without a budget. In the 30 years I’ve been gigging, I may have only done a handful of them. And they were private shows for billionaires. Even giant shows like the Rolling Stones travel on a budget. Of course, ticket prices at any event are directly reflected by this budget. Thus, to put on the greatest show on the planet, you may have to charge exorbitant amounts. But that’s not saying you cannot design a large, original design within your budget constraints — you just have to figure out how.

Written by: Nook Schoenfeld

Few shows are put on without a budget. In the 30 years I’ve been gigging, I may have only done a handful of them. And they were private shows for billionaires. Even giant shows like the Rolling Stones travel on a budget. Of course, ticket prices at any event are directly reflected by this budget. Thus, to put on the greatest show on the planet, you may have to charge exorbitant amounts. But that’s not saying you cannot design a large, original design within your budget constraints — you just have to figure out how.

Read the full article at: http://www.plsn.com/current-issue/35-ld-at-large/12727-making-it-affordable.html