FORUMS: list search recent posts

Lighting Control with Wings

COW Forums : Live & Stage Events

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Paul Hawkridge
Lighting Control with Wings
on Feb 18, 2008 at 11:48:55 pm

Hi there,

I recently posted a topic about multiscreen projector software etc and have now got four Wings licenses booked for the planned show. Thank you to everyoine who helped with that.

One thing I'm still not too sure about and what my contact at AVStumpfl has struggled to explain to me is how to control a light show in time with the programme.

I know there are USB to DMX adapters and I have a strand genius pro light palette in the studio where it will be produced. However I don't yet know exactly how I should programme and control them.

This is for a final year University project in the UK. If anyone could help me with this or give me some help in general with Wings I would greatly appreciate it.

Also, is there anyone in the UK who has experience with Wings who would be kind enough to let me meet with them for a chat? It would really benefit my project and I'd be happy to display an advert for you company at my Graduate Exhibition in return.

Many thanks

Paul Hawkridge



Return to posts index

Bob Bonniol
Re: Lighting Control with Wings
on Feb 19, 2008 at 5:03:52 am

You don't want wings to fire the lighting... you want it the other way around. It's way easier to have the lighting controller firing midi, DMX, or TC to the media playback. This would go for most any system like Wings (watchout, Pandora's Hippotizer). I 'think' Wings can take Midi Note commands to trigger timeline events. Most lighting consoles can fire Midi. Putting a DMX card into the wings setup is costlier... And I don't know that Wings can be assigned a DMX value... Certainly it probably can for triggering straight cue go's...

I haven't run into a lot of installed Wings, or much support in the UK... They really seem to skew towards Watchout, Hippo, and other stuff (like Vista Montage) over there...

Let us know how it goes...

Bob


MODE Studios
http://www.modestudios.com
Contributing Editor, Entertainment Design Magazine
Art of the Edit Forum Leader
Live & Stage Event Forum Leader
HD Forum Leader


Return to posts index

Thomas Leong
Re: Lighting Control with Wings
on Feb 19, 2008 at 11:17:52 am

Hi Paul,

To answer your questions -
"...how to control a light show in time with the programme...and USB-to-DMX adapters..."

Various ways-
1. SMPTE Timecode
Wings will generate a timecode (right-click on an empty Audio track, and a pop-up will give you the choices) which can be fed to your lighting controller if it can accept a timecode trigger.
However, this will take up one channel of your stereo audio, leaving you with a mono channel unless you have a multi-channel PCI audio card in your Master or, say a USB or Firewire multi-channel audio device such as the M-Audio Firewire 410, or a Presonus Firebox (extra costs!).

Alternatively, if you have a timecode generator, this can be used to drive both Wings and your lighting controller. In Wings, under the Timeline tab in Media Pool, right-click on the selected Timeline and change the sync to Timecode. It defaults to Audio.

2. via DMX
Wings will record DMX from your lighting controller once the lighting cues are finalised (see Help Files under 'DMX'). Once recorded (into a new timeline) you can copy and paste the DMX signals to your main timeline (again refer to the Help Files under DMX on the 'how to'). This will create the necessary number of Universal Tracks each with a ramp band of the DMX signal. You can then vary/edit the ramp bands to change your DMX signal. These Universal tracks with DMX info will then run on your timeline with the rest of your media, keeping the lights in sync. Additionally, you can group various DMX channels together (drag onto same track and you will see +++) so that the group of DMX signals will run as one. Also, you could drag (and group) DMX channels into the Control Panel which can be set to over-ride the timeline settings as and when you manually want to take control.

To record, you need either the SC Master 6 or 16 with a special cable (rent?), or the Soundlight USB-DMX IN box.
Word of caution: I just bought the ENTTEC USB-DMX PRO an IN/OUT box (far cheaper than Soundlight), but Wings won't see it. So stick with Soundlight as it would seem that Wings is hard-coded to see the Soundlight).

To playback, Wings by itself already has 16 channels of DMX built-in. How to get it out, I seriously do not know. The Master PC would need a DMX out facility. For DMX512, you can use the various Soundlight USB-DMX-1 or -2 boxes as specified in the Help Files of Wings, or you can buy/rent from Stumpfl people the SCNet DMX512. This is a RS-232 device. Most desktop PCs have at least one RS-232 out connector. Or for laptops without an RS232 connector you can buy a USB-RS232 adapter which should work with Wings. I have one bought from a std pc shop that works.

If you need to control the serial device over a LAN, then you need to add a RS232-LAN adapter from Stumpfl with the appropriate cable. Caution: You must use the power adapter provided. Just had an installation where the tekkie used his own power adapter (similar specs, he said) and it fried the RS232-LAN units.

"...is there anyone in the UK who has experience with Wings?..."

I had a member/experienced user from UK in my previous forum. I'll try to track him down and email you his contact.

Thomas Leong
http://multidisplays.freeforums.org



Return to posts index


Paul Hawkridge
Re: Lighting Control with Wings
on Feb 27, 2008 at 5:56:59 pm

Hi there,

Thanks to both of you for your input. My apologies for not replying sooner, I've been very distracted with other projects this week.

It seems to me like from what both of you have said that it will be best to to use timecode to trigger either wings or the lighting console. What hardware will I need for this and what sort of cables etc will I need?
I've never used SMPTE expecially like this so I need some real guidance here.

Also I'd just like to check this as I couldn't get a very good answer from AVStumpfl as my contact speaks german. To control the slave PC's you need a local area connection. I assume this can be acheived with a standard cabled router and ethernet cables right? I don't need specialist equipment do I?


Thanks for you help, I really appreciated you input and I promise not to leave it so long this time before I reply.

Thanks

Paul




Return to posts index

Thomas Leong
Re: Lighting Control with Wings
on Feb 28, 2008 at 8:15:55 am

Hi Paul,

I would not recommend slaving Wings to external SMPTE timecode as this mode disables the audio tracks and audio playback would not be possible from the Wings PC, apart from requiring extra equipment (an SC Master Lite) and going through a configuration process (it is all in the Help files of Wings, including the demo version).

In any case, I've just checked with my Wings Platinum 3, and you would need to add the Show Control Module licence to your Wings Master in order to have MIDI and SMPTE OUT/IN. Without this module the options for MIDI and SMPTE are either greyed out, or not shown.

The simple procedure seems to be to add the Show Control Module giving you the ability to output SMPTE from the timeline via one of your audio channels, and have the lighting console slave to this. As to what extra equipment you need to have the lighting console read timecode, I'm not sure. Suggest you ask the manufacturer/dealer of the console.

The simpliest and cheapest way we do it here in my country for one-off shows (i.e. not permanent installs), is to...ahem...use human signals...and rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse! The lighting console operator will eventually get it, plus or minus a second or two.

Thomas



Return to posts index

Thomas Leong
Re: Lighting Control with Wings - Timecode
on Feb 28, 2008 at 8:35:48 am

Here is some good info re timecode readers -
http://www.pangolin.com/products/pricelist-smpte.htm

including additional links at the bottom of the page.



Return to posts index


Paul Hawkridge
Re: Lighting Control with Wings
on Feb 29, 2008 at 2:02:26 am

Hi thomas,

Your first comment there, I take that as you saying that it isn't a good idea to make the lighting console trigger the wings master pc. Is that right? However if I was to have wings output the timecode to the deck I would need the show control license, but I would only need it on the master PC not the slaves for the screens.

For the smpte timecode to come out of the master pc, would that have to be down a xlr cable? I will check the timecode input for the console used.

Can I ask again about the TCP/IP hardware. To create the network required to run the slave PC's for each video output, can I use standard networking equipment eg a normal cable router and rj45 cables. The same you would use to create LAN in a home.

I will be running 3 screens, so was planning to have a master pc and 3 slaves. Each PC connected to the cable router to create the LAN. Is that right?

Thanks

Paul



Return to posts index

Thomas Leong
Re: Lighting Control with Wings
on Feb 29, 2008 at 6:08:56 am

hi Paul,

Your first comment there, I take that as you saying that it isn't a good idea to make the lighting console trigger the wings master pc. Is that right?

Yes. This requires the SC Master Lite unit plus a config process.

However if I was to have wings output the timecode to the deck I would need the show control license, but I would only need it on the master PC not the slaves for the screens.

Correct. Only the Master requires the Show Control licence. The slaves do not as they take their instructions from the Master.

For the smpte timecode to come out of the master pc, would that have to be down a xlr cable? I will check the timecode input for the console used.

Depends on your soundcard's output connection (likely a mini-jack), and the console's input. The link to Pangolin re its timecode reader should help I hope. It does not seem too expensive. And Pangolin are in the UK, right?

Can I ask again about the TCP/IP hardware. To create the network required to run the slave PC's for each video output, can I use standard networking equipment eg a normal cable router and rj45 cables. The same you would use to create LAN in a home.
I will be running 3 screens, so was planning to have a master pc and 3 slaves. Each PC connected to the cable router to create the LAN. Is that right?


Yes. Nothing special. 100base LAN will do, unless you are using multi-gigabyte files and running thousands of feet/metres and require gigabit LAN to speed up file transfers. Actually, a router is not required. Just a simple switcher hub (excuse if I have the 2 items confused). Do not use DHCP-assigned addresses. Use manual-assigned specific addresses, eg 192.168.100.200 - 202 and the same subnet mask.

The config procedure is all in the Help files under 'Multidisplay Shows'.

Thomas





Return to posts index

Paul Hawkridge
Re: Lighting Control with Wings
on Mar 7, 2008 at 3:49:31 pm

Hi again.

Thanks for your answers there, very helpful.

You'll be glad to know I had my first day in the studio shooting for the video and it went really well.

Just a quick question again, my contact at Stumpfl told me that you need very high spec pc's to run wings. He said they should be at least 3ghz processor or 2Ghz dual core.
This to me seems wrong, I would expect the master pc to be powerful but the slaves are only playing a video. Surely they don't need to be that good?

Also, is it easy and acceptable to run two screens of one PC, say a dual core intel pc?

I apologise if i'm forever asking perhaps obvious questions but because I can only have the liceneses for when I do the show, I have no way of knowing exactly what can be done until it has to be shown at my graduate exhibition.

Thanks

Paul



Return to posts index


Thomas Leong
Re: Lighting Control with Wings
on Mar 7, 2008 at 5:28:16 pm

Hi Paul,

1. High specs PCs are not an absolute requirement to run Wings. The important requirement is the graphics card - a medium to high end 3D gfx card from ATI or nVidia. I use the AGP version of ATI 9600XT (old but it works!), and each Slave only has 512MB RAM, enough to run videos.

I myself have 2.8GHz P4 (single core, hyperthreading) as Slaves with the Master being a 3.2GHz P4 (also single core, hyperthreading) with 1-gig RAM.

2. I've used the above to run 2 videos off one pc quite a few times. The important thing here is to run each video off one track each, i.e. not off multiple tracks, i.e. each video is rendered down to a single video file such that you have only 2 video files per Slave.

To configure, first add Devices for the Master and Slaves.
Then in each Slave's Global Options > Network, you have tell each Slave which is the Master PC.

In the Master PC, under Project Options > Graphics Display, untick 'Auto Configuration', set 'Fullscreen mode...' to 'multihead...', else you will get a white screen on the secondary monitor. When you update the Slave PCs, they will take the same config from the Master.

To assign which video to which monitor, the settings are in Screen > Multidisplay (for each slave display) > and from each of the Properties pop-up, you can choose which monitor to assign the video to.

Come to think of it, I think Wings v3.50 can be programmed off-line, i.e. it is fully functional except that it can't output (or it can with a limit of 1 minute) nor can it communicate with the Slaves via the TCP/IP network.

So you should be able to do all the above config and settings on your Master and Slaves without the dongles, and use the Preview Window to see your programming on the Master.

Thomas




Return to posts index

Thomas Leong
Re: Lighting Control with Wings...also
on Mar 7, 2008 at 5:34:37 pm

Paul,

I think we should take further questions on Wings off this Forum since most of your questions from here on would involve details on the operation of an application, which this Forum is not supposed to deal with.

You are also a member of the multidisplays.freeforums.org so I suggest posting specific user-type questions are more appropriate there.

Thomas



Return to posts index

Thomas Leong
Re: Lighting Control with Wings - UK
on Feb 19, 2008 at 7:03:04 pm

Paul,

Try contacting Digital Antics in UK to discuss help from them. Sorry I don't have their contact numbers or address, but they do have a Wings 3 rig setup.

Thomas



Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]