This week on the podcast we’re answering your questions and covering topics such Onyx, new cameras, DMXis and more!
If you are new here and haven’t checked it out yet be sure to check out the Lighting Quiz. This quiz is designed to answer a few questions that will match you up with a free personalized guide on how to get started with lighting. If you haven’t had a chance yet be sure to check it out!
Lighting News! (2:28)
This week of lighting news, we have the latest addition of PLSN, projection lights, and staging news. In the product spotlight is Panasonic’s 8K ROI Camera System.
Over the years, 4K has been popular and slowly I’ve started hearing more about 8K. What I find amazing about this is that they have designed the camera and software around it, turning one camera into multiple cameras.
It’s interesting to me because you can park it in one place with a wide panoramic view but also be able to through software be able to access different virtual cameras. To me, this is important to the lighting industry because as these come more popular and in use, we will see these more frequently. How cool would it be to have one camera see multiple views of the stage from just one camera?
Main Segment (7:38)
Questions are submitted through the contact form on Learn Stage Lighting. If you have a question you would like to share be sure to submit it here, Contact Form.
With episodes a couple of weeks apart my inbox for these questions do build up quickly and I would love to do more episode during the month. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out Learn Stage Lighting Patreon. There are different levels of support and every bit helps us to create more content and help create great tools for you.
Timron ( 9:31): I am a beginner lighting designer. I’m currently using the onyx software, most time I barely have enough time to programme a show… I’m really in need of a visualizer to work with from home. What you recommend to use, where to get one to download to work with onyx?
I’ve been working in lighting for many years both as a hobbyist and as a professional. Visualizers have come a long way but for a while having a visualizer wasn’t a tool that we had available to us for a long time.
Capture is a great visualizer and I discuss it more in my article, So you want a lighting visualizer. This is what I use in my studio and it’s a buy once and you can update it once every 5 years to help you save money.
This is a question I do get a lot and I have to say, you don’t need a visualizer to pre-program your show. Up until about two years ago I never had that option but even now I still program shows without a visualizer.
Working with Onyx, you have a powerful console. It has a 2D visualizer already built into the program, presets, and pallets. If you build these presets, pallets, and different looks you can have a library of different looks available to you. If using Onyx and the tools to it’s fullest you won’t need a visualizer to pre-program your show.
The same goes for your moving light positions. You can program different presets and positions for your lights. I talk more about it in this video, What Moving Light Positions Do I Need to Program?
You can set these presets with colors, moving lights, and even gobos. You don’t have to have a visualizer to pre-program your show. Using the tools you have available and especially with a console such as Onyx you just need to use it at its fullest potential.
Ben (20:34): I have the 2 universe version of D-pro, and I have noticed that there does not appear to be moving head presets, like in GrandMA, where you can quite easily select a pan/tilt preset to add to your show. I was wondering whether there is an option for pan/tilt presets in D-Pro, rather than just having the moving head set to a specific location for each scene, to add more interesting dynamics to a show.
Yes, there is a way to do this inside of D-Pro and it’s actually referred to as pallets. What you do is select your lights, open the programmer, and assign values to the lights. Then, you want to save it as a pallet.
I do recommend saving these pallets and organizing them into folders. D-Pro isn’t designed for lighting on the fly but you can build those pallets and presets.
Matt (22:49): I wanted to get started using Lightkey but cannot imagine doing it without a 3D visualizer, so I am thinking about using either MagicVis or dropping some cash on Capture. I can get MagicVis working on the same Mac as Lightkey by setting the Art-Net to “use lookback device”. But for some reason, I cannot get Capture running on the same Mac to recognize Lightkey’s art-net output. Any ideas?
Personally, I use mostly a PC so I haven’t worked directly with a Mac and Capture. But what I have found is that it’s best to connect your Mac on a network, launch LightKey, and send it to the network.
This way you can have everything connected to a network and in most cases, Capture can just automatically configure the settings for you.
Miranda (25:09): Hello! I am want to learn how to do stage lighting.
You have come to the right place especially if you are just starting out because that’s what we do. First, to get you started I would suggest getting your Free Lighting Guide.
The next step is lining out what are you trying to light and what tools do you have available to you? Do you have access to specific lighting consoles? Are you starting from scratch and planning on buying or renting lighting equipment?
I am very glad to help, this is what I am here for but I do need more information on what you want to do and what you have available to you.
Gadwell (26:00): I am just a starter here and I would like kindly just to know the good design and simple lighting I can use for an outdoor event.
My response to your Gadwell is very similar to Miranda’s response to the previous question. First, to get you started I would suggest getting your Free Lighting Guide.
The next step is lining out what are you trying to light and what tools do you have available to you? Do you have access to specific lighting consoles? Are you starting from scratch and planning on buying or renting lighting equipment? I am very glad to help, this is what I am here for but I do need more information on what you want to do and what you have available to you.
Natalie (27:31): I’m new to stage lighting, only done it with an analog DMX board and am currently looking to switch to a digital system. One that has been recommended to me is the ENTTEC DMXIS as an all-in-one easy to use system. A video review that I watched mentioned that if it’s being run on a MAC that whenever Apple has a software update, that it disables the DMX software, and so you have to run the ENTEC software again to enable DMX and just keep that ENTEC software on your computer. Have you heard of this problem before and if so, do you know if the ENTTEC software they are talking about it is the original software that comes with the DMXIS system or is this something that I would have to download from ENTTEC.com?
The various drivers and such are unfortunately very common when it comes to working with ENTTEC on a Mac.
When Apple releases a new and major software update I highly recommend not updating your computer until the manufacturers send a notice that the software has been tested and should work with the software update. If you wait for that to happen it should solve about 99% of your issues.
If you do have an issue, I would go to ENTTEC’s website and do the free update.
Ron (29:51): I was at an outdoor show the other weekend – when watching the stage the back lights were purple but when watching on the big screens on either side of the stage this light was now electric blue in colour. Do you know what caused this change in colour on the large screens?
There could be a couple of things that do cause this. More common incidents such as this happen with red or when working with some cameras are not great with perceiving certain colors. If it was just the purple that was off then it’s most likely the camera.
When human eyes look at a color, our eyes are constantly shifting to a white and when there are other colors our eyes will automatically adjust. Now, with cameras, it is very different. On a stage, there are many different white points and whoever is working with the cameras has to choose one white point for the cameras to focus on. Because of those multiple white points, other colors will look differently on camera.
Lastly, it could be the background of the stage and if there’s a screen or LED screen behind the band these screens generally have a very high-temperature color. Then, the stage and lighting design have to find the balance between the white points and not letting the band members to look orange.
Jeremy (35:11): I recently got my hands on a rather analog Chauvet Obey 40 controller as I am working on a theatre project for youths with special needs. I have read all the tutorials and instructions to chase modes and all, but what I really want to do is to fade between different static scenes. The shows I work on are not complex, but I can’t find any information as to how to programme fade time into the scenes so that a young crew member can just press the scene buttons and change the ambience. Hope I haven’t gotten the wrong type of product, please help!
Unfortunately, Jeremy, you have and that’s something that Obey 40 is not able to do. I would recommend going with a PC based console such as Onyx for free with a DMX output. You may also want to consider checking ENTTEC’s DMXis and seeing if that might be a good fit for your needs.
Tim (36:35): I have a 4 bar stage lighting tree. just recently it stopped working and all I hear is a clicking noise. what might be the issue.
This does sound like a power supply issue so if you have someone that is familiar with working with components they may be able to check this for you. Or you may be best off by contacting the manufacturer for tech support.
Parul (37:02): I do Theater for the kids of my community in my garage. I have converted half of my garage into a stage. The curtain rods hold my backdrops and the seating for the audience is in my driveway. How do I light up my stage?
For that setup, I would recommend looking into an ENTTEC DMXis which great for that type of stage. Then, get a couple of DMX lights or even a 4 bar stage lighting tree.
Just some basic lights that can create a colored wash on the backdrop. Then, if you decide to grow it from there going with more DMX lights would be a great addition.
Tim (38:11): So I’m using Onyx and I love it BTW, but I’m trying to use the Touch OSC app for it. It works fine but I want to create my own custom layouts like the app says you can do. The problem is that they don’t have a list of “Commands” for onyx. I can use the OSC editor and very easily create a layout I like but I cant “Map” them to Onyx controls like in the layout you can download from Onyx. It has pages built with buttons/faders/encoders that have “OSC Commands” tying them to controls in Onyx but I need a list of “Commands” and Can’t find IT anywhere online. I contacted Onyx thru their site but can’t seem to get a response from them. I was hoping that maybe you would have better luck since you work with them some. thanks for your time and thank you for your podcast.
The OSC commands have not changed since the company has been bought and one of the former employees was able to provide the document listing all of the commands here: OSC Documentation
Peter (39:24): I find your video tutorials very good. But i have a problem with Chamsys MagicQ and multi element head. I have an Ayra intenz CB150. It has 5 RGB lights. I have patched it in 15 channel mode so 5 red, 5 green and 5 blue. When i use group i control them all 5 at the same time or i can place an FX on it but then i don’t have control over what it does. I want to be able to say now is light 1 blue light 2 is green,… make it a cue then the next cue is something else. Can you help me figure this out? I have to give a show on september 28. Thank you in advance.
You want to check this video on the sub fixtures and this should be able to help you with getting to those on your console, Chamsys Pixel Mapping.
If for some reason that doesn’t work I would patch those lights in as a generic RGB, 3 channel, and patch them in 15 times.
Thank you so much for tuning in, we’re glad to have you here!
With episodes a couple of weeks apart my inbox for these questions do build up quickly and I would love to do more episodes during the month. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out Learn Stage Lighting Patreon. There are different levels of support and every bit helps us to create more content and help create great tools for you.