Color Not Working On Paradigm

I work in a theater that has an ETC element for main show control (cueing) and we use paradigm button stations to pull up "scenes that for smaller events" I was programming a few things into the button stations a couple of days ago and we have a mostly led color mixing rig and I went to make the scenes on our element console to then record into the button stations and the color and everything worked just fine and then as soon as I programmed it into the button stations and did clear sneak enter on the element all of the color on the stage turned white. Does anyone have any idea why this might be happening and how I might fix it?



  • my guess is that all the DMX addresses between the element and paradigm are merged using HTP, Highest takes Precedence.

    so you have two sources with competing information for the same addresses. let's look at one LED, it has Intensity, Red, Green, Blue. each of those information takes up one DMX address.

    let's say you set an LED fixture to be 100% on and red.

    Element sends (after sneaking):
    Intens = 0
    Red = 255
    Green = 255
    Blue = 255

    Paradigm sends:
    Intens = 255
    Red = 255
    Green = 0
    Blue = 0

    after merging those two competing sources with the HTP rule you get this:
    Intensity = 255
    Red = 255
    Green = 255
    Blue = 255

    and this equals to a white LED that's full on.

    to make paradigm win you would either need a visit from the dealer who sold your paradigm to change the programming or you would have to make sure that the values the element sends are lower than the paradigms, so that the element values never win. so on the element select your LEDs and put them to Red=0, Green=0, Blue=0, Intens=0 and record this as a cue.

    if you don't want to use Element control and paradigm presets at the same time you can go with the element solution. if you want those two to behave nicely because you want to use both of them simultaneously you would need to have your paradigm setup changed.

  • Ueliriegg has it pretty much right - one thing you will want to be aware of is that your Element always wants to set “multi-parameter fixtures” (MPF) to a home value when you “release” them. So when you hit clear/sneak/enter, while you’ve set the DMX value for the INTENSITY to 0, the RGB values (and any other parameter like strobe, or color wheel, or position that might be applicable) have been reset to “home”. In the case of RGB values that would be 100,100,100 or white. 

    Two simple ways to work around this - when you want to use Paradigm for ease of operation, shut down the Element so that it is not outputting DMX or unplug the DMX cable from the Element. When you need to use Element for accuracy and show, make sure Paradigm is in an “Off” preset. Or create a cue in Element that not only sets intensity for all fixtures to 0 but also intentionally forces all other parameters to 0.

    Short answer is plan to use only one or the other system at any time other than when you are actively programming Paradigm presets, and make sure to run a Paradigm “Off” preset between records - remember Paradigm is snap-shotting EACH INDIVIDUAL DMX ADDRESS (probably in the entire universe), whether you can see a result on stage for a given address or not. I.e a fixture can be at 0 intensity from either Paradigm or Element, and you won’t see that the fixture has red @60 until you try to bring up intensity in blue and get magenta...

    If you get a technician involved, there are several ways to make this more obvious, such as having the Element be at a higher priority (ELEMENT always wins if it is on) or having a specific button toggle between Console Mode and Paradigm Mode, but ultimately these would provide essentially the same result - allowing you to only use one or the other at a given time. 

    It is a bit of a challenge with MPF in your Paradigm presets to go back to the old days where you used the “Architectural” controls to only run the house lights, and the “Light Board” to only run the stage unless you set up Paradigm specifically for that configuration. 

  • Hi Everyone,

    I tried it out and I actually figured out that that is not the problem. I have found out the problem is that when I use the ML controls on the Element to mix color manualy then record it to the Paradigm then go to cue out and even re start the console it comes out as white when I trigger that preset on the Pardigm. I am wondering if anyone might know why this might be happening and how I might fix it?

  • Campbell;

    Sorry you are having issues. This is a really confusing one when you encounter ie and is an issue between Paradigm and Element and the data they send.  Uelireigg is absolutely right. This comes down to a core decision we made about how to handle fixture profiles and home values. We decided that the home value for a fixture ( the value the console resets to when you release the fixture) is to set the color to white and intensity to zero. Why you may ask? The simple answer is we wanted to set profiles up so that to see light come out of a fixture you had to adjust the least possible number of parameters. So fixture 1 at full turns intensity on and you see white. It was decided that this was better than having to set both intensity and color parameters. to get output. You can argue both sides of this for days (because we sure did) as to which it "right", but the fact is this is how it works. 

    Another decision we made was to use the same profiles across our products. So that you can replicate that exact right shade of periwinkle from any ETC device by simply using the same values when you program. This is a good thing, but also means that when you release a fixture in any device the default is going to be all color values to full and intensity to zero.  This is where your problem is occurring. 

    The problem you are seeing is one we have seen in other sites and it is troublesome because it is not so much a problem as an unintended result of everything working as it is supposed to. Both your console and Paradigm are outputting data (I'm gonna guess sACN). As it is supposed to do, that device is going to merge all data streams in the highest takes precedence manner meaning that if the Element is on but the fixture is released, the color data is coming in at full. If Paradigm is on and the fixture is released the same thing is happening. The end result is that you get weird stuff. A great way to see this is to set the Element to Yellow and PAradigm to blue. Your output at the fixture would be some bad green.

    I am assuming you only want either Paradigm or the Element to be in control, but not both at the same time. The solution involves setting something up to allow you to arbitrate which of your systems (element or Paradigm) has priority at that moment. There are a number of ways to do this. 

    The ideal way to do it is in Paradigm via a button hit or some form of automation so that when the console is on, Paradigm gives up control. You would still be able to snapshot, you would just not get any output to the fixtures. This is done by altering the configuration of the system. Your local ETC service provider or ETC Technical support should be able to work with you and make this change without needing to come to the site, provided you can send the configuration to them. Not knowing the particulars of your system makes it hard for me to say what the best method will be. I suggest you think about what type of architectural controls you have that are console adjacent and if you can give up a button to let you toggle console and paradigm modes. 

    If you are unable to get the configuration changed or would prefer not to do this in Paradigm, you can also set the priority of your sACN universe in the console to be higher than Paradigm. They both default to 100 so even setting the console to 101 would work. In that case, whenever the console is on, it has priority.  The other in-console method is to set priority per address so that most of the universe is priority 100 and the fixtures are priority 101There are a few drawbacks to doing this

    1. If you set it as a universe priority EVERYTHING in the universe is now console controlled which may affect other lights like houselights.
    2. If you set it as a universe priority, because the console is outputting the universe at a higher priority, zero at P101 has a higher value than full at P100.
    3. You need to remember to set this every time you clear a show.

    TLDR- I suggest you contact your local support center and let them know you are having a priority issue between Paradigm and Element. They will absolutely know what that means and can work with you to find the best solution for your system. 

    Hope this helps

    David Fox

    Training and Documentation Specialist

    888-908-2193

    608-824-5056

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