Nowadays there are moving heads that cost little more than their static counterparts, and they are finding their way into serious lighting. However making best use of them is still a black art. We are slowly getting accustomed to 255 being the new 100 but are we ready for 255 being the new 540, or 190?
Add to that the fact that most heads these days can rotate one and a half turns horizontally and flip right over vertically means that there at least three different settings for X and Y that point the head in the same direction. This can easily lead to a head taking the ‘long way round’ from one position to a nearby one.
Something needs to be done to make controlling these heads more user friendly and I would suggest that the Colorsource desk is at the level of price and user expertise where the need is greatest. Any ideas?
In the absence of other suggestions might I suggest the following for the ZY map
1. Finger position to control absolute position rather than rate.
2. You can set a marker point which may, for instance, be pointing straight upstage or at the lead singer centre stage. You can then set other positions relative to that
3. Provide zoom on the XY map with the reference point centred, showing, say just 360° or 180° pan and 90° tilt to exclude alternative values of XY for the same head aim, and provide a more realistic picture of head positions.
4. An alternative ‘polar’ display with ‘home’ (vertical) in the centre and the reference X at the top.
5. Convert numeric values to degrees, preferably + and - relative to the reference point
For 1: Simply "tap" the screen to jump the fixture to an absolute Pan/Tilt position.
The usual method of using the Pan/Tilt field is to tap to get 'near' to your desired location, then drag to fine-tune onto the target.
This gives instant access to both absolute and relative control.
2 is an interesting idea, we'll consider this for a future software update.
3/4/5 all require fixture data that sadly does not exist for the vast majority of fixtures being used on the ColorSource consoles.We only have the necessary information for the 'top-end' manufacturers like Robe, Clay Paky, Varilite etc, and most ColorSource users have fixtures from the cheaper manufacturers who do not provide this information, and are unable to send us fixtures so we can measure them ourselves.
We could probably make a guess, but as fixtures have wildly different pan and tilt ranges, it'll be way off rather often. I don't know whether a really bad guess is better or worse than nothing.
Regarding (1) I’m not keen on this method as you don’t know where to tap. Implementing (2) might help but I still think the XY map is often too coarse. It certainly doesn’t work for followspotting. The trackball option would be good if it didn’t interfere with the other screen functions.
My experience of the sort of entry level fixtures that CS console users might encounter is that they have 540 degree pan and between 90 and 120 degree tilt from vertical (home). Apart from disco things with continuous rotation most Chauvet, Chinese and Equinox heads I have encountered conform. It would be interesting to know how many readers on this forum have fixtures with different ranges, but a ‘best guess’ based on this would I’m sure be better than nothing.
Another option would be to be to make it user adjustable.