Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:57 am
I think the way Vista handles color could use an update. While the system is built for, and works well with, RGB LEDs, it doesn't hold up as well when dealing with other fixture types: there are RGBW, RGBA, RGBAW, RGBAW+UV, and CW and CNW fixtures on the market, as well as color wheels and CTC wheels and settings which could use an improvement in control.
When Byron mixes for RGBA or W fixtures, it mixes for RGB and adds the other element-amber or white- on top. While this provides maximum output, it doesn't look very good--fixtures that make beautiful whites have a strange tint, and the only current way around it is to manipulate values manually. The other elements should be mixed alongside the others, so that if I fade between blue and white, blue fades from 100 to 0 and white fades from 0 to 100, instead of every color fading to 100.
Another area that could use improvement would be color temperature. There isn't really a way to easily handle that yet, besides hand changing the DMX values for these fixtures. Any color mixing fixture could use a control for color temp: even ones that don't have a dedicated CTC wheel. Put the color temperature on a fader, and have a fixture-by-fixture calibration option. The operator can go through and match all the colors of all the fixtures and set these values as the "white home", and adjustments made to the color after this will at least be similar. For fixtures that have color temperature controls, the fader could use this, for RGBAW fixtures, it could manipulate the amber and white channels to change it, and for RGB fixtures it could manipulate the color directly.
My last gripe is with color wheel fixtures. Many have the option to split colors or slowly move between two colors, but Byron doesn't seem to take advantage of this. It does, however, on our Forerunner scrollers: if I have a ten second fade between two adjacent colors, it moves the frame of gel for a full ten seconds before the whole fixture is the color of the next slot. If you try to drag out the fade time in the timeline on color wheels, it goes SNAP SNAP SNAP SNAP to the next color instead of slowly scrolling the wheel to that color. And the only way to do split colors is to manipulate DMX values: it would be nice to just click between the two colors on the color wheel image and it split it for you.
One more comment that is somewhat related: there's no good way to move in black on Vista, besides building the cues to do it by hand. I think this could be an intelligent feature: if I click move in black, it asks for a fade time to fade down to and up from black. Once I choose that, it sees what position the two colors are in and adjusts the hold time accordingly. If the two colors are right next to each other on the wheel, it would be near zero, if they were on opposite sides, it might be half a second or more. This could be settable in the Custom Gobos and Colors window. The same feature could go for gobos and pan/tilt, too.
This is a long one. Let me know if there is a way to do this I haven't explored, but I think that regardless of whether there's a workaround, it's something that would be worthwhile to look into building into the software. Jands Vista Byron, in my mind, is a synonym for simplicity: I think this would go a long way to helping with that.
Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:01 pm
You're not the first person to request between control of colour channels outside of RGB / CMY. Unfortunately it's far from a simple task to integrate RGBA / RGBW etc. seamlessly into our generic fixture model. There are many components to this in the vista system that fall outside of implementing an algorithm for these to work in the RGB / CMY sliders / wheels. Fixture swapping / translation and global fixture selections are just some of the many issues here. It is however on the enhancement list, but due to the complexity (weeks of R&D), other bugs take priority.
The colour temperature one would be a tricky one to implement, as these are all treated as raw channels (on any console, not just vista).
Re: Colour wheels; On most fixtures, you should should be able to to put the colour wheel into index mode, then use the slider below the index button to achieve half colours between wheel slots. Programming using this index mode will also allow smooth transitions if you want live colour rolls. The reason it snaps when you use the slot selection is that this is almost always on a different dmx range of the colour wheel channel (ie the slot selection range, rather than the index range).
I've added your suggestion for a live move in black to our enhancements database, in the meantime try using a Scale(-) inhibit group fader for a way to master those channels down while you make the change.