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Using DMX512 within Showtime

   

  Simple TTL and Aux output
  Creating a DMX frame

  DMX GENERAL
  About DMX512
  DMX devices
  Potential DMX problems
  DMX compared to other protocols
     
  DMX AND LASERSHOW DESIGNER
  DMX in LD2000
  Using DMX512 within Showtime
  Troubleshooting DMX
  
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  About the ILDA Test Pattern
  About DMX512 (lighting control)
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  TROUBLESHOOTING
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  Troubleshooting DMX
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There are two ways to use DMX512 output within Showtime. The first way is to use TTL and Aux Out effects, just as these were used in the older LD (QM32) system. The second way is to create a "DMX frame" and drag-and-drop this onto the timeline. This "DMX-as-a-frame" idea is unique to Showtime, and has many advantages.

Simple TTL and Aux output

You can use the TTL and Aux Out effects, just as these were used in the older LD (QM32) system. In the Effect Editor, you simply select the TTL or Aux Output action and set the parameters to behave as you like. When these effects are dropped onto the timeline, the TTL and Aux controls will then be routed to the DMX output channels set by the TTL, Aux, Shutter control tab.

Port Settings dialog in Lasershow Designer 2OOO

Creating a DMX frame

You can also create a DMX frame and drag and drop this onto the timeline just like any other frame. A DMX frame is nothing more than a special frame that has all of the characteristics of a normal laser frame, but it also contains additional DMX information.
        To create a DMX frame, select the Edit/Create DMX frame menu in either LD or Showtime. When you do this, the DMX Frame Creation Wizard will be displayed:

DMX Wizard - Introduction screen

Like the other wizards in Showtime, this walks you through the creation of a DMX frame. Many steps are automated and all you need to do is click "Next".

Step 1: Entering basic device information

The first step in creating a DMX frame is to enter some basic device information.

  • The first part is the frame note, which will appear in the frame list and also on the timeline.

  • The next part is the number of channels that you want to control in this device. If you are controlling only a single beam actuator or a single light bulb, only one channel is needed. If you are controlling an intelligent light, you should find out how many channels are required for that light. This information can be found on the DMX channel assignment chart of the DMX device that you want to control.

  • The next part is the starting channel number. This is selected by a rotary switch, dip switch or some other method on the actual DMX device itself.

  • Finally, the last part is the device type and manufacturer. This selection is used to select or limit follow-on steps. If you select a laser-related device, you will not be presented with options pertaining to moving lights such as gobo-wheels or zoom controls. Likewise, if you chose a light-related device type, you will not be presented with options such as beam actuators and diffraction grating effects.

DMX Wizard - Device information screen
     

Step 2: Entering channel information

The next step in creating a DMX frame is to enter information about the channels. This information can be found on the DMX channel assignment chart that comes with the device. There are also sources on the Internet with this information

To enter information about the channels, you basically select a function for each channel and press 'Assign'.
        Some intelligent lights use two channels together for the same function to get higher resolution. For example, many of High End Systems' lighting fixtures use "16-bit channels" for the pan and tilt functions. This is easily indicated by the "Channel Type" drop-down list box by selecting either "high-byte of 16-bit" or "low byte of 16-bit" as indicated by the DMX channel assignment chart for that device.
        Below you will see that the DMX channels are assigned as per our previous hypothetical intelligent lighting fixture.

DMX Wizard - Channel information screen
   

Entering additional information about devices

In the remaining steps of the DMX Wizard, you provide additional information about how this DMX device will be controlled by LD and Showtime. The wizard can automate most of this process by assigning default values based on the channel information provided in step 2. For simple devices like simple lamps, beam actuators and fog machines, the default values will work fine. For more complex devices like moving light fixtures, the default values serve as a great starting place, but you may need to edit the default values associated with channels that control "color wheel functions", "gobo wheel functions", and "control channels". Be sure to see the DMX channel assignment chart for the device for which you are creating this frame.

< Previous page: Enabling DMX in LD2000     Next page: Troubleshooting DMX >

  This page last updated: Wednesday, Januari 29, 2020

 
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