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
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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
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