Transitions via DMX Broken in 3.6?

What kind of DMX devices do you use? How do you use them? Have a problem configuring it with MediaMaster? Have a tip to share on how to use it?
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Transitions via DMX Broken in 3.6?

Postby jfitzpat » Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:56 am

Both in HW accell mode and non-HW accel mode the majority of transition effects appear not to work in the DMX Full Fixture with 3.6. You can see on the DMX layer preview screen that the effect is being invoked, but effects with little sliders (which do not respond to the 6 effects control channels) basically do nothing.

This makes the number of transitional (wipe) type effects available extremely limited. You can kludge a work around by putting an effect on a layer, double clicking on it, and setting constants instead of the controller settings, but this is not practical for most shows, since you can't make the settings persist.

Also, is there an updated DMX fixture definition available? A number of the Effect param descriptions are incorrect, and some effects have additional, undocumented params.

And I've also wondered if there is any thought about documenting the XML files so custom effects for DMX could be created.

Last (I know, I'm repeating myself) - a Play Once selection would be a big plus for pre-programmed shows.

Don't get me wrong, we love the app - but transitions just came up again while programming for a big sports awards show. It also was the deciding factor that kept YLS Entertainment from using ArKaos on the R.O.A.E. tour.

Thanks!

-jjf
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Postby FraKtus » Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:53 am

Could you tell us precisely what effect is not working for you ?

It's true that there are been some changes between 3.5 and 3.6.

In the 3.6 you should use the first parameter of the effect to drive the transition.
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Postby jfitzpat » Fri Mar 02, 2007 7:27 pm

I don't have a system handy at the moment (just trucked out for a show), but I know for sure that with ArKaos 3.6 FC5, GPU (HW accel), the first 9 transition effects (based on DMX effect selection) do not appear to operate. Additional Transition effects do not work, but I don't know the numbers off the top of my head.

We can accurately predict which transition effects will not work by looking at the DMX layer status display in ArKaos (GPU, FC5). With a non working transistion effects, setting the DMX value will cause an effect icon to appear. If there are little horizontal sliders next to the icon (typically one or two). The effect will not work. Transition effects with no sliders work.

On 3.6 FC3, CPU, which I happen to have licensed and running on a laptop here for testing, also has a signification number of transition effects not working. For example, again 1-8 (full fixture, DMX selection). The difference is that no sliders appear on the status display, so it is difficult to predict which will work and which will not.

I have tried fiddling with the 6 Effect parameter channels when this problem was first reported, and just tried again today, but with no effect (pun intended). The current 3.6 readme still says that those channels are not used by Transitions. It is still possible that we are not using the channels correctly, is 3.6 usage for transitions documented somewhere?

Thanks for the prompt response.

-jjf

P.S. All testing on Windows XP (English, US), SP2.
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Control channels missing

Postby JR Roughley » Sat Mar 03, 2007 4:39 pm

Hi I am experiencing the same problem. I do not have the control of all effects and transitions control channels in fixture mode using DMX. I change them to controller in the effect control window but thay do not appear on the DMX control patch window in operation mode. I first noticed this whilst trying to control effects channels in Kaliedoscope

Please help

Thanks
JR
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Postby matthieu » Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:31 am

Hello,

You cannot change the effect settings in ArKaos when working in DMX Fixture mode. The effect is determined by the incoming DMX values: effect type / Effect index and effect parameter values. Actually double-clicking the effect in the fixture view will open the effect dialog, that should not happen because changing parameters there will not affect the effect.

For the transition problem reported first, it is something else. In VJ 3.5 we were not using HW engine, it was not possible to combine a transition and transparency. So we changed the directional transition, which is the most useful for light designers, to use the tranparency (dimmer) to control the transition. In VJ 3.6 with HW engine, we can always use transparency, so the dimmer now controls transparency and the effect parameter 1 will open / close the transition shape.

That's it
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Postby JR Roughley » Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:18 pm

That is exactly my point. I cannot control the all of the effects parameters from my lighting console with DMX! Why is that ?

Thanks
JR
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Postby jfitzpat » Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:44 pm

matthieu wrote:Hello,

You cannot change the effect settings in ArKaos when working in DMX Fixture mode. The effect is determined by the incoming DMX values: effect type / Effect index and effect parameter values. Actually double-clicking the effect in the fixture view will open the effect dialog, that should not happen because changing parameters there will not affect the effect.

For the transition problem reported first, it is something else. In VJ 3.5 we were not using HW engine, it was not possible to combine a transition and transparency. So we changed the directional transition, which is the most useful for light designers, to use the tranparency (dimmer) to control the transition. In VJ 3.6 with HW engine, we can always use transparency, so the dimmer now controls transparency and the effect parameter 1 will open / close the transition shape.

That's it
Matthieu


Matthieu,

Thanks for the explanation. But after a lot of experimenting, this seems backwards from what I am seeing. In 3.6, CPU, Dimmer does seem to control the first 8 transition effects via DMX. In 3.6 GPU (nVidea), neither the dimmer channel, nor the effects params seem to do anything on the first 8-9 effects.

Thanks again for the explanation of the structural change though.

-jjf
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Postby matthieu » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:01 am

In 3.6, CPU, Dimmer does seem to control the first 8 transition effects via DMX. In 3.6 GPU (nVidea), neither the dimmer channel, nor the effects params seem to do anything on the first 8-9 effects.


In VJ 3.5 (not 3.5.1 it was already HW accelerated), the directional transition (circle, rectangle, star etc) was opened by the transparency dimmer.

In ArKaos DMX Fixture view you can see the effect parameters used in the patch view.

Image

Here the effect selected on layer 1 has two parameters, the effect on layer two has no parameter.

I know there was a problem with Avolites Pearl personality at a certain moment with effect parameters.

What desk are you using ?
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Postby jfitzpat » Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:29 pm

matthieu wrote:In VJ 3.5 (not 3.5.1 it was already HW accelerated), the directional transition (circle, rectangle, star etc) was opened by the transparency dimmer.

In ArKaos DMX Fixture view you can see the effect parameters used in the patch view.

Image

Here the effect selected on layer 1 has two parameters, the effect on layer two has no parameter.

I know there was a problem with Avolites Pearl personality at a certain moment with effect parameters.

What desk are you using ?


BlueLite X1, but it is not a desk or template issue. I tried adding the effect params to the transitions tab in the stock template, tried the Panorama Digital Scenery template from Rosebrand, and even a generic (48 faders) template.

On the off chance that 3.6 was having trouble accepting ArtNet as fast as we send it, I tried an Enttec Pro interface and a 48 channel NSI board. All give the same results.

Our results here are the same as what we have heard reported from customers. On 3.6 FC5, English, Windows XP SP2, in HW mode, Transition effects with params don't appear to work, regardless of what you do with the effect param channels or the Dimmer channel.

On 3.6 FC5, English, Windows XP SP2, in CPU mode, many of the effects work off the dimmer channel, but the effect param channels seem to have no effect.

The one common element is that all the reported problems are on nVidea adapters. I don't know if that is a factor or not.

Thanks again,
-jjf
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Postby JR Roughley » Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:49 pm

Hi Guys

As mentioned earlier! I have exactly the same problem.

Cheers
JR
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Postby matthieu » Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:14 pm

The problem happens with all effects or only transitions ?
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Postby jfitzpat » Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:43 pm

matthieu wrote:The problem happens with all effects or only transitions ?


For our customers, only transitions. Other effects and effect params appear to work as expected.

-jjf
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Postby matthieu » Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:10 am

This is completely crazy.

What ArKaos version are you/they using ?
Mac or PC ?
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Transition issue

Postby jdbrbe » Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:23 pm

I discovered the same thing on Panorama Matthieu
Windows XP
Arkaos 3.6
BlueLite as the DMX controller (on the same machine)

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Postby matthieu » Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:48 pm

Wheen you find something abnormal, please let me know fastly. It's important for the quality of our product and the compatibility with other solution (desks etc)

Actually I just made some testing and everything seems to work just fine. Have you tried with something else than BlueLite X1 ? Couldn't it be a problem in the ArKaos device for BlueLite ?

Please send me a mail, I'll send you a link to latest beta version.

Cheers,
Matthieu
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Postby jfitzpat » Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:05 pm

matthieu wrote:Wheen you find something abnormal, please let me know fastly. It's important for the quality of our product and the compatibility with other solution (desks etc)

Actually I just made some testing and everything seems to work just fine. Have you tried with something else than BlueLite X1 ? Couldn't it be a problem in the ArKaos device for BlueLite ?

Please send me a mail, I'll send you a link to latest beta version.

Cheers,
Matthieu


I am using 3.6 FC5, English, PC, under Windows XP SP2 (also tested under Vista).

As I said immediately above, I have tried alternate DMX sources, including an Enttec pro dongle and an NSI console (I also tried a Fat Frog console). I have also validated the ArtNet output of all the BlueLite templates tried using the Artistic License monitor.

As far as the device, as I said above, I also tried several. The original template that I did for VJ DMX, a modified template (effect params added to Transition tab) which I did, Panorama's template (effect params added to transtion tab), and a generic 48 channel 'dimmer board' template.

I also tried sending ArtNet at half our normal rate (15 Hz instead of 30 Hz) to see if ArKaos was having trouble keeping up.

Again, running on the same machine vs. different machines has no effect. This would match what I see with alternate consoles.

If it isn't clear from above, I always start with the assumption that we could be doing something wrong and endeaver to test extensively before reporting a problem to a vendor. What the vendor does with my reports, well, I have no control over that... ;)

-jjf
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Postby matthieu » Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:01 am

Ok. So on the same computer, when you select a 3D effect for instance, you can see the effect parameter 1 moving, but when you select a transition effect it is not working ?

This is very strange, in the process of ArKaos, ArKaos receives an ArtNet frame and send the values to the different layers, whatever we selected as effect, and the parameter value should be independant from the effect selected...

Could you try to uninstall, redownload and install the latest build: ftp://arkaos.net/pub/ArKaos/ArKaos_VJ.zip
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Postby jfitzpat » Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:54 pm

matthieu wrote:Ok. So on the same computer, when you select a 3D effect for instance, you can see the effect parameter 1 moving, but when you select a transition effect it is not working ?


Not quite. I can set the params, but the effect itself never activates in GPU mode, either from the params, the dimmer channel, or an effect or media change. In CPU mode, the params are generally gone and the problem effects typically are driven by the dimmer channel.

Again, this does not happen with any other effect group and not all transition effects are broken, only those that present params, and seeminly only in GPU mode.

I cannot try you latest version in GPU mode until sometime this weekend, sorry, I'm out of the office today.

-jjf
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Postby matthieu » Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:32 pm

the effect itself never activates in GPU mode, either from the params, the dimmer channel, or an effect or media change


I never heard about such a problem. And I don't really understand. You can select the effect from DMX, but then you cannot start the layer, change the effect or the visual associated ? So the layer would be completely blocked ?
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Postby jfitzpat » Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:06 pm

matthieu wrote:
the effect itself never activates in GPU mode, either from the params, the dimmer channel, or an effect or media change


I never heard about such a problem. And I don't really understand. You can select the effect from DMX, but then you cannot start the layer, change the effect or the visual associated ? So the layer would be completely blocked ?


No. It is as if the effect does nothing. You can select it, you can adjust params, but it has no effect on the selected video, dimmer, effect params, etc. all act as if no effect were selected at all.

In other words, you can se the little icon pop up in ArKaos, you can see the little param sliders move, but video and transparency, etc. for the layer remain uneffected.

Again, this is only Transition effects (and not all of them, typically ones with params) and it appears to be only GPU mode. In CPU mode, a lot of the effects are driven with the dimmer channel, which I believe is what you indicate I should expect above.

-jjf
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Postby jfitzpat » Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:44 pm

I picked up a Radeon card over the weekend and will have one of the comptuers back with an nVidea card this afternoon. I'll test and report back ASAP. Sorry I couldn't get to this over the weekend.

-jjf
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Postby matthieu » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:12 am

You should also try to update DirectX and your graphic card driver. Most transition effects are graphic card shader programs, maybe there is a problem passing the parameters to the graphic card.

Please also send me the file:

C:\Program Files\ArKaos VJ 3.6 FC5\Plugins\Effects\ShaderFX_Parser_Log.txt

It may help understanding this problem.
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Postby jfitzpat » Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:53 pm

matthieu wrote:You should also try to update DirectX and your graphic card driver. Most transition effects are graphic card shader programs, maybe there is a problem passing the parameters to the graphic card.

Please also send me the file:

C:\Program Files\ArKaos VJ 3.6 FC5\Plugins\Effects\ShaderFX_Parser_Log.txt

It may help understanding this problem.


Will do. I've been suspecting a graphics card/driver issue, that is why I picked up the Radeon as well. I'm sorry, I got swamped yesterday afternoon and this morning, but I'll try a little testing now.

-jjf
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Postby jfitzpat » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:20 am

Sorry, I could never get DMX to show up as an option on the version you sent. I tried on several machines, all running legal 3.6 copies.

Today I tried a brand new machine and could not get DMX to show up in demo mode either.

Sorry.

-jjf
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Postby matthieu » Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:44 am

There is a problem actually. You have to restart the application once to get the application registered. Could it be the problem ?
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Postby jfitzpat » Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:02 pm

matthieu wrote:There is a problem actually. You have to restart the application once to get the application registered. Could it be the problem ?


I tried that (I've seen that problem in demo mode before). I think it might be something to do with keys. On the two existing 3.6 machines, the software claimed "Invalid License", before going into demo mode.

It is possible that the other machine had a ArKaos demo install long ago. I'll try re-ghosting a QA machine back to a virgin state and try again.

-jjf
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Postby jfitzpat » Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:19 pm

Update: The problem appears to still exist under XP, SP2 (US English), running in Demo mode with an nVidea adapter. I'll try the Radeon adapter this evening.

-jjf
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