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Electronic Theatre Controls Inc

Dynamic Effects Tutorial

In this short tutorial, I'll walk you through the creation of a new Dynamic Effect Playback and how to get that effect running on stage. I recommend using the Demo Play "Demo Concert" and its associated Training Project (Browser>Media>Training Projects).

Basic Concepts

Effect Playbacks are used to play back dynamic effect templates on groups of channels. Each Dynamic Effect Playback has nine parameters that include intensity (masters the size of the dynamic), channel source, template and offset settings, size and rate. Intensity acts as a master over the size output by the running dynamic - if you bring the Dynamic Effect Playback up to a level of 50%, then the effect will be limited to a size of 50% of the size you set within the effect. If you take the Playback to 100% (Full), then the dynamic will play back with the levels you set manually. When the Dynamic Effect Playback is above 0% intensity, the effect can be said to be "running". When the Dynamic Effect Playback is brought back to 0%, the effect can be said to be "stopped".

There are no new objects for using a new Dynamic Effect Playback - all you must have is Groups recorded for the channels you want to place dynamic movements on. Groups are referenced by the new Dynamic Effect, so if you change the Groups, the Dynamic will also be changed. The new Dynamic uses the existing Dynamic Templates library. If you make new templates, those will become available to use within the new Dynamic Effects as well.

The U1-U3 keys are the "1", "2" and "3" keys found below the FOCUS, COLOR and BEAM keys on Congo. On Congo jr consoles, these can be accessed from the Device soft keys.

Create a simple dynamic effect:

  1. Type [INSERT]&[EFFECT] (press and hold the [INSERT] key then press the [EFFECT] key, then release both keys) - this will open a dialog box that you can use to set the Effect Playback type.
  2. Use the [TAB] key to move to the third tab, Dynamic Effect, and press [MODIFY] to insert the Dynamic Effect Playback. The new effect playback is selected after you insert it so all you have to do to get the effect running is determine the settings you want to us and then bring the level wheel up above 0%.
  3. If the Effects Dock is not already open, press [SETUP]&[BROWSER] to open the Dock setup dialog. Docks are special display areas you can add to any screen connected to the Congo, the Browser is a Dock area that we open by default. In the "Bottom Area", open the drop-down menu and select "Effects", then select the MODIFY button and press MODIFY to close the dialog and open the new Effects Dock. In this dock you can see the inserted Effect Playbacks.
  4. Bring up the intensity of Group 1 - M500L and Group 2 - M500R so that you can see the lights moving in the Capture tab.
  5. Type [#] [EFFECT] to reselect the Dynamic Effect Playback you inserted before, then look at the encoders. The left-most encoder should display the Channel Source parameter, and you can use the wheel to select whether to use Sets or Groups (Sets is the default). Sets will be described in the Content Effects Tutorial, so for now choose Groups. Use the encoder to the right to select which Group to place the effect on. In this case, select Group 1 - M500 L.
  6. Press the U2 encoder page key. This loads the encoders with the dynamic effect settings, DynTemplate, OffsetRel, DelayRel and Distance. Use the DynTemplate encoder to select which effect you would like to run on these fixtures - in this case, select the "<circle" template. Set the OffsetRel to "Evenly Sp".
  7. Bring up the intensity of this Dynamic Effect Playback using the level wheel (you can also use keypad commands to set the intensity, just as you would for any other channel). The <circle dynamic will start running on channels 1-8.
  8. Press the U3 key to access the Rate and Size parameters of this Dynamic effect. Use the encoders to adjust the effect until you like it.
  9. Press the U1 key again and select Group 2 now. Watch as the configured dynamic effect now runs on channels 9-16 and channels 1-8 go back to their base point.
  10. Press the U2 key now and change the DynTemplate to "Can Can". The effect "can can" is a tilt-only effect. In the old dynamics, what would happen if you went directly from circle to "can can" on the same channels is that pan would continue to run the circle, and tilt would start running the "can can." Not what you wanted, probably. Now, since only one template can be played back at a time, the pan returns to the base point while tilt runs the "can can" cleanly.

If you want to be able to play back more than one dynamic effect at the same time, you need to insert more Dynamic Effect Playbacks. This is easy to do live, using [#] [INSERT] & [EFFECT] again, or you can open the Effect Playbacks List in the Browser and use [INSERT] to insert a new playback into the list. Use [#] [EFFECT] to select a new playback and use the encoders to set it to play back the other dynamic effect, then bring up the intensity.

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