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The Fixture Type Library Editor

The new Fixture Type Library Editor is a separate application to the console software. On a Windows installation it can be found as an alias on the desktop and can be launched like any other Windows program. On a T-series console it is launched from the Patch window menu ‘Patch’ by selecting ‘Fixture Editor’.

When launched a window is presented with an expanded directory of all the JANDS supplied fixtures, listed as manufacturer sub-directories, this is the factory default directory. Once this directory is collapsed, another directory is visible, this is the User Fixture Library and will initially be empty.

Fixtures in the Factory directory cannot be modified, however, copies can be made and these will be placed in the User Fixture Library and are fully editable.
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It is recommended that the latest software library be installed and an exhaustive search of the fixture library be carried out to determine if the fixture required is not already in the library before writing your own fixture profiles.

Creating a Fixture Profile

This section will detail, step by step, the process of creating a sample fixture profile. The fixture being a VL1100D Iris (I) Model.

When the Fixture Type Editor is opened, the inbuilt library is automatically expanded, presenting a Manufacturers list containing all JANDS supplied fixtures. The fixture library is updated regularly and the latest revision should be installed to see if the fixture profile you require is in the list before writing your own fixture.

For this tutorial, collapse the ‘Factory’ directory and select the ‘User Fixture Library’

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From the Fixture menu select ‘New Fixture…’
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A new, blank fixture window will open with five tabs across the top:
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This tab… is for…
Main entering general fixture data.
DMX Chart All DMX channel assignments and channel range values are entered in this tab
DMX Macros Control macros, including strike, douse and reset are entered here.
Notes Personal notes relating to the fixture can be entered here.
History A chronological history of the fixture can be kept here.

Main tab:

FE_main_tab
This window is used to enter general information values for your fixture. To add or edit a value double click in the field and either type directly in the field or select from the field’s popup menu.

This field… is for…
Manufacturer The name of the company that makes the fixture.
Full Name The complete, unabbreviated name as supplied by the manufacturer.
Short Name An abbreviated name, of your choice, for the Fixture. This name will be used in the Chooser window when ‘show Short Name’ is selected.
Fixture Status Choose from the popup menu to select the appropriate status of the fixture file.
Beam Type Choose from the popup menu to select the appropriate beam type of the fixture.
Frame Type Choose from the popup menu to select the appropriate frame type, choose No Frame if the fixture has no framing mechanism.
Movement Type Choose from the popup menu to select the appropriate movement type.
Physical Type Choose from the popup menu to select the appropriate physical type.
Light Generation Choose from the popup menu to select the appropriate light source.
Maximum Pan Degrees Enter the maximum pan degrees as supplied by the manufacturer. This value is required in order for the flip function to work correctly. This information is generally not found in the DMX charts for a fixture, but, is usually found in the manufacturers specification sheet.
Maximum Tilt Degrees Enter the maximum tilt degrees as supplied by the manufacturer. This value is required in order for the flip function to work correctly. This information is generally not found in the DMX charts for a fixture, but, is usually found in the manufacturers specification sheet.
Element Count Horizontally Enter the number of horizontal, individually controllable elements within the fixture. Used for single fixtures with multiple elements such as LED fixtures.
Element Count Vertically Enter the number of vertical, individually controllable elements within the fixture. Used for single fixtures with multiple elements such as LED fixtures.
Is a Scroller Defines whether the fixture is a scroller mechanism.
Patch Part Count determines how many patchable parts there are for the fixture. i.e. a par with a colour scoller will have two parts. One for the par and another for the scroller.
Uuid This is a unique identifying number assigned to the fixture by the fixture editor and cannot be changed.
Compatability Id This number is for advanced use. When an existing Factory fixture is duplicated and modified it will retain programmed attributes of the original (such as Preset information etc.) so long as this number is not altered. Once altered the fixture will become an independent fixture and lose those programmed attributes.
Revision A revision number can be added here to keep track of multiple versions of the same fixture.
Factory Version This is a factory library version tracking number.
Carallon Version This version number is supplied by the Carallon database and is not relevant when writing fixture profiles.

DMX Chart tab:

FE_dmx_chart_tab

This icon… does this…
FE_dmx Opens the Add DMX Channel window
FE_range Adds a DMX range to an existing channel. Inactive until a channel is created.
FE_mode Adds a Custom Mode to a channel, used when a feature range is not mappable to a generic control. i.e. Iris Pulse or Gobo Shake
FE_slot Adds a slot to a colour or gobo wheel channel. . Inactive until a channel is created.
FE_delete Use this button to delete selected DMX channels, Ranges, Modes or Slots.

Add DMX Channel window:

FE_DMX-Add

This field… is for…
Feature
Class
This determines which control palette the feature will reside in. Intensity Class reside in the Intensity palette, Beam in the Beam palette etc.
Feature
Type
This determines which controls on the palette control which feature. For example one Beam Type may be Iris and another Zoom. Both features appear on the Beam contol palette, mapped to their respective controls.
Feature
Name
This value is automatically set by the software unless a custom feature is created in which case a user assigned name must be applied.
DMX Channel
Type
this will detrmin if the feature is 8 bit or 16 bit. The Fine channel field becomes active if 16 bit is selected here.
DMX Channel
Channel
Is the Hi byte channel for the feature.
DMX Channel
Fine Channel
Is the Lo byte channel for the feature (if applicable)
DMX Channel
Default Value
This is the default DMX value for home and clear, ranging from 0-255.

The DMX Chart window is used to enter all channel information for your fixture. Using the manufacturers DMX specification sheets, a channel list will be built in here, the channels can then have various attributes set. Addition of range mapping, slots for colours and gobos, mode settings for channels and any other information required to operate the fixture.

Using the sample DMX specification for a VL1100D (I) Iris Model fixture this section will document how to enter data in the DMX tab for it.

DMX channel specification for a VL1100D (I) Iris Model
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Channel 1: Intensity

Click the DMX button to open the Add DMX Channel dialog. By default the dialog opens for the first time as below, it will open in the last opened state from now on. Notice the values are correct for this feature. Click OK to create.
FE_add_int_8b
The Intensity 8 bit channel 1 has been created in the DMX Chart window.
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Channel 2 and 3: Pan Hi and Pan Lo: 16b

Click the DMX button to open the Add DMX Channel dialog. Select Position in Class and Pan in Type. In the DMX channel section select 16 bit and assign the correct channel numbers. The Default value should be set to 127 as it is a midpoint default feature and the Hi Byte value only need be set. Click OK to create.
FE_pan
The Pan 16 bit channels 2 and 3 have been created in the DMX Chart window.
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Channel 4 and 5: Tilt Hi and Tilt Lo: 16b

Click the DMX button to open the Add DMX Channel dialog. Select Position in Class and Tilt in Type. In the DMX channel section select 16 bit and assign the correct channel numbers. The Default value should be set to 127 as it is a midpoint default feature and the Hi Byte value only need be set. Click OK to create.
FE_tilt
The Tilt 16 bit channels 4 and 5 have been created in the DMX Chart window.
FE_tilt-range

Channel 6: Edge

Click the DMX button to open the Add DMX Channel dialog. Select Beam in Class and Focus in Type. In the DMX channel section select Standard and assign the correct channel number. The Default value should be set to 127 as it is a midpoint default feature. Click OK to create.
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The Intensity 8 bit channel 6 has been created in the DMX Chart window.
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Channel 7: Zoom

Click the DMX button to open the Add DMX Channel dialog. Select Beam in Class and Zoom in Type. In the DMX channel section select Standard and assign the correct channel number. The Default value should be set to 127 as it is a midpoint default feature. Click OK to create.
FE_zoom
The Zoom 8 bit channel 7 has been created in the DMX Chart window.
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Channel 8: Frost

Click the DMX button to open the Add DMX Channel dialog. Select Beam in Class and Zoom in Type. In the DMX channel section select Standard and assign the correct channel number. The Default value should be set to 0 as it is a 0 default value feature. Click OK to create.
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The Frost 8 bit channel 8 has been created in the DMX Chart window.
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Channel 9, 10 and 11: CMY Colour mix

Click the DMX button to open the Add DMX Channel dialog. Select Colour Mix in Class and Cyan in Type. In the DMX channel section select Standard and assign the correct channel number. The Default value should be set to 0 as it is a 0 default value feature, the Hi Byte default value only need be set. Click OK to create and repeat the process for Yellow and Magenta.

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The three Colour Mix 8 bit channels 9,10 and 11 have been created in the DMX Chart window.

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Channel 12: Gobo Wheel

Click the DMX button to open the Add DMX Channel dialog. Select Gobo Wheel in Class and Gobo Wheel in Type. In the DMX channel section select Standard and assign the correct channel number. The Default value should be set to 0 as it is a 0 default value feature. Click OK to create.
FE_gobo_wheel
The Gobo Wheel 8 bit channel 8 has been created in the DMX Chart window.
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Channel 12: Gobo Wheel (cont.)

Note there are three items added for this feature unlike previous features that have one simple range value assigned.

Index Mode: Expand this section and select the range value section as below.
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As the specification requires the range for Gobo Wheel Indexing to be 0-127, the values need changing. On the right hand side of the DMX Chart window in the DMX range section. Apply the change as seen below and click apply.
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The change to the channel range is reflected in the DMX Range column.
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Rotation Mode: Expand this section and select the range value section as below.
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As the specification requires the range for Gobo Wheel Rotation is to be 128-255, only one range of values is required. By default most fixtures have clockwise and counter clockwise values as well as a stop value. The editor places ranges for these by default. The mechanism in our fixture only rotates in one direction so the first thing that is required is to delete the Anti-clockwise range, the Stopped range can remain and set to 127 if desired. This will make zero rotation on the controls stop the wheel spinning at the last indexing value.

Select the Anti-clockwise range:
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Now click the FE_delete button to remove the range.

Channel 12: Gobo Wheel (cont.)

As the ranges for Stopped and Clockwise rotation are the same as the manufacturers specification no other changes are required. The ranges for gobo wheel rotation are now set.

Wheel Slots: Expand this section and Select it. Notice a single Open slot is loaded with a range of 0,0.
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Use the FE_slot button to create as many slots as is required. In this case add five slots to make a total of six.
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As the Open slot values are already correct, select Slot #2.
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Channel 12: Gobo Wheel (cont.)

On the right hand side of the DMX Chart window the controls are now available to add appropriate data with the selected slot.

A Name may be applied, a Slot Type can be set (Gobo or Colour) a Category can be assigned, Category is useful in remodelling gobo patterns when changing fixture types, and an image can be set for preview on the console.
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As with other features the DMX Range section is used to set the appropriate values for the slot, as the specification below indicates, different values are required to operate the slot in either Indexing or Rotating modes.
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Channel 12: Gobo Wheel (cont.)

Set the DMX Range values for Slot #2 as shown below, follow the same procedure for the remaining slots. The correct value for Slot #2 (18 or 146) will automatically switch between the two values depending on which control is currently being used on the console, i.e. indexing or rotating.
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Click the Select Image button to open up the Images window, navigate to the gobos directory and search for the image required, select and open it then name it in the Name field.
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Tip: Switch the window view to Thumbnails for image previews.

Channel 13 and 14: Gobo Rotation

Click the DMX button to open the Add DMX Channel dialog. Select Beam in Class and Gobo Slot Rotation in Type. In the DMX channel section select 16 bit and assign the correct channel numbers. The Default value should be set to 127 as it is a midpoint default feature, the Hi Byte default value only need be set. Click OK to create.
FE_gobo-slot-rotation
The Gobo Wheel Slot 16 bit channels 13 and 14 have been created in the DMX Chart window.
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Channel 13 and 14: Gobo Rotation (cont.)

Expand the Index Mode and Rotate ranges.
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Select the range to edit and adjust the values on the right hand side of the DMX Chart window in the DMX range section. As this fixtures rotation Clockwise and Ant-clockwise are reverse to the default values inserted the ranges need to be edited. Apply the change as seen below to the Anti-clockwise range and click apply. Repeat this procedure for the Clockwise range, inserting the correct values.

Anti-clockwise range values:
FE_gobo-slot-rot3

Clockwise range values:
FE_gobo-slot-rot4
As the default value for Stopped is already 127, this need not be adjusted. The Index Mode values supplied by default are the same as the fixture specification, so, it too, requires no adjustment.

Channel 15: Iris

Click the DMX button to open the Add DMX Channel dialog. Select Beam in Class and Iris in Type. In the DMX channel section select Standard and assign the correct channel number. The Default value should be set to 255 as it is a 255 default value feature. Click OK to create.
FE_iris

The Iris 8 bit channel 15 has been created in the DMX Chart window.
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Channel 16,17 and 18: Timing channels

These three channels differ from the previous channels created in that they do not map to generic controls. They will be Custom Feature channels that are associated with the Class of feature.

For the Focus Time channel 17 (Varilite terminology states Focus is Position) click the DMX button to open the Add DMX Channel dialog. Select Custom Position in Class, Custom Position will automatically be assigned to Type and as we are creating a Custom Feature a feature name needs to be assigned, type in Focus Time. In the DMX channel section select Standard and assign the correct channel number. The Default value should be set to 0 as it is a 0 default value feature. Click OK to create.
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Repeat this process for the remaining channels 17 and 18. Channel 17 will need Class and Type set to Custom Colour and named Colour Time, channel 18 will need Class and Type set to Custom Beam and named Beam Time.

Channel 19: Control

The Control channel is also created as a Custom feature, The Class needs to be set as Custom Misc and Name to Control. This will create the channel, values for the control macros will be set in the DMX Macros tab.
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The Control 8 bit channel 19 has been created in the DMX Chart window.
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Channel 19: Control (cont.)

To assign control macros, open the DMX Macros tab and enter the relevant information using the specification from the manufacturer.
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Syntax: channel @ value wait milliseconds , next command.

Complex macros

Some fixtures require more complex macros for for strike/reset/douse?. For example a fixture might require; ch1 to 255, ch4 to 17,ch 6 to 1, ch 8 to 0, ch 11 to 0 and ch 15 to 84 and for these channels to be held for 6 seconds, and sent back to default

In this case each command must state a wait time. The syntax is as follows:

[channel] @ [value] # [wait time in milliseconds]

So for the example above the macro would read as follows:

1@255#0;4@17#0;6@17#0;8@0#0;11@0#0;15@84#6000

That will send the specified values to all channels simultaneously and hold them for 6 seconds.

Saving the Fixture:

Once all channel ranges have been created, spend a few minutes checking them against the manufacturers specification. Click the OK button then choose OK from the resulting Save Fixture And Exit dialog.

To use the fixture you will first need to exit the Fixture Library Editor, close the editor window and a confirmation dilaog will be presented. Click OK, the library will regenerate the library catalogues to incorporate your new fixture. Please be patient as this takes some time. Start Vista and the new fixture will be available for patching in the User Fixture Library.
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Channels with Custom Ranges

While all the main features of fixtures are represented by generic controls on the console, the ranges that do not fit the generic model are controlled by Custom Modes and Custom Ranges. A simple example of this is an Iris channel with pulse ranges.

Iris: Example ranges:

Iris closed to open: range: 0 – 128

Iris Pulse-1 slow to fast: 129 – 190

Iris Pulse-2 slow to fast: 191 – 255

Create the custom ranges as below:
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The Iris Pulse controls will be found inside the Custom Iris widget in Vista:
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Double click the widget to open the Custom Feature Browser, in order to access the custom Pulse range controls:
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