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Thread: Dimmer levels

  1. #1
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    Default Dimmer levels

    Does vixen make any effective use of hardware that supports more than 100 (or 101) levels of dimming? I've been wracking my brain over the last year or so trying to make all of my hardware support 256 levels of dimming, and I'm wondering if that was necessary.

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    Phil

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    The editor uses percentage levels strictly for ease of use as a lot of people who would be using it wouldn't understand 256 levels and why it has to be. However, everyone understands percentages.

    So the short answer is no. It could, if need be, but it does not.

  3. #3
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    Is the information stored internally as 256 levels (and converted back down to 100 levels for the GUI and for the Firegod plugin), or is stored as 100 levels (and converted back to 256 levels for the Renard and DMX plugins)? Are there any scenarios where it makes a difference?

    I'm not pushing for it one way or another, since I haven't played around with it nor have I heard any complaints, I'm just asking.

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    Phil

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    It's stored as 256 levels and converted to and from 100 levels for the UI.

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    I guess thats a new problem then for us who are working on dmx solutions. if we attach dmx stuff we wont be able to fully control them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RJ
    I guess thats a new problem then for us who are working on dmx solutions. if we attach dmx stuff we wont be able to fully control them.
    Which may beg the question, Can a human eye actually tell the difference?
    I suppose someone could actually test this.
    Doing a ramp over various periods of time in fractional parts of 255 and 100 and seeing if it really "looks" different might be the way to settle it.
    There are 10 types of people in the world. Those that understand binary, those that don't and some who know Gray encoding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RJ
    I guess thats a new problem then for us who are working on dmx solutions. if we attach dmx stuff we wont be able to fully control them.
    Not quite true (potentially). An editor could choose to ignore that data completely and implement its own data storage more suitable to the paradigm its implementing. That's only way that I could get LedTriks to work.

  8. #8
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    If you think of the dimming values as totally linear, then you need most of the 255 values; you can lop off a few at the top and bottom. The steps are most noticeable at the lower end. If you linearize the dimming curve, so that the steps appear to have a linear affect on an incandescent bulb, you can use as few as 64 steps if you dim slowly. I also found that you only needed 32 steps if you dimmed rather quickly, such as you would do with chasing mini trees.

    Since Vixen uses percentages, it could just as well apply a formula or a look-up table (dimming curve) and 0 to 100% would look more like 0 to 100%. A dimming table could contain only the values 0 to 63. Even though there would be 100 positions, only 64 values would be used and some would be the same value.

    I’m pretty sure that KC will be adding a dimming curve feature to Vixen 2.0, so this would solve your dilemma.
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    Maybe If I explian what I mean. Some of us are using DMX to build are shows. This would mean other DMX equipment that expect 256 differet outputs not just dimmers. Some of the equipment have there own built in curves so adding another wont help. What we need is to support true DMX with the ability to output 0 - 255 on any channel. On top of this I have a new dimmer I'm building around DMX that does not have the limitation on the bottom and the top so it can dim linearly. I can see a difference in 100 step to 256 steps if the fade is slow not when fast true but a slow fade on a linear setup does look better. I knew Vixen supported DMX and since the DMX standard calls for 256 levels I believed vixen would output it. Some DMX equipment use channels for position information this will limit there movement to 40% or so in each axis. If vixen wont do it, it wont do it. I will simply have to find a different way to control the stuff. I just believe DMX is the future as it is well suited to the lighting arena being designed for it. It is used by all professional lighting people. Its simply and open. And it would allow one protocol to rule them all (lord of the rings joke.) it has a high channel count, low event timing, and great distance, and allows us to hook other commercial equipment right up to our systems and use them seamlessly, or so I had hoped. This was my thinking behind it.

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    Best to just put this in as a change request...

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    Phil

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