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Thread: Dimming Curve Problems

  1. #1
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    Default Dimming Curve Problems

    I'm having a lot of trouble understand and applying dimming curves... it's adding a lot of time to my patching because I need to patch and re-patch a lot to try to start over. I have all RGB Pixels and they are very bright so I wanted to make admiring curves for 0-50% or 0-70% but not matter what I do the brightened seems to stay the same (bright!).

    It's also confusing to me all the requests to add dimming curves and if I can duplicate the curve by accident making it worse. For example when I bring in a prop file it asks if I want to add a dimming curve, I was doing that but then said NO and in Display Setup I set RGB color and then added a dimming curve there. But I must be doing something wrong because depending on what I do the dimming curve I add can have a different number of patch points for the same prop (as I keep trying to get it to work). I know I can look at it graphically to see if a dimming curve is added but it shows Dimming Curve and not Dimming Curve "Dim 50%) which is the library name for the dimming curve. The dimming curve I added to the library is a straight line from 0,0 to 50,50 I think this is correct for 50% dimming but not sure about that.

    Anyway my questions are:

    1. For a prop of 50 pixels (for example) how may patch points should I see for a dimming curve 50 or 150 or some other number

    2. How do I know the dimming curve is working? Without a dimming curve if I use "Set Level" at 100% that would be full brightness. Then I change "Set Level" to 50% I assume that would be the max brightness I would see with a 50% dimming curve added, right?

    3. I assume that when a dimming curve is set that you can not make the brightness higher then that dimming curve set level unless you change the dimming curve or delete it, right?

    4. If I assign the 50% dimming curve to all my RGB pixels then I should be able to open that dimming curve in the library editor and change it (higher or lower) and then see that reflected for all pixels, right?

    Also, is there a way to open the dimming curve library when not in Display Setup with an element selected?

    Thanks for the help.... I'm about to give up on dimming curves all together because it's really slowing me down now but maybe if I have a better understanding of it it won't be so bad. If there are other posts or video's that explain this process better please send me the link... I know everyone is busy with their shows so thanks in advance for taking time to help me out!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dimming Curve Problems

    Maybe this thread will help answer your questions http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...op-as-Expected
    Kevin

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Dimming Curve Problems

    There is lot to cover in that post, so I will do my best.

    First, on custom props or creating new smart objects in the preview, and it asks about color handling or dimming curves, that is doing the same thing as if you do those steps in the display setup. The goal there was to limit the trips back and forth between preview and display setup. So if you do those steps in the preview you do not need to do them again in display setup.

    Generally the default is to replace the dimming curve if it exists. There are options in the dimming curve setup that can add new ones if you choose to, so you need to verify the selection there. If should default to replacing existing. The best practice is to create a library curve for the dimming you want to do. I do this for each prop or group of the same props you want to be the same, and name the curve for the the prop. Then you can edit the curve and you don't have to go through the wizard to add or update it. The only caveat is you need to restart Vixen after you edit a dimming curve for it to take effect. That is an item we need to fix.

    It sounds like you understanding of how to setup a dimming curve is correct. It should generally go from 0,0 on the left to some higher value on the far right. A simple / with 0,0 on the left and 100, 50 on the right is a simple linear 50% dimming.

    Questions:

    1. Dimming curves have one input and one output patch point. If the dimming curve is before the color breakdown which is generally the common approach, the dimming curve should have one input patched to the element and the output to the color breakdown.

    2. The dimming curve is applied to any effect on that element after the fact. So if you have a dimming curve set for 80% and the Set level is at 100 or full brightness, the output will be 80% of 100. If you set the effect level to 50 or half bright, a simple linear 80% dimming will be 80% of 50, or 40. The goal of the dimming curve is to have it applied automatically so you don't have to think about it when sequencing. Just set the effect at the level you want to see and the curve will apply the desired reduction to it. You will not see the effect of a dimming curve in the preview. It only happens on the actual lights. The layman way to see if it is working is to look at the lights using asimple set level effect at 100% and seeing if that looks like the level you want.

    3. Dimming just transforms the brightness of anything it sees, so if you have it set at a linear 80% curve you cannot output at 100% of the lights capability after that. 80% is now your max brightness.

    4. Yes, this is correct. Just remember that you need to restart Vixen after you edit it for it to take effect as a dimming curve.
    4a. The curves can be edited in the sequencer in the Curve Library. Depending on how your view is set, that may be a toolbar in the sequencer with the curves, or a docker window with the curves in it. You may need to use the View menu to enable it. This is the same place the library curves for your effects are.

    Hope that helps. Feel free to ask more questions if needed. We have been seeing a lot of questions about dimming curves, so it seems like we need to add some more documentation around them.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Dimming Curve Problems

    Thanks Jeff, that helped a bunch, especially the "restarting" part. Sorry about asking so many questions at one time but I felt like I was getting no where fast and time is running out. I will go through my dimming curves again and see if I can get things straightened out.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Dimming Curve Problems

    I added a section in the docs last night that provides some information as well.

    http://www.vixenlights.com/vixen-3-d...imming-curves/

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Dimming Curve Problems

    Jeff,

    Thanks for adding that information to the documentation section. I always struggled with this myself. I believe i have a better understanding now.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Dimming Curve Problems

    Dimming Curves demystified.... awesome, thanks so much!!!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Dimming Curve Problems

    Looking at the instructions (here and updated manual) for dimming curve I see my main problem was I didn't fully understand the curve and my linear curve went from 0,0 to 50,50 - why I did that I'm not completely sure but some lights were so dim I thought they were off. Anyway all the explanations were REALLY helpful in my understand and application of these dimming curves and I'm in the process of redoing all the them (unpatch, set and repatch).

    BTW there is a typo in the manual addition... "The about curve will produce the same values out that come in and will not do any dimming." I think that should be "above curve"

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