With our continuous development of Designer software, we have upgraded a few of the capabilities of the VLC family Controllers.
From 2.8.0, the following changes/additions have been made:
- White space management; allowing a content target multiplier to scale content on arrays where there is a lot of physical space between pixels
- Support for 60Hz
- Improvements to 16-bit support to ensure full resolution available at low intensity master values
- Finer precision on fixture rotation
This post will cover these in more detail, as well as show you how to use them.
White Space Management
With the popularity of the VLC in larger facades and outdoor lighting spaces, we have had requests for us to be able to stretch a Content Target to a larger size than 1920 x 1080 for cases where they have fixtures laid out to a 1 to 1 scale, therefore leaving plenty of white space around them.
To use this feature, there will be a new dropdown in the Mapping view, within the Content Target Properties panel:
Within the Transform section, you will notice the new tool; Multiplier. In the above example, we have set this to 2, which would mean we can create a content target up to 3840 x 2160. The multiplier can be set to a value of 1, 2 or 4.
However, please note that the width and height will remain limited to 1920 x 1080, as that is what we render the content at, but the visual size of the content target will act as width * multiplier x height * multiplier.
Finer Rotation Precision
Within Pharos Designer, we can now support a rotation of 0.01 degrees, allowing for a much smoother rotation on larger Content Targets.
This applies both to setting the rotation in the Mapping view, as well as with the Transition Target action.
This can be seen in the screenshot in the White Space Management section, as well as below:
Support for 60Hz Playback
60Hz playback allows Pharos Controllers to process cycles at an even faster refresh rate than previously offered, enabling Triggering to respond at a more granular level, and Lighting Playback to support video that has been created at higher fps. This allows the controllers to match a 60fps video, group presets and, on the VLC family units, output Matrix effects at a higher refresh rate for improved visuals.
Although this is available on all Pharos Controllers, it is expected to be more often used by installations requiring the larger controllers (LPC X, VLC, VLC+) that also have more processing overhead available. Please be aware that fully loaded smaller units may miss cycles due to the increased workload.
The 60Hz refresh rate is optimised for outputting to the various eDMX protocols supported. When it comes to local or physical DMX ports (on the LPCs, EXT and EDNs) please note that only the first 340 channels of a universe can output at this higher frequency, based on the baud rate of the DMX specification. Please be aware the limit may also exist on third party nodes that receive and convert controller eDMX data too.
Improvements to 16bit Support
We have now implemented 16bit support for the VLC and VLC+, allowing fixtures to correctly use the full palette available to them as they transition from one colour to the next.
Please note, this still only applies to crossfades between any two given colours; support for setting a colour in 16bit not yet supported.