Chapter 123. Version 1.6.6.2

123.1. New Functions

123.1.1. 3D Pixel Mapping

MagicQ now supports 3D Pixel Mapping, enabling easy control of LED ceilings, chandeliers and other 3D LED objects.

MagicQ includes a library of simple to use 3D effects which can be added on top of the existing 2D effects. Additional pixel mapping layers can also be used to modulate in 3D by controlling the offset and width of the 2D FX - stunning 3D effects can be created very quickly.

MagicQ supports 3D grids and multiple fixtures can be inserted into the 3D grid in one go making it easy to create the grid mapping.

In the Output Window, View Plan a grid can be made into a 3D grid by pressing SHIFT and SET GRID DEPTH. This makes the current grid into the starting grid and allocates the following grids to make up the depth. The following grids must be empty (0/0 size) before they can be allocated to a 3D grid. For example, to make a 10x10x20 grid - go to grid 1, set the grid size to 10x10. Then set the grid depth to 20. Grid 1 then becomes a 3D grid using grids 1 to 20. The Grid is shown on Encoder A as grid 1-1 (20) to 1-20 (20). MagicQ no longer shows grids 2 to 20.

Fixtures can be now be inserted into the grid in 3D direction as well as the normal way - horizontally or vertically. Pressing INSERT HEADS gives a list of options. When inserting in 3D direction the starting position in 3D is determined by the Grid number. For example if you have Grid 1 as a 10x10x20 grid then inserting a 5 element multi head fixture into Grid 1-1 using 3D Direction will insert it into grids 1-1 to 1-5. If you do the same operation into Grid 1-10 then it will insert into grids 1-10 to 1-15.

The MagicQ Pixel Mapper personality (Generic_Bitmap_With FX 2.hed) has been extended to add extra channels for controlling 3D FX (Generic_Bitmap_With FX 3.hed). In the Outputs Window, View Plan pressing PATCH PIXMAP will now patch the 3D personality (FX3).

The following 3D effects are available:

  • Heightmap - This offsets the height of the current media in 3D space by using the intensity of another pixelmap layer. An optional blur effect can be added based on a third pixelmap layer
  • Heightmap - Fill up - This takes the above effect and fills the space under the 3D area with the pixel colour
  • Heightmap - Fill down - This takes the above effect and fills the space above the 3D area with the pixel colour
  • Slide - This takes the entire 3D space, and offsets it up or down over time. The current media then fills in the new blank slot. This is good for simple cascading effects.
  • Particle generation - A simple particle generation system which allows you to create particle fields with a given direction, random hues and trail effects.
  • Particle bounce - A particle system where a grid of particles use a second pixelmap layer to effect the velocity of the particles, similar to having a grid of balls laying on a speaker which are kicked up in the air

An organic fx has been added to the 2D pixelmap effects which is a first order Perlin noise generator. This can be used in conjunction with the heightmap 3D effect to make smooth waveforms.

123.1.2. Media Player Pixel Mapping integration

MagicQ software now supports complete integration of the MagicHD Media Player and the MagicQ Pixel Mapper. This enables the user to choose at any time whether LED fixtures and fixture arrays are driven from high resolution media (MagicHD), from Pixel Map effects, or from traditional lighting Cue levels. Within the Pixel Mapper the live feed output from MagicHD can be simultaneously blended with the Pixel Map effects and with the base levels from simple lighting Cues. Audio inputs can be used to control levels and mix parameters to make the LED fixtures react to the music.

This enables a wide range of effects to be produced over the LED fixtures and arrays where sometimes they are treated as media playback and other times as lighting effects with greater spatial importance.

When using a Pixel Mapper set the Media Folder to Live Feed and choose the Media File Server 1 to Server 50 to choose a feed from the appropriate media server as configured in Setup, View System, View Media.

123.1.3. Icon Snapshots

MagicQ now stores Snapshot images of the Visualisation, Media or Pixel Mapping output when recording Cues and Palettes enabling easy identification of the contents of Cues and Palettes. MagicQ grabs Snapshots directly from MagicVis and MagicHD. MagicQ can also grab Snapshots from Capture using CITP and from MSEX compliant Media Servers. Snapshots are stored into extended show files which can be transferred between consoles.

Icon snapshots are stored on the MagicQ system/console rather than in the show file - this avoids the show file getting too large. In normal operation MagicQ will save the icon snapshots to the icon folder on the MagicQ system and retrieve them when needed for display.

In order to allow MagicQ shows with icon snapshots to be transferred onto other MagicQ systems, MagicQ now supports an additional "extras" show file with the file extension ".xhw". When a show contains extra data such as snapshots then when the show file is saved using SAVE SHOW or SAVE TO USB then the additional show file is saved at the same time. This "extras" show file contains only the extra icon snapshot data, it does not contain the main programming of your show. If you wish to use your show on a different system with the icon snapshots then you need to copy both the ".shw" and ".xhw" files to the new system. When loading a new show MagicQ automatically checks for the presence of a ".xhw" file and extracts the icon snapshots from that file into the icon folder on the MagicQ system.

The "extras" file is not saved during auto saves and is only loaded (extracted) when the user loads an existing show using LOAD SHOW.

123.1.4. Plots

MagicQ now incorporates a Plot Window displaying the position and orientation of fixtures within the lighting rig. The Plot Window can show Front, Overhead and Side elevations, restricted to either Flown or Floor fixtures and the view can be moved and zoomed. The view can be restricted to only selected fixtures or to all fixtures. Fixtures can be selected from the plot window either by clicking (touching) individual items or by multi selecting multiple items. The positional information is taken from MagicVis and can be edited in the Patch Window.

The Plot Window is available on MagicQ PC for Windows, Mac and Linux and on the MQ1000. It is not currently available on Pro or Compact consoles.

123.1.5. MagicQ Stadium Panel Mode

MagicQ software for PC and Mac now supports a Stadium Panel layout as well as the older Compact and Pro layouts thus enabling MQ1000 users to pre program and run their shows from their laptops and computers. The Stadium Panel can be used together with existing MagicQ Wings (Mini, PC, Maxi, Extra, Playback, Execute). The full advantage is achieved with two full HD (1920x1080) monitors as per the MQ1000 Stadium console.

The Stadium Panel adds the extra MQ1000 buttons including HEAD, PAIR, MIRROR, TIME, VIS, PLOT and a dedicated GOTO button. There are also six multi purpose macro buttons. On older MagicQ consoles these button functions can be achieved through SHIFT/CTRL functions.

The Stadium Panel also simulates the MQ1000 fader pullback function enabling usage of the blind visualisation function to immediately visualise the contents of a playback by pulling back the fader.

MagicQ now supports an encoder on each Playback which can be configured to control a specific function such as Rate, FX Speed, FX Size, LTP crossfade, Time etc. on a per Cue Stack basis. The MQ1000 Stadium has a Playback encoder for each of the 30 Playback faders.

The Playback Encoders can also be configured on a per Cue Stack basis as stand alone Playbacks, completely separate to the Playback Faders, giving a total of 60 separate physical playbacks. These could be used for auxiliary functions that do not need dedicated faders like smoke machines, house lights, film practicals or just as additional intensity masters.

123.1.6. Net Wing Mode

MagicQ MQ60 and MQ70 consoles can now be used as network wings when connected to a PC or Mac running MagicQ thus enabling a full 64 universe show to be run from the PC/Mac but with physical control from the MQ60/70. This overcomes the 12 universe limit on the MQ60/70.

Net wing mode is activated by connecting the MQ60/70 to the PC/Mac via network and then on the MQ60/70 going to Setup, View System, View Monitors and pressing SHIFT and Remote Net Wing. The MQ60/70 will give a list of possible MagicQ systems to connect to. This is similar to remote control, except that the DMX ports on the MQ60/70 automatically are set to output the first four universes from the PC/Mac.

It is possible to configure the MQ60/70 to always start up in Net Wing mode - set Setup, View Settings, Window, Start Mode to Net Wing.

When in Net Wing mode the status bar shows NETW.

Press CTRL CLOSE to exit Net Wing Mode.

123.1.7. Audio Sound FX Playback

MagicQ now supports playback of audio files triggered from Cues within Cue Stacks for playing back sound effects in theatre shows and for playing back Cue Calls. Users place audio files in the audio folder and then can select them directly from the Cue Stack. Multiple audio files can be played at the same time and the audio volume can be configured.

In the Cue Stack use Encoder A to select View Mode to Media to choose and view the audio clip for each Cue step.

123.1.8. Context Sensitive Help

MagicQ now includes a completely rewritten help system which uses a web browser interface. Pressing the Help button jumps directly to the topic associated with the current window such as Setup and Cue Stack options. The MagicQ help system is also available on the web at www.chamsys.co.uk/help.

123.1.9. Patching Heads with Duplicated attributes

MagicQ now has improved support for Heads with more than one element of an attribute - for example a LED Wash light with 5 RGB elements or a club light with 2 tilt channels. Heads set as "Duplicated" now allow access to the individual elements and allow FX to be run over the individual elements.

By default the duplicated elements are treated as one element - so the 2nd, 3rd and 4th elements just copy the programming from the 1st element. This ensures that the Head is simple to use and appears to act as if it only had a single element.

When locating, selecting palettes and using soft buttons or encoders on attribute parameters only the first element is made active in the programmer and therefore only the first element is recorded into Cues. When the Cues are played back then MagicQ copies the calculated values from the 1st element to the other elements.

Individual elements can be selected using the dot (.) operator. For example to select the 1st element only, enter .1 NEXT HEAD or .1 @@. This sub selects only the 1st element. Pressing returns the selection to all elements. When a sub selection is active on a Duplicated Head then the specific elements will be made active in the Programmer and subsequently recorded into Cues. When the Cues are played back MagicQ uses the programming from the Cue for elements that have been recorded in to the Cue, only copying for elements that have not been recorded.

Palettes values are created only for the first element. When a sub selection is in operation MagicQ will use the value in the Palette for the first element regardless of the element selected - this avoids the need for creating separate palette information for each element. When a Palette is updated it will update Cues that use that Palette from the data for the 1st element regardless of which element is active in the Cue - ensuring that the Cue gets updated as expected.

When selecting FX for channels on a Duplicated Head that have multiple elements MagicQ prompts three options for applying the FX:

  • Dup Elements
  • Include Elements
  • Use Elements

Dup Elements treats the elements as duplicated - i.e. all elements in the head do exactly the same thing. This is the default operation which treats all the elements in a head as one. In software prior to v1.6.5.8 this was the only supported mdoe of FX for Duplicated Heads.

Include Elements includes all the elements in the FX enabling separate control of each of the elements as if they were separate heads. For example if you apply a FX to 4 heads each with 3 elements then the FX would be spread over the 12 elements.

Use Elements runs the FX within the Heads, with all Heads performing the same FX synchronously across their elements. This is the same as Include Elements except that MagicQ automatically sets Parts to the number of elements within the heads causing all Heads to have the same offset.

Heads are set as Duplicated Heads in the Multiple Heads Type field in the Head Editor. In the Head Editor, View Chans the element field (cursor right) is used to indicate the different elements. Duplicated elements always start from Element 1. All elements that are not duplicated are set to 0 (Main Element). For heads that have both a main element and a repeated element - e.g. a master RGB and then repeated RGB for each element then the master RGB is element 0 and the repeated RGBs start from 1.

123.1.10. MagicVis

Added support for Hang Types so that Heads can be fitted to Attach Objects in specific orientations. This information is also available in the MagicVis reports. Hang type options are Normal, Bottom rear, Bottom front, Top rear, Top front face up, Top front face forwards, Top boom, and Bottom Boom.

Added Shape and Angle fields to Patch, View Heads to enable specific shapes and beam angles to be set for generic heads. When set these fields override the defaults from the chosen personality. Again the shape is shown in the Fixture Patch report.

123.1.11. MQ70 Timecode support

This release includes an update of the MQ70 firmware (v1.1 which supports MIDI timecode input and SMPTE timecode input. Firmware change should not be attempted in show environments as should power be lost during the upgrade the console will become unusable. MQ70 firmware can be upgraded from Setup, View System, View Status. Reprogramming the firmware does have a small risk if the power is lost during the upgrade. We do not recommend upgrading firmware in a show environment - upgrade it when you have plenty of time before your next show. Place the cursor on the USB link and press the UPDATE FIRMWARE soft button and select v1.1 - then let the upgrade complete. Do not power off or reset the MQ70 during the update process as this could case the system to become unusable.

If for any reason you are unhappy with the new firmware you can downgrade again to v1.0 using the same method. Both versions are stored on the disc of the MQ70.

Note that this firmware should not be loaded on a MQ40 or MQ60.

123.1.12. MagicHD

Improvements to text layer. Fonts are rendered at one pixel per point regardless of size, so always appear smooth. Text window doesn’t shrink if the text is too small. Added a basic scroll modes (loop, bounce, stop), and scroll to char/line. User can select font, bold & italic. Refer to the MagicHD manual for full details.

Added shake effect.

Added media conversion dialogue box to help the user through the process of converting a file.

Media folders can now have trailing text (e.g. "001_my_loops"). Where two media files or directories have the same number, the youngest will be used in the index.

123.1.13. Other Changes

Added support for selecting the heads within a palette entry. Deselect all heads then press the palette entry twice. Note that to apply the palette to all heads that are in the palette press INCLUDE and then the palette entry.

Setup, View DMX I/O now shows when there are conflicts for Direct DMX and for MagicQ Dual DMX.

123.2. Bug Fixes

Fixed problem with Net Sessions Manual Takeover Mode whereby MagicQ systems that were previously Slaves, started up as a Master as they could not detect a MAster on teh network. Now they will remain as a Slave until the user specifically presses TAKE CONTROL.

MagicHD. Fixed problem with audio playback in previous versions. Also fixed audio playback so it doesn’t black out the layer, which was hiding lower layers.

External Touch Screen not working on Pro 2010 consoles. #0008557

Fix for getting thumbnails from Arkaos - in recent versions it would stop at category 249.