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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Setting up moving lights (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

hugmagic
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Guys, I am looking for any tricks you know on setting up moving lights quickly. My son is working in a theater. He has guys try to help him on different jobs but then he has to refocus all the movers so it becomes not much of help.

He is in a stationary theater so once he sets it stays put unless someone decides to move them to get at something else. A degree here and there and can really through the whole programming off.

Are there any tricks to mark the grid to rehang and focus the lights? I thought maybe even some kind of laser tool. I know there has to be tricks with so many guys using movers in traveling shows.

Any thoughts or references are welcome. Thanks.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Ray Pierce
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I want to get the problem straight to figure out a potential solution. Is it when someone takes the movers down and he has to remount them and make sure the preprogrammed moves hit the same spots? If so, then he needs to have points on the stage (or somewhere) so that when he checks or remounts them and they are in a home position, they will be aiming at specific points that can be marked and verified. They can either be hard marks (painted or otherwise) or marks that can be triangulated. I use 2 cloth tape measures from two constant points (Proscenium opening, apron stair edges, etc.) and just mark the two measurements at the intersection. (St L - 16' 4", St R - 32' 5") I can lay out an entire stage pretty fast this way

In the old days when the lights were all traditional (non-moving) fixtures and were lowered in on pipes, we would have a focus chart on a large roll of paper we would place on the floor under the pipe. While the light bar was down at head height, we could focus the lights on the right marks on the paper so that when we raised the pipe to working trim, they would end up at the right spot. You could use a similar technique for your movers. As long as they are at a home position, the other positions should be ok.

When I'm using mine, they aren't hanging but all on the ground and on standing trusses so I can get to all of them without a lift. I have written a null cue that I use to focus them all on a single point in the center of the stage. I just pull up that cue on the board, then aim all the lights at the common point for a initial focus. Once they are focused there, the other cues all work out.

Hope this helps assuming that was the right question!
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
socalmagic
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I use moving lights and every show is in a different location. I have tried the common focus point, but I could never get it exactly right because of small differences in the height, angle, and location of the lights. My solution to make it easier to focus the lights is to have the scenes layered, so that I only use ten locations, and all of the other parts of the scene are layered on. For example, gobo, color, shutter, etc. This allows me to set 10 locations rather quickly, and then I have several hundred scenes based on those 10 locations. You will need a slightly more advanced light board or software in order to do this.
Ray Pierce
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Yes, those are all great points! The common focus technique ONLY works if you have the same light plot and absolute (not relative) coordinates for the lights. Since mine are all on the floor or truss stands, I can always keep them the same distance and angle from my center point on most stages. Since the OP was discussing using them in one single theater it should work in theory. If you're always in a different size venue and having to use different positions it's really hard without doing a lot of reprogramming each time. It sounds like you have a great work around for this. Keep in mind, that its not critical if you're just using them for pan and scan effects. It's only important if you're expecting the to triangulate for a specific cue, which I'm sure would happen inn most illusion shows.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
hugmagic
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I used to use triangulate method to locate buried sewer service lines years ago.

Thanks for all the input. I am kind of at a disadvantage because I do not have at hand or seen the set up exactly. They are running Kerry Pollack's program so it is a repeatable sequence. My son explained the problem was every time work was done the lights were not put back exactly where they were before.

You guys have given some good points that I will pass on to him. I am sure it is something he will figure out.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
ClintonMagus
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To expand a bit on Richard's question, how can you ensure that lights that are removed can be reinstalled exactly where they belong? Can you mount angle iron on the truss along two adjacent sides of the fixture so the fixture can be aligned correctly every time?
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
hugmagic
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I would use color coded tapes to put on the rail and the bracket. A piece of tape on each side will get you in the ballpark. I would assume that you could also use a level to level the light (talking movers here).

All of that will get you in the ballpark but you still are going to have to do some focusing.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
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