Automated lighting manufactures go out of their way to provide us with outstanding fixtures that are packed with hardware and software features. One example includes the ability of color mixing fixtures to automatically cycle through a rainbow of colors. This can provide a quick, easy color chase that is defined by the fixtures themselves and not your lighting console. Another example: the color-based and pixel-based effects added into LED wash lights. Many allow you to select a particular effect and then use another channel (or channels) to modify the effect — perhaps different segments of light, or pixel shapes. Some of these effects will use your base color mixes to apply various type of chases within zones of the light. For instance, if you create three different colors on a unit, you can then have it chase between these colors, or swipe from the center out using each of your colors. It would be a shame to never use some of the tools that their engineers work hard to provide to end-users. Take it upon yourself to read the user manual and DMX protocol for every fixture you are using on your next production. See if there are unknown features for working with color (or other attributes) that you are not aware of. I bet you will find something new.
—From “Feeding the Machines” by Brad Schiller, PLSN, Nov. 2012
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