Effects engine

iamgodsromanceiamgodsromance Registered User
edited February 2008 in Wholehog 3 General Discussion
Could someone please explain how exactly the effects engine works? I know you can do ballyhoos and sttuff with it but how do you find out what numbers to do and stuff? I am fairly new to lighting and have only made one ballyhoo with the effects engine.


  • amir877amir877 Registered User
    edited May 2006
    Open + Effect will open effect window + effect directory
  • ebardesebardes Registered User
    edited May 2006
    Effects are applied to the base value of each parameter.

    Table is sort of like Oscillator. You've got a few different patterns: Sine wave, Step [Square Wave], Sawtooth, and so on.
    Rate is how fast the Oscillator "runs."
    Size is how "Amplitude" is from the effect is applied to the base value. Some of my fixtures were far enough away I had to really cut back on the value to make it look good.
    Offset is how much to put the Oscillator "out of phase". If you dig under the covers, the "Circle" effect is both pan and tilt on Sine with one of them 90deg out of phase.

    You can get an oval by increasing the size of just pan or tilt.
    Figure-8, double the rate on pan.
    A stupid easy trick to chase lights is select a group of fixtures, put the intensity on Sine, bump up the rate, then "Fan" the offset.
  • teericksonteerickson Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited May 2006

    Eric gave a good description of effects engine basics.

    The effects engine allows you to apply a waveform to any parameter of any fixture. This allows you to do far more than just ballyhoos. You can write custom rainbows, strobes, iris effects, or just about anything that you can imagine.

    The effect table is the waveform that is applied to the parameter. To apply a table, you must first set a value for that parameter. The value that you set is the base value for the waveform. If you set intensity at 50% and put a sine wave on intensity, the intensity will smoothly fade above and below 50%.

    Rate is the speed at which an effect runs and is specified in cycles per minute.

    Size is how large the effect will travel from the base value. Size is usually specified using the same unit as the parameter you are applying the effect to. Using my example above, with a sine wave on intensity and a base value of 50%, a size of 50% will cause the effect to reach 0% and Full. You can specify a size that is larger than the range of the parameter. This will cause the waveform to be cropped at the top and the bottom of the range.

    Offset controls where in the waveform a fixture will begin running the effect. If you dial the offset for all of your fixtures together, you won't see any significant changes. The power of offset is when you use it with fanning. Holding the Fan key and dialing an encoder will spread the values of the parameter you are working with across the fixtures in your selection. If you Fan the effect offset, you can create patterns and random looking effects.

    Length is easiest to understand if you think of it in relation to rate. If you set a rate of 10 cycles per minute, the "time slice" for a single cycle of your effect to run is 6 seconds. If you set length to 50%, your effect waveform will run in 3 seconds and then the sit at the base value for 3 seconds. If you set the length above 50%, the effect waveform will not run completely before the next cycle starts.

    N Shot sets how many times the effect will run. By default, the effect will continue running until another cue stops it. Setting N Shot to 2 will run 2 complete cycles of the waveform and then stop at the parameter base value.

    Fade, Delay, and Path allow you to set timing for your effects that are different from the parameters that they run on. You can have an intensity base value bump in a time 0 and then have the effect fade in a 5s fade.

    I hope this helps you understand what tools you have available in the effects engine window. Here is an example of one way that you could take advantage of both the effects engine and the Hog 3's "real-world" fixture model:

    Imagine that you have some color mixing fixtures and you want to create a random looking fire effect using the color mixing that only uses reds, oranges, and yellows.

    Select your fixtures.
    Dial Saturation to 100%.
    Dial Hue to a nice orange (this will be the center point of your effect).
    Open the Effects Engine window.
    Apply a sine wave to Hue.
    Dial the size down so that you are seeing red, orange, and yellow, but you aren't seeing magenta or green.
    Adjust the Effects Rate to your liking.
    Hold Fan and dial the Effects Offset until the effect looks random.

    This would be very difficult without an effects engine or just using CMY parameters. You would probably end up having to write a cuelist with cues that have each light in the color you want.

    Please let me know if there are any other questions I can answer for you.

  • rosswillrosswill Registered User, Hog Beta
    edited May 2006
    Can I add a reminder to follow up the effects morphing/tracking issue where cues 1 and 2 have the same effect running but at different speeds? Currently the effect in cue 2 is restarted causing a perceived glitch to the output.


  • teericksonteerickson Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited May 2006

    This is one of my personal pet peeves as well. I've added your comments to bug #3046.

  • dslodkidslodki Registered User
    edited February 2008
    When I'm programming a single channel as a random intensity effect for a flicker (think television set, movie projector, candlelight, firelight) the "random" effect is not random, i.e. it seems to pick a series of six or eight values at random and cycles through them again and again. The result is a very inorganic look. Is this in fact what is going on? It certainly does not seem "random." I seem to recall the effects engine in the Hog2 doing a better job of this. Of course this can be mitigated by more channels, for purposes of this discussion that is not feasible. So, a true "random" (and "random rate" within that effect, or a "time" parameter with the effects engine) would be nice.
  • Marty PostmaMarty Postma Registered User
    edited February 2008

    You are correct the "Random" tables in the FX engine are not truly random...this is because the FX engine works off of a cyclical table.

    The H2 & H3 have the same random tables: Random 1 - stays mostly in higher DMX values, Random 2 - stays mostly in mid DMX values, Random 3 - stays mostly in low DMX values

    I wouldn't expect to see this change anytime soon.

    If you want true random....build a chase and set it to be Random uder Cuelist Options , trigger via comment macro.

    Hope this helps.:)
  • J CriminsJ Crimins Registered User
    edited February 2008
    The H3 does so many things brilliantly, this little nagging detail bums me out at times because flicker fx can sometimes be a really big part of certain scenes for us feature film guys. The ability to set a truly random effect on a single channel with one button press would really speed up the work flow on some heavy flash and trash effect days. And no, I don't expect it to change any time soon.
  • Mike HansonMike Hanson Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited February 2008
    For the flicker effects have you tried using a path of "shake" and in a 4 or more step chase and make it random?
  • J CriminsJ Crimins Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Thanks, Mike.
    I'll fiddle with "shake" and see what it can do.
  • barnes2000barnes2000 Registered User, Hog Beta
    edited February 2008
    I think John and I have had discussions about this before, but on a "Random" chase, the cues are choosen randomly, but are they triggering at a random rate as well? I seem to recall this being the case. This would be a nice feature...to have variables with in the cue list chase options. Sometimes I might want the cues in a list to chase randomly but at the same pace, and then sometimes I might want them to chase randomly but at random timing too.
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