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 Number of fixtures 
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Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:32 am
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Hi All

I'm a new user and really enjoying the program so far.

One question.

I am entering in a plot that has a very large number of LED fixtures.

It seems I Only have 512 slots to fill to add these fixtures. I know this has nothing to do with the DMX addresses of the fixtures. Just wondering if there's something I'm missing, or are we limited to 512 fixtures in a plot?

thanks so much

Jason


Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:38 am
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Hi Jason
welcome on forum!

You are right, regular software is limited to 512 fixtures, 32 universes. This should be enough for common. In future versions we will add possibility to divide big LED surface on multiple DMX parts. Keep in mind that the best way to simulate LED wall is self emitting surface.

Anyway, have a look at LIGHTCONVERSE Servers solution that was developed to visualize up to 1536 fixtures in real time, 96 universes: http://lightconverse.net/lc/lc_sell-price.htm


Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:16 pm
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Is there any thought to allow this to be unlocked in just the dongle versions?

I know that I routinely do shows in ESP Vision and Martin Show Designer that are pushing 1500 fixtures, all light outputting.

I would think that people would accept that there will be "slow down" based on hardware limitiations.

I know that I tend to upgrade video cards yearly, to keep with the "almost" brand new top of the line video card.

All of my current viz machines (4 total) are all running with the Nvidia GTX 285's.

Nothing is over to a 64bit OS, as none of the software at current benefits from the ram, all video card based.

How does LC process and render all the light? Is it GPU dependant, or CPU dependant.

I would completely understand the "Server" option when you get into the whole Video output side of your software. However, for a lot of companies and people using the software, they are looking for a simple, good previz software, that can take in a couple of video inputs.
And asking someone to pay just over $13,000 USD for that server is a bit excessive, when you can build the computer for well under $3000 USD. With Corei7 Mobo and Processor, and Top of the line Video Card, with 64 bit os and good chunk of ram.

Just wondering what the future thoughts are one this..

I understand that going to an object that is DMX- RGB emmissive is an option- but I can not imagine drawing 1000 small 1'x6" boxes to simulate a back wall of Colorblaze 72's or Pixelines?

Just my thoughts, from someone that uses multiple versions of Previz software.

Thanks.
Tony Thompson
Upstaging, Inc.


Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:00 am
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I can't agree with you, Tony.
Regular Unlimited (up to 9 video inputs, up to 9 Hippotizer duallink connections, up to 32 video playbacks) is $3699. To have 1536 fixtures: 3*3699=$11097 and this is software only.
So 13k for a complete solution (server) that will guarantee work in real time (about 25 FPS) with 1536 fixtures, all beams out, even all of them moving, is quite resonable, isn't it?
I don't think that competing product that you shown here can drive such fixtures count. Because I know how they all made on. May be 1 frame per second at lowest quality...

About LED screen simulation, the last project was made in LIGHTCONVERSE (Winter Asian Olympic Games 2011) has a lot of screens, one of them 7400 sq.m. in size. How many fixtures you will need to draw that? It's only one self emitting 3D object with mapped media feed. That's all.


Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:20 am
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For Screen simulation- I was not talking about screen simulation, but LED fixtures themselves. I.E. a Pixeline (which has 18 cells) that are run via DMX from a console. I have done shows where I have had 100 of these running in this mode.. That would be having to draw 1800 boxes and then assign them to DMX RGB, but we are limited in geometry as well.


As far as more fixtures go. I think we are going to have to agree to disagree. I really see the need for a software option for more fixtures. The big examples is LED fixtures show, either as Light Emitting with beams, or just Face lighting, as an object with DMX RGB.. We get to the point we will be limited between objects available and lights available.

One of the biggest shows that I have done in ESP was almost 350 moving lights, all with beams, and over 2000 individual LED cell's that were emmissive. This ran at almost 20 to 25fps during full tilt boogie. And when it slowed down everyone knew it, and expected it, it is a lot going on.

This is a discussion that could go on for days, weeks, months, and I don't think we will ever be able to agree on something. I understand what you are trying to "garauntee" .
I know eventually it will become a sticking point for me and my work, as I consistently do a large number of shows, that are heavy in LED usage, and custom lights, that I will need the ability to go above the 512 mark..

I honestly feel that the majority of people would understand a bit of slowdown if they do not buy the hardware solution from you guys. At the same point I feel it should be an option for people to make there machines themselves, all commercially availably parts, and then pay an additional fee for an upgraded fixture count.

I know that when I go to my boss, and say.. so yeah the Unlimited Dongle that we bought really isn't unlimited. And if we want to do this project we need to spend an additional 13,000 for it to do it. Will not go over well, and I am the one who deals with that. And will have to explain it to him.

In the end another option needs to be sorted out.. or the "Unlimited" name needs to go away... I know for Vision and MSD an unlimited dongle is just that unlimited, with the common sense that says, the more stuff you put in a file, the slower it could run.

Thanks.
Tony


Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:11 am
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Yes, I understand.
But let me clear some things:
1. If we are talking about 1536 fixtures - it's a real 1536 lighting fixtures, up to 96 DMX channels each. They are all photometrically correct for the calculating of light and reflection for every (!) pixel on the screen. We are adding now the possibility to divide one fixture on multiple parts, so to visualize 100 Pixelines you will need 100 fixtures, not 1800.
2. If we are talking about just simulating of emmitting light from any object - you are not limited here. You can draw 1000 small boxes, or 1 object that have 1000 boxes, or 1000*1000 boxes, (1 million) no problem. That visualization is done on per pixel basis and will calculate the actual count of pixels on your screen, not more.

The "Unlimited" model of LIGHTCONVERSE is really unlimited for it possibilities. You can see that it's a topest model in a price for software solution.

LIGHTCONVERSE server - this is hardware solution. I can't understand you at this point, sorry. Can you build your own Hippotizer-HD mediaserver, or D3?

Anyway, thank you for your opinion!

ADD: about the boss, you know. When you bought LIGHTCONVERSE software how many fixtures it claims? 512. So tell him that you will probably need 3 LC work stations blended together... But there is new option right now - 3 in one workstation! :)


Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:36 am
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Hi All

I'm afraid I have to agree with Tony on many counts here.

The shows that I am doing have become exponentially heavier in terms of the number of LED fixtures. And they are not necessary in a configuration that allows me to lay them out as a "screen" . The current show I am laying out has over 500 LED fixtures, that will mostly be pixelmapped, but will sometimes need to be accessed by channel.

and as for the comment about the fact that it says 512 fixtures... it actually doesn't on the North American site. and even in the pricing on the main site, which i looked at since these posts, the only place i saw it mentioned was under the pricing for the server (where it says Normal 512/32) or something to that effect, it doesn't actually mention the 512 fixtures aspect in any of the pricing of the software. Which, frankly, to me, is very frustrating, as I bought a product that purported to provide me with 32 universes.

So basically, by that logic. if i were to put in a full 32 universes of 3 channel Led fixtures that would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 5461 fixtures.

Now I do understand that is absurd, and that the processing power for that is an issue, however I also find the logic of offering 32 universes over only 512 fixtures rather questionable too, as how many of us hang 512 Mac IIIs? to fill 32 universes with only 512 fixtures...

I'm in a bit of a time crunch, so I'm going to have to make due, by deleting an array of my LED fixtures to be able to hang the rest of my plot, but I have to say, for as much as I am enjoying the way the software looks and works, I'm frustrated by this limitation that was unknown to me before purchase.

Jason Lyons

Lighting Designer


Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:43 am
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