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"Fireworks" Effect How-to

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JWigPVB posted on 04-02-2012 4:08 PM

Hi! I'm running Element with EOS 1.9.10. 

We're getting ready to mount a production where we have characters on-stage looking offstage at what is supposed to be a display of fireworks in the air. 

I had planned to use a RBGAW LED Par (TyLED) offstage on a tree to shoot colored light back onto the actors' faces to simulate the glow of the fireworks.

What would be the best type of effect to use to accomplish the look of a quick, bright flash of color, fading out , followed (with varying interval) another quick, bright flash/fade of a different color? 

Thanks so much for the help,

Jim Wiggins

Players by the Sea Community Theatre

Jacksonville Beach, FL

Buy the ticket, Take the ride.

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18 Posts

There are a couple ways of achieving this, do you need these fireworks to go on until the next cue is taken (no matter how long that is)? or do you know you want them to happen for a set amount of time then stop?


Personally I would create two effects, an intensity and an absolute color effect. The intensity effect I would draw my own line with a big spike at the front, then a quick curve towards the bottom, leaving the instrument at zero for about half the effect. This will give you an initial big bang, then a fade down to zero, then a couple seconds before the next "firework" goes off.

The second effect I would make absolute and have the LED step through any number of color pallets you like in a random order.

I would then time these two effects so that the color effects only takes the next step when the intensity effect is at zero.

So lets say both effects have a time of 5. For the first two seconds, the intensity effect is at a non-zero level. I would have my absolute color effect change colors every 5 seconds. I would create the first cue to set the intensity effect on the channel, and place at lease a 2 second follow time on the cue. The next cue I would apply the color effect to the channel, effectively offsetting the effects by 2 seconds.

The only downside to programming it like this is that you won't get the varied intervals, there will be a new "firework" every 5 seconds.


Another option would be to just hard program the values into a sequence of auto-follow cues, and while you could more specifically choose the colors and timing by doing it this way, it will always last the same amount of time (which could be a good or a bad thing, just make sure you operator knows to by standing by with a [go to cue] command in case the actors forget half their lines and end the scene before the per-programmed length of the fireworks show.

It's been awhile since I've programed on an Element (opposed to Eos), but you should be able to do this on the Element. I hope this makes sense... I've kinda rambled on.

Top 500 Contributor
25 Posts

Thanks so much for the reply.  Lots of things to try here, and I appreciate your thorough response.

I do need to have the timing vary, so I've been trying to use the "bump button" timing on the submasters, which seems to work (mostly).  I've got 5 submasters, each programmed with a different color, and have tweaked the timing so that they come up in zero seconds, dwell for a half second, then fade out over 2 seconds.  Looks cool, except the LED fades through all the colors as the intensity fades out, so what starts with a red flash, fades out with a shift towards white. 

Oh well, back to work.  Thanks again for the help, i've learned a lot.



Buy the ticket, Take the ride.

Top 500 Contributor
18 Posts

On an Ion I would tell you to make that an intensity master, so the color attribute will "snap" to full whenever it's played back, however I don't recall off the top of my head if this feature is available on the Element.

What's happening there is the color values are recorded into the subs as well as the intensities, that's why the color is fading out as well as the intensity. To fix this you want to take the color information out of the subs. to do this press [Blind] [Sub] {x} [Channel] {y} [Color] @ [Enter]. This will leave only the intensity information in that submaster. In order to make the fireworks change colors between shots, you'll have to manually change the color value between shots through the use of direct selects. It'll add another layer of complexity to operating the show, but it'll keep the color from fading along with the sub. Don't forget when this sequence is over to sneak the color information out so normal playback can have control of the channel

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