I never really fancied writing a blog as a) I don't have time, and b) I probably don't have a great deal to say. However there are a few things I want to talk about that don't fit into the online manual or anywhere else.
So this seems like as good a place as anywhere.
4th November 2007
So I have done a number of shows now with Chameleon, all with good success. Although I have found a few thing frustrating, so am going to spend some time correcting them. The last release (1.0d65), and the next few should resolve some of these things.
One was the fact that the channel, scene, and chase configuration windows are in fact panels. I have never seen this as a problem, but on one show I was helping at, there was no BCF2000 to use, and this mean that I had to open up the on screen faders quite a lot. Because panels always float above windows, you can end up with little screen real estate for faders if you want to keep the configuration windows open. My intention is to change the panels into regular windows.
Another issue I found was that sometime I ended up with scenes I didn't need, and all I could do was move them to the end of the scene list. Clearly it would be sensible if you could jut delete unused scenes. On the same note deleting chase would be equally sensible.
Because there is currently no support for fixtures, I found myself using a lot of channels for the fixture attributes, and because of lack of planning on my part before patching, I found that I often had a some channels, that would have been much better grouped together, spread out a lot. Being able to reorder the channels, and remove unused ones, would be a big improvement here. Whist that sounds quite simple, it will actually by quite a big job to do.
30th June 2007
Well I have made a lot of changes to chameleon based on the show I talked about on the 17th Apr, and a few other shows I have done since. Still not implemented the custom banks, but since you can now reorder scenes and chases, an actually embed chases in scenes it not really a big issue anymore.
It would still be good to get my hands on another BCF2000 to give me a few more faders to play with. I have also settled on the custom keyboard for the applications. Whilst you can use any HID device its clear that I need to have a predefined one for people to be able to buy and have work out of the box.
So I have picked the X-Keys Pro 56 key keyboard. It a nice keybaord and has enough keys to cover what the application needs. Its so much easier using a keyboard than the mouse and on screen controls.
I'll get some pictures, and key layouts up at some point soon. Ib the mean time I am writing some code to allow user defined buttons. These buttons (hard keys on the keyboard, or soft on screen) are linked to the faders, allowing instant access to smoke machines, or chases etc. They can be used to toggle, flash, set up timed events or even timed fades. When placed into user defined groups they can act like radio buttons, so pressing one will deactivate the other.
Its been a while since I put up a release, this is because I have been busy writing code, and not writing manuals or uploading things. you can always drop me an email if you want to see where I'm up to, or what the latest version.
17th Apr 2007
Last weekend I used version 1.0d39 of Chameleon to light a show. It was a rock concert type event, so it was all busking based.
What I found was that I had paid no real attention to setting up the scenes and chases, so they were in no particular order. This turned out to be a real pain as I would rather have grouped all the relevant scenes together.
I think a good solution for this would be to allow scenes to be re ordered. right now off the top of my head I can;t see this causing any problems with the way things work. So I will add this to my list of things to do.
The other thing, and I don't think I have mentioned this in the manual, is that the Behringer BCF2000 is supported. This means that you can call up any of the bank onto the BCF and it adjusts its faders into the right positions for that bank.
On the chase bank you can use the rotary encoder to update the speed, and in all banks the firt button above each channel is a flash button.
However 8 channels is not a lot to play with (especially if the scenes etc are not grouped nicely). So really I think I need a desk with more channels.
But it also struck me that it would be good to allow custom banks to be created where by you can have chases channels and scenes in any order you want.
It was also a little frustrating not to know easily which bank was selected on the BCF, I think that can be solved by an additional display showing which bank is selected, and what each of the faders control.