13 Motion Controllers

13.1 Using DMX Motion Controllers

Capture has the functionality to allow incoming DMX channels to be mapped to control the height and rotation of objects. In these examples, we are going to look at moving truss around with DMX. The functionality is not limited to trusses only, it can be used with most objects and forms within Capture.

There are two types of DMX Motion Controllers in Capture. The DMX Mover and the DMX Rotator.

The DMX Motion Controllers are added to a project like any other object in Capture - by dragging them from the Library into one of the design views. Its best to look at the controllers like lighting fixtures, they are fixtures in the project. Its good practice to place the movers near to the object they are controlling for ease of identification and manipulation, but they may be hidden from view if required.

The DMX Mover, pictured to the right, has two blobs at each end of the range. The thicker blob indicates the default starting point of the object the Mover is attached to. The thinner blob indicates the lowest point to Mover operates to.

The DMX Rotator, pictured to the right, is shown here as it is seen in the “Orthographic Front” design view. The thick blob in the middle of the circle indicates the central rotation point that the object will rotate around. The line protruding from the centre of the circle from the blob is the default starting point. The circle itself indicates the range in which the Rotator can operate. In this case, it is a full circle as the Rotator has a range of 360 degrees.

13.2 Adding a DMX Mover

As we discussed, the first type of DMX Motion Controller is the DMX Mover.

The DMX Mover can move an object across a predefined range on the X Y Z axis. The mover can also be configured to operate on only one axis, for example Y, so that the object it is attached too will only move up and down.

Drag the DMX Mover into the project from the library. It can be found under “Motion Controllers”. Position it near to the truss it will be linked with, this will make it easier to manage projects with multiple movers.

Select the mover and access its properties in the Project Window.

Give the mover a name, using the “Unit” field. Then configure its properties to match the ranges in which you want to mover to operate. In this case, the X and Z range will be 0 and the Y range will be -5.8m as we only want the mover to move the truss up and down. 5.8m is the distance between the truss and the floor.

Select the Truss and the Fixtures you wish to move and select the DMX Mover from the “Motion Fixture” property in the Project Window.

The DMX Mover can now be selected and manipulated in the Live view just like any other fixture.

13.3 Adding a DMX Rotator

The second DMX Motion Controller is the DMX Rotator. The Rotator can be used to rotate an object around on an axis and within a specific range on that axis.

Now we add in a DMX Rotator and link the truss to it. We then go on to link the Rotator to the DMX Mover we created earlier. We call this “Chaining”. Once chained together it means that we can select both the Mover & Rotator and have individual control over both. The initial placement of the Rotator is of great importance. Wherever the Rotator is placed will be the point on which the rotation occurs. For example, we place the Rotator in the middle of the truss so that the truss Rotates around that point. Drag the DMX Rotator into the project from the library. It can be found under “Motion Controllers”.

Select the Truss and the Fixtures you wish to rotate and select the DMX Rotator from the “Motion Fixture” property in the Project Window.

Now, select the DMX Rotator and in the “Motion Fixture” property, assign the Rotator to the DMX Mover. This “Chains” the two motion controllers together so that when we select both, the truss can be moved up and down and rotated at the same time.

The DMX Mover & Rotator can now be selected and manipulated in the Live view just like any other fixtures.

13.4 Patching a DMX Motion Controller

Because a DMX Motion Controller is treated just like a Fixture in Capture, it is patched in the same manner. You can manually enter its patch and mode data in the properties tab of the Project Window, or you may use the drag function to drag it onto the start channel of a particular universe. The patch property for the controller can be found under “Control” in the selected items section of the Design tab.