Using Color Pickers in ActionPad

Color pickers within the Action Pad are a relatively new feature in Programmer, but they have quickly become a standard feature in the majority of installations that I’ve worked on since their introduction. They are very easy to use, but they do take a couple of steps to set up properly. Please note that this article is specifically intended for use in running in live mode. While most of the process is the same for using color pickers in standalone mode with the butler XT2 and butler S2, there are some special considerations that I will cover in a separate post.

This article assumes a basic knowledge of e:cue programming .

Setting up the color picker

Configuring up the versatile masters

The color pickers work by mixing together 3 cuelists (red, green, and blue) using versatile masters. Before we create the cuelists we’ll set up the versatile masters.

  • Double click on “V-Master#1” to open its settings window
  • Set the name to “Red”
  • Make sure the curve type is set to “Linear”
  • Repeat this for the Green and Blue channels on versatile masters 2 and 3

Creating and configuring the color cuelists

  • Select the fixtures you want to use.
  • Set the color to full red and record a cuelist for red.
  • Open the cuelist properties
  • Set the “extra submaster” option to the “Red” versatile master we created earlier.
  • Repeat for green and blue.
  • Make sure to name the 3 cuelists in order to keep things straight.
  • Start each of the cuelists.
  • Make sure you don’t have your fixtures captured any more (Ctrl+Y).

Add the color picker to your Action Pad

  • Open the action pad window
  • If you’re not in editing mode, enter editing mode by clicking the Hardhat icon  icon.
  • Click on the ItemAdd button and select one of the color pickers (they both are configured the same way). I prefere the wheel version personally.
  • Double click on the color picker to open its settings window.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the settings window, and under the “Color Component Mapping” section, select the versatile masters that correspond with each color.
  • Click OK to save the settings.
  • Click the Hardhat icon button again to exit editing mode.

Use the color picker

At this point, as long as you’ve started the cuelists we’ve created, the color picker should now be working properly.

Automating it

As it stands, the color picker is usable, but we manually have to start each of the cuelists, which isn’t very user friendly, especially if  the system is being turned over to an end-user. There are a couple of ways that you would go about this, but this is how I usually do it, due the fact that it allows me to use a button on the action pad that can use the indicator light to show whether the color picker is enabled or disabled.

Create a control cuelist

We’re going to create a 4th cuelist we’ll call “Color Picker” control.

  • Record an empty cue and name it “Enable”.
  • Add an action to “Action#1” for this cue.
  • Set the action type to “Trigger Label” and set the Value to 1.
  • Open the cuelist settings and set the Release Action to “Trigger Label” value 2.

Trigger Label 1 will be used to start the color picker cuelists, and Trigger Label 2 will stop them.

Configure the triggers

  • Open the trigger window.
  • Add a new trigger
  • Set the Trigger type to “Label” and the value to 1
  • Set the Action to “Cuelist”, the cuelist to the Red cuelist, and the Action to Play
  • Repeat this for the green and the blue cuelists (using Trigger Label 1 for each)
  • Repeat again for each of the colors, but use Trigger Label 2 and set the action to Stop

Add the Action Pad button

  • Add a new button to action pad
  • Double click it to open the settings window.
  • Set the button text to “Enable Color Picker”.
  • Check the “Indicator” checkbox.
  • Set the “State Control” option to Toggle
  • Set the Action#1 to play the cuelist we just created.
  • Click OK to save the settings.

With this configuration the button will toggle the cuelist on and off, which will in turn fire trigger label 1 to start the cuelists or trigger label 2 to stop them. Often, instead of using the toggle setting I will have a series of cuelists for a single zone that are all in the same mutual exclude group so that only one of them may play at a time. I also include the “color picker control” cuelist in the mutual exclude group so that it can be an option along side a group of pre-programmed cues.

Additional Options

The steps above should allow you to have a very flexible color picker option within your show. Because


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