Weigl Animation and DMX Lighting Basic Operation Quickstart Guide
VenueMagic 2.5.75 and higher is required for the directions in this manual, as is Firmware versions 1.37 and higher (gen 2 devices only). While many of the features described in this manual are applicable for the older WEMC-1 and ProCommander® 2 devices prior to 1.37, not all features will perform exactly as described. Where possible, please always upgrade to the latest firmware via the network bootloader as demonstrated in the documentation for your specific Weigl device.
This document is provided to get your VenueMagic and Weigl system up and running as soon as possible, with the least amount of configuration where applicable. These instructions particularly pertain to the creation of animatronic and lighting shows which contain less the following attributes in nature:
512 Channels of DMX lighting
4 Analog Outputs
4 Servo Outputs
2 channels of Audio
16 Digital Outputs
Triggered on startup automatically or via up to 16 contact closures or IR signal
1 timeline active at once
If your show contains more than the above configuration, please refer to additional documentation for the specific unit you are using.
Step 1: Connect the Weigl ProCommander® or Pro I/O device to the same network as your PC that you will be using for both configuration and programming.
Step 2: Verify the IP address of your computer. You’ll find this information under your network settings or through various free websites, if connected to the Internet.
Step 3: If your unit has a joystick on the front panel, set the IP address to match the range of the unit. (192.168.1.xxx). Do not set it to the same address as your machine. Further information in regards to setting this IP address via the joystick can be found in the menu flow diagram or the user manual for that specific unit. (Please note that the ProCommander® ES and ProCommander 1 / WEMC-1 units do not have device configuration settings and will have to be configured using the configurator steps below).
Step 4: Run the Weigl Hardware Configurator Utility (Version 1.0 Production or higher)
Step 5: Scan for devices
Step 6: Note the IP Address after the scan. Double – Click on the unit you wish to configure for
use. The control port defaults to 5555 in, 5556 out. If you don’t know what this means, that’s ok too, generally the ports configure themselves in most typical applications.
Step 7 (alternate or for ProCommander® ES or ProCommander® 1 / WEMC-1): Attach a serial connection if your unit is equipped with a DB-9 serial port, or attach a USB cable to the device. This is included with some models and connects from a USB-A (PC/Mac side) to a Mini-USB (ProCommander® Side) connection. When using a serial connection, ensure that drivers for your machine serial port, or the USB serial adapter are installed as applicable. Windows should see this device in control panel regardless of the connection type. When using the USB direct connection on newer ProCommander® units, ensure that the USB2Serial driver .inf file has been installed by your Microsoft Windows operating system. Further instructions on this are found in the manual for your unit. This file is universal to all Weigl products and included in each firmware download package.
** THE WEIGL USB CONNECTION REQUIRES AN .INF DRIVER TO BE ACTIVE IN WINDOWS FOR USE BY THE CONFIGURATOR SOFTWARE**
Step 8: Test any of the output parameters (digital inputs / outputs / DMX etc.) as desired in configurator before closing the Window.
- Step 9: Close Configurator and Launch VenueMagic.
- Step 10: Open a New Project. This also opens a new timeline.
Step 11: Save the timeline and your new project.
Step 12: Navigate to the drop down menu > Devices | Setup Devices. It make take a few seconds
to open this window.
Step 13: Open the Supported Devices tab.
- Step 14: Highlight the Weigl Devices (WEMC1 in older versions) check box and click Properties.
- Step 15: In the Select Weigl Devices click the Pro Commander 2_1 check box and the Pro Commander should be found automatically if it’s on the same subnet.
** If anything in these windows is dramatically different, such as the device not being detected here, please close VenueMagic and return to configurator for additional troubleshooting **
- Step 16: Close both windows by clicking OK twice and now the ProCommander® should be listed under the Fixtures tab:
** Please note that if you connected a Pro I/O or ProCommander® ES you may see slightly different information in this window, generally either truncating audio or I/O outputs. This is normal **
Step 17: Double click anything on the fixture (ProCommander® or Pro I/O) from the media pool on the left hand side and the Edit Fixture Settings window will pop up:
**Here, you can rename the axes, and also test them using the slider on the right **
Step 18: Create “Lamp” tracks for the outputs you want to control in your timeline. You can do this either through the Insert | Lamp Track drop down or using the Icon:
Step 19: Drag a ProCmndr control channel (like DigiOut01) to the “Lamp” track (you can drag multiple outputs onto a single track):
Step 20: Drag a “Level Control” Envelope from the Lamp Effects folder to the track.
Step 21: Edit the length as needed. Make sure that the
“Enable Device Communications” button is pressed.
These above steps are all it takes to begin building your complete Weigl driven show experience. From this point, each application will be unique, but you should have the ability to control any of the hardware elements attached to your Weigl device.
The remainder of this Quickstart guide contains documentation specific to lighting control, as well as animation programming using external hardware and recordable level control envelopes.
Additionally, brief instructions are included to export your show from the PC used to program, to a MicroSD flash card for standalone playback.
** For theses specific exceptions to the Weigl ecosystem, please see additional documentation on our website for further explanation **
ProCommander® LTC operation
ProCommander® LX operation and multi-channel audio export
Advanced Programming Interfaces for ASCII commands internal and external to the Weigl control
Additional Pro I/O expansion modules used in conjunction with any ProCommander® (stand alone
Pro I/O modules will follow these same instructions)
DMX Lighting Control via a Weigl Hardware Device
First, make sure that your DMX output settings are connected properly to the Pro Commander.
** If using a ProCommander® 2, you may have options to insert the DMX input into your project via a lighting console or legacy control system. **
Then, to add fixtures, navigate to the drop down for: Devices | Fixtures and open this screen:
Patch your channels as needed by selecting the fixture on the left and then dragging it to the patch space on the right. This is essentially a fixture based soft patch utility.
Multiple fixtures can be patched at one time and will reflect in the media pool upon exit from this Window.
The VenueMagic team is constantly adding fixture profiles into the VenueMagic fixture library. If your device does not exist, or is slightly different from the included template, options also exist in this window for custom fixtures and editing abilities.
Close this window and return to the main layout / timeline.
Create a lamp track from the drop down menu or the icon bar at the bottom of the screen. The
icon to add this lamp track is this:
Drag a fixture or ProCommander® device attached to a lighting fixture to the lamp track and
Drag a Level Control envelope or other effect onto the timeline.
From the Edit Envelope window, press the little
icon to enable live editing.
Additionally, you can record this information live using an external MIDI, Joystick or Keyboard
input. DMX mapping and recording options exist for all devices other than the ProCommander® ES.
Right Click on the Audio Folder in the browser and click “Import Audio File” to bring in any audio files you want to use. It will take a few seconds to process the file.
Drag an audio file to the audio track, and right click on the Audio Track 1 configuration zone on the left to bring up the track properties. Click “Master Sync Track” so that the files will export properly.
Test your track—the audio will come out the built-in audio output on your computer (not the pro commander).
Again, prior to exporting the track, ensure that you have the master sync track enabled. It will turn green and show “Master Sync Track,” below the track header.
Additional audio tracks can be added for preview purposes, but will not be mixed down at this time. Programs such as Audacity and others can be used to record the system output of your machine and recreate your live mixed effects for the purpose of recording to the MicroSD card output (see later sections in this quickstart guide).
** If additional audio tracks are being added for the purpose of multi-channel export, DO NOT select master sync track and refer to the Weigl device manual for your supported multi-channel device. **
Getting Started with Recording a Level Control Envelope
Any type of animation or movement is controlled in the timeline by inserting a Level Control Lamp Effect. Inserting a Lamp Effect onto a track tells VenueMagic you plan on using that track to define motion and eventually route it to an output channel. When a Lamp Effect is added to a track the Level Control is what defines the actual “level” of motion. The graphical representation of the animation is called an Envelope.
Envelopes are designed (or shaped) in the timeline or using the Envelop Editor. Precise control and fine adjustments are more easily achieved in the Envelop Editor and often performed after initially recording is performed live. The following sections recommend easy ways to record, freeform and edit your channel data through the use of these envelopes.
Configuring Level Control Properties
Although it is possible to completely define motion using the timeline and envelop editor, it is usually more efficient (and fun) to record in real-time using an input device. The first step for recording your own animation is to setup what type of input device you will be using and map it to the correct output Channels. You have the option of using a DMX, MIDI or joystick input devices.
SELECTING CHANNELS TO RECORD
Selecting which channels will be “recordable” is a two-step process:
Activate Levels for a Channel.
Enable recording for active Levels.
The Select Recordable Channels list shows all of the output Channels available for a selected Level Control effect. This number will vary based on the connected device being controlled with that Level Control. Select the box on each Level# for which you want to activate. When you do this, the activated Level will appear in the Select Channels to Record list below.
In the lower, Select Channels to Record list, check the output Channels you wish to enable for recording during timeline playback. Unchecked Channels will not record new data, but will playback their pre-recorded data (if any) when the timeline is running. If you do not want a channel to playback then leave it unchecked.
Assigning Input Channels to Lamp Tracks
Perhaps a little clarification is needed at this point. There are two types of Channels in VenueMagic.
Input Channels receive data from an external controller and are used to capture control data to a Level Effect.
Output Channels send data out from a Level Effect to an animatronic, light or other device.
The Channels you selected in the previous section are defining the Output Channels. The next step is to specify which Input Channel controls which Output Channel while it is being recorded.
1. Select an Output Channel in the Select Channels to Record list and click on the Select Input button.
2. This brings up the Select External Control window from which you can select an Input Channel to use to control that channel.
While the timeline is recording, this functions similarly to the Channel Router in that each Output Channel is controlled directly by its assigned Input Channel.
Recording a Track in Real-time
In most cases you will only want to record a few Channels at a time. To define which channels will be recorded, check the Enable Recording. When you close the Level Control Properties window, you will see that the Level Control clip’s title bar has changed to red and the clip title now includes “(Record ENABLED).”
You can also enable recording by right clicking on the clip and selecting Record Channels.
To enable recording for all selected Level Control Clips on which recording has been setup, clicking on
the shortcut button in the timeline toolbar. SELECTING A RECORD TRIGGER
The Record Trigger buttons select how recording is initiated for a clip when timeline playback has started. The following trigger modes are available:
Timeline Playback: Recording begins immediately when the timeline is run.
Manual Recording (Ctrl-R): is toggled on/off (while timeline is running. This functional is available in all modes.
• First Data Change (auto punch-in): Recording begins when the first input data is received. This applies to all channels. If you are controlling channels with several sliders, moving one of the sliders will start recording for all channels in the clip.
When a record mode has been defined the effect title says, “(Record WAITING)”.
As soon as recording is triggered the clip’s appearance changes and says, “(Recording...).”
Recording of selected channels will begin when the time cursor reaches the clip. When timeline playback stops, the newly recorded data will appear in the clip.
When the timeline stops after a recording, the clip is automatically taken out of record mode. This is done to prevent accidentally recording over data. If you want clips to remain in record mode after the timeline stops, click on the Record Lock button in the timeline toolbar.
For more information on real-time recording, see Real-time Recording and Editing of Channels and Level Control topics in the VenueMagic user manual.
Recording from External MIDI Controller
Plug in a MIDI device and ensure that it’s configured properly.
Start Venue Magic and navigate to the drop down for Devices | Setup Devices
Click the MIDI Tab. It may take a few seconds to open this window.
Select your device.
Close this window (it may take a few seconds to process).
Navigate to the drop down menu for Tools | Monitor MIDI Input. Hit some keys on your device
and make sure the MIDI Messages are coming in correctly. Note the messages of the keys you
want to use. Close this window.
Right click on an envelope on a track. This will open the Level Control Properties window. Select
the Setup Recording tab, select the channel you want to control, and then double click where it says Control Input. This brings up the Select External Control window. Select the appropriate input channel:
Click OK, then click enable recording and then click OK again to close.
This can be applied for ANY device that shows up in the selected input device in this menu.
Depending on the hardware connected to your computer and the Weigl hardware being used, this includes the following: PC keyboard, MIDI device, DMX input by channel or batch capture, USB Joystick, USB D/A device, ProCommander® input (real-time), Serial Device and other USB human interface controls. All of the following steps below apply the same regardless of the input device being used and can be changed at any time during recording without effecting the recorded data within the track.
Your track should then show Record ENABLED:
Press the space bar to start recording. Note: The track will not show any new data until you stop recording. This is the standard method of recording and works for most simple shows. Please note that you have many options within the record properties and each is specific to a type of output. For animation, we encourage users to try the “first data change,” option as this allows you to record lock (remain in record) and allow the system to only record data when new information comes in, leaving your animation intact for playback and loopable timing and review. Particularly useful in animating mouth movements, this is a powerful tool.
** Additional methods are marker based in/out points and keystroke and external command structures to record and playback data. For more information, refer to the VenueMagic help topic on this particular point. **
The following envelope editor can be access via double-clicking the envelope or through various icons or drop down menus.
This allows for specific, frame accurate manipulation of show data and how it interacts with the track around it.
Note: To edit this recorded data envelope you use a different set of tools then if you edited the envelope directly using the mouse. These tools only become active when you have selected a recorded track:
You then highlight part of the track and select the appropriate recorded data editing tool.
Right clicking on an appropriate envelope in the Show Envelopes window also brings up the Adjust Envelope window that can do a lot of things, including importing an audio file to get the
background. (This only works with .wav files).
**Note: Turning off the Select Recordable Channels in the Level Control Properties window disables the recorded data but shows the directly programmed (with the mouse) data.
Exporting to the Weigl Pro Commander for Stand Alone Playback
(VenueMagic Version 2.5.100 and newer)
Save your project.
Under the “File,” drop down menu, select the item for “export project”
Create a folder on your local hard drive and then browse to it. Make sure all the Export boxes
Click next on the next window to take the default settings. Assign Audio 1 on the HW Audio Output window (ProCommander® LX requires additional configuration here):
Finally, you’ll need to add your timelines to the Ad-Hoc export window:
This window (invoked upon pressing “add” or later “edit”) allows the addition of up to 999 timelines in repeating, unique fashions to help facilitate the easy creation of complex logic events. From this window, you can add additional shows or edit existing ones in the list that is saved within the project file itself:
The most basic operation would be to add your timeline from the list (auto populates from your project) and select auto start and loop. This allow for your show to play back to back without additional configuration.
Additional options direct from this menu include interrupt and start options, as well as assignment to digital inputs or IR remote functions and variable dependent trigger options. These variables can relate back to a timeline to check for playback conditions or other playlist and interactive driven functions.
For additional programming and export options in this project based export format, please see the documentation included within VenueMagic and the Weigl ASCII protocol for direct control of devices.
Finally, in advanced applications, this export functionality can be integrated with the VenueMagic event track for the creation of playlists and interactive applications. Please see the VenueMagic documentation for event tracks and the try specifically the commands within the ProCmdr Control Event shown here:
Once you are happy with the layout of your export, click Finish and the show will export, and command line window will open up as the audio is converted. Close the export results window.
The system creates two folders: Audio and Shows, and a control.ini file:
The Audio folder should contain converted audio files:
The Show folder will contain at least one show, yours and also possibly show 50, which is the playlist itself in legacy applications using the VenueMagic playlist function (prior to version 2.5.100).
Insert your MicroSD card (you will need an SD-MicroSD adaptor. Copy these two folders and the .ini file into the root directory of the card. Power off the pro commander and insert the card.
Power up the ProCommander® unit and you can use the front panel controls to run the show. Up
arrow brings up the Start Show dialog. Pressing the control in twice should start the show. Long
pressing the control will allow you to stop a running show.
If your show contained any autostart shows, they will now activate on their own.
If you show contained any digital input or IR remote driven shows, attempt to test that
functionality at this time.
If your system is connected to an external control system such as AMX, Crestron, Medialon, Alcorn McBride or
other management systems, you may now try the related UDP or serial command from our ASCII control protocol system.
Click on Finish and exporting will begin immediately. A window will pop up to report of the progress of the export function.
Important Note: Several Windows command windows may appear if you have selected the Convert audio files option in the WEMC1 Export Settings window. This is normal.
Hopefully, by this point your solution is up and running in a comfortable and nearly completed state. We do realize that with any technology, this is not always 100% possible. Help is always available from both VenueMagic and Weigl as required. If you should have suggestions in regards to the integration of our products, or their use within the themed entertainment realm, please contact us direct at firstname.lastname@example.org
Full documentation on all of our hardware modules is located at faq.weigl.support
VenueMagic support is also included within the software and at www.venuemagic.com