Cue list improvements

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Chris Laurie

Cue list improvements

Post by Chris Laurie » Sat May 25, 2013 12:24 pm

We are on performance 2 out of 6 in our community theatre group's first run with our own lights and QLC and I plan to give some feedback after the run. Here are sme preliminary comments:

1. The one thing that I think would make the world of difference to the cue list is to have a method to just click on a cue to make it play. Currently, if the operator overshoots a few cues or misses some tricky ones, the only way to get to the correct current cue is with the forward, backwards buttons - stepping through any in-between cues. If the cue list could have a small icon on each cue row, that invokes that cue (possibly ignoring fade in time) that would help the novice operators a lot. It should then become the "current" cue so that the next and previous operates from this selected cue. This would also help in the chaser play mode when editing.

2. The other thing that would help would be the ability to specify a background colour for a cue (or maybe just the note section). This would make it possible to indicate to the operator the various sections of a performance as well as warn them about quick and auto cues (no operator interference required, one flows to the next).

3. There is another thing I noticed. I have the next and previous buttons mapped to the spacebar and the B button. I found that it is possible to to make the cue list stop reacting to the keyboard. If you click on the header of the cue list with the mouse or on the scrollbar of the cue list, the highlight bar turns from grey to blue and the cue list no longer responds to the cue list.

4. (added before any comments) Change the scene of a cue list. Once a scene has been added to the chaser, it is not simple to change just the scene. WHat I have in mind is a change button below the plus and minus on the right of the chaser. This will bring up the list of scenes and will replace the scene in the chaser without affecting the fade in/out, hold and notes. Sometimes the directors change their minds and then it takes a few seconds to add a new one and delete another.

5. A skip check box that works in the virtual console. The operator can check the box and then when the next button is pressed on the cue preceding this one it will be skipped. Keep on skipping it until the check is removed. This would allow the flexibility of cutting a number on the night without having to edit the chaser. Tomorrow the number may well run. Or cutting a problematical scene temporarily.


Cue list improvements

Post by Willy_Pinguino » Sat May 25, 2013 7:52 pm

like I've suggest in the crossfader post, I think that all what you suggest can be implemented easly with 4 buttons :

2 buttons (up and down) to move the selection of the next cue in the cue list (maybe confirmed pressing enter on the keyboard)
1 button to pause/play the fade times
1 button to open the enteir action list and to add a new cue in the sequence when the new object will be selected in the action list or if pressed with a modification key it will be removed...

I agree to you that we need a way to jump directly at another cue in the cue list... maybe with a double click on the cue list or maybe selecting it with the up and down buttons and with a modification key (shift, control or alt key) + enter, the output jump at the new cue immediatly ignoring the fade times...

more, maybe the up and down buttons, using a modification key (controll, alt or shift key) could move the position of the selected cue inside the cue list...

Chris Laurie

Cue list improvements

Post by Chris Laurie » Sun May 26, 2013 6:11 am

What I men with point 4 is in edit mode not perform mode. Your button suggestions are good ones. However I would like to disable the up down buttons during performance. The operators can create a royal mess if they start moving cues about.


Cue list improvements

Post by Willy_Pinguino » Mon May 27, 2013 1:22 am

nah... I think that is difficult that a unesperienced operator could use the buttons + the modification key, thi si the cause that I suggest it...only if you know the way to obtain a special effect, with a not natural actions, you can do it!
all the usual actions are easy to do, the special functions are easy to be done but in some not natural way, to exclude that could be done for some wrong action!

well is my 2 cents, I'm only a mad user :-D

Michael Clements

Cue list improvements

Post by Michael Clements » Mon May 27, 2013 11:35 am

Massimo, if I've understood your last point correctly (on qlc+ not being able to execute more than one step of the same chaser at the same time) then it might be better to try to add the crossfaders to parts of the code that can already perform a timed crossfade between any two functions (an alternative algorithm, as Willy suggests).

1) As I have discovered, setting up series of buttons in a solo frame produces a "cue list" which can be stepped through manually in any order. All fade in and fade out times are executed as specified for every function controlled by the buttons and qlc+ already has a good strategy for dealing with buttons clicked in the middle of a crossfade.

2) If, as suggested here (about half way down the link) ... 0d36/#5da7

it were possible to tab between buttons in a defined order by means of a "go" and "go back" button, then maybe it would be possible to use crossfade sliders as an alternative to the "go" button to tab between buttons, overriding the automatic timings.

3) In its simplest implementation, you could only jump to out of sequence functions by clicking on their button and using the automatic timings. Since this should only be needed in rehearsals, editing and when the performers screw up, not having a manual timing option for this is unlikely to matter much.

4) Clicking on a button while holding down a modification key could be used to instantly switch to another function.

5) Editing, swapping, inserting and deleting steps is already pretty straightforward using the button strategy and the functionality Chris has suggested in his points 1, 2 and 4 would be available.

I have attached example project where the buttons are arranged to resemble a cue list, adapted from a recent concert. Obviously, it's possible play around with the graphics to make it look even more like a familiar cue list.
(33.82 KiB) Downloaded 20 times


Cue list improvements

Post by OddSocks » Mon May 27, 2013 4:48 pm

Can you post a video of QLC running your light in the performance?

I think it would be good to get some examples of users work up here on the forum.

Michael Clements

Cue list improvements

Post by Michael Clements » Mon May 27, 2013 5:03 pm

Possibly, if there's a general demand, but a video won't tell you how qlc+ is running the lights unless you also have the project file and subtitles on the video to show which cues are occurring when. I don't have the necessary software and knowhow at present to edit videos!

Chris Laurie

Cue list improvements

Post by Chris Laurie » Mon May 27, 2013 7:27 pm

@michael clements- I have seen your method of using a solo frame and while it is interesting, it will not work for me. My aim with this topic is to suggest ways to make the cue list better, so can we stick to the topic please?

I just don't want a cue list discussion changed into something else.

For what it's worth: Our modus operandi will not gain much from a cross fader - the fade in times of the cue list is just fine for us.

In a live performance, the biggest issue is how the operator gets to the cue it needs to be without stepping through the intermediate cues or doing a blackout, so they can step to the needed cue.

Michael Clements

Cue list improvements

Post by Michael Clements » Tue May 28, 2013 1:04 pm

Don't get me wrong, please – I'm not trying replace the cue list.

There seems to be a lot of agreement on what the cue list should do. What I was trying to point out is that there's possibly another route to getting a more comprehensive cue list which:

a) avoids first having to build a chaser, then load it into the cue list and therefore avoids tricky modifications to the chaser structure

b) uses other structures already in the qlc+ code, plus some extra structures, to produce a way of controlling qlc+ compatible with a cue list.

The cue list, after all, is simply a graphical way of representing how things are controlled and is much more familiar to users than buttons. The buttons are a temporary solution to how I get what I want out of qlc+, given that it hasn't got a fully featured cue list yet.

I would be fascinated to know what doesn't work for for you, Chris – I've probably missed something important and I wouldn't want to continue to argue for changes which would cause problems for other users.

Chris Laurie

Cue list improvements

Post by Chris Laurie » Tue May 28, 2013 3:03 pm

Take our current show - a drama with essentially 4 sections they have cues of 7+2+19+13 + 4 for start and end giving 45 different cues for the whole show. Now there are not 45 scenes as many of the cues goes from scene A to scene B back to scene A then scene C and then scene B again etc.

In our music shows the number of cues increases significantly.

A cue list is the best option as the operator can follow it easily, there is one forward button (mapped to spacebar) and one backward button (mapped to B) and the black-out mapped to X (but not for general use.

The notes column has a cue reference number ( and a description of when the cue actually happens.

For low tech operator there is not a neat link between cue and button with the solo frame, especially if they come fast and furious.

The buttons does have 2 advantages over the current cue which is what I try to address with this post: ability to jump to any cue and the ability to group and colour the cues. But it is overwhelming to a non-tech operator.
Meledrama%20QLC%2B.jpg (39.62 KiB) Viewed 574 times

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