QLC+ 5 Preview - Update #3

A place where updates of QLC+ activities and technical articles are posted as if it was a blog
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mcallegari
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QLC+ 5 Preview - Update #3

Post by mcallegari » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:18 pm

And here we go. As promised, some more QLC+ 5 updates.




(for the record, the music is composed by me...in case you want to complain about that too :) )

I could actually produce 2 more videos, to represent the last year of work on this new UI, but I think these 2 videos shows my commitment to release a modern software that will help to improve the productivity while designing a light show.
The mission I gave to myself with QLC+ 5 is: the design phase has to take half of the time you spend on QLC+ 4.
Update #3.2 shows that. In 20 minutes (including glitches and bugs), you start a project from scratch and build some already fancy animations.

There's a WHOLE LOT still to do, but one by one I am defining the concepts of the new workflow.
For example the (fake) 3D preview of EFX patterns gives the real feeling of what a moving head will do. (and now you realize why a circle is actually an eight on the floor...)
What doesn't work as I intended will be fixed, but the concepts won't change, so what you see in these videos is what you will get, if not better.

I guess (and hope) many of you are excited for the 3D preview as I am. However, please don't start asking for this and that. The 3D part reached my programming skill limits, and what you see is everything I can give at the moment.
I know commercial ligthing simulators have volumetric projections and gobos and everything, but I am simply not able to implement them.
In this (and luckily) only case, I will have to pay someone to do it for me. Most likely I will ask QLC+ users to help me crowdfunding the most advanced 3D features. Believe me, I want to see them as much as you do.

Also, the 3D preview drags in another interesting topic: fixture definitions must improve ! For example, QLC+ doesn't know if a pan is clockwise or counterclockwise. Therefore the whole preview could be messed up.
I am already thinking about a rework that will introduce more accurate information for the 3D simulation, but that's another huge work to do.

So, what's next now ? The plan is to release the beast !

I have to be honest: I am SCARED TO DEATH to release QLC+ 5 ! It's incomplete, buggy and, in general, still a work in progress and not ready for production.
I am afraid I will get buried with reports of things not working and the usual RTFM reports of missing stuff.
However, I think it is time to start rolling it out at least to gather the first feedbacks about OS compatibility, performances and actual usefulness.

I'm not sure what to do with Linux, cause the required Qt version is 5.9.4, which is not deployed anywhere. Most likely Ubuntu 18.04 will include it, but in general don't expect a ready made package for your favourite distro.

macOS and Windows builds should be OK, even though the words "Windows" and "OK" should never be used in the same sentence.

In the next weeks I will prepare an alpha release and see how it goes.

Meantime...do you like what you see ? :)

OddSocks
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Re: QLC+ 5 Preview - Update #3

Post by OddSocks » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:23 pm

Shut up and take my money.

Oops, just renumbered it's FREE :shock: :shock: :shock:

Amazing work Massimo. Though I wish I hadn't gone out a bought my visualiser now ;)

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mcallegari
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Re: QLC+ 5 Preview - Update #3

Post by mcallegari » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:29 pm

OddSocks wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:23 pm
Shut up and take my money.
Oops, just renumbered it's FREE :shock: :shock: :shock:
Amazing work Massimo. Though I wish I hadn't gone out a bought my visualiser now ;)
Hey Tim, thanks !
If you purchased Capture, I'm sure it's worth every penny you spent for it !
QLC+ 5 has a long way ahead to even resemble a product like that...but who knows...only time can tell ;)

DarkMark
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Re: QLC+ 5 Preview - Update #3

Post by DarkMark » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:06 pm

What I think? I think this is one of the most amazing pieces of "hobby" software projects I've ever seen (and I am 47 years old, so I've seen a lot :).

The new (black-ish) design looks very good and has even more appeal than in the previous versions. Actually, I think this looks very professional - even more so when considering you're doing all this by yourself!

From what I've seen in your preview videos, everything fits together very nicely. The whole workflow makes sense and is very intuitive.

I just want to say thank you for your ongoing dedicated work on this excellent project. You are enriching and enpowering the lighting community beyond belief!

giacomo
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Re: QLC+ 5 Preview - Update #3

Post by giacomo » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:06 pm

I'm happily surprised by the new video/image possibilities, great Massimo.
Will it be possible to control the intensity as well?

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mcallegari
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Re: QLC+ 5 Preview - Update #3

Post by mcallegari » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:21 pm

giacomo wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:06 pm
I'm happily surprised by the new video/image possibilities, great Massimo.
Will it be possible to control the intensity as well?
Hi Giacomo, thanks.
This new video rendering technique is much more versatile than the one in QLC+ 4, so implementing fade in/out on videos shouldn't be difficult.
The Video surface has an alpha control, so fading from 0 to 1.0 on a black background should do the trick

siegmund
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Re: QLC+ 5 Preview - Update #3

Post by siegmund » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:30 pm

This is awesome!
I really have no words describing my current level of excitement.

At first with the video stuff (which is pretty cool but I'll never need it) I thought: "Oh no, no cool news for me.." - Not at all... All the alignment-features in addition to the automatic distance tool. The 3D preview with the 3D point picking! And dump to scene by drag and drop, I would have never even thought about that. All in all, I really love what I'm seeing (:

From the videos, some questions came to my mind (I'm pretty sure you at least considered most of them but I would like to hear your thoughts):
- Is it possible to show the complete ground in the 3D preview (not only the stage)? This would be great when designing positions pointing at the audience. I know the size of the stage could be increased, but in the "rock stage" case this would also mean trusses standing all around the audience - not really what I want.
- What is the purpose of the EFX 3D-representation? I did not manage to get it, maybe because of a lack of huge experiences with moving lights.
- On the menus that are popping up on top of the functions menu on the right: Is there a close button for them or is it only possible to close them by clicking the button which brought them up again? (I especially noticed this when you added fixtures to a EFX)

In response to your post in general:
I'm absolutely fine with the 3D preview as it is. For me this will only be a rough estimation and no exact programming tool, I will always adjust the parameters in the venue beforehand.
mcallegari wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:18 pm
I'm not sure what to do with Linux, cause the required Qt version is 5.9.4, which is not deployed anywhere. Most likely Ubuntu 18.04 will include it, but in general don't expect a ready made package for your favourite distro.
Maybe this tool is worth a consideration. I did not try to pack an application with it but used it to start one and it worked great! This also would reduce the complexity of deployment on linux distributions.
mcallegari wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:18 pm
macOS and Windows builds should be OK, even though the words "Windows" and "OK" should never be used in the same sentence.
Exactly my point of view, made my day :D

Keep it up, you're definitely in the right direction!

kirschn
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Re: QLC+ 5 Preview - Update #3

Post by kirschn » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:39 pm

Dude, nice work. I seriously consider switching off my granny to a DIY Dual-Touchscreen Console with some MIDI Controllers, running QLC+ 5 once it's considered "safe to use" in production

giacomo
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Re: QLC+ 5 Preview - Update #3

Post by giacomo » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:38 pm

This new video rendering technique is much more versatile than the one in QLC+ 4, so implementing fade in/out on videos shouldn't be difficult.
The Video surface has an alpha control, so fading from 0 to 1.0 on a black background should do the trick
I'm waiting for it Massimo!
This would allow new ways of lighting: I'm already using beamers to project shapes or patterns that I draw by myself,
the utmost would be to control them like a moving head: position zoom color etc.
After yourr Preview Update #3.1 it seems that we're not far from it...

thepaul1999
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Re: QLC+ 5 Preview - Update #3

Post by thepaul1999 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:33 am

Good work Massimo!
I would like to know, if in QLC 5, EUROLITE DMX pro interface MK2 will be supported (http://www.steinigke.de/en/mpn51860121- ... e-mk2.html), because in the previous version of the program (4.11.1), this interface was officially supported, but practically it often created problems.

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