PL.Tracker v4.3 update instructions
Recently, some significant adjustments have been made to the PLTracker smart followspot system. The previous TouchOSC control interface has been abandoned, and support for iOS platform has been added. Now, it is fully possible to use your iPad to control moving lights..
1. Firstly, PLTracker has introduced the new M1 version, which allows you to control one light fixture with a single mobile phone or pad. However, this version does not include the Follow feature. This significantly reduces costs..
2. Then the camera settings have also been adjusted in the new version. Currently, only one camera can be connected. All operators will monitor the same stage view. If necessary, the feature to select different monitoring views may be added in future updates. You can access the relevant parameters by clicking on the camera settings in the top title bar. The camera’s three-dimensional spatial position, rotation, and field of view (FOV) parameters are also included there. As for the camera and NDI camera settings, the server will only connect to the last activated device.
3. To accommodate devices with larger screen space such as the iPad, adjustments have been made to the monitor allocation scheme. Now, each control terminal has its own monitor screen. When you click on the monitors button in the top title bar, it will expand to display 12 corresponding monitor setting buttons. At this point, the settings related to tracking targets will be hidden. Clicking the button again will hide these monitor settings. You can click on each button to adjust the corresponding monitor screen and the three-dimensional space of the lights.
When you connect the respective mobile phone or pad to the computer as an extended screen, you can click on the full-screen button in the corresponding monitor settings to open the corresponding control interface.
The image below shows the iPad interface. Due to the different screen ratios of each device, different versions are needed to correspond to them. For example, the mobile phone version is usually in a 16:9 ratio. I have also made the control interface cover the entire screen for easier operation.
On the left side of the control interface are the adjustments for lights and screen. The two buttons on the left control the invert of the PT axis for the lights.
The four sliders below are for adjusting the transparency of the three-dimensional stage/camera image, P-axis offset, and T-axis offset. Usually, when blending the three-dimensional stage with the actual camera image, we tend to lower the transparency of the three-dimensional stage image. The three-dimensional stage image is a software simulation to help you correspond the camera angle with the virtual stage space. This allows you to clearly determine the position where your controlled lights hit the stage, even without lighting.
Lastly, there is corresponding button for settings close. Note that for touch screens, there may be sensitivity issues where the buttons do not respond immediately when clicked. In such cases, you can click and hold the button until it responds. This ensures that the operation is executed without significant delay. However, this issue does not arise when using a capacitive pen.
On the right side of the control interface is the operation for the light channels. Unlike previous versions, the color channels have been upgraded from slider operation to a color palette. Due to this change, the fixture setting options now include a toggle option for RGB/CMY color mixing mode. You can switch between these modes based on the color mixing system of your actual fixtures.
In this color palette, you can directly click and drag the white circle on the outer ring to select colors. Clicking and dragging the inner white circle allows you to adjust color saturation and brightness. The corresponding color will be output in real-time as you adjust it. You can also click the circular button in the bottom right corner to save the adjusted color to the buttons below for easy recall.
The F-On/Off button in the top right corner is the Follow mode switch. This button is not available in the M1 version. When you activate this Follow feature, other fixtrues will also be displayed on the screen of the respective control terminal. When it is deactivated, only the currently controlled light will be displayed. On the server side, you can also enable multi-screen display to enable multi-screen display for all control terminals.
Due to the change in the control interface, the OSC2 settings used for TouchOSC signal input have been removed, and only the OSC settings for gyroscope data input have been retained.
4. Regarding UI improvements, you can now directly use the mouse to manipulate the virtual perspective position and orientation on the server. It also supports keyboard shortcuts (ADSWQE) for left/right/back/forward/left/right rotation for perspective control. Mouse operations are limited to left button dragging and scrolling with the scroll wheel. This makes the operation more direct and effective.
To facilitate identification of the currently operated objects, I have added the numbers of the currently active monitor and light fixture in the top left corner of the monitoring interface. “M” represents the monitor, and “F” represents the light fixture.
5. Regarding device connections, below is a diagram demonstrating the connections. For optional wireless routers, it is recommended to use a gigabit router to ensure sufficient network bandwidth for data transmission. If you are only connecting one device, a regular router should suffice.
The monitoring screen of the control device is connected as an extended screen to the server, with the server’s monitor screen ID set as 0 and subsequent extended screens assigned IDs 1, 2, and so on up to 11.
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