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An interview from the 2018 Cine Gear Expo at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles with Mike Wagner of ARRI. The ARRI Group consists of five business units: Camera Systems, Lighting, Media, Rental, and Medical. ARRI is a leading designer and manufacturer of camera and lighting systems for the film and broadcast industry, with a worldwide distribution and service network. In this interview Mike talks with about the new SkyPanel Firmware 4, which offers ten brand new features for advanced control including: Extended Color Control allowing the user to find the perfect color easily and intuitively, Light Engine DMX Control allowing for segmented control of the SkyPanel, four additional pre-programmed lighting effects, x,y Coordinate color selection via the onboard control panel, and Stage Mode for smooth dimming to zero in live audience applications.

Extended Color Control
Finding the perfect color can sometimes be a daunting task. With Extended Color Control in SkyPanel Firmware 4, this process becomes easy and intuitive. Simply pick a starting color such as a digital gel, HSI value, or color temperature and use the eight new color adjustments to push the color in the desired direction. These color parameters include warmer/cooler, saturate/desaturate, +/- red, +/- green, +/- blue. +/- cyan, +/- magenta, +/- yellow. These controls are available via the onboard control panel or DMX.

Light Engine DMX Control
Every SkyPanel is made up of one or more light engines. The S60 has two light engines while the S360 has twelve light engines. SkyPanel Firmware 4 allows the user to control individual light engines via new DMX modes. Each light engine acts as its own mini SkyPanel with parameters like CCT & RGBW, HSI, or x,y Coordinates. This precise level of control enables new programing possibilities with the SkyPanel.

Additional Lighting Effects
SkyPanel’s range of widely acclaimed lighting effects is expanding with SkyPanel Firmware 4. Explosion, welding, process, and fluorescent flicker have been added to the lineup for a new total of 17 pre-programmed lighting effects. Explosion is the perfect effect for muzzle flashes and explosion effects. Welding mimics the sparks of a high intensity welding source. Process sends light shooting down the surface of a SkyPanel to imitate the effect of a street light passing over a car - this effect works especially well with the S120. And finally, the fluorescent flicker effect recreates the hum and flutter of a malfunctioning fluorescent bulb. The customer favorite cop car effect has been augmented with five new color combinations.

Stage Mode
Live entertainment and theatrical performances require completely smooth dimming to zero which create natural lighting transitions for their live audiences. The new Stage Mode in SkyPanel Firmware 4 is designed specifically to meet these demands and opens up new doors for the use of SkyPanel in live entertainment. Activating Stage Mode allows SkyPanel to smoothly and seamlessly dim down to zero percent intensity without color jumps or noticeable intensity drop off.

Ultimate DMX Mode
In the past, choosing the right SkyPanel DMX mode for a project would force a choice on one or two predefined color selection methods. For example, if color temperature control and lighting effects were needed, this would require a change in DMX mode. With the Ultimate DMX Mode in SkyPanel Firmware 4, this is no longer necessary. The Ultimate DMX Mode allows for any control mode to be selected within one DMX mode. Simply pick the color method (CCT, HSI, lighting effects, etc.) and the DMX parameters will adjust to allow for control of the selected control method. One DMX mode is all that is needed.

New SkyPanel Web Portal
The SkyPanel Web Portal is an easy way to make adjustments to a SkyPanel over an Ethernet or WiFi network. This Web Portal has been vastly expanded and improved in SkyPanel Firmware 4. A completely new design allows for fast navigation and new control interfaces offer complete control over all aspects of a SkyPanel directly from any web browser. Advanced monitoring capabilities also provide an in-depth view into all DMX functions.

DMX Live Page
When receiving a DMX signal, the SkyPanel can display detailed DMX information directly on the control panel with SkyPanel Firmware 4. Not only can the DMX mode, address, and channel count be easily read, but the SkyPanel now displays lighting values for the DMX signal it is receiving. The SkyPanel even does the conversion from DMX values to real world light output values by calculating the math internally. This feature is a powerful tool when troubleshooting DMX issues.

Strobe DMX Channel
Strobing the light is one of the most popular effects in the SkyPanel lighting effects range. To make it easier to access this important effect, one of the reserved DMX slots at the end of every DMX mode has been turned into a strobe channel. No matter what color mode is being used in SkyPanel Firmware 4, it is now easy to strobe that color without having to change to the lighting effects DMX mode.

x, y Coordinate Onboard Control
x, y Coordinate Mode has become a popular method for recreating an exact match to a color point measured with a spectrometer. In SkyPanel Firmware 4, this exciting color mode can be controlled via DMX and can now also be adjusted using the onboard control panel. Matching the desired color point and storing it in a preset to access later has never been easier.

Custom RGBW White Point
SkyPanel Firmware 3.0 introduced a RGBW Calibrated Mode with a set white point of 3200 K. In the new SkyPanel Firmware 4, this white point can be set anywhere from 2800 K to 10,000 K. Having a user selectable white point gives users the ability to customize their SkyPanel RGBW output to any other light source’s white point.

For more information please visit: www.ARRI.com