Colour-Tramp is a lighting control system specifically designed to handle the complexity of two and three dimensional lighting arrays. It achieves this by combining the concept of lighting control with a graphic editor. The lighting array is entered using a sophisticated graphic user interface. Show programming is then performed using colour palettes and visual editing tools.
Colour-Tramp is much more than just a lighting controller. It provides a full implementation of Remote Device Management (RDM) which allows Colour-Tramp to communicate with – and control all aspects of – the lighting fixtures. This includes the ability to set start addresses and read back fixture diagnostic and sensor information.
ALI has used Colour-Tramp on diverse projects. In many instances, it is treated as the base, and customised to the specific project needs. Below is a list of some of the key benefits of this system and how they have been used in different projects.
In 2011, ALI was involved in a huge lighting project in Hong Kong (the client does not allow us to mention their name). Some 243 universes of data were used to control over 40,000 RGB pixels laid out in a complex 3D array. Colour-Tramp employed its extensive RDM functionality to automatically set all the pixel start addresses, based on a mapping imported from the 3D CAD model. It was also then employed to convert the mapping information into a format understood by the Hippotizer media server, two of which were used to run the effects. We estimated that the automation provided by Colour-Tramp saved several man-years compared to achieving the same tasks manually.
In the same project, visualisation was required so that the Hippotizer programmer could see the results of their work. A well known visualiser product was tried, but it was unable to handle more than 40 universes in real time. To solve the problem, ALI customised Colour-Tramp to operate as a visualiser (now a standard feature). By focussing on getting the raw visual data on to a screen (rather than clever rendering), we were able to visualise 250 universes in near real time.
The classic Finsbury Avenue Square installation used Colour-Tramp for both control and diagnostics sensor monitoring. The fixtures include sensors for voltage, temperature, humidity and light source hours. Every day Colour-Tramp compiles a report of this monitoring and emails it to the client. It is also able to send an automatic SMS if any values are out of tolerance.
The Pan Peninsula opening ceremony made extensive use of the timecode synchronisation functions. This allowed us to synchronise the lighting effects to a click track used by the conductor of the orchestra.