ARRI have been pretty busy this NAB announcing a new ARRI Alexa SXT Wireless camera and now also updating their industry leading LED – the ARRI Skypanel with Firmware Update 3.0. The latest firmware brings significant new and advanced features to an already versatile LED light. ARRI have developed and designed the ARRI Skypanel LED as an upgrade-able fixture right from the get to and the plan has always been to add new functionality with firmware updates. You can see a summary of the new features included in firmware 3.0 below.
12 Dynamic Lighting Effects
The state-of-the-art light engines and electronics built into every SkyPanel have paved the way for a powerful new feature in SkyPanel Firmware 3.0: lighting effects. With SkyPanel Lighting Effects users can now choose and manipulate 12 effects without the need for a lighting console or hours of programming.
The lighting effects in firmware 3.0 include:
Fire & Fireworks
Light Source Matching
SkyPanel’s calibrated light engine makes it possible to reproduce virtually any colour. SkyPanel Firmware 3.0 takes further advantage of this by including 46 pre-programmed matches to common light sources found in the world around us.
The sources include tungsten, high-pressure sodium vapour, cool white fluorescent, candle, glow sticks, and many more. SkyPanel Source Matching makes it even easier and faster to match a light source in the location you are shooting by simply picking the corresponding source from a list.
High Speed Mode
The new SkyPanel High Speed Mode is a highly requested feature that will allow users to shoot at extreme frame rates and camera settings. Using the high speed mode, productions can shoot at virtually any frame rate and shutter angle. It has been tested up to 25,000 fps and down to a two-degree shutter angle with no adverse effects on image quality. Say goodbye to flicker and roll bars forever.
Streaming ACN (also known as sACN) is fully implemented in SkyPanel Firmware 3.0. This communication standard allows for many modern lighting consoles to communicate directly with the SkyPanel using Ethernet-based equipment.
The ARRI SkyPanel LED is also smart enough to detect whether it is receiving an Art-Net or sACN signal and will adjust accordingly with no setting changes.
Preset DMX Channel
Presets have become much more useful in SkyPanel Firmware 3.0 with the addition of eight factory presets and preset selection via a DMX channel. With a new total of 10 factory presets that include popular colour temperatures, HSI values and gel colours, it is now faster and easier to select frequently used colours, even after a factory reset.
In addition, at the end of every DMX protocol there is a new channel that allows for the selection of all 10 user and 10 factory presets in the SkyPanel.
Onboard RGBW Mode
Since the creation of the SkyPanel, users have been able to control the RGBW LED channels via DMX. With SkyPanel Firmware 3.0, it is now possible to switch to RGBW mode and adjust the different LED colour channels directly on the control panel of the SkyPanel. Quickly adjust red, green, blue and white intensity levels, as well as master intensity value, via the knobs on the control panel. In addition, these values can be stored as a preset for easy access later.
RGBW Calibrated Colour Space
RGBW mode is a great way to generate colours by adjusting the intensity values of each of the four LED channels in the SkyPanel. In the past, the RGBW mode has been an uncalibrated mode that gives direct control of the LED channels.
There is now the option to select a calibrated RGBW mode that will still allow for the adjustment of red, green, blue and white levels, but in a calibrated colour space that yields consistent results across SkyPanels. Following the ANSI E1.54 standard, it is also possible for the SkyPanel to match other RGBW fixtures that implement the same standard.
The frequency selection feature in SkyPanel Firmware 3.0 allows fine tuning of the frequency of the SkyPanel’s light output to adjust for slight flicker or roll bars that might occur when shooting at uncommon frame rates or shutter angles. Pick from 10 different frequencies that could reduce or eliminate small amounts of these image anomalies while maintaining full control over the intensity and colour tune-ability of the SkyPanel.
SkyPanel Web Server
With the ability for the SkyPanel to be used as a network device, it is now possible to change all SkyPanel settings using any web browser. Simply connect the SkyPanel to a network via the EtherCon connector and once connected, use a web browser to access the SkyPanel webpage generated by each fixture and instantly adjust any SkyPanel parameter. This means you can now make setting adjustments from a device such as your mobile phone without touching the SkyPanel itself.
In addition, Firmware 3.0 includes a new and improved cross fade function between colours that will produce a more smooth transition. The new cross fade might produce different colours through the transition in comparison to the previous firmware version 2.5.
With so many great features packed into the SkyPanel, it might seem difficult to know which ones are active and which ones are not, at any given time. To solve this issue, there is a new enabled menu that gives the user a list of all features in the SkyPanel and their current setting. With a quick glance you can review and change all SkyPanel settings in one menu.
SkyPanel Firmware 3.0 also features small improvement and refinements to existing features and functionality with improvements such as: network menu list, new menu lists with easy selection identification, scrolling text, improved DMX live page and minor bug fixes.