We’re continuing our NAB 2018 coverage with more updates on the lighting side of things with the latest update from ARRI and their Skypanel Firmware Update 4.0, which adds even more versatility and new features to an already impressive LED lighting range. The ARRI SkyPanel Firmware update 4.0 focuses on giving users more control giving DPs and gaffers, lighting designers the ability take their lighting game to new heights with features such as Extended Colour Control, light engine DMX control, additional lighting effects, Stage Mode, SkyPanel Web Portal, and much more.
ARRI SkyPanel Firmware 4.0 New Features
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 Enginde 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 programming possibilities with the SkyPanel.
- Additional Lighting Effects
SkyPanel’s range of widely acclaimed lighting effects is expanding with SkyPanel Firmware 4. New Effects include:
- Explosion – perfect effect for muzzle flashes and explosion effects
- Welding – mimics the sparks of a high intensity welding source
- Process – ends light shooting down the surface of a SkyPanel to imitate the effect of a street light passing over a car (works best with Skypanel S120)
- Fluorescent flicker – recreates the hum and flutter of a malfunctioning fluorescent bulb
- Cop Car with 5 new colour combos
The new effects bring the lineup to a new total of 17 pre-programmed lighting effects.
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.
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 where 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.
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 offers 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.
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.
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 Coordinates 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 4.0, 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.
SkyPanel Firmware 3.0 introduced a RGBW Calibrated Mode with a set white point of 3200K. In the new SkyPanel Firmware 4.0, this white point can be set anywhere from 2800K to 10,000K. Having a user selectable white point gives users the ability to customize their SkyPanel RGBW output to any other light source’s white point.
As with all Firmware updates, many small improvements and bug fixes have been made with SkyPanel Firmware 4 including menu adjustments, improved DMX behavior, and the ability to adjust the Bonjour state.
To learn more about Firmware 4.0 and download it head over to the ARRI SkyPanel page here.