Stage Automation Level 2

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Sculptor & Visual Creator

During Easter holidays 2009 we were once again visited by Stage technologies for the installation of the new sculptor and visual creator software as well as line diverts. This will now enable us to use things like performer flying far more easily than before.

New Engineering

To allow safe use for performer flying we had to design and add swivel divert pulleys to the Big Tow winches. These swivel diverts were designed and manufactured by Delstar Engineering and were designed to clamp onto and below the current spreader beams. Furthermore, it was necessary to improve the clamping method of the spreader beams to accomodate the new resultant forces that would be generated by 3D flying.

11243-1-01 PULLEY G.A..jpg 11243-1-02 WINCH AND PULLEY G.A..jpg


The stage area of the New Athenaeum Theatre is defined by X, Y and Z co-ordinates within the system.

We have defined the downstage centre point of the iron line (setting line) as the datum of 0,0,0. X co-ordinates run positive to Prompt Side (SL) and negative to Opposite Prompt (SR). Y co-ordinates run "out" (upwards) from 0 at stage level to the grid at 15.5m (and theoretically onwards too), Z co-ordinates run from the setting line upstage but are read as negatives due to the orientation of the X,Y & Z.

For example a point two meters stage right, three meters in the air and one meter upstage of the iron would be defined as

X -2000 Y 3000 Z -1000

A WORD OF WARNING - When working with 2D bridles in Sculptor the "Z" value must be set to "0" irrelevant of it's actual US/DS Stage position.

Creating a group, finding coordinates and offsets

This is done in a similar way as in the regular Chameleon software.

  • First define the scenery.
  • Select the required axis.
  • Select the group type and a name.
  • Record scenery definition.
  • A box will then appear giving you the opportunity to save as a sculptor group, click this box.
  • Move to the Rig/DeRig Scenery tab, select all chosen axes and auto-reference them.
  • Select the group on the main screen (E.G. Group 100), double press the [rig] button, click on the coordinate and add the correct x, y and z values for every axis used. These values can be measured on the grid or worked out from the grid plan.
  • Set the offset value for each axis as 15,500 (grid height)
  • Return to the main screen and double click on the position box for each axis and set the new position as zero when each winch has been brought in to just touch the stage, or your chosen zero point.
  • You can then move the axis around by opening Visual Sculptor with the [more] button and using the joystick
  • You can also use the joystick to find coordinates for Visual Creator.
    • Run the desired move in Visual Creator using the joystick, make a note of the key points in the move (E.G. Start, middle and end).
    • Open Visual Creator from the sculptor window, then enter the coordinates by clicking the new option and putting them into the table which appears.

Using 2D bridles

  • "GROUP "X", SculptorAction (GROUP GROUP GROUP) "N", ENTER". Bridle will run action, assuming it is at some point on the path associated with the specified Sculptor Action. This eliminates the need to run a move in Sculptor.
  • "GROUP GROUP" = Safe On Demand: makes 2 or more axis into a temporary Safe Group

Setting "0" position and using offset

Before rigging a bridle, run the terminated lines in until they touch the stage, directly below their respective winches. Then set the position on the motors used in the bridle to "0", and input the axis offset as 15600 (ie the distance from stage to the grid).

Then, make the bridle up, and move the bridle to its new "0" position. For example, for Panto '09 "Sleeping Beauty", this was CS, with the performer flying karabiners at waist height.

Now look at the new positions, NOT the X and Y coordinates shown in Sculptor, but the positions shown in Chameleon.

Subtract these new figures from the offset number for each axis, and set the position to "0" once again.

This will ensure that the X and Y coordinates shown in Sculptor are true to life.