The Color Picker
In EOS, intelligent fixtures are controlled largely in the same way as conventional fixtures. We see them as channels, provide values, and record them into cues. In fact, using the provided worksheet, you’ll see the same 9 channels as before; except that they’ll look slightly larger.
This extra space is showing extra values, or what we call “parameters” about the lights. It doesn’t seem like much here; but if we change the way in which the information is being displayed by pressing the [Format] button (found at the far right hand side of the keyboard), we’ll all the different parameters a channel can use as well as their corresponding values. You’ll also notice a new color, Dark Gray, which is the color a value has when it has returned “home”, meaning it’s not being told to do anything. This maybe easiest to think about with a moving light, “When you’re not told to do anything, just point straight down; now forward, not backward, just straight down”. You’ll also notice in this format that the channels are grouped together by number and by type. The white text above each chunk of channels tells you the make and model each light.
As you look through all the lights in this format, hopefully you’ll notice parameters that seem to make sense and fairly clear. For example, Intensity is a parameter for all of these fixtures. Other parameters, such as CMixMatRt might not make much sense; we’ll talk about how to figure out what that means later – for now just nod your head, give a thumbs up, and act like someone is telling a story and you know exactly what’s going on.
New parameters that you might recognize could be Pan and Tilt; this signifies that the light can change the direction in which it’s facing, meaning it’s what we would call a moving light. We’ll talk about that more in a different lesson. Or perhaps Red, Green, and Blue. Those are colors! Primary colors to be clearer. Not your kindergarten primary colors, these are the primary colors of light; which works using additive color mixing – rather than subtractive color mixing. When the RGB values are 0, we get black, the absence of light. When the RGB values are 100, we get white, the presence of all colors of light. When they’re a variation of values in between we get color mixing; pretty much any color we want.
Alright, so let’s start playing around. Take channel 4 to full,  [@] [Full] [Enter]. This will bring up a white light in your Augment3d screen and show the standard red parameter under channel 4’s intensity. The light coming out of the fixture is white because the fixture’s RGB home values are 100.
Now we want to start playing around with colors. For this, we’ll use the EOS color picker, which is probably the easiest of all the intelligent fixture interfaces to use. At the bottom of one of your displays, in the various tabs, you’ll see a tab labeled Color Picker (the one on the way right in the image below). Click on that.
Depending on which screen you’re using, you’ll see a triangle and possibly some color squares. The triangle will have red, green, and blue tips, white in the middle, and a whole host of colors in between. Clicking on this color triangle will allow you to change the color of the light. The colored squares refer to gel colors from common manufacturers. You could pull out your gel book, pick a color, and bring that up in EOS.
The color picker will change the color values for the currently selected channels, the ones that have a yellow outline. If you don’t have a channel selected, or your selected channel can’t change color – the color picker will not do anything. You can select the Channel either by clicking on it in the Live Table display or by simply typing it’s number and pressing enter,  [Enter].
Now pick a color. Any color. Take a moment and play around.
I decided to pick a nice, pretty blue. No matter the color, you should see some change in your Augment3d visualization.
If you look over at your table, you should now see values under the RGB columns. If you clicked on the color triangle, they should be numbers between 0-100.
If you chose a gel color instead, you’ll see the name of the color rather than values.
Both methods work perfectly well. It’s really about your preference in what you see. If you were to now click on the Live Table display, making it our active display, and press the [Format] button again, you’ll see why our channels are a little taller; the channel wants to display extra parameters in a condensed view. In the image below, you can see the gel color selected. If had selected a color in the triangle; however, you would simply see a colored (+) symbol; meaning there are altered values in the color parameters.
In lighting design, color is great way to create contrast. Let’s illustrate this by taking up channel 6 and making it the exact same color as channel 4. Here, now, our subjects have a little bit of form and figure as seen by the shadow in the front portion of the sphere, but the composition is largely flat.
But if we change the color of channel 6 to be a color the compliments channel 4, perhaps a different shade of blue, we begin seeing contrast and pull out the form of our shapes. One side of our figures are differentiated from the other.
Or we could go bolder, more dramatic, by picking a contrasting color from the opposite side of the triangle. I’m going to choose a peach color; the warm of the reds now contrast with the cools of the blue.
What’s the correct color to pick? Well, the answer is … “yes” … different colors are correct for different situations. Sometimes thicker, richer colors are better; other times tinted, subtle colors (like in the image below) are better. Your job is to come alongside the story that is being told and support the journey and echo the moment. Did you pick the wrong color? Don’t worry, it’s so easy to change – especially when using LEDs. I’ll warn you though, sometimes the infinite possibility of option can create an endless black hole, drawing you in and wasting your time. Learn to pay attention to color theory, trust your color instinct, and boldly declare, “yeah, I guess that kinda works.”
One final note about picking color. EOS will simply show you the color picker; but what’s actually happening in the light can vary greatly and it really depends on how the light was made. In the examples above, these fixtures used three LED colors in tandem to create colors, Red, Green, and Blue. Other lights will use the secondary colors of light Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow (CMY vs RGB). Other lights will add extra LED colors to create brighter brights, or more vivid colors. A common LED on the market today is the RGBAW light, meaning it has 5 LEDs – Red, Green, Blue, Amber, White.
But no matter what technology the light uses, EOS will show you the color picker in the same way and do all the technical mumbo jumbo to get you exactly the color you want.