No-Budget Documentation

I was fortunate enough to be teaching a class yesterday (first in quite a while) and one of the participants asked about exporting the patch for documentation.  I’m so used to drafting in Capture, Drafty or Vectorworks and then synching to Lightwright that I hadn’t thought about EOS being the only lighting software that someone might have access to.  So here is a quick tutorial on how to export your patch to a spreadsheet software of your choice (Excel, Numbers, Sheets) so you can have a record of your house system.

First- let me urge you to label all your fixtures in patch.  It couldn’t be easier.  Go to Patch by opening a new tab or pressing [Address] [Address].  If, like many, your front light channels are 1-10, type 1 [Thru] 10 and then hit [Label] and type in Fronts [Enter].  Or Warm Fronts, Cool Fronts, whatever makes sense to you.  Adding information here to make your house plot easier to navigate in your spreadsheet is time well spent.  

If you want to get more details in, slide over to the Database Tab (on the left in 3.0.2).   

There are pre-made fields for Gel and Gobo.  The other fields you can rename.  From a CLEAR command line, touch where it says {Text 1} and then press [Label].  Type Position, then [Enter].  The field is now renamed for all fixtures.  You could use notes for how the fixture is hung, and if you are super patient, use Text 2 to be Unit number on the pipe.

When you have the most (useful) information in your house plot file, bring the CIA (Central Information Area) back by touching [Displays].  Navigate to Export>CSV.

Choose your Flash drive (typically starting E:) and a dialogue box will appear.  Personally, I would suggest you use {Deselect All} and then select only {Patch}.  Click {OK}, rename the export file if you wish, and press [Enter] to complete the export. 

Find where you put the CSV file and open in your spreadsheet software and fuss the layout till your heart is content.  There will be some confusing looking information in there to be honest.  Three columns that start with DCID (Fixture, Source and Patch) will probably be things you want to hide or delete.  Proportion and Curve will also be there and will only be useful to you if you use them.  If not- hide them.  

The rest of this process is very basic Spreadsheet navigation.  If you included Position and Unit number, you can select the entire table and Sort with Position first, then Unit Number in Ascending to make a very fast Instrument Schedule (a listing of the fixture sorted by Position and Unit number) and then make liberal use of copy and paste to put the positions in the order you desire.

That’s it for this time.  Hopefully this is helpful to those of you who haven’t needed to dump tons of money into special lighting software and just need some basic paperwork.  What workarounds have you come up with that allow you to take care of your system without spending a ton of money?  Hit me in the comments. Thanks for reading!

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