The Light Dashboard

The Light Dashboard shows you the current, live levels of all lighting instruments in your workspace, and lets you manipulate them in real time. If you change a value in the Light Dashboard, the change will be sent immediately to the lighting hardware, and you will see that change live. Similarly, when you run a Light cue, you'll see the changes made by that cue reflected in the Light Dashboard as it happens.

You can open the Light Dashboard by choosing it from the Window menu or by using the keyboard shortcut ⇧⌘D.

Light Dashboard

Levels in the Dashboard can be modified by using the Light Command Line, by clicking and dragging on the sliders or tiles, or by double clicking in individual parameters' text fields and entering values. As of QLab 4.2, decimal values are supported for parameters that use a percentage scale. You can only enter decimal values by typing. Dragged sliders or tiles will snap to whole numbers.

When a level has been modified in the Dashboard, that parameter's control turns yellow.

The Light Command Line

This textual command line allows you to manipulate the Dashboard quickly and powerfully. You can learn more about how to use it in the Lighting Command Language section of this documentation.

Over Time

Typically, any commands you type into the command line will execute immediately when you hit enter. If you type a time into this field, however, the command will fade over that amount of time. This concept, called sneak on some other lighting consoles, allows you to make changes to the live state of your lights in a gentle, subtle way.

Sliders or Tiles

The Dashboard offers two ways to look at your lighting:

Slider view shows one instrument or light group per line, sorted alphabetically, with a text field on the left side and a slider on the right. Values can be typed into the text field, or modified by clicking and dragging on the sliders. Multiple values can be adjusted at once by shift-clicking on two or more sliders and then dragging.

Any row containing a value that has been manually adjusted since a Light cue was run will display a yellow background. Rows which represent groups show yellow marks to indicate different levels of individual instruments within the group.

Mixed levels

Instruments and light groups that have more than one parameter will have a disclosure arrow on the left edge of the Light Dashboard. When the arrow is pointing to the right, only the default parameter of the instrument or light group (typically the intensity parameter) will be shown. If you click the triangle, the slider will "unfold" to show all parameters.

Parameters

Light groups contain all the parameters for every instrument they contain.

Tile view shows each parameter of every instrument or light group as a tile, sorted alphabetically, with the level of the parameter above in larger text, and the name of the instrument and parameter below in smaller text. The brightness of the outline of each level display reflects the current value of that parameter.

Tiles

Any tile containing a value that has been manually adjusted since a Light cue was run will display a yellow background.

Latest Light Cue

Latest Light Cue. Unlike many other lighting consoles, QLab is not restricted by the concept of being "in" a cue, since the results of more than one cue be reflected on stage at once. Rather, QLab tracks cues as they are triggered, and lists the most recently run Light cue here.

Update Latest Cue ⌘U. After running a Light cue and then manually adjusting levels in the Dashboard, clicking Update Latest Cue will add all adjusted levels (everything with a yellow background) to the listed cue.

Revert Changes & Clear All

Clicking Revert Changes ⌘R will restore all parameters that you've changed in the Light Dashboard to the levels that they were last set to. This restore happens over the workspace's panic duration.

To revert only individual changes, rather than everything you've changed, the Dashboard supports undo (and redo).

Clicking Clear All will clear any modifications made in the Dashboard and set all parameters of all lights to their home value. Please be aware that this generally causes a blackout. This button is the QLab equivalent of what many other consoles refer to as "Go To Cue out."

Recording and Updating Cues

In the lower right corner of the Dashboard are four buttons for creating and updating cues. Cue created using these buttons will appear in the current cue list or cart, directly after the selected cue. If no cue is selected, new cues will appear at the end of the current cue list or cart.

Record All

The Record All... button displays a pop-up menu with three options, each of which may only be available depending upon the situation:

Latest Cue. Record all current light levels into the latest Light cue, overwriting any levels already in that cue. If no Light cues have been run, and no cue is displayed to the left as the latest Light cue, then this option is not available.

Selected Cue(s). Record all current light levels into the currently selected Light cue or cues, overwriting any levels already in those cues. If there are no currently selected Light cues, then this option is not available.

New Cue. Record all current light levels into a new Light cue. In QLab, in the context of lighting, the word record is used to mean "capture the current level of all parameters of all instruments in the workspace." What this means is that any parameters that do not have an explicit level in the Light Dashboard (i.e. those parameters which haven't been touched since the workspace was opened) will be recorded at their home value (typically 0.) In this way, cues created or modified using Record All... function as blocking cues.

New Cue with All

This button serves as a shortcut for Record All > New Cue. You can also use the keyboard shortcut ⇧⌘N.

New Cue with Changes

This button records only changed levels into a new Light cue. For example, consider this screen shot:

New With Changes

If you click New Cue with Changes when the Dashboard looks like that, QLab would create a new cue containing 2 = 36 and 3 = 50. Instruments 1, 4, and src4 are not recorded into the cue because their levels have not been modified in the Dashboard.

When you run this new cue, only 2 and 3 will change, and the other lights will be left alone at whatever levels they're already set to. In this way, cue created using New Cue with Changes function as tracking cues.

Update

The Update... button becomes enabled whenever the Dashboard contains modified (yellow) values, and it displays a pop-up menu with three options, each of which may only be available depending upon the situation:

Latest Cue (⌘U). Copy all modified light levels into the latest Light cue. If the modified levels belong to lights or groups that are already in the latest cue, QLab will overwrite those levels. If not, QLab will add them and leave everything else alone. If no Light cues have been run, and no cue is displayed to the left as the latest Light cue, then this option is not available.

Selected Cue (⇧⌘U). Copy all modified light levels into the currently selected Light cue or cues. If the modified levels belong to lights or groups that are already in the selected cue or cues, QLab will overwrite those levels. If not, QLab will add them and leave everything else alone. If there are no currently selected Light cues, then this option is not available.

Originating Cue (⌥⌘U). Copy all modified light levels into the cue or cues which originated their current levels. This concept is most similar to "record track" and is explained in more detail below.

Originating Cues Explained

Since not every cue needs to provide a value for every instrument, it is possible that, after running several cues, the Dashboard reflects the handiwork of more than one cue. Update Originating Cue(s) will update the value of each instrument in the cue that originated the level for that instrument. This is complicated, so we'll walk through that step by step. Consider a show with six instruments, and five cues:

Cue 1 2 3 4 5 6
1 100 100 100 100 100 100
2 15 15 15
3 80
4 25 25
5 50

After running all five cues, in order, the live state of the lights in this show are:

Cue 1 2 3 4 5 6
Live: 15 80 50 25 25 100

The levels for each instrument originate in different cues:

Cue 1 2 3 4 5 6
1 100 100 100 100 100 100
2 15 15 15
3 80
4 25 25
5 50

If you ran those five cues, and then adjusted instruments 3, 5, and 6 to new levels, let's say all to 75, the button would read Update 3 Originating Cues because those three instruments' levels originated in three different cues. If you then clicked the button, those originating cues would all be updated:

Cue 1 2 3 4 5 6
1 100 100 100 100 100 75
2 15 15 15
3 80
4 25 75
5 75

The DMX Status Window

The DMX Status Window, which you can find under the Window menu, is a diagnostic and troubleshooting tool that's not part of the Light Dashboard, but is related. The DMX Status Window shows the current value of one universe of DMX at a time, and lets you manually set the level of individual addresses. You cannot record changes you make in this window; it's intended only to help you solve patching errors, discover whether a misbehaving fixture is correctly addressed, etc.

The Tools Menu

When the Light Dashboard is the frontmost window, the contents of the Tools menu is re-populated with relevant menu items:

New Cue with Changes (⌘N)
New Cue with All (⇧⌘N)
Update Latest Cue (⌘U)
Update Selected Cues (⇧⌘U)
Update Originating Cues (⌥⌘U)
Record All to Latest Cue
Record All to Selected Cues
Clear All
Revert Changes (⌘R)