(Featured image courtesy of Lightpower article showcasing Starmania installation utilizing P3 control. Image: © ORF)
Martin recently introduced its all-new P3-175 and P3-275 System Controllers. Additionally, it rolled out a brand new P3 Software Update v.6.0.0. Martin’s latest generation of P3 tools are tuned specifically for Martin fixtures, unveiling limitless potential.
P3 System Controllers offer tight, accurate, and full control over P3-enabled fixtures from one central location. Automated mapping, scaling, configuring, and addressing of fixtures saves time and eliminates the need to address fixtures locally.
We recently talked to Wouter Verlinden, Product Manager for Creative LED, Lighting, and Control to learn more about P3, how it greatly enhances creative possibilities for lighting designers, and what users can expect to experience with the new P3 System Controllers and software.
The Martin team has been out on the road lately demonstrating the new P3 System Controllers and Software. How has the launch been received?
Yes, we have had an opportunity to meet with several clients and customers to debut the new P3 Controllers and Software. The highlight of these shows has been getting a chance to better understand how we can support our clients’ ideas and projects, finding out what they like, what they’d like to see as future enhancements, and how we can help them design and implement their best work. Specific to the new P3 products, the reaction has been great. From both existing users and people just trying out P3 for the first time, they seem to love the updated design environment, the ability to import/export MVR files, and the ability to input 4K sources.
Can you share how P3 can be a helpful tool for lighting designers?
Sure. P3 is Martin’s integrated control platform for video and pixel mapping, remote addressing and monitoring, and distribution of creative LED and moving head fixture source content. We built P3 to merge control from a lighting console and a media server into one system, so you can control fixtures with DMX and with video at the same time.
Some of our most popular creative LED fixtures supported by P3 include our VDO Atomic Bolds and Dots as well as our VDO Sceptrons, Fatrons, and Dotrons. P3 is also perfect for designs using Martin’s flagship MAC family of moving heads including our just-launched MAC One Creative BeamWash, among many others. Additionally, a variety of Martin’s architectural creative LED fixtures, including our Exterior PixLine Family and Exterior Dot-HP fixtures.
What are some of the key benefits of the P3 platform?
Besides simple video and pixel mapping, remote setup and addressing are some of the most popular features because they eliminate the need to address fixtures locally. When you utilize P3 remote addressing, everything is done automatically, and you have full-time, full remote monitoring and far fewer DMX channels. Our P3 System Controllers will also patch your fixtures to DMX, Art-Net, or sACN control, allowing them to be controlled by a lighting console, pixel-mapping, video-mapping, or a mix of any of these – all in a very ergonomic environment with live previews and real-time feedback from the fixtures.
Can you give us an idea of how P3 is used in a real-world scenario?
P3 System Controllers are the heart of the P3 system as they are the hardware running P3 software. These System Controllers automatically discover all P3-enabled fixtures on the network so that no manual addressing is needed. They receive a video signal from a media server, live camera, or other source and map to the fixtures on the workspace. This enables your fixtures to behave as one large canvas on the stage or building. No matter how you mix and match different products, of different types, the P3 System Controller takes care of all mapping, scaling, and rotation to make sure that every fixture receives the right portion of the overall image and it all looks like one uniform video canvas. Once you add them to the mapping canvas, you can also patch them to Art-Net or sACN. This then enables the fixtures to be controlled from the lighting desk, be video-mapped onto the incoming video feed, or a mix of both.
Now that we’ve talked about what P3 can do, what can you tell us about the new P3 System Controllers and some of the top features they include?
Our next-generation P3-175 and P3-275 System Controllers take P3 to a whole other level. The new Controllers support source content up to DCI 4K (4096×2160) over HDMI and NDI with significantly increased output capacity of up to 1,040,000 pixels to up to 6,000 fixtures. This unlocks even greater creative potential with the ability to design for bigger stages and buildings with a much larger canvas for designs to flow across, without the usual downside of consuming hundreds or thousands of DMX universes.
Additionally, the new Controllers have been outfitted with the latest processors to deliver a smooth and responsive user experience. In addition, by integrating with third-party software via the MVR standard, the new System Controllers can import and export industry-standard files eliminating duplicate actions, enabling designs (and patches) to be shared between lighting consoles, CAD programs, visualizers, and the Martin P3 ecosystem.
To ensure all elements work cohesively without visible latency, the entire system is fully synchronized and real-time previews illustrate how DMX controls and video will be rendered on the fixtures even when using a mix of control methods. I invite you to check out all the features and specs of the new P3-175 and P3-275 System Controllers.
What about the new P3 Software Update v6.0.0? What does it bring to the table?
When designing the new Controllers we also wanted to make some significant P3 software updates as well and we accomplished that with the v6.0.0 Update. First, it presents an all-new, redesigned, modern interface that is ergonomic, smooth, and responsive with better support for darkened front-of-house and other performance-monitoring environments. It also enables real-time feedback and remote system monitoring, empowering system integrators to diagnose problems before they occur. I also encourage you to explore all of the new enhancements.
The new software is available for the new P3-175 and P3-275 System Controllers but is also available for our legacy P3-050, P3-150, and P3-300 models, extending those units with all the new features and enhancements. Version 6.0.0 is also available for our P3-PC version, running on any Windows computer and allowing lighting designers to get started easily and for free. It can be used as a basic mapping tool; addressing tool; Art-Net / sACN to P3 bridge; or as a full P3 control solution – mixing lighting controls and video content into fixtures. P3-PC System Controller Software 6.0.0 is now also compatible with Windows 11.
P3 Feature Highlights:
- Mix DMX and Video Control – Gives the lighting designer the freedom to create unique looks by entering parameters or by sending content to fixtures to ultimately create the ideal look that the designer envisions.
- Time-Saving MVR Integration – Mapping and patches can be exported to third-party lighting consoles, visualizers, and CAD programs. There is no need to re-create a system repeatedly using different software packages.
- Remote Addressing and Setting – Eliminates the need to physically access fixtures to address and configure each one locally via the display.
- Real-Time Monitoring – Offers a complete view of your entire system to diagnose any issues.
- System-wide Synchronization – Deliver perfect performance across the entire system, without visible lag and latency issues.
- Live Preview – Visualize results during pre-programming without connecting actual fixtures.
Is there an opportunity to dive deeper into getting the most out of the new P3 enhancements?
We work closely with our valued community of lighting designers and are truly appreciative of their interest in getting trained and learning what’s possible so we have developed a new series of videos that dive much further into the possibilities.
And, what’s next for P3?
One of the best things about meeting with our customers is understanding how we can better assist them. Since the debut of the new Controllers and software, we’ve been getting some great suggestions on future enhancements to make P3 even more useful, more efficient, and more impactful. We are taking these ideas and evaluating the best ways to implement them to design and build an even better P3 Control ecosystem for the future.
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