ARRI rolls out an update for its lighting control app Stellar.
Being able to control hundreds of lights in the palm of your hand is quite the technological achievement when considering the historical alternative was a ladder.
While catwalks, Genie lifts, and yes, even ladders, are still commonly used on sets to mount and create lighting rigs, controlling how the light interacts in a scene is easier thanks to tech like DMX controllers, desktop software applications, and mobile apps.
ARRI Stellar falls into the mobile app category and receives another significant update after rolling out multiple user functionality in 2019.
- Control of third party luminaires
- Manually added fixtures, no RDM required
- Empty DMX slot suggestion
- Swap out fixtures
- Configurable default intensity
- More live data
The biggest improvement in Stellar 2 is it now supports third-party lights. Prior to the update, the app only controlled ARRI lighting fixtures like the Skypanel, Orbiter, and L-Series C, so if the lighting design was all ARRI fixtures, all good. But in reality, lighting designs include a variety of fixtures from different manufacturers. So far, Stellar supports Litegear, Astera, and Kino Flo.
ARRI included a way to manually add fixtures as well without requiring an RDM. RDM stands for Remote Device Management and is the protocol that allows for communication between the lighting and the controller. A set of generic dimmers can now be set up to work with tungsten light on a DMX dimmer and each DMX address can be assigned to each fixture in a couple of steps. A re-scan feature now detects any new fixtures without affecting the lighting setup.
The app now makes it possible to group fixtures with different corrected color temperature (CCT) ranges. Remember CCT is the measurement of a light source, usually expressed in Kelvin. An 18K fixture. A 10K fixture. CRI describes how accurate the light source illuminates the colors of an object. Being able to group different CCT is great.
Let's say you have a scene where a character is returning home from work, and upon entering their home, they flip on a light switch. While the audience may only see one fixture in the shot, the actual lighting design could come from three different sources with three different color temperatures. With Stellar 2 those fixtures can now be grouped and triggered seamlessly together.
Other updates to Stellar 2 include the ability to adjust the brightness intensity of the app. Light sources with RDM functionality will display temperature and mode information in the fixture setups as well as improved connectivity, preset functionality, and a new trial phase expiry warning.