Controlling the MCP

The name for the Master Control Panel was inspired by the Master Control Program in the original Tron film. It can’t really control anything, it is more of a “WiFi OSC Router”, but it’s hard to get excited about 3D-printing that, so, it’s the MCP.

To CONTROL the MCP, there seems to be two scenarios where I would use the MCP.

If I am operating the camera without any bots, or if I do not need repeatable action, I can control the MCP directly from my phone or tablet running TouchOSC, which runs a phone or tablet as a customizable control interface for OSC and midi. I made some simple interfaces in TouchOSC and that connect over WiFi and send OSC signals to the MCP, which are interpreted and sent to the camera (or to the robots).

This setup is only useful if I am not operating the camera with robots. It allows me to operate the camera without touching it, or while operating it manually.

When I want to get REPEATABLE movement from the camera, I needed something that has a timeline, and lets me set animation keys. I found the solution in TouchDesigner099.

TouchDesigner allowed me to create my own custom interface that can control all of the camera settings, plus, I can animate any of them. I can set keys or record input to control any of the parameters of the camera, or robots. The interface is very responsive, and I was able to do fancy stuff, like have hard stops on the focus sliders.

I can create a slider for any parameter that a dolly bot might need for rotation and movement, and anything else that might come up.

And as a bonus, I can control TouchDesigner over bluetooth Midi, while TouchDesigner is controlling the MCP over WiFi with OSC. I can stand anywhere on set and control TouchDesigner with my phone. It’s pretty slick, and will become a lot more useful when I’ve built some bots to animate.