Table of Contents
Introduction
Work Flow
Gels
A quick note on Logins
Projects
Manage Gelstrings
Ordering

Introduction

The ColorExpress IT web site has been designed with the Lighting Designer in mind. We hope that you find it a useful tool and that you are able to use it in your daily dealings with gels and gelstrings. One of our hopes is that this site will both provide a valuable reference tool as well as improve accuracy in the ordering of gelstrings. If you find any bugs, or have suggestions for how to improve this tool, please email them to us.

Work Flow

The ColorExpress IT site is designed with three major sections: Gels, Projects and Orders. Use the Gels section to help research gel colors from any of the major manufacturers that Wybron carries (It is possible that you may only need to use the site as a lookup reference, and that's fine with us. We do hope though, that when you do have a need to create gelstrings, you will also use the site for that too.). Once you have answered any questions you may have regarding gel colors, the majority of gelstring design work is handled in the Projects section.

In this section, you create projects for individual events that you need to make gelstrings for. You can associate multiple gelstrings for a variety of different color changers (manufactured by Wybron or not) with your event. Once you have all of the gelstrings put together for your project, you can then place an order for your gelstrings. If you are a Wybron dealer, you may place the order directly with us. If not, you have the ability to email the project to your dealer so they may order the gelstrings for you. You may choose to modify these gelstrings or add more to any event you have created until an order is placed for that event. Once your event has been ordered, you may no longer modify the project, though you may still create a new project and reuse those gelstrings that you have previously created on the site.

If you are an end user who has sent your project off to a dealer for ordering, your part in the ordering process is done. If you are a dealer who has received an email from a user, we hope that the new site will make placing that order even easier for you. When you click on the link you received in the email, you will be taken to the ordering page for that project. Once you have filled out the necessary information, the order will be placed automatically for you.

Gels

The gel section is your one stop reference for all the information you need regarding gel colors. The screen is divided into two major areas. The top area is the detail section, while the bottom section is the palette area.

The palette area shows you all of the colors for each manufacturer (some of the "gels" will not be present. Specifically those that cannot be used in gelstrings or who's representation in the list would not make sense. "Blackout foil" is one example that comes to mind). You may change manufacturers by selecting a different one from the drop down list in the upper left hand corner of the palette area. By clicking on any one of the colors in the palette, the full information available for that gel is displayed in the detail section. Also, gels may be found for all manufacturers (regardless of which manufacturer's palette you are currently looking at) by typing in either part of the gel's code or name into the lookup box. This will automatically display a drop down box with all of the gel colors that match your description. Click on the gel in the drop down box to display its details. Also, you can narrow down your search by typing more characters. The drop down box will change as you type to reflect the new search results.

The detail section has as much information as we can possibly cram into it for each selected gel. This data was obtained by measuring samples of every gel included in the site with a Minolta Spectrophotometer and capturing that data into the ColorExpress IT database. A color swatch with the gel's code and name appears. Under this, the chromaticity data is displayed (X,Y,Z and x,y). This information is the mathematical information for locating the color on the CIE Chromaticity diagram. The final piece of information in this column is the transmission value as found in the manufacturers swatch book.

The next column provides links to various data associated with the selected color. For example, the Similar Colors link will display a window containing not only the original color selected, but also the five closest colors to it regardless of manufacturer. This makes it possible to cross reference gels or find substitutes for colors. One note here is that the cap Y value is not taken into account in this calculation. Therefore it is possible for the site to return a color that does not appear to be a close match for the color in question. The reason for this is that the color matches closely in hue, but the gamma is not close to the original color.

Other functions in this area include the ability to find the selected color's five closest CIE Complimentary colors and to find the DMX values for Wybron's Nexera fixture that will most closely match the selected gel. Other functionality will be added in the future.

The final piece of information in this section is the transmission graph. This graph shows the gel's transmission percentage for light wavelengths between 400 nm and 700 nm. A larger version of this graph may be viewed by clicking on the thumbnail in the detail section.

NOTE: The colors on these pages are calculated directly from the chromaticity information we have for each gel. On some monitors, such as an Apple Cinema Display, we have found that the colors are rendered extremely accurately. However, we cannot take into account all the differences in monitors (flat panel vs. CRT, Mac vs. PC gamma, etc.) so these colors should be treated as approximations.

A quick note on Logins

The Gels reference section of the site can be accessed without having to log into the site. We did this intentionally so that as many people as possible could benefit from using this reference. However, to use the functionality of the rest of the site, you must have an account and be logged in to it. This allows us to keep your work separate and secure from everyone else's. Accounts are free and require your email address and name to create. Unless you opt out, Wybron may occasionally use this information for promotional purposes. However, we will not provide this information to third parties. We dislike spam as much as you do!

To create an account, click on the "sign in" link in the upper right hand corner of the site. Instead of providing your email address and password on the next page, click on the "Create New Account" link. Provide the required information, and you're on your way to being able to use the full functionality of this web site.

Oh, and in the event that you have forgotten your password, go to the sign in page and click the "Forgot Password" link. You will be asked for the email address you used when you created your account. A special link will be sent to this email address. When you click on this link, you will be taken to a page where you may choose a new password for your account.

All passwords are stored in the ColorExpress IT database in encrypted form, so not even the admins know your password. However, we do not use encryption at this time on the login page as you are not transmitting sensitive personal information such as credit card numbers.

Projects

The project section is intended to be a place that you can organize gelstrings for a particular project.

The first page you see in the Projects section is the project list. When you use this page for the very first time, it will look extremely boring, as you have no projects. There are two links at the bottom of the project list "Create New Project" and "Manage Gelstrings". We'll cover creating a new project first and will come back to managing gelstrings later.

The project detail page can be broken down into two main sections. The top section is the project information section. This is where you name your project and include any other information that you would like to associate with this project. All of the fields are editable simply by clicking on the default information for each field. You may fill in as much or as little of this information as you like. However, it will be a little difficult after a while to tell the difference between projects if they are all named "Untitled Project"!

The second section is where all of the interesting gelstring information is displayed. You may add any quantity of as many different gelstrings (for as many different color changers) as you need to a project. This allows you the ability to have different gelstrings for different sized scrollers, for example. Or the same gelstring listed for different sized scrollers if you like. At the bottom of the gelstring section there is a link titled "Add new gelstring to project". This link will allow you to create a completely new gelstring to associate with your project.

When you click on the "Add new gelstring to project" link, you will be asked for the device your are creating the gelstring for and the quantity that you will need. By asking for the device in advance of making the gelstring, we can provide you with important information on the next page while you are building your gelstring (such as maximum number of frames for that device and pricing information).

The page that allows you to build a new gelstring looks very similar to the Gels reference page with a major difference. Instead of a detail information area, we have an assembly area. The palette area works very similarly to the palette from the Gels reference page. The differences being that there is a clear gel color that appears at the top of every palette. This was done because a vast majority of gelstrings contain one or more clear gel frames. This helps you from having to switch palettes or lookup a manufacturer's clear gel within their palette. The second change to the palette is that clicking on a color adds it to the gelstring rather than bringing up the detailed information about it. Everything else, including the search box, works the same as the Gels reference page.

The new area included on this page is the assembly area. It is here that you can find information about your gelstring as you create it and also watch the gelstring take shape. The "String Description" allows you to give useful names for your strings. If all of your strings are identical, it may not be a problem to leave them names "Untitled String". But, if there are different strings in your project, it may be a good idea to name the string (or if you would like to be able to find this particular string to use it again on a different show - but more on that later).

The dashed box in the assembly area is where your gelstring will take shape. As you add gels to your string, they will appear here in the order that you selected them. If you realize that you placed a color in the wrong location (and you happen to be using Firefox or Safari, it's still unreliable in IE) you can simply click and drag the gel to a different location in the string. Regardless of the browser you are on, if you need to remove a gel from the gelstring, double click it. I know, it's not the same action needed to add the gel to the string, but it had to be that way to allow for the drag and drop rearranging of the string to work. You'd be disappointed if you clicked to drag the gel in the string and it dragged and then deleted!

The last part of the assembly area is the string information section. This includes information such as which device the string is for, the current and maximum number of frames in the gelstring and the current retail price of the string as you build it.

When you are done creating your gelstring, click on the "Save Gelstring" button and you will be taken back to the project detail page. The new gelstring will be listed along with all of the device, quantity and pricing information related to it. On the right hand side, there are commands that apply to the string. The modify and delete links are pretty self explanatory (though the modify button only allows you to change the quantity needed or the device the string is for, not the string itself).

The other two commands involve "cheat sheets". A cheat sheet is a chart that lists all of the colors in a string along with the DMX percentage used on the color changers to hit that frame. Some people also refer to this as a "Magic Sheet". The "Get Cheat Sheet" link will download the file to your computer in PDF format. The "Email Cheat Sheet" allows you to enter an arbitrary email address and have the cheat sheet sent to that address in PDF format. This is a simple way to get this information into the hands of your board op or anyone else that may need it.

Another item of interest at the bottom of the gelstring section of the project detail page is the "Add existing gelstring to project" link. If you took the time to name a gelstring when you created it, you may use this link to reuse the gelstring here. This works within a project and across different projects as well. For example, if you have a string named "Background effects" that you need for both 4" and 10" Coloram II color changers, you could use the "Add new gelstring to project" link to create the string for the first time for the 4" Coloram II's. Then, instead of recreating the string for the 10" Colorams, you would select the "Add existing gelstring to project link" and pick the "Background effects" string for use in 10" Colorams and enter a quantity. You have just saved yourself the time and effort of recreating the gelstring.

If you head back to the project listing page, you will now see your project that you have created. There are commands associated with your project. "Detail" will bring you back to the Project Detail page where you may modify and add more gelstrings to your project. "Delete" will completely delete your project from the system, there is no undo, so use this carefully! The last two commands have to deal with ordering your project. If you are a Wybron dealer, you may click on the "Order project" link to go to the ordering page. If you are not a dealer, you may click on the "Email project for ordering" link. This will allow you to enter the email address of your dealer and they will be sent a link that will allow them to order your project for you.

If your project has been ordered, these commands will not appear. You will be able to look at the project details for future reference, but you will not be able to modify them.

There is one more link at the bottom of the Project List page labeled "Manage Gelstrings". This will take your to the section of the site that will allow you to manage your strings independently of any particular project.

Manage Gelstrings

The main page for this section of the site lists all of your gelstrings that you have ever created on the site. It shows their names and the date you created them. Some things you can do here are the same as you can do in the project detail page, such as downloading the cheat sheet. Other things can only be done from here though.

If you choose to delete a string, it will be removed completely from the database (and any project that references it) if no associated project has been ordered. If the string has been ordered, it will be removed from any project that has not been ordered, but will remain in any project that has been ordered for archival purposes. It will no longer be available for use on the Manage Gelstring page or in the "Add existing gelstring to project" in the Project Details section. There is no undo for deleting a gelstring.

If no project containing the gelstring has been ordered, you may modify the gelstring here. This allows you to change the colors in the string, rearrange them or even rename the string. These changes affect every occurrence of the gelstring within projects. If any project containing this gelstring has been ordered, the option to modify the string will not be available. Instead, you may choose to clone the string. A copy of the string will be created that may be modified or used in projects. This will allow you to use strings as a starting point that you have created for previous projects.

The last thing that you can do from this page is create a new gelstring. This works exactly the same as it does from the Project Detail page, with the exception that there is no knowledge of which type of color changer the string will be used on. This means that things like maximum number of frames and retail price cannot be calculated while you are creating the string. A gelstring made this way, may have problems that will appear later. For example, you may create a gelstring with more frames than a device you want to use it on can handle. The site will alert you when this happens and you can come back to the "Manage Gelstrings" page to modify the string to make it work.

Ordering

Wybron does not currently accept gelstring orders from the general public, only from our dealers. You can send your project to your local dealer from the project listing page. If you are a dealer, this section is for you. If you have entered a project yourself, you can get to the order page from the Project listing page by clicking on the "Order Project" link. Otherwise, a designer has sent you a link in an email for a project to be ordered for them. Either way, you will get to the same screen. You will be asked for all the pertinent information to place the order: Ship to information, shipping method, etc. When you click on the "place order" button, the order will be sent to Wybron to be fulfilled. No more retyping the order!

The other section that pertains to ordering gelstrings can be reached from the ColorExpress IT main menu. This section allows you to see past orders and their details. You can sort past orders by either date or by the project name.