Software Documentation

Software Documentation


Intermediate Last updated: May 25, 2021

8 Move-In-Black (MIB) and Move-To

The “Move-In-Black” and “Move-To” effects apply to moving head fixtures, including flames and lights.  Effects in a show that move continuously from one angle to another require two or more events in the show to specify the angles involved.  The first effect specifies the “from” angle as the angle of its trajectory dots in the design view; it is typically a “Move-In-Black” effect, signaling that the effect is off (black) for the setup time in which the moving head moves from whatever angle it previously was at to the “from” angle.  The following effect specifies the “to” angle as the angle of its trajectory dots.  It is always a “Move-To” effect.  The time separation between the effects on the timeline is the duration of the sweeping effect.


Table 1 – Instructions to create a moving effect

Step Meaning
Step 1 Insert a “Move-In-Black” effect at the “from” time.
Step 2 Drag the trajectory dots of the effect to the “from” angle.
Step 3 Insert a “Move-To” effect at the “to” time.
Step 4 Drag the trajectory dots of the “Move-To” effect to the “to” time.


On the timeline, the “from” and “to” effects will be connected, as shown in Figure 1.  As you drag them farther apart or closer together on the timeline, the line between them expands or contracts.  The duration of the line is the duration of the effect.  “Move-To” effects generally have zero duration in their definition for clarity, since their effective start time is based on the preceding effect yet their effective end time is the end of their own duration.  If you want to lengthen the duration of a “Move-To” effect it is usually easier to drag it to the right on the timeline, but you can also edit its duration, which accomplishes the same goal.


Figure 1 – A “Move-In-Black” (cue flag 105) and a “Yellow Move-To” 5s later define a moving effect, visualized as a yellow bar.


Effect libraries may also contain modifier effects like “With Strobing Fast” or “With Gobo Star”.  Modifier effects appear as dotted lines on the timeline, as you can see in Figure 1.  They do not turn on or off the fixture themselves.  They modify any effects that they overlap.  If you want a yellow, strobing, star gobo effect for a moving head light that sweeps from one angle to another, you would insert a “Move-In-Black” effect at the “from” time, and a “Yellow Move-To” effect at the “to” time.  Then you’d also insert a “With Strobing” effect and a “With Gobo Star” effect at the “from” time or just before, and you would adjust the durations of these two modifier effects to cover the duration between “from” and “to”, or longer if the strobing or gobo effects are intended to apply to other effects also that you add after the “to” time.


Creating Move-To effects

“Move-To” effects require three conditions to appear correctly in the timeline and in the design view, and to export correctly:

  1. They apply to fixtures, not pyro positions.
  2. The VDL contains the term “Move-To”.
  3. The prefire, which specifies the maximum separation between the “Move-To” effect and the “from” effect that it reaches back to, is non-zero.

Additionally, when creating a “Move-To” effect, you should,

  1. Set the Duration field to zero, since the “Move-To” effect extends backward, not forward.
  2. Add the DMX Patch field to translate the effect parameters into the fixture’s DMX personality (see The DMX Patch field).