LASACT – Interactive Laser Display

 

Over the past few years, laser entertainment technology has undergone incredible changes, with new improvements in laser technology helping to drive the industry forward. Laser projectors have become significantly more affordable to purchase and maintain, primarily due to advancements in the laser sources used. And laser control technology from companies like Pangolin has made the process of creating incredible laser displays easier than ever. As a result of these technological improvements, lasers have rapidly become an integral part of many high-profile entertainment venues and events, and we’re now seeing laser technology being used in other new and exciting applications. 

 

One new area we see lasers expanding into, is “Interactive Entertainment Displays”, sometimes referred to as “Crowd Art”. An Interactive Entertainment Display is essentially an installation whereby people in an audience have the opportunity to control, manipulate and in some cases touch an effect. These are becoming increasingly popular, especially in public outdoor areas where there is a desire to captivate an audience. 

 

A recent installation called LASACT held in Cologne, Germany for the “Platine Festival and “ArtApp Awards” is a great example of how lasers are being used for Interactive Entertainment Displays and media art.

 

Created by BTF Team (http://btf.de), including Alexander Rechberg, David Murmann, Michael König, Adrian Rennertz, and Daniel Becker… LASACT is an interactive light and sound-installation, where visitors are able to modify the visual appearance and sound patterns of a laser display, using a web application for their mobile device.

The installation uses a variety of state-of-the-art web and laser technologies to accomplish this feat, including RGB Laser Projection Systems, Pangolin’s LD2000 software, QM2000.NET hardware and software development kit, as well as “PangOSC” which is an OSC-Wrapper for the Pangolin API written by Thomas Kuleßa.

LASACT allows for fun, mesmerizing, harmonious lines to intertwine with each other, while visitors take control of the laser installation. Visitors can interact with the display on their own, but the real magic happens when they collaborate with others in the audience, to create beautifully projected effects that are the result of mutually coordinated input. All of this is possible using a wide-spread technology we commonly carry in our pockets – a smart phone. 

In an interview with the BTF Artistic Team, they noted… Nowadays brief moments of absence – induced and facilitated by the smart phone technology – are accepted even during face to face meet-ups. Despite being connected globally, members of today’s society escape the real world and dive into their own virtual bubbles. The LASACT installation conveys these aspects of communication, social relation and group dynamics. 

LASACT was awarded the “AppArtAwards" best creative development in the field of “crowd art” at the Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe (ZKM). The sponsors for the awards ceremonies were CAS Software AG, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the Science Year 2014 – The Digital Society, DPS Engineering and GFT Technologies AG.  

LASACT emphasizes the collaborative creation; it is an artwork in constant progression, a creation which is created just now, only during the time of performance, and in a non -repeatable matter” says Chiara Passa, Artist and Member of the voting panel. The LASACT installation serves as a great example of how laser technology is pioneering the way for Interactive Entertainment Displays, presenting new and exciting opportunities for the laser entertainment industry as a whole. 

A big thank you to Alexander Rechberg, David Murmann, Michael König, Adrian Rennertz, and Daniel Becker of BTF GmbH for their outstanding work in coordination with this installation.

Technical Specifications for Future Installations: 

Projection by 3.0W RGB LaserInstallations & Local Wifi

One Computer running:

* Local HTTP Server (receiving input of the mobile phones) 

* Graphical Content Generation Engine 

* PureData Setup for Sound-generation

Second Computer

* Laser input signal computation (Pangolin Laser Systems’ LD2000 software, QM2000.NET hardware, and Software Development Kit)

All electronic and technical hardware required may be supplied by the artist. Transportation is possible via plane or car.

To be Supplied by the Venue:

* Tripod or Rack for rigging of the laser projector at a minimum height of 2,5m (safety reasons) 

* Power (at least 1,5 kW) 

Optional

* Stereo speakers 

* Internet connection

Lasertainment Rocks EDC NYC, with RTI Projectors and Pangolin Laser Control

The Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) has rapily become one of the United State's largest electronic dance music festivals, bringing in top name EDM performers from around the world, and drawing in thousands of eager fans. The event tours various locations across the USA, hitting many major cities including New York, Los Angeles, Orlando, Las Vegas, and others. 

The recent EDC festival in New York City was a massive success. Our friends at Lasertainment (www.lasertainment.com) performed a huge, live laser show, that spanned several of the stages at the NYC event. The team at Lasertainment realized that with such a massive performance, and with so many people eager to see the lasers, that there was no room for error. Lasertainment utilizied the latest in laser technology, sourcing high-quality laser projection systems from Ray Technologies – RTI (www.laserworld.com), and using Pangolin laser control systems, including our award-winning QM2000.NET hardware, and LivePRO software. 

A short video clip from EDC NYC can be viewed below (courtsey of Lasertainment): 

 

With EDC NYC now over, all eyes are turned to the west, with preparations in full swing for EDC Las Vegas, which is estimated to draw-in hundreds of thousands of excited fans, and the world's top name EDM musical talent. Our friends at Lasertainment are also making preparations, with a huge supply of laser projectors, controllers, and more headed out that way, for a show which is sure to make headlines. Stay tuned!

Pangolin partners with Capture Sweden, for visualization of laser shows

Time and time again we hear clients asking, "how can I show my client my show, without having to setup my rig"… Well, we took this statement to heart, and as such, we've parterned with the great team at Capture Sweden, to incoroprate full-scal laser show visualization inside of BEYOND, using the Capture Polar software. 

Now you can use Capture Polar together with BEYOND, for visualization of your complete laser show. The Capture Polar software is incredibly easy to use and allows you to import rederings of your show setup, and place your laser projectors and other lighting and fixtures inside of the redering, for visualization. Capture Polar work together with BEYOND, taking commands from the BEYOND software, and then ouputing them inside of Capture. Using this setup, you can visualize complete laser show, inclduing beam shows, graphic shows, and laser mapping effects.

To show clients how this works, and to illustrate the possiblities of this software combination, we've partnered with the team at Capture, to create the following tutorial video. 

In this tutorial, Lars from Capture Sweden shows you the basics of using lasers inside of Capture Polar, and Aaron McDonald from Pangolin shows you how to visualize a complete show, using BEYOND. 

For quesiton on using Capture Polar together with BEYOND, email us (contact@pangolin.com) for more information. 

Why Audience Scanning is the next big thing for Lighting Designers

With the recent success of the Justin Timberlake 20/20 World Tour and subsequent Saturday Night Live performance, and with other industry leading entertainers including Drake, Dave Matthews Band, and Jimmy Fallon using audience scanning style laser light shows for their events, an influx of production companies, lighting designers, and performers of all kinds have been contacting Pangolin, asking how to create and control laser effects like the ones used during these performances.

 

To address this surge of questions, Pangolin has released the following statement to the press, which discusses these events and the effects used, and provides information about the technical and legal aspects surrounding a laser performance like this. In addition, Pangolin, has cooperated with industry leading laser projector manufacturer X-Laser, to create an informational video, which illustrates how to create a laser shows similar to the ones noted above, using Pangolin’s new BEYOND laser control software and PASS hardware, together with X-Laser’s POLARIS laser projector technology. You can access this video below: 

In a statement to the press, Pangolin’s Chief Operating Officer Justin Perry was quoted saying:

 

    “The Justin Timberlake 20/20 World Tour and Saturday Night Live performance, as well as the Drake World Tour, and Dave Matthews Band tour incorporated some amazing laser effects. However, many lighting professionals might not fully understand how such effects can be created, or the safety and regulatory challenges associated with laser displays like this. To help answer many of these questions, we at Pangolin are taking a proactive approach, with the end-goal in mind of educating the public on how to create similar laser effects, but in a safe and compliant manner.”

 

To begin, an important item to address is that all of the previously mentioned events use a laser effect which we in the industry refer to as “audience scanning”. In the simplest terms possible, audience scanning occurs when you intentionally create laser effects (laser beams, waves, sheets, atmospheric effects, etc) and project them into an audience area, so that the laser light is actually touching people in the crowd. This effect can also be confined to a stage where the laser light interacts with a performer. Audience scanning is a truly immersive effect, that allows people to actually interact with and touch the light. It’s an effect no other light source can perform, including LED, thanks to the tightness, precision and definition of laser beams. That is why it is commonly considered the “holy grail” of lighting effects. 

 

For the purposes of this discussion, we will refer to audience scanning laser regulations currently in use in the United States. While regulations vary by country and sometimes even by region, the U.S. standards are widely considered to be the most robust series of safety regulations in the world and accordingly, safety systems that are compliant with U.S. regulations are typically given reciprocity elsewhere in the world. 

 

In order to perform any sort of public laser display (even without audience scanning), the person performing the laser show must have a special license called a Laser Light Show Variance, which is very much like a driver’s license for high powered lasers. The operator also must be using laser projectors that have been tested and certified to meet the safety standards of the region in which they are being used. Operator training is required, just as driver’s education is required for new drivers, to ensure that operators are able to rig, program and operate the projectors safely. This training is often extended for operators of audience scanning laser shows. There is a lot of documentation available online about laser compliance in the United States, and a great place for anyone to learn more about this is by visiting the International Laser Display Association (ILDA) website at www.laserist.org. ILDA is the world’s largest trade organization for the laser display industry and they are a leading source for laser safety information.

 

Performing audience scanning effects safely, regardless of the sophistication of local regulations, requires precisely controlling various attributes of the laser beam and Pangolin has developed and patented three technologies to serve this need. 

 

The first patented technology is called the Professional Audience Safety System (or PASS for short), which is a highly specialized circuit that monitors the health of all critical systems in a laser projector. PASS is tunable to suit most any need and can be integrated by any PASS Certified Integrator such as X-Laser into a variety of laser projector platforms. Once integrated, PASS performs real-time monitoring of all key projector systems and is able to instantly terminate laser emissions if it detects an unsafe condition. 

 

Another patented Pangolin technology is known the Safety Scan Lens. Often used in conjunction with PASS, Safety Scan Lenses are mounted by projector manufacturers onto the front of certain laser projectors and serve to increase the divergence, (or beam spread), within the audience area. A large beam has a lower power density, and is therefore much safer for direct viewing. 

 

Now, just because a laser projector has PASS installed and uses our Safety Scan Lens technology, does not mean that it is ready or compliant for audience scanning in the United States. A special variance for audience scanning is required for any shows in the United States. This type of variance can usually be obtained through the manufacturer of the audience scanning laser projectors.  

 

This is an additional variance, and is not the same as the “general” variance you must have for your laser projector(s) to perform standard shows in the USA. This is discussed further online, on our PASS webpage, and we would encourage anyone interested in audience scanning to read this.

 

Since performing audience scanning in the USA can be a complex process, we have partnered with several laser projector manufacturers, including X-Laser, who can provide audience scanning laser systems to the public which come with our PASS and Safety Scan Lens technology included. Our partners at X-Laser have taken it a step further though, by including an EZ-Variance Kit. In essence, they help to do the variance paperwork for you (which can be a very arduous and time consuming process otherwise) and offer the highest level of customer support we’ve seen to date for obtaining a certified audience scanning laser projection system in the United States or UK. If you are interested in receiving information about this, we would encourage you to contact us directly by email or telephone (contact@pangolin.com; +1-407-299-2088), or to reach out to the X-Laser team at sales@x-laser.com or by phone at 301-543-1981. 

 

X-Laser also offers a unique integration of Pangolin’s technologies in an extremely user friendly, turn-key package called Polaris. Polaris is a complete suite of hardware, software and procedures which are designed to get show producers setup and running as quickly as possible, which is essential for touring environments. X-Laser’s patent pending Polaris systems can be setup completely, from road case to show, in just a few minutes, which can be up to 90% faster than competing methods. 

 

Also, Polaris systems do not require the use of expensive, specialized measurement tools further reducing the cost of ownership, while dramatically reducing the risk of measurement errors, and completely eliminating mathematical calculations. These are just a few of the reasons that Polaris systems are in use currently by top artists and nightclubs throughout North America and Europe.”

 

Regarding the upcoming July 2014 launch of the third generation of X-Laser Polaris systems, company President Dan Goldsmith was quoted as saying:

 

“Whenever you need to remove an audience from an effect for their own safety, this makes the creation of truly immersive, dynamic experiences dramatically more difficult to achieve, and much less impactful. Further developments of our patent pending Polaris technologies will serve to bring audiences closer than ever to the enhanced worlds created by our clients, and we are extremely excited to see what kinds of powerful, compelling experiences they create. A great deal of the laser world is powered by Pangolin and we very much look forward to ever greater collaborations, to consistently deliver the best and most innovative tools to today’s designers and event producers.”

 

Aside from the equipment one would need to create these types of effects, another question Justin Perry of Pangolin goes on to address in his statement to the public, is how “how” to setup, create, and control lasers to perform spectacular audience scanning effects. 

 

Perry continues… “Pangolin’s all-new BEYOND laser control software can be used to create these audience scanning style effects, and using BEYOND, you can achieve stunning results very quickly. BEYOND also has additional safety features built inside of the software (such as our patented Beam Attenuation Map – BAM for short), which provides operators with an additional degree of safety when performing audience scanning.

 

The BAM allows you to reduce the output power of laser beams when projected into a given area (for example into a crowd or onto a performer), while not reducing their power when projected into a “safe” area (for example over the heads of those in the crowd).”

 

For more information on audience scanning, and the equipment, procedures, and processes involvoed in getting started, feel free to contact us here at Pangolin at anytime. We are more than happy to help. 

 

 

 

 

 

We've received a lot of questions from clients, asking for more informaiton about ZONES inside of Pangolin software, and how to use zones to create better laser shows.

A zone is (essentialy) a tool inside of all Pangolin software, that allows you to output laser content to different projection areas, from a single or multiple laser projectors.

For example, if you have one laser, and you wanted to project an atomospheric effect over people's heads, and at the same time project a graphic/logo in another area, you could use our zones tool to help configure this. Zones go much deeper, but this provides a basic idea of what a zone is, and how it might be used in a real world scenario. 

Another example of using a zone, is if you wanted multiple types of atomostpheric laser effects to be projected (perhaps a wave in one area, and hot beams in another area), you can use the zones settings to configure this in Pangolin laser software. 

We've created the following Pangolin Tutorial video, to help address the commonly asked questions "what is a zone", "how do I use zones to create better laser shows", "how do I setup a zone", etc. 

We hope you find this informational. More tutorials are coming, and if you have a request for future tutorials, share it with us!

The 2014 Pangolin Tour Makes Headlines

 

TOUR

The Pangolin Team is currently traveling across Europe, meeting with distribution partners across the area to conduct in-depth training seminars on their new BEYOND software, as well as on their award-winning QuickShow and LD2000 software programs. This year's tour takes the Pangolin team to Rome, Milan, Madrid and Moscow, which are all very large emerging markets for laser displays. The event has been gaining a lot of media attention following the recent Prolight+Sound exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany and as a result, TPI Magazine has even featured the tour in the latest edition of their online newsletter. Additional information about the tour, and the full TPI article can be found online by clicking here.

The Pangolin Team has additional tour dates being planned for the United States, Asia and possibly Brazil. For more information on Pangolin, and their award-winning lineup of laser control software, and laser show hardware visit www.pangolin.com.

Pangolin Technologies Dominate the 2014 Prolight+Sound Exhibition

The energy and excitement surrounding the 2014 Prolight+Sound Exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany is now coming to close. This is a huge exhibition for the laser entertainment industry, with more media attention surrounding lasers at the show than ever before. In addition, nearly all exhibiting laser companies where showcasing new products, which will help to grow the laser entertainment industry at large. 

 

Pangolin Laser Systems, an award-winning manufacturing of laser control software and hardware was proud to take part in the exhibition this year, as technologies manufactured by the company appeared to dominate the show in all areas. In many regards you could not turn a corner without seeing a laser entertainment system utilizing one of their technologies. Nearly all exhibiting laser companies were incorporating Pangolin products, from their laser control software, to their patented laser safety products, and also their all-new lineup of galvanometer-based optical scanning systems. 

 

At the Pangolin booth, a variety of new technologies from the company were on display. Demonstrations were given on new features inside of their BEYOND laser control software, such as the advanced multimedia timeline which allows you to easily combine laser effects together with video, for true multimedia shows. Pangolin also had a variety of laser safety products on display, including the Safety Scan lenses which help make laser shows safer and more enjoyable to watch, and also their PASS system (Professional Audience Safety  System) which helps to guarantee the safety of an audience scanning laser light show, where laser beams are actually projected into an audience. 

While there were lot of interesting new technologies shown at the Pangolin booth, perhaps the most exciting was their all-new galvanometer-based optical scanners including Compact-506 and Saturn 1 models. Optical scanners are used inside of almost all entertainment laser projectors. Scanners are essentially two small motors, that move a beam on an X/Y axis, and allow the projector to create various laser effects, including atmospheric effects as well as laser graphics. 

 

For many years, show producers in the laser industry have faced challenges with optical scanners made in a conventional way. Present scanning solutions can not perform at speeds fast enough to create the types of effects desired, and they are not reliable enough to withstand the rigorous applications laser show operators use them in. 

 

Pangolin formed a new company division of the company called ScannerMAX, which has been developing galvanometer-based optical scanners for both laser show and industrial laser applications for the past two years. Their scanners have been proven to overcome the problems of conventional scanners, allowing laser show and lighting designers to create the types of laser effects they have always dreamed about. 

 

During the show, Pangolin displayed two separate scanning systems. The first, which they call the “Compact-506” is ideal for applications where clients needs a reliable, high performance scanning solution, at an affordable price. The second optical scanning system, called the “Saturn 1”, really stole the show, and was considered by many to be the most innovative new laser show technology at Prolight+Sound 2014. 

 

Pangolin integrated the Saturn 1 into one of their laser projectors, and projected three graphical laser shows (which are known to be very hard on optical scanners), all from one laser projector, all at the same time, and at a 30° scan angle, running at 90kpps. This is something the laser show industry has never witnessed before, and the market response to Pangolin’s new development was overwhelming. 

 

In a recent interview taken during the Prolight+Sound Frankfurt exhibition, William R. Benner Jr., Pangolin’s President and CTO was quoted saying… “Innovation is the driving force behind everything we do here at Pangolin. Our goal is to create products that help benefit the laser and entertainment industries as a whole, so our colleagues in the field can create events which leave people in awe. It is such an amazing feeling to know that a product you’ve worked to develop has helped contribute to another person’s joy. When you create products for an industry you love, it’s not work… It’s fun, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.”

ER Productions WOWs audiences at the 2014 BRITS with amazing laser show

 

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The BRITS 2014 was the biggest BRITS to date so it also needed the largest of Laser Rigs! ER Productions supplied 23 high-powered OPSL systems totaling 497watts.

3 artists requested lasers for their performances and ER Production’s worked closely with the shows LD Dave Davey to ensure all effects required were executed correctly and safely. It was the quality of the ops diodes, Pangolin Systems and advanced laser show knowledge that ER Production's brings to the table that helped ER Production’s produce the TV white looks along with the vibrant colours required.

Arctic Monkey’s who opened the show used 3 x 21w RGBB ops lasers systems up-stage center, just behind the band. The laser accompanied the track ‘ R U MINE ‘ and used white and yellow colours.

Next was Katy Perry who’s neon Cleopatra theme suited the laser looks incredibly well. It was important to achieve different styles from the 3 laser rigs so for Katy it was decided to concentrate the majority on the power on-stage. It was also a great opportunity to utilize the large matt white BRIT Statue with some laser mapping effects. This came from 2 x 25w RGBYC OPS systems with high-speed 60k scanners located at FOH. This was a truly unique effect and one ER Production’s has never delivered for a live TV show. The neon theme also allowed them to use really bright greens, magentas and cyan’s which show up on camera really well. The end result looked great and added an effective layer to the laser display.

To top this up, ER rigged 6 x 21w RGBB OPS systems onto the curve truss’s, stage left and right with 2 x 24w Greens hung centrally on a mid-truss. The focus for these was the pit cameras, which shot up through the performance catching all the laser effects. The final performance was for Ellie Goulding who used 12 x 21w RGBB OPS systems and diffracted burst effects. The lasers accompanied the track burn with white and yellow effects throughout with the final verse using the red diffracted effects. ER Production’s metered the audience exposure effects on-site to ensure they all were below MPE. All together this made for a huge laser installation and we are very happy with the end result.

The show was run on 2 separate PANGOLIN.net networks, and a PANGOLIN Beyond system for the mapping. In total 26 PANGOLINS were networked and worked perfectly throughout. More information on Pangolin, and how their systems are used in the field is available online at www.pangolin.com, and on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PangolinSystems

Atmospherics were supplied by 4 Look Solutions Viper Delux ‘s and as with all our shows we used our ER E-STOP interface for quick shutdown. Its not often we have to link 3 of them together but the with 4 inputs and 10 outputs we were able to easily adapt the system to just the one E-STOP button at FOH. More information on ER Productions (and ILDA Member company) is available on their website: www.er-productions.com.

Network Laser Show Hardware from Pangolin Systems


 

Since 1986, Pangolin has been the world's leading provider of laser show software and control hardware for the entertainment industry. In 2007, we introduced the QM2000.NET, which still holds it's title as the world's most reliable network control option for laser professionals. Available in three versions (the .NET Laptop Box, 19-inch Rack, or .NET OEM module) our QM2000.NET solutions can handle even the most advanced jobs, and they have been used on many of the world's largest laser displays. For more information on the QM2000.NET, visit our website by clicking here