FB4 – Integrated Network Hardware, for your laser shows

A revolution is taking place in the laser entertainment industry, as more and more clients begin to shift to complete network setups, using Pangolin’s proprietary FB4 Network-based Laser Control Hardware, which acts as a media server for laser and multimedia shows.

For many years, the laser industry has used the common “ILDA” cable, as the standard connection for setting up and controlling laser shows. In reality, an “ILDA cable” is nothing more than a DB-25 male to female cable, featuring a 25-pin connection (commonly used in the printing industry). While this means for sending a signal from control software and hardware to a laser has sufficed, it has also presented substantial limiting factors for many clients, making it harder and harder to do larger scale, more sophisticated laser displays.

Some of the challenges when working with ILDA cables include:

  • Short cable runs – When using ILDA cable, you are generally limited to a  maximum run of around 150ft (50M). When extending the cables further, you may notice a loss in the signal or quality of output. And for large scale productions, stadium shows, and festival shows, this has proven to be a severe limiting factor.
  • ILDA cables are a nightmare to run, especially through trussing. The bulky “heads” on ILDA cables easily get tangled, and make it quite challenging to work with.
  • ILDA cables are very sensitive, and the pins on them can easily bend and break. When this occurs, you have a loss in signal running to the laser, that can lead to distortion in the laser effects and shows that are being displayed, or, in even worse case situations, it can impede the safety of the laser projector as a whole.
  • When using ILDA cables, you can only drive some many lasers from a single control position. Making it it hard to drive large scale shows, where multiple projectors are used.

A better approach – The Advantages of using Lasers with FB4

FB4 is a new network control hardware from Pangolin, that acts as a media server for laser and multimedia shows. FB4 can be integrated directly inside of a laser projector, so that you no longer have to use the outdated ILDA cable. Instead, all of your laser shows and displays, can be controlled entirely in a network setup.

When working with FB4, you have a variety of control solutions to choose from, allowing you as the artist to decide what control configuration is best for your needs. Common control configurations include:

Streaming Mode – Where you simply run a network cable from your PC running Pangolin software (QuickShow or BEYOND) to the projector, and you are setup and done.

Lighting Console Mode – Just program the desired laser effects and shows you want in Pangolin software, and save this to FB4’s memory. Then, run DMX or ArtNet from your console to the back of the laser, and you are setup and done. No PC is required, when actually running the shows (unless you want to use one).

Auto-Mode – With our auto-mode feature, you can design any laser effects or shows you want in Pangolin software, and save them to the proprietary memory on FB4. FB4 has a built in clock, which you can then set to a specified date and time, and this will then run your content back automatically, without the need for a PC in the show setup, or at the control station. And, if you need to change or update content,  you can do this over a network cable, without having to physically “go to” the laser.

FB4 is currently available in four different versions, including FB4 Standard, FB4 ILDA, FB4 DMX and FB4 MAX. A detailed page discussing FB4, and the various configurations and control setups that are possible, can be found by Clicking Here.

We also have a full line of lasers available, featuring integrated FB4 hardware standard. And these are available at great rates, through the Pangolin Projector Referral Network. Find out more, see pricing, and place an order, by Clicking Here.

Microsoft Windows 10 Logo

The creation of the new Windows 10 Hero Desktop Image incorporated blasting lasers, billowing fog, and falling crystal dust to develop the stunning look that you will see rolling out soon, with all new Windows 10 based PC’s that are sold.

When Microsoft decided they needed a radical new desktop image for the Windows 10 operating system they enlisted design director GMUNK and laser specialists Future Weapons (www.futureweapons.com) to create an exciting new logo made entirely out of laser light.

Microsoft released a YouTube video detailing the methodology used in the creation of the hero image. Laser projections were mapped to a 2D surface of the Windows logo while atmospheric beams created a 3D volumetric effect which gave the logo depth and movement. This took the traditional flat logo and transformed it into a luminous portal filled with lasers.

Microsoft has made it their goal to convert one billion users to Windows 10 over the next two to three years. This will make the Windows 10 hero desktop image one of the most recognizable laser images ever created!

You can see a behind the scenes video below: 

Future Weapons is a visual design company based in Los Angeles and San Francisco. They specialize in tour design and special effects for film:  http://FutureWeaponsLighting.com/

GMUNK is a design director from San Francisco. He’s known for his cutting edge motion graphics work on feature movies like Oblivion and Tron: http://work.gmunk.com/

Show Tech: 

Pangolin’s new Beyond laser control software was used to create the laser projection mapping effects seen in the logo. The artists choose BEYOND due to it’s precise control capabilities. The laser control hardware used for the creation and playback of the content included Pangolin’s QM2000.NET, FB3 & APC40. The lasers used for the creation of the logo included Two KVANT ClubMAX 6000 projectors, purchased through the Pangolin Projector Referral Network. These specific units were chosen for their fast scanning capabilities (using the state-of-the-art Compact-506 Optical Scanning System) and because of their fantastic color balance. 

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. 

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!

We’re Excited to Introduce the All-New Pangolin Laser Media Dock (5.5)

During a professional show, we realize that cables for your FB3QS hardware, Enttec, TC2000 and other devices can tend to get out of control. That is why we've partnered with our good friend Holger Walter (a longtime, and well-respected laser show designer) to create the Pangolin Laser Media Dock (5.5). 

This is a great way to house up to 5 x FB3QS devices, an Enttec and TC2000 for professional show control. It also featuers MIDI ports, so that you can connect an APC40 or other MIDI device, for external control. All inside of a wonderful 19-inch rack mount. It also features high-quallity USB ports and Neutrik connectors. We're taking orders now, but a limited quantity are in supply. Email us (contact@pangolin.com) for details.

 

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.

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.

LaserX honors the memory of Nelson Mandela, with beautiful laser display

Nelson Mandela

 

In recognition of the recent passing of former President Nelson Mandela, LaserX (for their client The Western Cape Government), paid tribute to the great man by choreographing a laser light show to display Nelson Mandela’s face, name, and messages onto the side of beautiful Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. 

 

To perform such a stunning laser display, the team at LaserX used Pangolin’s new BEYOND laser control software and FB3QS hardware. The new features inside of Pangolin’s BEYOND software (including the advanced drawing program and geometric correction features), allowed for LaserX to create these custom animations, and display them onto the side of Table Mountain in Cape Town. 

 

Check out the full press release discusing this notable event, by clicking here

Pangolin Releases 2013 Holiday Special Offers

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We've just released our 2013 Holiday Special Offers, with HUGE discounts on your favorite Pangolin products. These offers are valid now through January 15, 2014. Don't miss your chance to get that new Pangolin System you have been waiting for. Stock is limited, so act now!

A complete listing of all our holiday special offers can be found online here: http://newsletter.pangolin.com/t/ViewEmail/r/CFEA66C2E7728A7A2540EF23F30FEDED 

LaserNet and Pangolin Take the Show at LDI 2013

LDI 2013

At the 2013 LDI show in Las Vegas, Nevada; Pangolin Laser Systems and Laser Production Network (LaserNet) put together a laser show display, that was second to none, With a total of 18 ILDA compatible laser projectors being controlled, and with "live" laser show performances from DJ Mobius8 (sponsored by LaserNet), the join booth was teeming with energy, as pepole flocked to see the show, and amazing display of laser light. 

Check out the official press release online, by clicking here

And watch the official video from the event here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zK-yjwR8K18