Laser Control from Lighting Console

A growing number of lighting designers are entering the laser show industry, looking to control lasers from their preferred lighting console. Being the world leader in laser show control, we felt the time was right to begin creating a variety of tutorial videos showing you how to control laser shows from a lighting console, together with our professional BEYOND laser show and multimedia software.

In this first series of videos, we show you how to control lasers from the Grand MA Lighting Console, as well as from the ChamSys Lighting Console. More tutorials are coming, with additional information on control setups of this nature.

Questions? We’re here to help. Email us, and we will be there to provide the support and service you need.

Laser Show Systems – Dance Valley Festival

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The Dance Valley Festival in the Netherlands, is one of the area’s hottest, and most exciting events. And this year, the event held true to it’s reputation, boating a sensational lineup including headliners like Carnage, Cedric Gervais, Dannic, Headhunters, and more.

Putting together a festival of this magnitude is no small feet, and a wide variety of entertainment technology comes into play, when designing the events various stages. Laser shows play an integral part in creating the ‘electronic climate’, that attendees have come to love.

This year, the team at Laser Dream NL was contracted to perform all laser shows and related effects, for the event. And they came out guns blazing, creating a sensational laser display, that still has people talking.

strongCheck out the video below/strong, to see some clips of the stunning laser show effects, created by Laser Dream NL, at this year’s 2016 Dance Valley Music Festival.

Show Tec
 

8 x 14W Laser Show Projectors were used to decorate the main stage for the event.

Pangolin’s BEYOND software was used exclusively for laser and multimedia show control.

Timecode Laser Shows using BEYOND software

Running laser shows using SMPTE timecode is quite common, especially when working at large scale festivals, and permanent installations.

Often the timecode will be recorded on one audio track. Then at playback time, the timecode audio is read and decoded by a SMPTE timecode reader device.

In this short tutorial we show you the basics of setting up SMPTE timecode together with BEYOND laser show software.

Pangolin also offers a convenient and easy to use SMPTE Timecode device, called the TC2000. You can see this by >a href=http://pangolin.com/shop/smpte-timecode-reader-writer-tc2000/>clicking here.

Marriott World Center

A recent high-profile multimedia installation at the iconic Marriott World Center in Orlando, FL, called ‘Light up the Night’ further illustrates how lasers are taking multimedia shows to the next level. This installation broke new ground, as the whole production was sold to the Marriott as a revenue-generating model, which is a bit different from the general notion of selling special FX and multimedia installations, as “entertainment packages”. Mitchell Piper, owner at K-Systems AV, and award winning Creative Designer Gabe Letourneau led the project, showing the Marriott how such an installation could be used to further increase revenues at the property.

Before the project was sold, K-Systems actually setup a demonstration for the Marriott so that they could calculate the real return on investment that would be garnered by proceeding with the concept. And what the Marriott found was that by installing this sort of multimedia setup, they were able to increase client bookings, food and beverage sales, as well as the sale of corporate event packages, by huge margins.

The installation was done at the Marriott World Center’s beautiful resort pool area, which overlooks the hotel property. Lasers serve as the main element in this multimedia setup, and are used to project beautiful beam affects over the pool, bar and lounge area. The lasers are also used to project logos for corporate clients the Marriott hosts, which come for various tradeshows and events taking place at the property.

What made this installation so interesting from a design and technology standpoint, was the use of new laser control and laser projector technology, from industry experts Pangolin Laser Systems, Inc. and KVANT s.r.o.

Since 1986, Pangolin has been the world’s leading provider of laser entertainment technology. The company has received 28 international patents, and products made by Pangolin Systems have also contributed to more than 400 artistic awards for their clients. And for over 20 years, KVANT has been a highly respected manufacturer of laser projectors for entertainment applications. And they readily integrate Pangolin technology into their systems, ensuring that they remain on the cutting-edge of the laser projector market.

In 2015, Pangolin started a new division of the company called the Pangolin Projector Referral Network, which was founded to provide clients with professional quality laser projectors that are the best choice for a given application. Considering that Pangolin developed and pioneered the laser show control and safety technology used for the large majority of laser performances worldwide, they felt there were in a good position to begin assisting clients with the purchase of laser projection systems as well.

Pangolin’s Chief Operating Officer Justin Perry, comments on the start of this new division… “Pangolin is one of the most trusted brands in the laser entertainment industry. And for many years, clients have contacted us asking for information and advise on which laser systems they should use for different shows and applications they have taking place. Considering that we developed much of the laser control technology powering the industry, and that we understand the differences between various laser projectors on the market today – as well as how these lasers fit into the diverse types of shows and projects taking place, we felt we were in a great position to serve the industry as a whole – helping clients obtain professional laser projectors, that are right for their desired application. And with our great relationships in the market, we are able to provide our clients with aggressive price points on these laser projectors, as well as back them up with the first class support and service customers have come to love from Pangolin. Our new division ensures that clients have a seamless experience when integrating lasers into a project or show.”

So for the Marriott World Center multimedia project, K-Systems turned to Pangolin for assistance with all laser related aspects of the show – including the installation of five high power KVANT laser projectors, driven with Pangolin’s new FB4 hardware, and all controlled using Pangolin’s BEYOND software.

From a technical perspective, this installation was quite innovative in nature, as several new laser and multimedia technologies were combined together, to leave the Marriott with a self-running and self-sufficient installation, which in many ways is entirely “maintenance free”.

One of the exciting technologies being utilized at the Marriott installation is Pangolin’s new laser control hardware platform, called FB4. This state-of-the-art laser control hardware is entirely network based, and gets built directly inside of a laser projector, acting as a sort of “media server” for laser shows.

FB4 hardware supports all major show protocols, including DMX, ArtNet, Network, OSC, SMPTE, and ILDA… And will also have support for CITP in the near future. FB4 allows lighting professionals to control lasers in complete harmony with other multimedia show elements, seamlessly integrating lasers into any show, installation, production, or event.

Most lasers on the market today utilize the older “ILDA” protocol for control. Where an “ILDA cable” (which is really a DB-25 male to female connection) is run from a control station to a laser projector. While the ILDA protocol has served the laser show industry well for many years, with the growth in popularity of multimedia show productions, the need for more advanced laser control has grown.

Pangolin’s new FB4 hardware is revolutionizing the industry in that regard, providing full network control of laser shows, without the need to use the outdated ILDA cable. And now designers can control lasers entirely from a lighting console (via ArtNet or DMX), from a PC (via a CAT5 cable), or in auto-mode, using FB4’s proprietary memory system. And all effects for the laser can easily be programmed in Pangolin software, and then saved to the FB4 hardware, inside the laser. Making it very simple to create complex laser shows, which can be controlled in a variety of different ways. FB4 hardware has also been used on a variety of tours and events, including the recent Metallica World Tour, TomorrowLand festival in Belgium, as well as the recent Pretty Lights performance at the Serpent Festival in Australia.

KVANT’s new line professional laser projectors also integrate Pangolin’s FB4 hardware, providing complete network control for any of their systems. And KVANT is leading the industry in that respect, being the first laser projector manufacturer to have systems with integrated FB4 control hardware available.

This is why KVANT lasers were chosen for the project, as K-Systems and their constituents at the Marriott demanded technology that would be self sufficient, and easily interface with other multimedia show elements.

In addition to lasers, high resolution video screens, G-Spot moving head lights from well known manufacturer SGM, and a series of haze machines from MDG surround the resort area, providing a nice backdrop to the powerful lasers, which entertain guests and clients from around the world.

Pangolin’s BEYOND software is being used to control nearly all aspects of the show, including the lasers, video and even some of the DMX lighting.

The BEYOND software is very powerful, and has a lot of options for compatibility with other media, including Timecode. Because of this, the team at K-Systems (led by Creative Designer Gabe Letourneau) were able to do things like take in LTC and OSC commands, and send things like midi triggers to other consoles (including the GrandMA) and equipment that could be added in the future.

In a recent interview, Letourneau notes… “In order to control as many elements as possible from one single point of access, we had BEYOND control the lasers, video, and audio, all on a single timeline.

This is really helpful if you need to make a quick change, or add or remove any elements. This also allows us to easily change and edit content on the fly, when the show needs to be customized. Given that the Marriott requested the ability to customize content quickly for various clients, events, or promotions they have taking place, we felt that BEYOND’s versatility made it an excellent control platform in that regard. Having everything in BEYOND also allows us to avoid any timecode delays or complications, and keeps everything on the exact same clock. Because all of the content on BEYOND’s timeline is within a few frames, nothing will ever be off. And we can organize different parts of the show’s timing very easily, just buy selecting all of the content in one area, and sliding it into place…

… All of this flows nicely as we have BEYOND controlling the GrandMA as well. The Pharos software oversees the day elements of the show (such as property lighting) and then triggers the LTC to start BEYOND, which is controlling the GrandMA. We also send audio to a Rane HAL, and a Control 4 video system. The setup works really well, and makes it very easy to make changes or customize content when required. And because of this, the installation can essentially run itself. “

The whole Marriott Light up the Night project further illustrates how lasers are being used as the centerpiece at a wide variety of events, installations and shows. As well as how new laser technology from companies like Pangolin and KVANT, are helping lasers more easily interface with other multimedia show elements, making it easier for designers to create, control and run synchronized large scale events.

Due to the success of the installation and it’s ability to generate revenue for the establishment, Marriott is already is already exploring the idea of installing this same concept at a variety of other hotel and property locations. And because of the high profile nature of the project, K-Systems has also received a variety of inquiries from other hotel and event establishments. The owner of K-Systems Mitchell Piper goes on to note… “We are extremely proud of the Marriott installation, and it’s notability for being one of the more technically sophisticated multimedia installations taking place at a hotel property. The install serves as a great model for future projects of this kind, and we at K-Systems are extremely excited to bring the concept to more establishments around the world.”

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Show Tech 

5 x KVANT Spectrum 20W OPSL/DIODE Lasers with Integrated FB4 Network Hardware

1 x BEYOND Essentials Software License

1 x GrandMA Control Wing

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. 

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. 

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.