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Laser F/X On-line Newsletter - Digest

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January, February, March 1998

Items removed from the on-line Newsletter web pages during the first quarter of 1998.

NOTE: Links on destination sites are often changed.  We provide the digest pages for archival purposes and the links to external sites were working when the material was originally published but may no longer be working.

What's New

New products and services of interest to lasersts. Submit your new product information and images in .gif or .jpg format to our E-mail or contact us.

Digital Projector Effects
Lower Cost Enhanced Effects Using Software and Digital Control

As part of our SpectraScan laser entertainment suite and hardware, EffectsWizard software in conjunction with digital interfaces and hardware are available to the laser entertainment community as modules or complete projector tables. Modules such as remote cone motors, multi-oscillator remote sheet scanners, dual diffraction wheels, lumias, and of course beam actuator and colour selectors can be controlled via 32-bit Win95 software and a serial line. Holo-Spectra has also created a stepper-based positionable and rotating Machida grating.
The advantages of this approach are the elimination of hardware pots, switches, complex analogue circuits, bulky boxes, and multi-conductor cable. Also, we have found that the encoding process allows greater flexibility in creative control and simultaneous operations.
The software is independent of any manufacturer's graphic software or hardware and functions with our custom programmed microcontrollers. Interested professionals can contact us for pricing on any individual modules or full projector packages. We are looking at expanding its capability to DMX control if parties are interested.

Contact: Bill Arkin bill@lasershs.com - www.lasershs.com - Holo-Spectra Inc. 800 275-4880

World Scan

Laser display happenings from around the world. If you would like your show or installation information here, please E-mail to our E-mail or contact us 

ELA announces web-site

As of 1st October 1997 ELA [Entertainment Laser Association] web site will be on line. The address is http://www.ela.org.uk

So what is 'ELA' all about ?

In January 1997 a number of British laser companies attended a meeting with the National Radiological Protection Board. This meeting discussed and addressed various UK and European guidelines on the use of entertainment laser systems and it became apparent that the industry needed to address certain issues.
To address these issues the association 'BELA' [British Entertainment Laser Association] was formed and a number of strategic goals were drawn up. Subsequently it became apparent that other countries were facing similar issues and indeed interest was shown from overseas companies. It was therefore decided that a more international approach was needed and the association was re-named 'ELA' [Entertainment Laser Association]. It is anticipated, long term, that individual countries will raise local sub committees and have a single representative to the main committee It is not the intention of ELA to compete with ILDA but to compliment and indeed form association between both bodies. We believe ELA will be well placed to initially give a European view to the international laser display industry.

A brief outline on ELA's mission and strategic goals is as follows:

'ELA' -Mission Statement.To promote the use of lasers for entertainment purposes. It is committed developing a working code of practice that minimises the risk of injury to operators and the viewing public.

Strategic goals:

  • Develop and implement a code of practice

  • To provide training courses (members, EHO's and operators)

  • To develop courses aimed specifically at our industry (BTEC/NVQ)

  • To develop a universal scan fail protection system for its members To give advice on public liability insurance

  • To develop a professional approach to safety with a view to self regulation

  • To standardise our approach to risk assessment and provide information on the presentation of documentation for EHO's and H+SE

  • To promote a safe and professional industry.

ELA at present has a 2 tier membership scheme, these are:
Corporate.- Laser display and associated companies :- Annual subscription #750 [payable by S/O in 12 monthly installments
Freelance.- For self employed terchs/operators etc:- Annual subscription #175 [payable by S/O in 12 monthly installments

Laser Show Gone With The Wind
By DEBBIE ERWIN - SUN Staff Writer

When Plan A doesn't work out, you usually go to Plan B.

The problem with the laser show planned for Edmond's Fourth of July fireworks celebration was that there wasn't an alternative plan.
Thursday afternoon, high winds whipped through the University of Central Oklahoma's Wantland Stadium, tearing a 45-foot hole in the inflatable screen used to project laser graphics onto. The fluke left spectators disappointed and void of the flag salute and national anthem.
"The show went completely down the tubes with that screen," said Joyce McEwen, LibertyFest president and chairman of the fireworks committee.
Lasertainment Productions, a Minnesota-based company, was paid $12,500 to bring the show to Edmond.
It will be the owner's decision whether to refund the money, said national salesman Gary Evans, who was in Edmond for the show. "I'll have to discuss it with him (the owner) when I get back," Evans said today. McEwen and other LibertyFest committee members met with Evans this morning to discuss the money situation.
The 30-minute laser show would have included a flag salute, Whitney Houston singing "The Star Spangled Banner" and Olympic fanfare.
"By the time we knew about the problem, it was too late to get someone to do the national anthem and too late to get a flag," McEwen said.
To make matters worse, UCO's public-address system wasn't working so committee members couldn't announce to the public that the laser show had gone kaput.
McEwen offers her apologies to the public. "We're sorry. We worked very hard on this. We worked on this for the past year and on and off for three years," she said. "We looked at different laser people, they sent us tapes. We did our homework on this. Mother Nature had a different idea."
Lasertainment didn't have a backup screen because each costs between $20,000 and $25,000, Evans said.
The company has only two screens, including the new six-story high and 50-foot wide screen that was brought to Edmond. The other was at a show in Minnesota. "The other screen has been at about 300 shows over the past six years," Evans said. "We've never had anything like this happen."

Singapore's Discovery of Laservision Creates Eighth World Wonder
By: John Eustace

18 December 1997: Titled "The Eighth Wonder of the World", Laservision Australia's second major Singapore attraction has high expectations to live up to.
Yet, achievable it has been, by Laservision creating a multi-sensory audience experience, a world first combining their exciting new 3D animated laser capabilities with 2D film, is their newest Singapore attraction.
Laservision are Australia's leading and most accomplished themed attractions and presentations company with a large portfolio of innovative and creative projects in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Singapore Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Education commissioned Laservision to create "The Eighth Wonder of the World" for the Singapore Discovery Centre. The show comprises of a 16-minute multi-dimensional film and 3D laser experience. It was developed by Laservision with the duel aim of entertainment and education, mixing comedy with reality and special effects, and hosted by a specially created 3D-laser character named "Whizbee".
Constituting Laservision's second major contract for the Singapore Government the Discovery Centre follows the success of Laservision's spectacular Merlion created on Sentosa Island, Singapore's premier themed attraction.
"The Eighth Wonder of the World", depicts and illustrates a debate between two fantasy characters a Professor and Whizbee. The Professor, lecturing on the 'Seven Ancient Wonders' is interrupted by the rascalous Whizbee, who challenges the relevance of these 'Wonders'. Whizbee maintains that Singapore must be the Eighth Wonder of the World! Whizbee goes on to prove his argument throughout the mesmerizing presentation.
The production incorporates archival film footage along with contemporary elements (many shot in highly restricted areas) filmed during two weeks location by Laservision. Utilising the latest in digital editing and image manipulation techniques the various source materials have been seamlessly merged with sophisticated 3D laser images in Laservision's Sydney studios.
"The film depicts reality whilst the 3D laser experience is beyond reality." McCartney explains, "The film accurately portrays historical events, which could not effectively be played out in laser animation. The laser animation and graphics re-enforce abstract concepts more strongly and effectively than film. One medium augments the other explaining, dramatising and bringing history to life in an exhilarating and relevant new way." To perform this innovative presentation Laservision have re-equipped the Discovery Centre theatre with a sophisticated polarised 3D stereoscopic laser projector to take advantage of the specialised silver screen, and a 'state-of -the-art' 70mm film projection system.
The latest laser projector is a very different technology to the systems Laservision developed for the dramatic outdoor spectaculars they are synonymous with. Laservision's latest generation systems simultaneously project two stereoscopic images. When viewed through special polarised lenses one of the stereoscopic lasers images is optically masked from each
eye. The brain automatically compensates for the stereo image offsets, as they are varied the image effectively occupies the space between the screen and the viewer, creating a convincing three-dimensional illusion. The laser graphics are interwoven with two-dimensional 70mm film imagery to stunning effect. Whizbee hovers around the audience then flies toward the screen and enters the film. Elements from the film image are transformed into three-dimensional animated laser forms that seemingly occupy the theatre, encompassing the audience in a multi dimensional and intense experience.
The Singapore Discovery Centre is situated directly opposite the Armed Services Training Institute and is owned by the Singapore Ministry of Defense. Created to educating tourists as well as locals about Singapore's history & defense. The fully equipped 350-seat theatre caters to about 10,000 people daily. Two other 3D films are screened in addition to Laservision's "The Eighth Wonder of the World".

Contact : Laservision Australia 612 9658 1000 laser@laservision.com.au

DISCLAIMER: Some of the information in the Backstage area is provided by the persons or companies named on the relevant page(s). Laser F/X does NOT endorse or recommend any products/services and is NOT responsible for the technical accuracy of the information provided.  We provide this information as a service to laserists using the Backstage area. 

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