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Laser F/X On-line Newsletter - Digest

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April, May, June 1998

Items removed from the on-line Newsletter pages during the second 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.

ILDA office moves to larger suite

The ILDA office is moving. We are moving to a larger office space within the same office complex. We now have a new suite number, but everything else remains the same.

Linda N. Hare, Executive Director
International Laser Display Association
4301 32nd Street West, Suite B-23
Bradenton, Florida 34205 USA
Phone: 941-758-6881
Fax: 941-758-1605
E-mail: ildadirect@aol.com
Web: http://www.ilda.wa.org

New LD real-time Performance Software
BeamWizard Software extends Pangolin LD for DJ's or Laser Producers Needing Spontaneous Performance Capability


December 2, 1997 - Los Angeles CA: Holo-Spectra is proud to announce the addition of a new software member to the SpectraScan laser entertainment suite. BeamWizard is intended for discotheques, live shows, and professional presentations where spontaneous and nimble laser entertainment creativity is an absolute requirement. BeamWizard can rapidly perform beam shows, laser slide shows, laser graphic animations, scrolling text, ShowTime shows, automated effects-oriented laser frame displays, and custom projector effects. The laser performer initiates selections with simple mouse clicks or single-key strokes of preassigned characters or listbox descriptions.
The software is a controller for Pangolin LD based scan heads and requires any QM32 board. Because the user can create multiple gain/offset presets, a single click to a new tab and a new function instantly transforms the scanning scale. This is very valuable in performance when you must shift from full scale beams to a small graphics screen to a offset location for scrolling text without a pause.
Single point beams can be instantly created and positioned. Thirty beams, graphic frames, or QM TTL-defined effects can be bumped or latched or assigned to any length sequence on twelve other keys. The sequences can be triggered by BPM input or BeatBar taps or external signals like bass rhythms. Any amount of LD animations can be loaded for performance on single clicks and you can have ten scrolling messages on single click call. Individual frames can be manipulated with real-time effects such as translation, rotation, draw-out, sparkle, fill-in, pulse, flash, etc. A new innovation in real-time effects is ShowTime scriptlets. Your write a ShowTime script using only one frame. It can be loaded into BeamWizard and selected with a single click. Any of the frame keys can be played using your script. Full ShowTime shows or scenes can also be played. As users give us more good effect ideas, we will add them.
BeamWizard software is $635 in its limited time introductory phase or a full performance package with a QM32 board, graphics, and animations is available. The later is ideal as an exceptionally powerful club "starter system" when creation capability is not required. . BeamWizard soon will be available with MIDI input control of all functions. The software is a fast 32-bit design with a modern Win95 interface including contextual help. Holo-Spectra is interested in localising the software with regional languages in conjunction with local distributors.

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 

Laservision Launches Attractions Consultancy
By: John Eustace

Australia's share of the international themed attraction industry is set to be boosted by Laservision's latest initiative in theme park entertainment consultancy that will see their Macro-Media design and production skills more readily accessible world-wide. The company's new role as pro-active consultants supplements their already formidable offering as designers, manufacturers and show producers.
Laservision have the creative know how to put complex ideas together, their consultancy program allows attraction developers and operators to contract the company to develop and project manage installations, whilst retaining the use and economies of their local resources.
The Laservision team has established an international reputation for excellence during the last decade. Their high profile projects include the re-development of Sentosa Island's Famous "Musical Fountains" in Singapore, the "Aqua-Magic Film & Laser Spectacular" on Sydney harbour and the worlds largest Macro-Media spectacular in Korea at Everland.

"Miraculous" the worlds largest permanent Macro-Media TM attraction at Asia's biggest Theme Park "Everland" in South Korea.

Other significant undertakings have been completed in Indonesia, Thailand, India, Singapore, China, The Pacific Islands, the USA and New Zealand. The Company is in the process of establishing their first permanently staffed South East Asian service and customer support centre in Malaysia.
The Consultancy Unit's approach encompasses the initial conceptual development of the project, combined with a site and skills audit. From this point Laservision is able to provide the preliminary design options, concept visuals, an engineering feasibility report and budgets for appraisal. Once approved the company provides follow through services that manage and supervise all aspects of the project from tender writing to financial management and construction supervision. Finally attraction owners can call on the company to co-ordinate staff training and manage operation and maintenance, even preparation of themed merchandising and subsequent performance production.
Laservision's 20 Sydney employees drive this creative powerhouse, succeeding at the cutting edge of the international Macro-Media entertainment industry
Laservision have extended their international marketing effort to the Internet, the website is found at www.laservision.com.au

ILDA elects New Board of Directors

The International Laser Display Association [ILDA] held it's annual meeting in Lincoln Nebraska, 15 to 18 November, 1997. The meetings includes the annual Advanced Technology Workshop, Seminars and workshops, a trade show and the Awards Banquet.
At the elections for the board of directors, the following were elected or returned to office:

President - Chris Ward
Lightspeed Design Group

Board Member - Casey Stack
Laser Physics

Board Member - Steve Heminover
Aura Technologies

Board Member - Tony Zmorenski
Walt Disney World Co.

Board Member - Stephen Harvey
Laser Magic [UK]

Steven Harvey becomes ILDA's First international member to win election to the Board in 11 years. He will bring a different perspective to the board's deliberations. Steven is also involved with The Entertainment Laser Association - a UK organisation that promotes laser safety and education in the light show industry.

[Photos courtesy of Patrick Murphy - Pangolin Laser Systems]

Tech award re-named

ILDA has announced that the annual award presented for technical achievement in Laser Displays will be re-named the Fenning Award to honour the late Fred Fenning. Fenning was a co-founder of Image Engineering Corp and the inventor of the DV storage system that allowed laser shows to be stored on video tape using a codec, among other technical breakthroughs. Fred died last year when his single engine craft suffered an engine failure from which he could not recover. He was flying alone on an annual cross-country trip.

See DIGEST for more details on Fred Fenning

ILDA Technical Committee Minutes
11/16/97 and 11/18/97 Meetings - By: Bill Benner

11/16/97 -- Technical Committee Voting Members only
11/18/97 -- Technical Committee Voting Members plus Technical Committee Subscribers

Chairman: William R. Benner, Jr.
Technical Committee Voting Members:
John Frantz, East Coast Control Systems;
Steve Heminover, AURA Technologies;
Walt Simmons, Audio Visual Imagineering;
Michael Sollinger, Laser Animation Sollinger;
Casey Stack, Laser Physics.

Technical Committee Subscribers who attended the 11/18/97 meeting:
Robert Calay, Laser Production Network;
Hayden Hale & Patrick Murphy, Pangolin Laser Systems;
Craig Nelson, Cra-Tek;
Kelly Plughoff, Full Spectrum Lasers.

Tech-Com in session at the ILDA meeting in Nebraska
[Photo courtesy of Patrick Murphy - Pangolin Laser Systems]

11/16/97 Meeting Minutes:

ADOPTED: ILDA Standard Projector - [ISP] standard:

  • Designations ISP Level One (basic, one-scanner pair, graphics-only system, whether monochromatic or RGB) and ISP Level Two (ISP Level One plus effects capability such as lumia, beam table, etc.)

  • Hardware configuration standards included in the ISP:
    ISP-30K (30K Scanner Tuning);
    ISP-DB25 (DB-25 Connector & Signal Specification);
    ISP-DMX (DMX-512 Effects Control);
    ISP-EFX (Effects Specification); and
    ISP-TAPE (ADAT Tape Playback and Track Assignments.)

  • ADOPTED: New ILDA Technical Committee 1997 Mission Statement:
    "The ILDA Technical Committee's mission is to facilitate growth of the laser display industry by the improvement of technical competence through the dissemination of information."

  • ADOPTED: Goals in support of the 1997 Mission Statement:
    Increase the laser industry's technical competency by the dissemination of information to them by ILDA and the ILDA Technical Committee.
    Promote the ILDA Technical Standards, and consequently the laser light show industry at large, through public relations.

  • ADOPTED: Action Steps in support of the 1997 Mission Statement
    Increase knowledge base of membership -- Provide for dissemination of standards and technical information to the membership and the public, by posting them on the ILDA Web Site, and publicising that posting to the membership, via the laserist-list, the ildatech-list, the ILDA Web Site, and in "The Laserist".
    Encourage members and the public to get in the habit of turning to the ILDA Web page first, instead of always approaching industry individuals directly.
    Use the ILDA web site as a repository for as many laser light show technical standards and as much technical information as can be made available. Example: various pinouts for scanners, drivers, etc. Continue to publish technical articles and increase topics to include show design, safety.

  • Allow public access-foster openness to encourage use of the standards and to promote ILDA. Establish links on the Web site to more industry-related sites, such as Lighting Dimensions International - LDI.

  • Promote the ILDA Technical Standards, from a public relations standpoint -- Parallel ILDA's President, Chris Ward's, public relations priorities; specifically, the idea for a festival-style public laser display industry showcase.

MEMBERSHIP: Technical Committee Membership Changes:

  • John Tilp resigns his position on the Technical Committee Board.

  • Technical Committee Board position opened by John Tilp's resignation filled by voting in Robert V. Belfatto, NEOS Technologies, Inc., who had been a subscriber for several years and continually requested a Voting position.

  • Voting Member Casey Stack offers to resign his position as a Voting Member, specifically for the Committee to offer it to a non-U.S. ILDA member, in order to more fully represent ILDA's non-U.S. membership on the Technical Committee.

11/18/97 Meeting Minutes:

UPDATE: 11/16/97 Technical Committee Board meeting results, above, relayed to attendees.

MEMBERSHIP: Discussion of filling Casey Stack's tentatively opened Technical Committee Voting position:

  • Among the International ILDA members being considered are: tarm and LOBO people, whose competency is demonstrated by their many recent ILDA awards. UK and Australia members. Individuals might include: Lothar Bopp and Richard Pollack from LOBO; no-one specific from tarm or UK or Australian companies.

  • Craig Nelson, Cra-Tek, Subscribing member to the Technical Committee, has requested consideration for appointment as Voting Member.

Process for voting in new Technical Committee Voting Members discussed.
Technical Committee wants to be sure to consider:
Vendor member participation;
Diversity in the Committee membership;
Cultural differences that may cause members to hesitate to request Committee membership in favour of *waiting for an invitation* from the Committee;
Recognition that, probably, ILDA members interested enough to be Technical Committee Voting members would already be participating as Committee subscribers.


  • Casey Stack retains Technical Committee Voting position until same Committee determines who, if anyone, to vote in to join the Committee.

  • ILDA membership is not required to subscribe to the ildatech-list or to be present at ILDA's Advanced Technical Workshop [ATW].

  • The Committee should immediately present ILDA Standard Projector - ISP for final ILDA Board of Directors approval.

  • The Committee should request that the ILDA Board of Directors increase the Technical Committee budget from the current $500, to $1,000 - $1,500.

  • Technical Committee Board consideration, over the ildatech-list, requested by Robert Calay: (1) Extend the ILDA Colour Palette to 24-bit colour and (2) Consider an api standard.


Next meeting of the ILDA Technical Committee to be during the Laser F/X '98 conference 16-18 May, 1998, Burlington, Ontario, Canada.

Lasers shine at AIDS benefit
By: Staff reporter

The annual Black & Blue party in Montreal is one of the biggest fund raisers for AIDS research and AIDS charities in Canada. The event was held over the Canadian Thanksgiving day weekend in the vast Montreal Convention centre with an estimated 12,000+ people attending the event.
A massive sound system in the main room was complemented by over 512 DMX controlled intelligent dance lighting fixtures including Intellibeams, Cyberlights and StudioColors. The lighting and sound systems took 3 days to install and program. The stage area featured a back wall made of hundreds of PAR cans gelled to represent the Rainbow flag - the symbol of the gay community.
New Wave Inc. of Montreal was the prime contractor for the laser portion of the event with FFP Laser Systems of Mississauga and Laser F/X International of Burlington providing additional equipment.
Two high power RGB ISP type systems with beam tables were mounted at either end of the main dance area and operated synchronously from the stage by 500 feet of interconnecting cables. At the stage end, New Wave used a tandem pair of Argon and krypton lasers producing 10+ watts. At the opposite end of the room, FFP laser used a tandem pair producing 8+ watts of power. Each projector was equipped with beam tables and an array of 20+ mirrors bounced the beams throughout the venue creating an overhead web of beams.
The main controller was New Waves SyncMaster running a Pangolin QuadMod32 to project images onto two giant scrims suspended over the dance floor and scanned beam effects above and onto the dancers. The laserists for the evening were Derek Garbos and Andrew Jefferson of New Wave, Dave Nash of FFP Lasers and L. Michael Roberts of Laser F/X.
Since the ILDA standard DB25 interface had yet to be finalised at the time of the event, interconnecting the two systems involved making special patch adapters at each end to convert the signals to the appropriate pinouts. This time consuming interfacing will be eliminated by adoption of the ILDA standard.
The highlight of the evening was two costumed dancers who emerged from a 24 ft diameter mirror ball in the centre of the floor. Each dancer had two fibres run through their costumes to Machida-like gratings mounted on each glove. This entailed running a fibre feed to a small optics plate mounted in the ceiling where the beam was split to feed the 4 fibres sent to the two dancers. As they dances, huge multicoloured fans of laser beamlets swept through the venue and across the gyrating dancers on the packed floor.
The event, which lasted from 22:00 on Sunday night until Noon on Monday morning, was a huge success with plans afoot to provide even more spectacular effects at this year's party.

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