Click for info on ILDA and Pangolin 2000 meetings

2000 Pangolin User Meeting report


  Convert 3D graphics directly to laser
  Demo show created with 3D Studio MAX
  Clipart browser and web publishing
  Browse everything, or search specifics
  LD2000 now in German

  Pangolin Prize 2000 winners
  Sample web publishing page
  "Revelation" 3D Studio MAX laser demo
Our appreciation goes to HB Laserkomponenten, who helped provide equipment and services for Pangolin's meeting and trade show stand.
   Also, thanks to MediaLas, who provided additional equipment and assistance, and who was a co-host of the ILDA 2000 Conference.
   Finally, thanks to Jonas von Stockhausen, who presented at the Pangolin Meeting and helped with the trade show and other events.




Pangolin held its ninth annual meeting on October 5 in Stuttgart, Germany. The meeting covered three main topics: new features from Pangolin, new products from third parties, and judging of entries in the 2000 Pangolin Prize competition.
        Third-party presenters included:

  • Craig Nelson from Logic Systems, with a new DMX control board. Craig also generously donated a a DMX 1602 decoder board to the first place Pangolin Prize winner.

  • Patrick Dietzel of Laserlight Showdesign presented his ShowControl program. This lets users set up various individual shows that can be quickly loaded or assembled into complete presentations

  • Holger Walter of HW Lasertechnik showed a modular fiber-fed graphics projector that includes lumia and Machida grating effects.

Holger was also busy at the meeting, since his beam show "Reflections" won first place in the Pangolin Prize competition. Congratulations to Holger! (Click here for a complete list of all the prize winners.)

Convert 3D graphics directly to laser

The highlight of Pangolin's presentation was a sneak preview of Lasershow Converter MAX (LCM), a "plug-in" for the 3D Studio MAX graphics program. LCM lets you use 3D Studio MAX to create scenes or entire shows, and then render the results not to the computer monitor, but directly to laser output. The resulting frames are available to Showtime, where they can be simply sequenced to create the show, or where additional effects such as abstracts can be added.

Demo show created with 3D Studio MAX

Dave Oxenreider of Singularity Arts presented a laser show, "Revelation", created using only 3D Studio MAX and Lasershow Converter MAX (no additional Showtime effects). The show featured fly-throughs of objects and scenes from prehistory to the future, set to music from Andy Hagerman of Singularity Arts. Both the show and the music will eventually be released to Pangolin clients.
        To see frames from this show, and more information, click here.
        The line quality for this version was variable. Some of the 30-fps animation was beautifully rendered, with smooth lines better than a human digitizer could achieve. Other frames had hotspots and stray lines. Pangolin's Bill Benner explained that LCM was still early in its development, and that the line quality would be much improved before release. Bill noted that despite LCM being unfinished, Pangolin felt it was important to give clients an idea of the direction laser shows will be taking in the near future.
        Certainly it was clear both from the show and from the audience's reaction, that direct rendering from graphics programs will raise laser show production to a new level. The idea of rendering itself is not new. For example, Lightspeed Design Group has been using its proprietary, in-house PrestiDigitize software for two years. What is new is that this technique is made easier by an integrated plug-in (instead of using two or three different programs to try to convert frames), and of course that the program will be openly available to interested laserists.
        With Lasershow Converter MAX, laser artists can use advanced computer techniques such as true hidden-line removal, flying cameras, and 3D models. Show creation is made easier for the many artists who are comfortable in 3D graphics programs such as 3D Studio MAX. And it is possible to output the same show both to laser and to video simultaneously -- making it perfect for multimedia presentations.

Clipart browser and web publishing

Pangolin demonstrated two new features that had recently been added to LD2000. A scenario was presented where a laser company wanted to provide a storyboard to clients.
        Pangolin used Laser Force's "40 Hour Week" as an example (this show is provided free to all LD and LD2000 clients). Pangolin first used the new Clipart Browser to visually see all the frames in the 40 Hour Week file. (Pangolin was not looking in the frame list; but rather directly into the hard drive file). Pangolin picked the frames best representing different scenes in the show. These 28 representative frames were then added to LD2000's frame list.
        Next Pangolin opened the new Web Publish feature. An HTML template page was selected, filled in contact and project information, and specified that we wanted to publish the 28 frames. In a few seconds, Web Publish had generated a final HTML page with information about Pangolin and the "40 Hour Week". A client could view the selected 28 frames and get a good idea of what the show would be like. Click here to see the same HTML page that Pangolin published during the demonstration.
        Pangolin described how the output could be sent to a printer (for generating printed or faxed copies), direct to a website (via the standard FTP file transfer protocol), or to the user's local computer to view (if an Internet connection is not available). In all cases, the output is formatted HTML pages.

Browse everything, or search specifics

Pangolin then went back to the Clipart Browser to show its advanced features. As a browser, you can show all frames in a particular directory, or even all frames on your computer or network. As a search engine, you can specify that you want to see only frames that match specific criteria. This is very useful since Pangolin provides over 50,000 clip art frames. Searching that many by hand would be practically impossible.
         To demonstrate, Pangolin specified a search for all frames that include the framenote "woman" and that have the color red somewhere in the frame. (See screen at right -- click for full-size view).
        In about a minute, LD2000 searched over 50,000 different frames, and found 89 that matched. Pangolin then selected the two specific frames they wanted, and clicked the "Add 2 frames" button. The two frames were added to the frame list, so they could be used in a show.
        The new version of LD2000 with the Clipart Browser plus Web Publish will be available for download later on this website.

LD2000: Now in German

Bill Benner and Jonas von Stockhausen showed the new German version of LD2000. Jonas translated all text in the LD2000 and Showtime programs, including menus, dialogs and even pop-up ToolTips. This involved almost 10,000 different text phrases (which gives an indication of just how complex the LD2000 software is). The German version will be made available to all users, so any client can use either German or English; whichever they prefer. 
        Bill also discussed how other languages could be developed as well. .

  This page last updated: Thursday, May 21, 2009 12:06 AM

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