EIBTM 2012 – Lighting Designers, JUMP ON THIS

I just got back last week from Barcelona, Spain – I was over at EIBTM 2012 for CAST; we’re exhibiting the Vivien suite and showed some wysiwyg to some folks.  In this respect, that’s unimportant.  What is important is the fact that I have never been to a show where there was such a potential for lighting design greatness than I have when I saw the show floor at EIBTM.

First – this show is absolutely jam packed and crazy.  Good crazy, mind you — this is a large show completely filling the Fira Gran Via Barcelona, which is a big, beautiful hall:

There are stand after stand of countries marketing to Event and Meeting Professionals and hoteliers and all kinds of really corporate stuff — 5-star hotel chains showing their best properties, city and country travel and tourism bureaus hocking their destinations as the “in” place to come for a particular event/meeting/what-have-you, and there is a lot of really tremendous design there — glass and wood, real plants, just and amazing display of crafstmanship.  Even our stand, a 10X20 over in the Technology Pavilion, had puttied and painted corners and generally looked sleek and nice.  There was one thing missing from most of these displays, and there were some magnificently enormous displays…

…the touch of a Lighting Designer.

There is amazing opportunity here, people — perhaps it’s time to start putting together some proposals and sending out some resumes, yeah?  Even though this is not (I repeat not) a lighting trade show by any stretch of the imagination, some of these countries’ displays could really benefit from the touch of a lighting designer.  Countries like Estonia, my favorite stand even though not the largest, could really benefit from some nice programming and sequencing to best fit their country’s appearance.  There is something so elegant about having the calculated eye of an LD to put some real pizzazz into something so important as hundreds of millions of dollars of potential revenue, if not exponentials of that figure.

This is not to say that they didn’t have the services of a lighting designer, but to me it did not appear as though an LD had given a lot of input other than GI (general illumination) in many of these cases.  Also keep in mind I’m a critical bastard who looks intensely at these things, and from a different perspective than any one of the attendees of this show — it’s just not what the show is about at all, it’s about destinations, events, meetings, and all of the revenue that goes along with that industry.  BUT, to the right LD, one of these stands could be a playground of immense proportions!

A few random teasers — there is a gallery at the bottom of the post with everything and anything from this trip!

Entering into the Fira Gran Via Barcelona for the show:

Spain’s EIBTM booth:

Denmark’s EIBTM booth:

Holland’s EIBTM booth:

Oh yeah, and Barcelona!  It was my first time in Spain, but I have to report that I only got to enjoy one really great meal and a bunch of hotel and convention floor food, I had the show on top of a beta program going on and writing documentation for said release.  I got a lot of cell phone shots of various locations around Barcelona, but I was busy from sun-up to sundown and didn’t really get much of a chance to enjoy Barcelona.  Sorry, Barcelona!  Maybe next time!  My Dad says you’re pretty cool, though.  La Barca del Salamanca is one awesome awesome awesome restaurant in Olympic Village along the water in Barcelona, there are some shots in the gallery of the amazing meal we had there with Corbin Ball!  Thanks Corbin, I had a blast!

Awesome.

Every street a different set of panels, but every street had them about every ten meters for miles.

The Maitre d’ un-crusting the salt from our sea bass at La Barca del Salamanca!

This image below was so awesome – this was a stone statue of a woman and child that was sitting by the Fira Gran Via loading dock entrance.  It’s obviously very old, but it was just so excellent to see this stone woman standing guard with her child over the loading dock.  I love stuff like that.

Click on any image thumb below and open up the Gallery view!

Photos from LDI 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada

JimOnLight with tieline dredlocks.  Oh yeah, and Kung-Fu Action Grip:

I’m back at the helm in Toronto; LDI 2012 has come and gone, I got to see lots of really amazing people, and I got blinded by not one, not seven, but eleventy (yeah, eleventy) freaking LED sources and screens.  It was so refreshing to see a tungsten or an HMI source around the convention center just as a reference to something that has more than one wavelength in a row together.  Holy schmoly!

LDI was full of pretty striking stuff, from lasers and salvo systems to new gobos and moving moving light systems, which was pretty awesome!  Now obviously seeing photos is a lot less ridiculous than reading me talk about photos, so check this out below — a ton of photos from LDI and the show floor!

This is what I made for the BlackTrax guys to go do their magic, which they do very well.  BlackTrax is out and on the market.  If you were at the show, you saw the demo up in N256 at the LVCC:

BlackTrax from CAST Group -- Room N256

The BT guys calibrating the system.  They have it down to about five minutes.

LDI-2012-jimonlight-3

Ladies and gentlemen:  The HOG 4.

Hog 4

The High End Systems booth:

stabbing beams at the HES Booth

DMX controlled AirStar balloons!  Awesome!

AirStar at LDI 2012

This was next to us on the show floor — VER’s “upside-down-porno-bedroom-ceiling” thing.  Oh, f*cking hell it was amazing.  I mean absolutely amazing.  I was so proud to be in the view of this booth with my CAST booth, it was absolutely awe inspiring.  I’ll figure out the model of the beautiful equipment being displayed here, but believe me when I say it deserved the award for Best Product Display that it won:

VER at LDI 2012

InLight Gobos!!!  Oh, I have to report that some real winner stole a glass gobo from the InLight Gobos booth, over next to the High End booth.  It was set up on the table, Adri bent down to attend to something in a bag on the floor, and *poof* it was gone.  If you read this blog and you took that gobo, it means that you had an absolute error in judgement.  Mail that thing back to InLight Gobos, 2348 Irving Blvd, Dallas, TX 75207 — be a good human.  Write “I’m Sorry” on the back of the package, too.  It sucks they had to deal with that.

On a lighter note, hey lighting designers — you ever used the rubber band ball gobo from InLight?  That thing is a breakup, an aerial, a wash, and a great atmospheric look maker too.  Every color of the spectrum gives it new characteristics.  Trust me, try it.  You can try it in wysiwyg R29 now too, thanks to Rick and Adri at InLight and Peter Debreceni at CAST for getting the catalogue into the release.  People at LDI who use WYG really seem to dig the InLight lineup — I believe in it, so I figured why not spread the good art word?

InLight Gobos at LDI 2012

There is this guy I know named Peter Kirkup, and he is absolutely one of my favorite people on planet Earth; not because of his ridiculously polite bedside manner, but because he is an industry visionary that has been right since I’ve known him.  I call that a feat in itself; I look to Peter for answers on anything regarding wireless what-have-you, and Peter is now the Vice President of Entertainment for LumenRadio in Sweden.  You might know hime from Cooper Controls and Zero88 fame, when he was just a lowly Product Manager.  Dude, remember — köttbullar i Sverige är inte svenska köttbullar, de är bara köttbullar!

Seriously though, we need to listen to peter’s brain, lighting industry.  He explained something to me that was so amazing, so ingenius as I see it – that I just had to hear him explain it again.  More on that later.  Peter’s a genius.  Ladies, grab him before he’s off the market, Peter’s like the John Holmes of brain power.

Peter Kirkup, VP of Entertainment at LumenRadio

Mac Viper Profile.  I have to say that I am impressed — I spent a lot of my time on shows working with a lot of Martin gear, lots of Mac 2K profiles and washes as you can imagine, Performance versus Profiles was always an argument you had to have in your head when making up a shop order.  “Do I want the FX ribbon, and are framing shutters that important for this one?”  I have no apologies for rocking the living daylights out of Mac 2000 Profiles.  They are absolutely awesome fixtures, despite what your opinions are on it.  I’ve had them apart on the truss while in a basket too, for the bang, they are perfect fixtures.  It looks like the Viper is going to be exactly the same way, and I am so absolutely excited to get my hands on some.  As it was put to me, the Viper is the “Mac 2000 replacement for this decade.”  It is awesome.  Ooh, so is the Mac III AirFX too, just as a side note.

MAC Viper

Oh hey look, another Chinese copy of a Sharpy.

COPY

POINT OF ORDER:  The handles on the VL3515 are very cool.  I yanked around on them quite a bit while I was standing there (perhaps much to the dismay of the guy who I met right there at that point), and they seemed solid and non-conforming.

I LOVE these new handles!

VL3015

What a beautiful booth!

Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC) at LDI 2012

Me and Susan Rose!  Yes, this Susan Rose.  This guide got me through the teething gigs of the Hog II!

JimOnLight and Susan Rose

Philips Entertainment at LDI 2012

THIS IS EXCELLENT.  The V276 is now available as a piece of gear for sale!  It works on your MAC!  Also, the BAD BOY and BEST BOY are available for SALE!  I think that they are two of the best fixtures built in the last five years, and I really do hope to see them explode in popularity.  They’re solid.  No matter what you think of PRG – whether you’re a fan or a non-fan – Bad Boy and Best Boy rock.  Now there is the V276 on MAC, which allows you the use of the pretty slick V-Series software.  You can run MBOX on this panel, too!  Miguel Ribeiro showed me some amazing things at LDI about MBOX, I am pretty excited to check it out.

the V276 from PRG

The Clay Paky booth at LDI — oh the Sharpys!

Clay Paky, LDI 2012

DTS’s continuously panning beam fixtures.  You have to see these things to believe it, they are poppy and bright, punchy and presentable.  Their booth was one of my faves, designed by a cool LD from Europe, Georg Telos.  Great work, Georg!

DTS/Strong, LDI 2012

The rest of the photos I took at LDI are below in a few different types of Flickr galleries, check out which one works best for you!  Let me know if one or the other floats your boat better than, uh, the other.  Just leave a comment.

Another Flickr show:

JimOnLight.com in San Francisco – the Non-Work Photos – at Photonics West 2011

I did have a hell of a time in San Francisco, that much has to be said.  Between working our butts off to make the booth look great, not getting some of the gear we needed shipped for our booth, and stumbling around looking for a Starbucks, I had a BLAST!

(Come on.  I kid – there’s a fu%$ing Starbucks every five feet in San Francisco, don’tcha know?)

Check out some photos I took on my trip – fun was had by all!

The lovely ladies of marketing from DiCon Fiber-Optics and DiCon Lighting – get ready, I’m posting something about a new DiCon product VERY, very soon.  Absolutely exciting!

Two industry veterans talking about touring – Rick Hutton from InLight Gobos on the left, Mark Hetrick from a billion road miles on the right.  Mark, Rick, and I walked the Photonics West tradeshow floor for a while, then Rick and I did some geeking out on the South floor.  What a great conference!

Here’s the image gallery of my trip – if you click on a thumbnail, a magic image gallery opens up!

The Ocean Thin Films Booth at Photonics West 2011

Last week, I was in San Francisco exercising my lighting design muscle for Ocean Thin Films’s booth at Photonics West 2011.  Fun was had by all – I got to see Jax from JimOnLight.com, I got to see Phil Buchsbaum from Ocean Thin Films, Rick and Adri Hutton from InLight Gobos, and a ton of other folks who all had great times walking around, enjoying the awesome weather, and generally having a great time!

The rig was simple but effective – three handfuls of tungsten SeaChanger profiles, a handful and a half of Nemo Wash units (SeaChanger’s LUXIM lamp fixtures), and a couple of VL-1000 Tungsten for frosting.

Check out the rest of the images – click on a thumbnail and a magic gallery of images opens up!

See this dude here below?  The guy in the lift?
That guy is Mark Hetrick.  He is one of the coolest dudes I’ve ever met.

The Hula Skirt: Low Tech Solution for A High-Tech Pain in the Rear

Here’s the scenario:

You’re loading in the XYZ Company’s big corporate show into Anytown, USA’s huge convention center.  Let’s just say for gitz and shiggles that the room is a few hundred feet long and a few hundred feet wide, and the only real cost effective way to light the general area when not using the show’s production lighting is to use the high-bay fixtures (the big metal halide scoops) for room lighting.  You could add a bunch of lighting specifically for the house to the rig, but that’s usually never in the budget, so you’re forced to use the venue’s general illumination lighting.  Inevitably, this usually:

  • leads to the general room lighting looking like a huge pile of crap
  • completely ruins the mood you were trying to achieve
  • washes out your video screens because the room lighting is never in the right place for video
  • or a combination of all of the above

Now in the past, I’ve always tried to use a combination or turning certain zones off in the venue which has the tendency to leave important parts of the room dark and swearing at all of the universe as a whole, which usually solves nothing.  A company called Shadow Management has come up with a very low-tech solution to the problem of annoying convention center lighting getting in the way of all your great design ideas – why not cover it up, block off what is annoying you, or even color the entire system of houselights to meet the design requirements of your production?

Meet the Hula Skirt:

The folks at Shadow Management have really solved this problem at the “well, duh” level, which I like very much.  Either cover the darned lights up or use them as colored toplight!  Makes pretty good sense to me!

Check out some images, all taken from the Shadow Management website:

hula skirt

hula_skirt

hula skirt

hula skirt

The MF/V (MF/5) from Main Light

Marcel over at The Captain’s Blog (the Gearsource blog) posted an article about the Main Light MF/V LED panel moving head back in the first third of June.  For some reason I’m just now reading it – moving across the coutry does a number on your Firefox tabs, doesn’t it?

Main Light’s LED panel head looks pretty cool – seems to have fast pan and tilt, reasonable output, and decent video processing.  Check out this video:

Main Light’s page on MF/V is here – and thanks, Marcel!

MF/V

MF/V

Enttec’s Playback, Programming, and Shortcut Interfaces

I read about some of the PC lighting control company Enttec‘s wares tonight – considering I am saving up to buy the Hog 3 PC programming and playback interfaces for use with my WYSIWYG suite (I have a loooong way to go…), these units look pretty cool.  Provided, that is, they would work with the Hog 3 PC software, and connected to my WYSIWYG suite.  Enttec has a programming wing, a playback wing, and a shortcut wing that, hooked together, could make a pretty sweet interface.  Enttec’s software, LightFactory, is what the units are geared for – but they claim that the units work with any PC based lighting control software.  The units connect to the PC via ethernet.

Enttec, these things are great!  I want to know more!

The programming wing:

enttec programming wing

The playback wing:

enttec playback wing

The shortcut wing:

enttec shortcut wing

VLX – Vari-Lite’s Foray into LED

prod_vlx_announce

The VLX let-me-tease-you advertisement.  I got a fever…  More as it hits the market.

The text under the shifter:

Introducing the VLX Wash Luminaire, the next generation of Solid-State Lighting from Vari-Lite.  VLX produces an incredibly pure, bright beam.  It comes with 630 watts of LED’s yielding 3 times the lumen efficiency of equivalent tungsten sources.  Its revolutionary modular design provides for easy swap out of optical and mechanical components.  VLX has a removable zoom system giving users the freedom to configure the luminaire with a fixed focal length of 22 degrees or a variable 3:1 zoom.  VLX produces perfect color mixing without any distracting color shadows.  The luminaire has an extensive color gamut that offers designers color choices not previously possible with other conventional subtractive or additive systems.  Color temperature is variable and can be seamlessly adjusted between 3200K and 6000K.  Color snaps and strobing are stunningly quick.  For more information, contact your Authorized Vari-Lite Dealer or visit www.vari-lite.com.

You gotta love the catch phrase – Vari-Lite gear is great, after all:

VLX.  Only from Vari-Lite.  Accelerating LED lighting.

Wybron’s Mechanical Dimmer/Douser Iris and Shutter Units

What’s the number one issue you can think of when it comes to using big ol’ mercury vapor and sodium vapor fixtures in places like arenas and convention centers?  I am not looking for “they make my girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife look like crap,” in case you were wondering…

You can’t dim them! Until now!

eclipseitiris1

Colorado company Wybron (you know, the color scroller peeps) have released some awesome products geared towards solving the problem of giving the big off/on HID fixtures used for general wide-area illumination some control.  Now, it’s really not geared JUST for the big general illumination sources – we’re talking about ANY arc source that needs intensity control – Source Four HIDs, film and TV HIDs – anything that doesn’t have dimming/dousing control can now have the luxury.  Wybron also manufactures a shutter unit that fits nearly all entertainment and film fixtures to give the HIDs more control over intensity.

The mechanical dimmer/douser and iris units also have the InfoTrace technology from Wybron so you can get updates on what’s going on with the gear, and troubleshoot accordingly.  Also, no dipswitches – remote addressing!

The Eclipse Iris:

eclipse_ii

The Eclipse Shutter:

eclipse_it

From the product page for Wybron’s product page on the dimmer/douser unit:

The Eclipse IT Iris, a motorized iris dowser, fits nearly every sports, theatrical, and film lighting fixture. For arc source fixtures that can’t be dimmed electrically, using a mechanical dimmer like the Eclipse Iris is the only option.

Lighting legend George Izenour designed the mechanism for NBC more than 50 years ago, and Wybron later added modern coatings and DMX control to the strikingly innovative design.

The configuration of the Eclipse Iris provides incredibly smooth transitions from open to closed, and when it’s fully open, no fins block the field of the luminaire.

The InfoTrace technology gives the user a ridiculously awesome amount of information about the equipment in the InfoTrace system – for example:

  • Know the condition of equipment before, during, and after a show
  • Remotely set DMX addresses from the safety of the deck – no more setting DIP switches manually
  • Immediately receive an alert if a lamp goes out
  • Track lamp duty cycles to predict lamp failure
  • Predict maintenance on equipment

The mechanical dimmer/douser units also have a wide range of sensors:

  • Unit Temperature Sensor: Measures and reports the temperature within the center panel.
  • Voltage Sensor: Reports the fixture’s voltage level.
  • Pass Through Current Sensor: Measures the electrical current passing through the XLR connector wiring harness.
  • Unit Current Sensor: Measures the amount of current a unit consumes.
  • Timers: Tracks how many hours the unit has been operating since its last maintenance cycle.
  • Fan RPM Sensor: Monitors fan.
  • Aperture Light Sensor: Detects if the fixture’s lamp is on.
  • Self Test Mode: Mode that moves the gelstring without any DMX input command.
  • Reverse Polarity Protection: Shuts down automatically if scroller is plugged into a Coloram II power supply.

Okay, this is awesome.  Architectural lighting designers as well as entertainment lighting designers, are you paying attention?

Check out the Eclipse IT Mechanical Dimmer/Douser Iris and the Eclipse IT Shutter from Wybron.

Thanks, Jennifer!