Software To Make Your Life Better

The title is a big boast, but it is the slogan of software program F.lux. F.lux is an application which adjusts the color temperature of your computer monitors based off of the time of day. Our monitors are designed with a daylight color temperature, however the majority of us rely on our computers outside of the daylight hours, and staring at daylight color temperature fixtures can negatively impact your sleep schedule. And we all don’t get enough sleep as it is!

F.lux Enabled

F.lux Disabled

F.lux allows users to pick any color temperature between 2700 and 6500K on desktop for daytime and nighttime respectively, with markers for common sources. On iPhone users pick between a list of common light sources including candlelight, halogen, and fluorescent. F.lux takes care of the rest.

F.lux is very compatible with fluctuating schedules as well, for example, if you have a nocturnal working schedule (here’s looking at you, Mouse!), you can set a daylight temperature for your nights, and an incandescent for day. Another way I find F.lux useful, is as an assistant lighting designer it is sometimes easiest to keep track of what is happening on the stage via computer. I set my monitor to a similar color temperature as the stage, so I can more accurately document the colors of different fixtures and cues.

The iPhone app hosts an interesting feature, “turn off for color sensitive work.” So far, I have not noticed it take effect, having opened applications such as camera, photos, and Photoshop Express. However it does seem like an interesting feature which they plan to port to the desktop applications. For the time being, you can easily disable for an hour at a time on your desktop, if you are doing work where exact renderings of colors are vital. There seem to be many more exciting features in store for f.lux to allow for even more precise and intuitive control.

My preferences for F.lux

F.lux specifies in the installation directions, “Tell f.lux what kind of lighting you have, and where you live. Then forget about it.” How very true. F.lux feels so natural, I often forget I have it running until someone opens their laptop at a tech table next to me, and I am blinded by the glaring, icy light.

F.lux is available on most Mac, Linux, and Windows OSes. If you have a jailbroken iPhone, you can also join the party via Cydia. Download here.

Barbizon’s Electrician’s Handbook App is Awesome

When I started out in this business, I was a lighting tech for a few years before getting on the bigger gigs as a designer.  I always, always had four things in my tool bag (other than tools) – a copy of Ugly‘s, a copy of the little card that High End Systems made for the Studio Color, a PowerBar, and a copy of the Barbizon Electrician’s Handbook.  When Tobin at Barbizon told me about the Electrician’s Handbook APP, I was so excited to get my hands on it, for old time’s sake!  Old time’s sake became regular reality again when I can now have that little bugger on my iPhone.  It’s also available for Droid, too.

There is one addition that makes me giggle – if you have an iOS 4 phone, your LED flash on the back of the phone now works as a flashlight!

That tickles me in a way that if it were actually tickling me, I’d probably say something like “yeah, that’s the spot, that feels goooood.”

Check out some screen grabs of the handbook app, and WHY DO YOU NOT HAVE THIS YET?!  It’s FREE!

Nice.  Thanks, Barbizon!

Jax’s Link-O-Rama: Mercy Street Edition

I’ve been laid up with a back injury (yup: incurred in the theatre!) for the past few days and am not getting out much.  And so this is the Mercy Street edition, because that’s what happens to be on Pandora right now.

Extremely cool rehearsal photos are from Mr. Gabriel’s website.

iPhone Lighting Software: ZinmanCo’s PocketLD and Synthe FX’s Luminair v2

As far as iPhone software goes, “there’s an app for that,” right?  How about an app for MAKING ME A PIZZA RIGHT NOW AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

<deep breath>

Okay, I feel better.  But seriously, there are tons of apps out there for every single thing you can imagine.  The other day I downloaded an app from the iTunes store that played these crazy soundscapes to help you fall asleep.  Awesome.  As far as lighting goes, there are tons of apps out there for that, too.  But I think it takes more than the skill of coding an app to make an iPhone app – hell, there are programs out there that generate iPhone apps out of a website feed or a podcast stream, and apps that really do nothing at all.  You have to have an understanding of the basis of what you’re doing in order to make a useful iPhone app.

Two such iPhone app developers are Ryan Hisey from Synthe FX (makers of Luminair) and Mike Zinman of Zinman Software (makers of PocketLD and many others).  Both are pushing updates this week to their popular iPhone suites.  What these two guys do forges the way.  End of story.

First, Zinman Software’s PocketLD – a program that International Cinematographer’s Guild Magazine called one of the top five apps for filmmakers and cinematographers:

PocketLD V2.0 Now Available on the iTunes App Store

LONG BEACH, CA – ZINMAN SOFTWARE, makers of the popular lighting related iPhone apps, announces the release of PocketLD v2.0. PocketLD allows lighting professionals in theatre, film and TV to calculate the FC/LUX and Beam/Field Diameters for over 2000 fixtures and lamps.

V2.0 adds the functionality for users to edit the existing library, create their own fixtures and organize these fixtures into an improved Favorites List. New fixtures included in the library include Dedolight, K5600 and Kobold.

Developer Michael Zinman says “This is our most ambitious update for PocketLD since it was released two years ago. I’m so happy with these changes and I’m confident our world-wide user base will find the new functions a great add.”

Recently, PocketLD was featured in ICG Magazine (International Cinematographers Guild) as one of the top five apps for filmmakers and cinematographers.

For more information, visit www.zinmansoftware.com

Direct download of PocketLD v2.0 on the App Store is available by following the link below.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pocketld/id292911261?mt=8

About Zinman Software.

Zinman Software is a technology leader in applications for the event production industry. Among their products are a number of iPhone apps including Genielux, ML Finder, Pocket LD, Gel Calc, iSwitch DMX and TCP/IP Remote. For more information visit www.zinmansoftware.com.

Ryan Hisey and Synthe FX’s Luminair v2 – a lighting control suite that turns your iPhone into an amazing lighting tool for programmers, designers, lighting directors, and lighting technicians in all trades.  I mean, 36+ hours on batteries?!  Fuhgeddabadit.  Luminair v2 is being developed to do some amazing things in CAST Software’s wysiwyg, Release 25. More on that later, but be sure that it will rock!

Synthe FX release Luminair v2.0 for iPhone & iPod touch
Cincinnati, OH, February 25, 2010 – Synthe FX have released Luminair 2.0, a major upgrade to the wireless multi-touch DMX control app for iPhone and iPod touch. Luminair is revolutionary wireless lighting control software, which uses the Art-Net protocol to control
compatible lighting equipment and media servers via the iPhone and iPod touch’s internal Wi-Fi hardware.

Among the new features in v2.0 is “Stacks”, which is a cue-list playback system designed to make it very easy to put together shows for a wide variety of uses. Cues can be programmed directly within Luminair, and also recorded as snapshots from an external console or any other DMX control source. Standard playback life using the device’s internal battery can run up to
3.5 hours, and can be extended to over 36 hours using a 3rd-party external battery pack. Playback will run indefinitely when the device is plugged into a power source.

Another major new feature in Luminair 2.0 is the ability to assign images as visual references to cues, using the iPhone’s built-in camera, photo library, or transferred via Luminair’s internal web server. Users can browse and trigger Quick-Touch cues using a CoverFlow view, which renders the assigned images in breathtaking OpenGL 3D. Also dependent on the new image
reference support in version 2.0, is the ability to export “Fixture POV” images and data directly over Wi-Fi from Cast Software’s next release of WYSIWYG R25.

Other notable new features in 2.0 include full group support, cut/copy/paste capabilities, accelerometer support for XY controls, plus extensive additions and refinements to the existing feature-set. Company founder and lead product developer Ryan Hisey says “The ability to program and playback shows directly from an iPhone or iPod, for periods lasting greater than 36 hours on batteries is really amazing. We’re really excited to see how our customers push the boundaries of automated lighting control.”

“In this release, we also took advantage of a lot of the great features that are built-in to the iPhone and iPod touch, such as the accelerometer, camera, and photo library. The images in CoverFlow look absolutely amazing, and users can easily add their own custom images and icons via multiple convenient methods. Additionally, we are very excited to be working with
Cast Software, who is a highly respected industry leader, on such a groundbreaking new feature for lighting pros.”

Availability
Luminair 2.0 is available for download now, exclusively from Apple’s iTunes App Store. For all existing customers, version 2.0 is a free upgrade. Full product details, videos, and screenshots can be seen at http://synthe-fx.com/luminair

Keep up the excellent developing, dudes.

Genielux is HERE, Today!

genieluxi-con

Mike Zinman has released another something awesome – an app for iPhone that finds gear for rent or purchase, wherever you are.  Meet Genielux:

genielux

From the ZinmanCo press release:

LONG BEACH, CA – The Zinman Company, a technology leader in iPhone applications for the entertainment industry, announces the worldwide launch of GENIELUX™. GENIELUX allows users to quickly and efficiently search the inventory of rental and sales companies around the world by type of equipment, location, and distance from the user.

The initial launch will allow vendors such as production companies, rental or hire houses, or individuals with rental or sales inventory to list their gear in the worldwide database. The second phase in February 2010 will launch the searchable database and the free iPhone application. The database will include lighting, control, audio, video, rigging, special effects, and more. For a limited time, new listings will be upgraded to a Featured Listing for no extra charge.

“GENIELUX is the ideal tool to quickly locate any piece of gear in the world, whether it’s lighting, control, audio, video, or even rigging or special effects,” said Michael Zinman, President and CTO of The Zinman Co. “This application saves critical time in the production process and when the iPhone app is launched it will allow you instant access anywhere your phone works.”

The application is free to users. Equipment listings are $2 per month for a standard listing and $12 per month for a featured listing. A single listing can include an unlimited amount of gear. All listings purchased before February 1 will be upgraded to a Featured Listing for no extra charge. For more information, visit www.genielux.com.

Mike has released the actual iPhone app today – people, if you have a product to rent or sell in the lighting world, pay the two bucks and get your name in Genielux! Get the Genielux app, FREE, here.

Genielux is Taking Flight – Beta Testing Now!

Mike Zinman just sent me an email saying that his new venture, Genielux, has hit the ground running – and he needs people with equipment for sale or rent to sign up, for free for a limited time, over at the Genielux website.  This thing is gonna be pretty darned snazzy, methinks – we’ve been needing something like this for a while now.

The site is in beta right now, and Mike’s looking for people with available equipment inventory to sign up, for free again (see, I used the keyword free, so that’s twice now).  Go over to Genielux and list your sale or rental equipment!

Mike sent me this info – a promo and info on signing up:

iphone-screen-genielux

Imagine — your entire inventory on demand around the world, 24/7.

This is Genielux.
Genielux is a new breed of search. A smarter, quicker, easier and much more accurate search engine for the entertainment market. You may manage a company with a large inventory, or own a small boutique with specialized inventory, or you might be an individual that owns and operates a single piece of gear. No matter how big or small your inventory is, there’s a place for you on Genielux.

The website is www.genielux.com
Click on Sign Up Today

Your coupon code is: 48635836
This code expires 1/1/2010

After you have entered the promotional code and completed the registration, you will receive a confirmation email. It will say “You will be billed $2 USD monthly for your order (ID# xx).” But you will be charged nothing with this coupon. You won’t even have to enter your credit card information. The $2.00 charge per month is what the cost is to join without the code.

It’s very important that I get your feedback on your likes and dislikes about the signup process. If you have any suggestions or comments, I’d love to hear them. After all, this is what testing a product is all about.

What Is Genielux?
Genielux is a comprehensive resource for producers, designers, and industry professionals to easily find rental gear and to purchase entertainment equipment anywhere in the world. Vendors can create an online company profile which includes their sales and rental inventory. Visitors can search for a specific piece of gear by model and geographic location. Genielux searches the extensive database and displays a list of companies by location matching gear for hire or sale.

Luminair 2.0 is Coming

Everybody knows Luminair.  What everybody doesn’t know is that Luminaire 2.0 is coming.

I had a chance to play with the 2.0 release on Synthe FX founder Ryan Hisey’s iPhone at LDI 2009 in Orlando.  The new features are pretty awesome, and it’s extra excellent for me since I’m a big WYG user.  Check out the press release from Synthe FX on the Luminaire 2.0 update, which is coming soon.

luminair-2.0

Synthe FX announces Luminair 2.0, wireless DMX control for iPhone and iPod touch

Following an introduction at LDI 2009, Synthe FX has officially announced Luminair 2.0, the next generation of the wireless multi-touch DMX control software for the iPhone and iPod touch. Luminair is a revolutionary wireless lighting control product, which uses the Art-Net protocol to control compatible lighting and media server equipment via the iPhone and iPod touch’s internal Wi-Fi hardware.

Among the new features in version 2.0 is “Stacks”, which is a cue-list playback system designed to make it very easy to put together shows for a variety of uses. Cues can be programmed directly within Luminair, and also recorded as snapshots from an external console or any other DMX control source using Luminair’s DMX input. “Stacks” has five different playback modes, and each cue has individual assignable timing information, making playback options extremely flexible. Standard playback life using the device’s internal battery has tested to be around 2.5-3 hours, and can be extended to 8-9 hours or even longer using a 3rd party external battery pack. When the device is plugged into a power source, playback can run indefinitely.

Another major new feature in Luminair 2.0 is the ability to assign images as visual references to cues, using the iPhone’s built-in camera, photo library, or transferred via the internal HTTP server. Users can browse and trigger Quick-Touch cues using a CoverFlow like user interface, which renders the assigned images in breathtaking OpenGL 3D.

Also dependent on the new image reference support in version 2.0, is the ability to export “Fixture POV” images and data directly from Cast Software’s next release of WYSIWYG. With this feature, WYSIWYG designers can transfer both a reference image and the necessary DMX data from a fixture POV directly into Luminair, so that a rigger can effortlessly work from the designer’s original vision when focusing that fixture.

Other new features in 2.0 include full group support, cut/copy/paste capabilities, accelerometer support for XY controls, plus extensive additions and refinements to existing features.

Company founder and lead product developer Ryan Hisey gave a presentation and demos of the new features at LDI 2009 in Orlando, where the response was overwhelmingly enthusiastic. “The original goal in creating Luminair was to make a tool that appeals to lighting and media professionals in all fields, whether for studio, architectural, rigging, media servers, testing, the possibilities are almost endless. The combination of the existing feature-set plus the new features and refinements in 2.0 finally solidify this quest to appeal to such a diverse range of customers.”

“The ability to program and playback shows directly from an iPhone or iPod, for periods lasting up to or longer than 8-9 hours on batteries is really amazing. Likewise, never before have lighting professionals had the option of designing looks on a master console, recording snapshots, and building a simple show that they can carry in their pocket.”

“In this release, we also wanted to take advantage of a lot of great features that are built-in to the iPhone and iPod touch, such as the accelerometer, camera, and sync-able photo library. The images in CoverFlow look absolutely amazing, and users can easily add their own custom images and icons via multiple convenient methods. Additionally, we are very excited to be working with Cast Software, who is a highly respected industry leader, on such a groundbreaking new feature for lighting pros.”

Availability
Luminair will be available in Q1 2010 exclusively on Apple’s iTunes App Store, for a price of $99 US dollars. For all existing customers, version 2.0 will be a free upgrade. Full details, videos, and screenshots can be seen at http://synthe-fx.com/products/luminair

Mike Zinman’s TCP/IP Remote Update – Free for Software Owners

tcpip

Mike Zinman, the guy who writes all of the awesome iPhone lighting software that we all love has released a free update to his TCP/IP Remote app.  TCP/IP Remote is a net remote for anything you can connect to – lighting consoles, media servers, projectors, home automation – if it has a TCP/IP interface, you can control it.

Here’s a press release:

Zinman Software has updated TCP/IP Remote v2.0, now available on the iTunes App Store. Many new improvements have been made; including better user customizations to the GUI, unlimited pages of Macros, unlimited pages of Terminal/Remote views & buttons, ability to edit buttons inside the App, plus much many new features.

Version 2.0 is a free upgrade to existing version of TCP/IP Remote.

About TCP/IP Remote:

For IT professionals, systems integrators, and anyone looking for customizable control of any software or hardware capable of TCP/IP communications.

Use TCP/IP Remote to control video projectors, lighting and media systems, home automation and much more.

For more information, please visit Zinman Software online @ www.zinmansoftware.com

Thanks, Mike!

Wybron Updates The Moire Gobo Library

Wybron has added 1,500 Goboland, InLight Grayscale and GAM Halftone gobos to their great Moiré Gobo Library™ application for the iPhone.  If you’ve never played with this application, it’s probably one of the cooler apps I have on my phone – the ability to take two gobos and experiment with spin speed and direction is pretty outstanding.  From the press release at Wybron:

wybron-moire-library

Wybron is pleased to announce the addition of Goboland, InLight Grayscale and GAM Halftone gobos to our popular Moiré Gobo Library™ application for the iPhone. This increases the number of available gobos by 1,500—to over 5,000 A-size gobos which users can search, browse and experiment with, making Moiré the most comprehensive gobo library app on the market.

Features:

  • Adjust the focus of the gobo to create a blur effect.
  • Spin the gobo in either direction at different speeds.
  • Use the “TwinSpin” (trademarked by GAM) feature to overlap and spin any two gobos, at any speed and in any direction (both gobos spinning in the same direction or each gobo spinning in a different direction).
  • View gobos on a white or black background, simulating the look of the gobo itself or the image it produces on a dark stage, or with a background color taken from our Gel Swatch Library app.
  • Search gobos by name and number
  • Sort gobos by name and number in ascending and descending order
  • Flip a single gobo by swiping horizontally
  • Flip the two gobos in a TwinSpin by swiping horizontally for Gobo A and swiping vertically for Gobo B
  • Maintain a list of 12 most recently viewed gobos
  • Send comments directly to the developer with the feedback button
  • The updated application will be available for download during the week of September 7, 2009. Users who have already purchased Moiré Gobo Library will find that their libraries will update automatically through the Apple App Store.
  • The Moiré Gobo Library runs on the iPhone or iPod touch and can be purchased through Apple’s App Store. Just click on the App Store icon from the main screen of each device, or access the App Store through iTunes.