InfoComm 2014 – Creative Booth Design for CHAUVET Professional

I am unbelievably lucky to be here where I am right now:

  • I work for a lighting company that is doing awesome stuff
  • I have a supportive boss and team
  • I have an incredible production crew that makes the design happen
  • I have a crew who values the programming time needed to rock and roll

Could I be any luckier?!  Mike Graham, Danilo Oliveira, Lucciano Cabrera, Anthony ChiapponeCarmen Diaz — you guys are my absolute heroes.  Thank you for making this one happen while I was ralfing my guts out.  You truly made this one great for me, it was like a gift showing up and being able to start mashing buttons.  Thank you, team.

Check out the “creative” design video we made for InfoComm 2014!

Check out some photos of the booth — we had a blast!

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HOG 4 TRAINING VIDEOS!

High End Systems has released a series of training videos for the new Hog 4!

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From a press release at High End Systems:

Following the extremely successful HOG4 launch and due to incredibly high demand, High End Systems is today releasing a series of Hog4 training videos.

In tandem with the large number of worldwide training classes undertaken both by High End Systems and it’s extensive distributor network, the initial 12 videos will allow everyone to learn how to use a Hog.

The videos have been split into easy to watch segments meaning that beginners as well as experienced users will benefit from them. They are also in a logical order allowing for the user to move from one element of the Hog software to another with ease. The 12 videos means that users who only need to look at a specific area of the console may do this with ease.

“The addition of these videos to our already extensive training program is testament to our commitment to offer education at multiple levels” says Jeff Pelzl, VP, Technical and Marketing Services “and we are committed to ensuring that everyone has access to Hog training.”

“We realized that not everyone is able to attend training classes and also that users want the ability to brush up on certain areas of the platform’ says Chris Ferrante, Director of Product Management “so we partnered with Colin Wood of Pre Production Services and now have a brilliant suite of training videos”

These videos can be seen at the following location:  http://www.highend.com/support/training/Hog4Training/index.asp

As well as launching this suite of videos, High End Systems has recently launched version 1.2 for the Hog4 platform adding a host of new features including Command Keys, which continues the aggressive release schedule embarked upon on the platform’s launch.

AWESOME!!!!!

The videos:

Lesson 1:  Starting a New Show

Lesson 2: Default Layout of a New Show

Lesson 3: An Introduction to Patching

Lesson 4: Basic Programming

Lesson 5: Cue Playback

Lesson 6: Using Palettes

Lesson 7: Basic Cue Timing and Editing

Lesson 8: Tracking

Lesson 9: User Kinds

Lesson 10: Command Keys

Lesson 11: Multi-Console Setup

Lesson 12: Configuring Art-Net

I hope to see more of these from MORE console manufacturers in the near future!!!

Interactive LightBoxes from Enlighter and Light Act

I got an email a little while ago from Mitja Prelovšek who runs the lighting website Enlighter.  (Sorry I haven’t posted this yet Mitja, I’m in just released software land!)  Enlighter did a project recently with interactive product called Light Act, which is pretty cool — imagine tracking a person as they walk past a store front, and allowing the lighting to literally interact with them as they realize they’re being entertained.  Now that is what I call outstanding!  I thought sticking a large pixellated box in front of a video display was pretty creative, this kinda just blew my mind and made me have a morning period of creativity!

Check this out:

From the video description:

Interactive LightBoxes is an interactive lighting installation using 1 reActor and 2 SmartView modules from LightAct system. These modules control 6 light boxes that through the interactivity draw people closer and invite them to interact and play with them. The message displayed on the light boxes gets across much more easily while the interactivity helps to save energy.

This is outstanding, and it’s not really that complicated!

The system itself is a motion tracking-type system that has some extra translators for lighting protocols other than DMX (like DALI for architecture and any pulse-width modulation signal stuff for homes and buildings), along with a software suite that allows you to either write your own code or use the software to set up your “interactivity barriers” as we would call them.  Check out a diagram of the system — opens up to 1024 pixels!

Awesome work, Mitja and the Enlighter crew!  Thanks for letting us know about your project!

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.

POLL: What’s Your Lighting Control Surface of Choice?

A conversation I had about programming “ambidexterity” and console choice the other day has been sticking in my mind like white on rice, a glass of milk, and a paper plate in a snowstorm.  I’m curious as to what the JimOnLight.com Community as a whole considers its favorite console or consoles.

Please participate in this quick little poll below – if you’re a JimOnLight.com RSS feed reader, come on over to the website and participate in the poll!  Choose one of the answers from the list below.

If you happen to program on something or really like programming on something NOT on this list, would you leave a comment and let us know what that console might be?

What's your control surface of choice?

  • I'm an ETC programmer. (29%, 59 Votes)
  • I'm a GrandMA programmer. (20%, 42 Votes)
  • I'm a Hog programmer. (16%, 32 Votes)
  • I program something not on this list. (7%, 14 Votes)
  • I'm a Maxxys programmer (Martin). (6%, 13 Votes)
  • I'm a Jands programmer (Vista, etc). (6%, 12 Votes)
  • I'm an Avolites programmer. (5%, 11 Votes)
  • I'm a ChamSys programmer. (4%, 9 Votes)
  • I'm not a programmer elitist, I love them all. (4%, 9 Votes)
  • Programming? F*** that, I'll hire someone like Cat West or Benny Kirkham. (2%, 4 Votes)
  • I'm an architectural lighting control surface programmer. (1%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 206

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XBox 360 Kinect + DMX = 100% Awesome

I saw this amazing video on Hack N’ Mod about turning an XBox 360 Kinect into a DMX lighting control device.

Of course I said “SAY WHAAAT?” to myself ever so gently.  Can you imagine this with a full lighting rig?  Right now, it’s just being done with two green LEDs.

Check out the video!

Kinect + Touch Designer DMX Light/Laser Control from Phil Reyneri on Vimeo.

Hack the world!  Thanks, Hack-N-Mod!

Luminair 2.0 for iPad – Video Demo!

This is what happens when you have over 150 tabs open in Chrome – you skip over things unintentionally!

Check this out - Synthe FX’s Luminair app for iPad and iPhone, demoed in video:

Luminair for iPad – multi-touch DMX lighting control – A Quick Preview from Synthe FX on Vimeo.

I’ve done some interesting stuff with Ryan Hisey’s apps – what I find incredibly cool about this video (and the one below) is that they were featured on one of my favorite blogs that deals with video jockeying and live visual art, Create Digital Motion.  Now THAT is what I’m talking about – when we work together across industries of light and art, all kinds of cool stuff happens!

Check out another video, this time of Luminair for iPhone:

Luminair 2.0 – wireless DMX lighting control for iPhone + iPod touch from Synthe FX on Vimeo.

LightFair Day One – What A Great Conference!

LightFair 2010 – have you SEEN so many LEDs in your life?!

I have to say I am having a TON of fun on the floor of LightFair 2010 – this is a conference I will be attending each year!  I walked around yesterday on the floor, meeting people, getting hugs from people, and generally having an excellent time.  One thing that I am super excited about is that I HAVE A REAL PHOTOGRAPHER shooting work for JimOnLight.com!  Everybody’s favorite Amanda Lynne Ballard is here, shooting pics and making me look GREAT!  You have to see some of the work she got for you all, and make sure to thank her.

Check out some photos of the showfloor – if you’ve not been to LightFair, you need to make plans!  This is a huge year for LightFair, most people ever!

“The Map”

WANT.  NOW.

Part of Cree LED’s booth – AWESOME!

Peter Kirkup showing how he nerds his iPad into controlling the Orb.  Awesome.

I love me some Peter Kirkup!  This kid is a GENIUS!

I also loves me some Ginny Skalski from Cree – she’s the Social Media voice of Cree LEDs!  What a rock star!

Green Man Walking

The biggest CFL I have ever seen.  Ever.

That’s right – OptiLEDs immersed in water.  How’s that for IP 68?

SeaChanger – in all if its greatness!

More OptiLED submersion

Finally – someone acknowledged Street Lighting!

Stay tuned – I’m here all week!  Lots more stuff to come.  I am very excited!

Five Decades of Lighting – USITT 2010 Lighting Commission Special Exhibit – Consoles Edition

One of the more awesome things I saw this year at USITT was the Lighting Commission’s exhibit on lighting equipment history – “Five Decades of Lighting.”  Todd Proffitt (@tm204) and Josh Williamson (@joshwilliamson) were involved with this exhibit, and I think they did an outstanding freaking job of putting it together.  I’m sure I’m not including many people who worked to make the thing happen, but nice exhibit!  I broke this up into two posts:  one on consoles, and another post tomorrow on fixtures and other equipment.

You might notice that these images of lighting control surfaces is not in any kind of chronological order – this is actually intentional.  Take a look and see if you can identify some of the characteristics of the various consoles over the course of the years.

The “Five Decades of Lighting” exhibit had fixtures, dimming, and consoles from the last five decades.  It was pretty great to actually get my hands on an old Light Palette Two – what nice wood detail work!  Can I order a Hog III with the cherry and maple inlay?

Also, it was awesome meeting Fred Foster from ETC and hearing him tell stories about the first consoles he designed, and the funny little tidbits he was sharing.  You’re pretty cool, Fred Foster!

Check out a quick video I made of the console section, followed by a ton of images.  Literally.

USITT’s 2010 Lighting Commission Special Exhibit – 5 Decades of Lighting – Consoles from Jim Hutchison on Vimeo.

The Strand 300 Series lighting console (I’m a big fan of the Strand 520i from back in the day):

the Obsession I (before it became the Obsession II):

a Luxtrol autotransformer unit.  Come on, you’ve seen these, yeah?  We always had one in undergrad powering the tech table lighting:

“That’s not a lighting desk.  THIS is a lighting desk!”  (the Light Palette Two).  I mean, literally a desk.  You can also fly the Starship Enterprise with that console:

Light Palette Two built-in keyboard:

The Light Palette Two, front side:

Lighting Methods, Inc’s little two-scene preset:

The Kliegl Performer – yes, that’s a cassette tape:

an old Kliegl Bros 2-scene preset, and a Century Lighting Edkotron controller:

Everybody knows the Express series – here’s a 250:

The ETC Vision – also see the Microvision FX, which wasn’t at the show, but you could hear the jubilant cries of “MICROVISION FX!” from the conventiongoers:

The ETC Idea – another of the early ETC desks that people came to know and love:

The ETC Eos – so sleek!

This thing – this is amazing.  This is the ETC ELC (Entertainment Lighting Control)

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.