A great article from Lighting and Sound America on the show America’s Ballroom Challenge, written by LD Chas Norton. Most definitely read this great article — PDF link below.
A great article from Lighting and Sound America on the show America’s Ballroom Challenge, written by LD Chas Norton. Most definitely read this great article — PDF link below.
Back for another month of Lighting Insights, the video series with teeth! It’s really taken off, and it’s nice to see that our industry cares enough to learn more to make itself better. I’m so glad to have been a part of this awesome series… I have more dreamed up for the future, let’s see how it goes!
This month’s episode:
Do YOU behave like a professional lighting designer?
I am unbelievably lucky to be here where I am right now:
Could I be any luckier?! Mike Graham, Danilo Oliveira, Lucciano Cabrera, Anthony Chiappone, Carmen 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!
A fun show happened this year in Las Vegas — lots of beams, lots of friends, and I met my goal to share hug karma with 20 new people!
I’ve heard a few people now call LDI something like “LED-I.” After making me giggle like a dumbass like I’m known to do, it’s not like it’s far off the mark — the industry is dominated with LED wash fixtures, LED pixel mappers, LED moving head spot AND wash fixtures, and all kinds of other diode-powered light makers. Strobes, too — LED strobes are intensely appropriate, but they deliver a different kind of stab than a Xenon strobe. They’re not better or worse, just different! The industry still has the gamut of discharge, incandescent, and other non-LED sources as well, but there is less push generally on these types of fixtures.
I find that such an interesting paradigm at the LDI show – lots of companies have non-LED stuff and they show it, but there is definitely a large LED offering in our industry (as is the case in most industries of light right now). Sometimes I wonder if there are less non-LED beams bouncing around because that’s what the industry wants or if it’s because of the cost savings of NOT having those non-LED sources en masse. Power is expensive stuff at these shows, and so is drayage on all of the heavy gack that goes along with larger draw 208 gear and dimming. Most LEDs anymore allow you greater flexibility with 208V power too, making the power linking possibilities even better. I only had one 48-way PD for the CHAUVET Professional booth, and that powered everything I had designed into the rig, video panels and all.
I programmed the booth I designed on the Avolites Sapphire Touch, which has become my new favorite desk. I finally found an interface that was designed the way that my brain wants to program. This has been a joyous time in my programmer life! It’s nothing like the old Avolites way, they’ve made the flow so unbelievably amazing that it is literally a joy to program. I just had it again on the Concert Lighting Master Classes this last week, but I’ll be writing a separate post about that this week.
Check out some photos from the show, and I was glad to see you if I saw you at this year’s show! If I didn’t see you, I’m sorry — we’ll see each other next go round or soon, you know how this business goes! I was bummed that I didn’t get to see the Fox family. This show kept me busy, I barely made it out of the booth except for about an hour to walk the floor.
Click on any photo below for the larger images in an *awesome* light box!
I randomly ran across this really awesome video of the WICKED team talking about their light plot, lighting design, and lighting design team. Pretty cool! Check it out below:
From the video page:
It takes 650 lighting fixtures and a talented team of theatre artists and technicians to light up the WICKED stage. Meet the crew that illuminates Elphaba and makes Glinda glow to tell Oz’s most bewitching story.
If you’ve been to an architectural lighting, entertainment lighting, or decorative lighting trade show lately, you should notice an interesting trend: the lack of attention to incandescent light sources. The light emitting diode has overtaken the world, and like myself, I miss the days of the warm tungsten filament in a room, bathing everything in its reach with a wider spectrum of color than its LED counterparts. Tungsten filaments, at least decoratively, have become the fine wine of our lighting generation – only those with the intelligence and artistic knowledge in using tungsten and other incandescent sources have continued to do so. The rest of the world is convinced, at the behest of excellent marketing and often regardless of price, that LED illumination is not only the way of the future but also today’s only way to appropriately design lighting.
It’s a fact that in many applications, including modern high bay methodologies and architectural applications, LED light sources are winning hearts and minds over their higher-energy-consuming incandescent cousins. Sooner than later we’re going to see higher output automated fixtures giving their HID counterparts a run for their money, too. ETC’s LED Source Four ellipsoidal, Chauvet’s Ovation LED ellipsoidal, Altman Lighting’s ME3 ellipsoidal, and Robert Juliat’s Tibo and Zep LED profiles have taken the market by storm – and have begun pushing back on the use of tungsten-halogen sources, arc sources, and even halogen sources!
On the whole, energy costs when dealing with a large facility or venue are where LED and non-incandescent sources make a monster difference in energy costs. But what about where energy costs are negligible, like in your home? If saving comparatively a few dollars here and there in your home is less important than the feeling and artistic appreciation that something like an incandescent lamp brings to you, can you put a price on your happiness? I’ve owned many a compact fluorescent lamp-based fixture in my home, and frankly I replace every single CFL with its halogen or incandescent counterpart. It’s my decision, and I do what makes my eyes and my brain happy.
On that thought, I introduce to you the work of Vintage Power and Light out of Austin, Texas – creator Lowell Fowler (of High End Systems fame) has started a new hobby art venture based on utilizing the beauty and intrigue of vintage lighting and electrical equipment tied with the warm glow of incandescent sources. Even better than just the sexiness of a glowing filament structure, Vintage Power and Light takes the beauty of an Edison filament wrap source and melds it to gorgeous finished old-world wood components, then adds stunning copper and brass connections and controls. My favorite parts of Vintage Power and Light’s work are their use of Consolidated Design glass insulators – there is nothing quite like a multi-petticoat glass insulator on a fixture with an artistic incandescent filament turning that glass into a mystical piece of glowing jewelry. GAH! This stuff is amazing!!!
Lowell and York Fowler have put an interesting new spin on the idea of Steampunk-esque design by bringing old-world components and combining them with early 20th century incandescence. The result is a stunning and refreshing take on using incandescence as not only an artistic statement, but a comfortable, familiar, and heartwarming addition to your house, office, or anywhere else that LEDs just don’t cut it.
Check out a series of gallery images below, click on any image for a light box of that gallery for your perusal!
Just make sure that you give credit where credit is due, and all of these photos are courtesy of Vintage Power and Light with photography by Tim Grivas.
First things first, Vintage Power and Light’s Table Lamps:
Vintage Power and Light’s Chandelier and Pendant series:
Got a Steampunk jones? Vintage Power and Light does that too!
Last but not least, a gorgeous offering of sconces for your collection:
JimOnLight says HELL YES to Vintage Power and Light. Awesome offerings, guys! We hope that the whole world sees your work and loves it as much as we do!
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.
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!!!
I started digging my way through the 2 terabytes or so of uncut, backlogged video I have to process. Behind every folder is something I have forgotten that I filmed, and I am uncovering some really fun stuff!
Here’s a handful of clips from when Greggity and I flew the famous mockingbird from Columbus, OH to Hampton, VA for the Phish reunion shows on March 6-8, 2009. The clips I had sitting in a folder were, in order:
Army of One
Down with Disease JAM
Enjoy! Also check out Greg and I chatting with Chris Kuroda, Phish’s lighting designer, during the Hampton 2009 run, all four parts:
Ready? Get your coffee, have a seat, and rock out!
I’ve done a lot of shows in my career so far. I’m lucky as hell, don’t get me wrong – but because of it, I feel like I have a real “bond” with incandescent and high-intensity discharge lamps (HIDs) that we use in this industry. It’s almost creepy sometimes – in my head, I know how a good ol’ no-color Source Four looks in a dark theatre. I know how an Altman 360Q looks in a theatre sitting next to it, too – and how it looks sitting with a Shakespeare, also uncorrected, next to a Source Four. As I close my eyes to write this, I can see how an old Strand 30-degree feels inside of a theatre or outside during an outdoor performance, and how a tried-and-true PAR64 can burns so beautifully bright and amber when it’s going through red shift during a nice slow fade-up during a song in an arena. Even awesome old Kliegl 6×8’s have a good beam still, as long as the optics are changed from those miserable step lenses!
As a side note, I listened to Vesa Honkonen tell a story when I was attending graduate study in Sweden about “trusting” the light from a certain type of reflector, and how that trust cost him time and money on a project. So as a bit of an aside, with every statement is an equal anti-statement!
I have gotten to know the fixtures in our industry very well because I’ve been fortunate to use them in a real variety of performance situations and installations. When you get to know something like an ellipsoidal fixture with an incandescent lamp in it and you use it over and over and over again, you get to trust the fixture. I can say with ease that I trust the light that comes from the business end of a Source Four; at the same time, I trust the light that comes out of an Altman 360Q as well, whether it has an HX601 lamp in it or an old FEL lamp. As a designer, as an artist — I know what that light from an incandescent lamp in one of the “typical” variety of ellipsoidals is going to do for me in a scene on actors of any skin tone, or on a presenter during, or on film and video, and whether it has a chunk of R26 or L181HT in it. I know that kind of light. I trust that light.
In the world we live in now, incandescent lamps are slowly becoming forcefully shunned by a growing portion of the lighting industries as a whole (and politicians, sadly), with LED replacements becoming the forced norm by pretty much all of the companies that at one time were pushing an incandescent based fixture. These companies are all now driving quickly on the road of a really good trend: to produce a fixture that provides the same kind of light or better than that of an incandescent lamp based fixture with a lot less power consumption and without losing any light quality. Sounds easy enough, right?
There is a strange, edgy, “new car smell” feeling towards the new strains of LED fixtures making their births into the industry. We are inundated with them at the trade shows in our business, just like we were with the incandescent conventionals. Manufacturers, this is perfectly acceptable, and I think that it’s one of your biggest assets in this industry. It’s your job to make us trust your fixtures, through hands-on videos and “shoot-outs” between incandescent and LED fixtures out there. My informal surveying of conference attendees over the last three years has seen many responses like “TOO MANY LEDS” and “If I see another crappy wannabe LED fixture at another trade show, I’m going to die.” Believe it or not, this is a really good thing — it provides an opportunity for the exceptional equipment to rise to the top of the Diode Ocean, as I like to call it. Lately, these exceptions are overcoming their inferior rivals, much to my happiness.
Users, we have a job to do, too — we have to give the manufacturers the chance to trust LED light. We have to learn how it is different than its incandescent counterparts. We’ve had all of these decades to learn how to work with incandescent light (and HID light too, for what it’s worth), and we know it. We trust it, and we love it. But why is that? It’s because it’s what we know, and it really is that simple. Once we give the LED ellipsoidal generation a chance, you know we’re going to trust that too. This isn’t to say that LEDs are done developing, this obviously isn’t true. But I am noticing some unbelievably incredible advances in LED engines and output technology lately, especially after LDI in October 2012, and I have to say that I am finally ready to learn to trust LED conventional ellipsoidals. It’s hard not to at this point to see that LED ellipsoidals are becoming the obvious choice, with the color temperature tuning we see now and the low power requirement that they provide — and to argue against energy consumption and power conservation is just not in my DNA.
Over the next 2 weeks I’m going to be comparing the LED conventional ellipsoidals we see in Entertainment to their incandescent counterparts over the next month, starting with ETC’s new Source Four LED line first, followed by Robert Juliat’s Zep and Tibo ranges, then moving on to the RevEAL Profile from Prism Projection, and so on. In the mean time, let’s take a look at the characteristics I’ll be examining that I find important to applying trust, at least on paper – you can argue that there are more to see, but for the sake of argument, let’s start with:
Let’s go on this journey together. When we work on something together as an industry, we get to make it how we want it to be, and manufacturers listen. Once we started to get involved with the ways that incandescent lamps were developed and lighting designers started demanding better control over design and engineering of incandescent lamps, they improved. All we have to do now is learn what the LED Ellipsoidal generation can do for us, and we can really make a difference.
I saw these on 50 Watts, and I was just taken aback at how accurately the light in each scene was sketched. I mean seriously – check these out and tell me if you don’t have an exact idea as to how to light every one of these plates!
First published in German in 1913 and widely considered to be Paul Scheerbart’s masterpiece, Lesabéndio is an intergalactic utopian novel that describes life on the planetoid Pallas, where rubbery suction-footed life forms with telescopic eyes smoke bubble-weed in mushroom meadows under violet skies and green stars. Amid the conveyor-belt highways and lighthouses weaving together the mountains and valleys, a visionary named Lesabéndio hatches a plan to build a 44-mile-high tower and employ architecture to connect the two halves of their double star. A cosmic ecological fable, Scheerbart’s novel was admired by such architects as Bruno Taut and Walter Gropius, and such thinkers as Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem (whose wedding present to Benjamin was a copy of Lesabéndio). Benjamin had intended to devote the concluding section of his lost manuscript The True Politician to a discussion of the positive political possibilities embedded in Scheerbart’s “Asteroid Novel.” As translator Christina Svendsen writes in her introduction, “Lesabéndio helps us imagine an ecological politics more daring than the conservative politics of preservation, even as it reminds us that we are part of a larger galactic set of interrelationships.”
So it’s not light Musical Theatre reading is the general gist…
Being able to sketch out light is so essential for Lighting Designers; I think that rendering digitally and pre-viz have perhaps caused a lack of teaching of this skill. It’s also not a skill that I never really mastered, which was why I learned how to do it on a computer. Ah, the circle of life…