Real-Time Light Painting!

Earlier this year, the light painters JanLeonardo Wöllert and Anton Julmy used a Real Time Light Painting program. It works for both live performance and video production!

On a basic level, this video is well worth a watch because it shows how many of the more intricate light painting photographs are created. However, when you get in to what the program is doing and its applications — the video is BEYOND FASCINATING!

As Google Translate tells me, the program takes the light source, and traces its movements, colors, and intensity. It then processes the material, and adds the images collected together. The final result can either be recorded, or immediately outputted in real-time for live events. There was something about how the program can map the light paintings to objects, buildings, or stages, but Google Translate wasn’t exactly clear–if you speak German, I would love to know what you can find out about the program! Feel free to comment, or shoot me an email at daphne (at) jimonlight.com

 

Image created by JanLeonardo Wöllert.

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.

Jim Hutchison Joins the CAST Software Team!

I am really excited to announce that I’m now working for CAST Software!

castlogo-300px

I approached Gil and Bruce from CAST Software at LDI 2009 about CAST’s role in social media, and that I wanted to help in any way I could.  After talks and strategizing for a while since the convention, they’ve decided to bring me on as their Social Media and Area Sales Manager!

This is just awesome for me.  I have A) been using WYSIWYG for a long, long time, B) really believed in what they’re doing up there, C) wanted to be a part of the CAST team, and D) I love talking to people about WYSIWYG!  This is like epic win for me right now.  So as of a few days ago, I’m playing on the CAST team of developers, experts, and really fun people.

In addition to my full-time roll with JimOnLight.com, I’m also going to help CAST branch out into the worlds of Twitter, Facebook, and other various social media streams.  YEEHAA!  I’m still gonna write about WYSIWYG stuff here, because I am a fan and a user!

In the mean time, follow CAST Software on Twitter and Facebook!

CAST Software on Facebook:  facebook.com/CASTsoftware
CAST Software on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/CASTsoftware

WOOHOO!

So, please resume your normal JimOnLight.com reading, sorry to interrupt!

urawesome

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

ATTENTION LIGHTING STUDENTS: WYSIWYG Now Has A Student “Perform” Version

random-wysiwyg-jimonlight

I had a great conversation with Gil Densham from Cast Lighting yesterday.  We’ve been talking about the upcoming release of WYSIWYG R25 and some of the new features that will be implemented in R25, as well as all kinds of developments that the Black Box system is having.  Gil also informed me about a new Cast Software offering – a limited time WYSIWYG student version.  Normally the student versions of software are fairly limited, whether it is in features or a big watermark somewhere on the drawing or something equally as pervasive.  However, the student versions usually have a reduced price tag too, so the balance finds its way in there somehow.

The student pricing, also called Cast’s “Perform SSE,” is a full version of the Perform suite with visualization.  You will get a dongle which is your property – the dongle will come authorized for the student version of the suite, which includes everything but tech support and updates.  What I understand the details to be is as follows:

  • it’s the full version of Perform.  Viz, console connectivity, the works.
  • the student WYSIWYG suite is $499
  • the $499 that you pay as a student is fully applicable to a full version when you’ve graduated – essentially you’re getting the program for nothing if you plan on upgrading at the end of school.
  • you get a dongle that you can travel with, and you’re not limited to using a student version in the computer lab.
  • you do have to prove that you’re a student currently enrolled and taking classes.
  • It’s essentially a full version of R22, which has all of the great viz and beam stuff.
  • the student WYSIWYG will have a 1000 channel limit.

I love my WYSIWYG.  After my eyes, it is my number one lighting design tool.  If you’re a student, and you want to get in on this, email learn@cast-soft.com and give them the hey-what’s-up.  If you ever have questions about WYSIWYG, please don’t hesitate to contact me through the JimOnLight contact form, just put WYSIWYG somewhere in the subject.

Cast also has some cool student pricing on a specially packaged student version of WYSIWYG Design, and their Event Planning and conceptual design package, Vivien.  I haven’t ever talked about Vivien much, but it is a cool product.  I’ll talk a bit more about this in the near future, but for $199 and a $30 “initiation fee” you get one year of the software as long as you’re a student.  The cool part of that money is that if you were to buy four years at $199 a year, at your graduation they will credit you every dime of that money towards upgrading to the full version.

You’re going to use a lot of software in your lives to design lighting – some of it is cool, some of it is a waste of your time.  WYSIWYG has taught me more, saved me more time, and saved my rear end more times than I can count.  That’s why I write these posts.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

JimOnLight.com and iSquint.net- A “Light Plot Deconstructed” Contest!

isquint_jol-lp-deconstructed

Great things happen when people work together!

My good pal iSquint and I are running a contest for two of Greg Hillmar’s book, Light Plot Deconstructed, which retails for $40.  Greg’s book deals with Vectorworks Spotlight, a popular program on the market of CAD software.  Greg has graciously donated two copies of his book, SIGNED, for the contest!

We’re conducting this contest in two parts – iSquint is rocking the first two weeks of October, and I will be rolling the last two weeks of October.  iSquint is holding the first part of the contest from October 1 and ending it on October 18; I will take over on JimOnLight.com and run it from October 19 and end of October 30.

Entering is just as easy as any other JimOnLight or iSquint contest – for the first half, hop on over to iSquint’s contest page for the Greg Hillmar book and leave your name, email (which is as always private), and a note – notes are awesome!  I’ll post a contest page when it’s my turn.

What are you waiting for?

WYSIWYG Wins A PLASA 2009 Award for Innovation!

plasa-wyg-innovation

Our beloved WYSIWYG won a PLASA Award for Innovation at Earl’s Court in London this last weekend – a well-deserved win for both Cast Lighting (and everyone who busts their rears there) and all of us WYSIWYG users.  WYSIWYG Release 24 has amazing real-time viz.  Amazing.  Render-quality amazing.  I am a fan after all, but I’ve used so many software suites over the years (from MiniCAD to Vectorworks to AutoCAD to SoftPlot to AGI32 to DiaLUX to Sketchup to you name it, I think I’ve used it), and as a lighting designer in no matter what genre of lighting, I still love my WYSIWYG.

From the PLASA Show website:

Cast Group of Companies, for the WYSIWYG R24. The plethora of LED display technology caused Cast to re-evaluate its design and visualisation software which has led to a significant redesign of the graphics engine and fixture attributes. It now allows the full visualisation of modern display technology including video and LED screens and their content.

From Entertainment Technology News:

From among 62 products entered, last night CAST Software walked away with a coveted PLASA09 Award for Innovation at Earls Court in London. The Award “recognises products which advance the industry by demonstrating a new style of thinking, improving technical practice, or taking a key step forward in terms of safety,” according to the Professional Lighting And Sound Association.

The Award was presented by Adam Afriyie MP, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Universities and Skills and was judged by a panel of eight independent judges drawn from across the industry. In making the Award, the judges explained: “the plethora of LED display technology caused CAST to re-evaluate its design and visualisation software which has led to a significant redesign of the graphics engine and fixture attributes. It now allows the full visualisation of modern display technology including video and LED screens and their content.”

Bruce Freeman, chairman of CAST Software and Gil Densham, president, accepted the Award at which time Freeman said, “WYSIWYG R24 is a total bottom-up rethink that delivers advances so revolutionary that they are ahead of the leading-edge! To assure that the system demands of the new features and visualisation in R24 are met with the same WYSIWYG speed and dependability, CAST designed and built a brand new proprietary engine. Now production professionals can model all the hottest new LED fixtures on a per diode basis and display them running in realtime. R24’s new visualisation incorporates the inverse square law feature and volumetric beams so WYSIWYG’s realtime Shaded View is really virtually real!”

Congratulations, Cast!

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.

WYSIWYG R24 COMES OUT NEXT WEEK!!!!

wysiwyg r24

The makers of my favorite lighting design software, WYSIWYG, are releasing a new build to members this coming Tuesday, August 4, 2009.  If you’ve never tried WYSIWYG for anything, I highly recommend just giving it a go for a week.  Richard Cadena, who we all know and love, says that R24’s new features are “amazingly responsive.”  Hell, R23’s features are still amazingly responsive!

Some notes on the new features that are included in R24:

  • LED: New LED models use a point source to better represent a diode for LED fixtures and LED walls that look better and enhance overall efficiency and performance when dealing with all LEDs. New LED light sources and LED flare capability offer better representation in Shaded Views.
  • Improvements in visualization: including enhanced beams, improved beam footprints and shadows.
  • Inverse Square Law: A new upgrade in R24, it calculates accurate beam drop-off in visualization calculations.
  • Colour temperature: Information from wysiwyg Libraries includes different bulb wattages to more accurately display the photometrics of different bulbs.
  • Hot Spots: Hot spots add another aspect of realism to wysiwyg visualization. Formerly, uniform footprints are now distributed based on the photometric data of the fixture.
  • For outdoor events: R24 introduces a time-of-day capability in Shaded Views. Use climatic or environmental conditions specific to the time, place and even weather, specific to an event’s geographical location anywhere around the world to test ideas and demonstrate work.
  • Geometry Smoothing in OpenGL: This new shading technique delivers better-looking sets and people, plus a performance boost.
  • CITP Protocol for Video: The new feature allows consoles supporting this protocol to stream video content across a network into wysiwyg to be displayed on a video screen or DL fixture.
  • R24 also has more intuitive and logical Design Tools and an Improved Dongle Security System.

wysiwyg r24

Go check out WYSIWYG Release 23, and read up on R24 as well.  You won’t be disappointed.  It’s been one of the best things that’s ever happened to my pre-viz work, ever.