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Happy Birthday, InLight Gobos!

Wha – who – HEY!  Is that InLight Gobos?  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, InLight Gobos!

Today is the 9th birthday of InLight Gobos, the brainchild of Rick Hutton.  You know Rick, right?  If you’ve ever used a VL5, you know Rick.  He’s one of the brains that made Vari*Lite what it is, and he developed the VL5.  He is, in all aspects of the word, a true geek – and an awesome dude.

Rick and his lovely wife Adriana (and avid Words with Friends player who is constantly whipping me at that game) run InLight Gobos – their shop is in Dallas, and they make the best freaking glass gobos in the business.  That’s a fact.  Their gobos are the thinnest glass gobos in the business – 1.7mm thick – and the process they use puts the image all into one plane so there is no fuzzy crappy focus when you throw it into a fixture.

InLight Gobos’ services, from the website:

  • Custom and Catalog Glass Gobos – Full Color, Greyscale and Black and White
  • Custom Metal Gobos – Custom metal in any size
  • Wedding Gobos – Design you own special gobo for your special day
  • DiGiGOBOS® – Royalty free digital content in SD and HD formats
  • GAM on GLASS™ – Any GAM pattern can be produced in glass for extended use
  • Rent-A-Gobo™ – Short term glass gobo rental program
  • Laser Marking – Laser engraving service for gobo ring identification
  • Artwork Service – Artwork creation or help service

InLight Gobos is doing some pretty cool stuff.  You know this gobo, yeah?  It’s stock on PRG’s Bad Boy:

Yeah.  That’s all Rick and InLight.  I love that freaking gobo!  I just want to cover a room in those!  InLight Gobos are finding their way all over the place, and have been for a while – they were at E3 recently in the Nintendo booth, people are spec’ing them all over the place for projects, and recently Rick and Adriana started doing custom wedding gobos!

InLight Gobos is also on Twitter – make sure you’re following @InLightGobos!

From the InLight Gobos website:

Their catalogue is pretty great – I highly recommend checking it out.  They do full color gobos, greyscale, and pure black and white – custom or stock.  Check out the InLight Gobos catalogue here, and prepare to be impressed.  Rick also had a cool idea that he’s implemented into a service – gobo rental!  InLight Gobos has a Rent-A-Gobo program with a select group of their stock patterns, all glass.  Definitely check it out.

I have to show you some of my favorites from the InLight Gobos collection – these are some official JimOnLight.com favorites:

Liquid

Shocking

Jungle

Comb-Atic

Firework 1

Foiled Plot

On the history of the company:

InLight Gobos opened its doors on August 1st, 2002 with a simple mission to bring the best quality glass gobos at a competitive price to the lighting and entertainment industries. This mission still stands today. Over the years we have continued to bring new programs and innovations to the industry. Our partnership with Beacon SSR Stage Light AB in Sweden allows us to produce the thinnest full color gobos in the market. We continue to work closely with Beacon to improve our processes and the quality of our products. Our customers and employees are the most important assets we have, therefor we strive to continually improve all aspects of our business. We are always open to suggestions to  improve our operation and fulfill your needs.

InLight Gobos, JimOnLight.com thinks you are outstanding.

LDI 2009: SeaChanger’s Booth

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One of my favorite booths this year was SeaChanger’s booth.  Besides the fact that they have a great product and are using the LIFI lamp like rockstars, SeaChanger had their standard setup – Eileen Morris (gourmet chef and wife of Tom Morris at SeaChanger) cooked those of us at the conference some of the finest food I’ve ever eaten.  Most definitely the best omelet I’ve ever eaten.

The entire booth was lit by plasma sources – I have completely forgotten the percentage that Tom Stanziano gave me about how much less power the SeaChanger booth was using by having plasma lamps in their fixtures – but at least 30% less comes to mind.  The light from these LIFI sources and the SeaChanger optics is pretty stunning.  The booth itself is set up like a kitchen show – broadcast camera feeds to plasma screens, showing how nice the light appears on camera.

Quite frankly, it is a damned beautiful light.

Okay – omelets, Grand Marinier whipped creme on crepes, the SeaChanger color engine, and the LIFI lamp.  This was a good combination for LDI 2009 for me!

I have some really interesting stuff coming up about SeaChanger this week – you have to stay tuned, especially if you like glass color filters…

Check out some images of SeaChanger’s LDI 2009 exhibit:

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That’s my hand, and it’s resting on the cooling fins of the SeaChanger below using a LIFI lamp.  Awesome.

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SeaChanger Wash:

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Look!  It’s a Nautilus, a Profile, and a Wash!

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Thanks for the omelet, Eileen!

Wybron’s Nexera – CMY Mixing Spot and Wash Fixtures

Have you seen or used any of Wybron’s NexeraLX luminaires?  Nexeras have dichroic CMY mixing, are DMX addressable, and come in spot and wash configurations.  Nexera is convection cooled, and can be fitted with a ceramic gas discharge metal halide lamp, mechanical dimmer, and ballast for install situations.

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Aaron at Wybron sent me a press release for Houston’s Lakewood Church; they’re using 48 Nexeras:

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There are churches, there are megachurches, and then there are megachurches.

Houston’s Lakewood, the country’s largest church and the home of Joel Osteen, falls firmly in the latter category. With a weekly attendance of approximately 43,000 people, they make their home in the former Compaq Center, previously home to the Houston Rockets. And the job of lighting services in the 16,000-plus-seat arena, many of which have to perform the double duty of being recorded for broadcast and providing an intimate experience for worshipers? That falls to Chuck Pryor and his team.

“My production background is mainly in audio,” Pryor says, “So my team has a lot of fun making all the standard lighting/audio jokes to keep things light and fun. I was actually hired in audio but was invited to manage the Lighting Department when Tom Stanziano, the previous Lighting Director, left. Tom was the one who originally specified theses fixtures to accomplish the goals, and he obviously made a great call. I still split my time between lighting and audio, so having Josh Beard and Ryan Johanningmeier here to do all of the maintenance and programming makes it all come together pretty nicely. These guys are both really talented and we are fortunate to have them.”

Juggling sound and lighting in such a large venue certainly poses challenges. For the not-inconsiderable task of lighting the Lakewood stage-a lighting system that uses, all told, over 700 individual fixtures and must light dozens of performers-Pryor relies in part on 48 Wybron Nexeras, a move that Pryor calls a “perfect solution.”

“The Nexeras have one very important role at Lakewood,” Pryor says. “These are used to light the curtain that millions of people see each week on the broadcast. The Lakewood blue curtain that hangs behind the globe is lit exclusively by the Nexera fixtures. We also use eight of these fixtures as band front wash when color is needed.”

The “blue curtain” that Pryor mentions is a sort of visual trademark of Lakewood, a backdrop to the ever-present bronze globe and the activity that takes place on the stage-and which is a recognized symbol of the church to the millions of viewers who tune in to broadcasts of Lakewood’s services.

“The main technical difficulty we had was lighting our curtain evenly and having the ability to color mix smoothly. The fact that the Nexeras can throw 60 feet allows us to do this and light the entire curtain evenly.”

The vibrant color and smooth mixing provided by Nexera’s dichroic glass filters translates to a dynamic and reliable platform for Lakewood’s ultimate raison d’etre: the dissemination of their ministry’s message to the thousands of people in their congregation and the millions who tune into their broadcasts. “Obviously they have to work in harmony to have the most impact, and lighting can really help set the mood in the congregation,” says Pryor.

Although Lakewood is by any measure a large organization, with the trappings attendant to one, it’s the message that counts; the hundreds of lights, the pro-quality sound, the music, the technical accoutrements and flash are there simply to support it. And to do this, like so many other churches across the continent, Lakewood turned to Wybron.

I’m interested in hearing more about the Nexera – any hands on experience with the fixture?

SEACHANGER Wash Unit for Source Four ERS

I posted an article about the SeaChanger color engine for ETC Source Four Profiles a few days ago, and I wanted to post about one of the other accessories that is available from SeaChanger – the SeaChanger Wash Color Engine.

All you need for this accessory is the lamp base housing – that’s what makes it awesome.  The SeaChanger Wash Color Engine basically turns the Source Four lamp housing into a color mixing fresnel, with all of the same dichroic guts as the Profile color engine.  The wash barrel on the unit has a 20° to 70° zoomable beam spread, which again turns this unit into a little bit of awesome.

The next show that I spec these on, I will take a lot of pictures of the unit.  In the mean time, check out SeaChanger’s product page on this device.

SEACHANGER Color Engine for Profile Spots

If you’ve ever tried to mix deep primaries with color filters, then you know how much of a pain in the rear it can be – until the SeaChanger came along.  The SeaChanger color engine is a device that modifies your Source Four ERS units into color changing spot fixtures with CMY/G mixing capabilities.

CMY/G, you say?  Yeah.  Green.  Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and a patented “Extreme Green” dichroic that adds the ability to mix deep hues, add subtleties to colors, and create looks that aren’t possible with color scrollers and faders.  Dichroic filters are utilized inside the unit, which are glass, so the colors don’t fade – and the need for cooling fans doesn’t exist, so the unit is silent as well.

SeaChangers are capable of all of the standard ETC beam spaing tools as well, so you can add gobos, irises, gobo rotators, gobo changers, etc to the unit.

Check out the product page.  I’ve used these only a few times, but every time I discover something else I love about them.