How DO You Teach Magic?

There’s an article on Live Design Online about teaching the magic of entertainment design; in this case, projection design.  I am also a college professor, albeit taking a break to get back into full-time production design, but this is a subject that always comes up among those of us who enjoy teaching and seeing the student “get it.”

Check it out, it’s a good article and worthwhile read.

What If Roadies Ran The World?

A post on The Light Network tuned me into this Sprint/Nextel commercial.
“What If Roadies Ran The World?”

If you’re a roadie, if you’ve ever been a roadie, if you’ve ever toured…  hopefully you’ll laugh.  I did!

Halloween CFLs!


When I was trying to find some funny image to post for this goulish day, I discovered something eerily related to light, and what a perfect venue in which to post it!  Sorry, I wish that I had discovered these sooner!!!

Halloween Compact Fluorescent Lamps!

PRG’s V676

I had a chance to check out the V676 console from PRG at LDI last week.  My favorite thing said about this console by the rep who was showing me the ins and outs was “budget was not an issue since it’s a rental item, so we spared no expense to make this desk great.”

Well, bravo, PRG.  What a great desk!

From the press release on the PRG site:

The V676â„¢ console is an elegant programming and control solution. Offering extraordinary speed, both in programming and responsiveness, as well as innovative interface advancements both in hardware layout and software design. V676, built on a legacy of proven reliability and cutting edge console development, expands the possibilities offered to designers and programmers alike. Intuitive features that quickly and easily handle the ever expanding scope of equipment to be controlled while acknowledging the ever decreasing time to program it all. V676 is designed with attention to detail and an insightful understanding of the practical demands of programming.

I got some pictures of this as well.  It sort of resembles an iPhone!  I really want to learn this desk.  I really want to learn this desk.


Behold – a new line in the Show_____ series of High End fixtures – the ShowBeam 2.5 automated wash luminaire.  It’s got the LEDs around the lens.  it’s got the 2500W medium source rare-earth arc lamp (that’s MSR to the non-dorks), beam fx, and just general badassery.

Check out the demo video here.

Finally, the Showgun!

I finally got to lay my hands on a Showgun at LDI last week.  What a bright fixture!  The Barco rep told me (along with a news release I just got) that there will be a new release of the Showgun, the Showgun 2.5 – with a 2500W boosted output lamp.  As if it wasn’t as bright as the sun already!  (I’m kidding, of course, as you can never have any fixture bright enough)  From the Barco press release:

The new version of SHOWGUN, the SHOWGUN 2.5 automated luminaire, offers 30 percent more photonic output via a new 2500-watt Philips MSR lamp source producing 130,000 lumens of light.

Dear GOD!  130K lumens?!  That’s fantastic!  I love Syncrolites just as much as the next designer, but I also enjoy the High End series of fixtures.  I cut my teeth on Studio Spots and Studio Colors, also like the next designer.

Here’s a few pics from LDI 2008 of the Showgun 2.5 in action.  Enjoy!
Oh, and check out the product page at High End for ShowGun.

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LittleBig Video

I found a video (rather, I realized there was a video posted on the bottom of the product page for the Littlebig) for the LittleBig 3500W Xenon badass that I saw at LDI.  Check it out!

The Most Relaxing Room In The World

Treehugger posted an article about “the most relaxing room in the world” – a space at the University of Herfortshire was created to help people relax – lit in heavy blues and greens, the room featured lavendar scented pillows, soft original music by Tim Blinko, and an artificial blue sky.  From the original article at Alpha Galileo:

“The pace of modern-day life, credit crunch, and financial crisis is making many people feel very stressed and so we have created this space to help them relax”, noted Professor Wiseman.

“Research suggests that the subdued green light enhances the production of dopamine in the brain and provide a calming sensation. In addition, the artificial blue sky helps create a mild form of sensory deprivation that will help them turn their attention inward and distract them away from daily stress.”

The Alpha Galileo article has a bunch of tips on busting stress.  Are you stressed out lately?

SHOWPIX Images from LDI 2008

I took a bunch of pics of the ShowPix at LDI this year.  I have to say, that fixture is B-R-I-G-H-T.  It’s pretty fast (in my humble opinion) and I was impressed with it.  I spoke with a guy from BARCO who told me that they have released a digitizer for ShowPix and StudioPix now, which allows you to spread your fixtures out in the program and send your images and video across your array of fixtures.  Excellent!

FYI:  All of my images are © Jim Hutchison and Alive Lighting.  Please don’t use without my permission.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

LDI: Little Big, from Zap Technology

I saw a pretty sweet fixture at LDI last week – the “Little Big” from Zap Technology.  it’s a 3.5kW Xenon CANNON – color mixing, electronic strobe, and a single yoke arm.  It’s bright!

Here’s some info from the product page at, Zap’s site:

Manufactured in France by ZAP technology in 2007 according to its revolutionary single arm modular design, the LittleBig is part of the BigLite Xenon search light range.

Fitted with a new short arc Xenon bulb delivering 3500W, the LittleBig is the only Xenon large format with 5 colour gel scrollers, offering real time CMY colour mixing, diffusion and silk effects,and other customisable effects or colours such as polarised flower “pattern style” effect, Congo Blue or any other saturated colours.

Thanks to its integrated folding clamp, it can be hung under a truss with its electronic ballast deported up to 70m away from the fixture.
Also, the LittleBig is the only large format Xenon moving head fitted with an integrated pointing laser allowing to pre-focus the show with its lamp off.
Fully protected by its fibre composite shell, the fixture is technician friendly, with all standard maintenance accomplished through easy access modules.
DMX programming is a breeze, with a user friendly menu on both the fixture and the ballast. With only 95 cm high and 85 kg, the LittleBig is the most compact and versatile search light, ideal for concert tours,TV shows and other live outdoor or indoor events.

And it is by far the fastest automated projector on Earth, running its full 630° pan in less than one and half second!


DC motors –
Hot restrike –
Weatherproof –
Easy replacing bulb –
Cold mirror reflector –
Quiet cooling system –
Very well-kept design –
Fiber composite shell –
Custom lamp housing –
0 – 255 – linear command –
Steel reinforced belt drives –
Weight 85 kg – Height 95 cm –
In-built foldable hanging clamp –
Unique design with single arm yoke –
Modular design for easy maintenance –
Remote lamp adjustment (Patent Pending) –
External electronic ballast – mounted in rack –
New Xenon short arc bulb delivering 3500 W -1500 hours –

Anyone who reads JimOnLight ever use one of these?