Happy Birthday, Francis Robbins Upton!

Francis Robbins Upton!  Happy Birthday, dude!

That guy is straight out of Deadwood!

Yes, I like to also recognize obscure yet related industry people on JimOnLight.com – they are the people behind the people.  The people that were doing the thing that we all strive to do now – carve the path.

Francis Robbins Upton was a mathematician, physicist, and an employee of Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory facility back in the 1870’s.  Francis was the general manager and partner of an Edison project called Edison Lamp Works.  The guy was an intelligent scientist, and worked on the watt-hour meter, the electric light, engineering dynamos, and apparently lots of interesting arguments/spats with Edison himself.  From an article about Francis Upton at the School of Mathematics and Statistics at St. Andrews University:

Edison liked and respected Upton, for the latter had acquired a brilliantly profound store of knowledge. And under Edison’s guidance he soon gained the necessary experience to make theory and practice meet. It was always edifying to listen to their arguments, and often a group of us would gather round and drink in every word that was spoken. Reasoning and sparrings between Edison and Upton often led to new experiments …

A totally random bit of information on Francis Robbins Upton is that he was the guy who invented the electric fire alarm/detector.  That’s a big deal, right?  Well sure!  However, this fact often goes overlooked because of some dumb ass at the US Patent Office in the late 1800’s who misspelled the title of Upton’s fire alarm.  Officially, the patent for his device was called the “Portable Electric Tire Alarm.”  Lame.  Sorry that people suck, Francis!

Francis also developed something called “Nature’s Farter.”  Yeah, you read that right.  Upton invented a device that had something to vibrating a circular tube and producing a constant fart sound.  I think this is hilarious – a guy with Upton’s mathematics prowess having a sense of humor!  The United States Government, however, had no sense of humor.  Francis Upton actually got arrested for his invention, because the government found it “rude.”  Lame again.

Happy Birthday, Francis!

Thanks, Wikipedia and GAP!

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.

Ludwig Von Drake Teaches About Light and Color – The Spectrum Song

Right off the bat, I have to say thanks to Dean Palmer Jr. on Twitter for tweeting this today – that was the most awesome start to my day in months!

Below is a video that you have to watch – it’s Ludwig Von Drake, the Disney duck who knew something about everything.  I also found another video of Ludwig talking about Color, so I posted that below, too.  Have a great morning, I know I will now!

Jim’s Gonna Be In 20×2 at SXSWi This Year!

What?!  OH YEAH!

I’m over here peeing in my pants about some emails that got bounced around this morning, and it looks like I’m gonna be participating in the 10th anniversary of 20×2 in Austin at the 2010 SXSW Interactive!  20×2 is an event that gives 20 invited speakers each 2 minutes to answer a question – like “What if?” or “What’s the big idea?” or this year’s question, “Who loves ya baby?”

It doesn’t matter how you answer the question, but you can apparently use video, music, interpretive dance, or any other method of getting your answer across – as long as it’s 2 minutes.  20×2 v10 is happening at The Ghost Room, March 15, 2010 from 7-9:30pm.  Are you going to SXSW?  Come listen to these people answer the question!

AAAA!  There’s gonna be some excellent people presenting this year – I am so excited!  Kevin Newsum, Jeff Rider, Mark Couvillion and the 20×2 people, thanks a lot!

Check out some past 20×2 performances on a variety of questions:

20×2 Live Sketchnoting from Mike Rohde on Vimeo.

SXSW 2009: 20×2 “What’s it gonna take?” from karen chu on Vimeo.


What’s the difference – 20×2 performance – SXSW 2008 @ Yahoo! Video

WOOHOO!  Who loves ya, baby?

I Am A Tree – A Time-Lapse Love Story

Happy Monday, everybody!

I was playing around with my Flip HD this weekend, and I realized that I was able to capture this whole tree shadow’s movement from one side of the window to the other.  The entire video was about two hours, but I sped it up to fit inside a minute and a half.  I hope you enjoy it!

Video by Jim Hutchison, music written by me, and performed by me, Toby Curtright, and Eric Farrar (I miss you guys!).

Sunday JimOnLight.com Flickr Pool

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Sunday Flickr pool post.  It seems like since the JimOnLight.com Pool started up, everybody has one now!

I’ve been loving the stuff that has been popping up in the pool lately – lots of people are taking advantage of light and darkness with the stunning array of Light Art that’s been hitting the JimOnLight.com Flickr Pool lately!

Check out this week’s picks:  Nicola_Andrews, Reciprocity, BazPics, tackyshack, and JimOnLight.

image from Reciprocity on Flickr

Lady GaGa’s Brit Awards Performance

Okay, to be honest, I’ve not really heard much of her music until I saw this video.  Lady GaGa performed her tunes “Telephone” and “Dance in the Dark” at the Brit Awards recently.  It’s the one where she gave thanks to Alexander McQueen, the fashion designer who just passed away.

Al Gurdon (Super Bowl LD) designed the lighting for that performance, and Miguel Ribiero from PRG created the wysiwyg for the performance.  Gentlemen, what a kick-ass job you did.  Congratulations on that work.

Check this out:

Aron Altmark Rocks TheDailyCity.com’s Mobile Art Show

You see, Aron Altmark is a young guy I know – a lighting designer, student, and artist.  Aron is doing something right now that a pretty small handful of really talented young people are doing.  Aron is turning light, art, and his big geek brain into something that he can feel good about – and he’s involving the public in his exploits so that the world can see how great it is to be a geek.

It’s a shame – there are fewer true “geeks” in the world right now, and today’s college-age people as a majority are becoming less geekified.  What’s with that, people?

Aron just turned TheDailyCity.com’s “Mobile Art Show” into an interactive piece of art.  The Mobile Art Show is a pretty cool thing that The Daily City is doing around Orlando.  Think of it as a portable studio so that artists can sell their work – a U-Haul bobtail truck, parked in different places in the city.  Aron thought totally differently than the norm on this – instead of thinking inside the box[truck], Aron decided to literally go outside the box – turning the truck’s exterior into a projection surface for his real-time “Laser Graffiti.”  Aron’s work is an interactive light projection that tracks the movement of a laser on a surface.  That’s right.  What did you do today?

Aron’s work is forging himself a place in the future – this is what happens when you apply yourself.  Aron, we’re expecting pretty big stuff outta you, kid!  Great work.  I wanna see you conquer OpenFrameworks and Processing.

Check out the rest of Aron’s work on his Picasa account.  Thanks, Aron!

JOBS in Dallas – Fox Needs Crew for Midland Pilot

Attention, JimOnLight.com readers!  It’s been brought to my attention that the Fox Network is looking for crew for a new TV pilot called “Midland.”  The Official Film Commission for the Greater DFW Region posted an ALL CREW call for resumes on their website.

So, let me say this again:
If you’re in DFW and need a gig, send your resume to these folks!  Film crew!

From the Film Commission website:

Crew Call for “Midland” – Fox Television Pilot

CALLING ALL CREW!

If you are interested in working on a pilot for a new Fox drama called “Midland”, please send your updated resumes ASAP to dallas.film@dallascityhall.com and note “Midland Crew” in the subject line and position applying for. We’ll make sure and pass them along to the production team. Casting information will be posted as soon as we receive it. Please do not forward actor head shots/resumes at this time.

They are in the process of gearing up, securing office space and beginning to hire crew now so don’t delay! The project will shoot March 16-April 1st, so please submit only if you’ll be available during that time frame. We loving being able to share this kind of news with everyone!! Good luck!

No calls please.

JimOnLight.com Happy Hour – Tonight! 6:30pm! Trinity Hall, Dallas!

You know you wanna come hang out with lighting people.  We are a unique blend.  Like a fine scotch whiskey that someone dumped battery acid into and made it stay up late after throwing it down the stairs!  The description above is for any non-lighting people who want to come hang out – if you like having light in the world, come down and have some fun!

The first of many JimOnLight.com Happy Hour gatherings!  Tonight, 6:30pm, Trinity Hall Pub (off of Mockingbird), come hang out with some like-minded folks!

Trinity Hall Pub is located just off of Mockingbird, literally next to the Mockingbird DART station – 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas 75206. Check out Trinity Hall Irish Pub’s website, those cats are cool.

COME ON DOWN!