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Laser F/X On-line Newsletter - Special Reports

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ILDA - 1998 Amsterdam Meetings

(Advanced Technology Workshop)


Holo-Spectra logo

SpectraScan Laser Software

Holo-Spectra is proud of our growing reputation as advanced programmers of laser display software. Mostly based on the Pangolin LaserShow Designer API, our programs are modern 32-bit programs with WIN97/98 interfaces. We have tools for conversion of PC vector and raster graphic images and for instant conversion of TrueType fonts. We support laser display of foreign alphabets and glyphs from Arabic to Chinese to Thai and Hangul. We have software for controlling projector tables and rails with digital serial or DMX.
Holo-Spectra has the premier LD playback software in BeamWizard which can take inputs from keyboard, MIDI, or DMX and control everything you can create in LD and more! With novel capabilities like Wav file synchronous playback, TimeBend realtime playback adjustment of ShowTime files, random weighed chases, custom realtime frame effects, and more, this program raised the bar on what realtime performance software can do. We also have modules for advertising control of laser display and automated playback.
Everything in BeamWizard can be scripted or called based on changing interactive determinants. This is important for museum display and theme park dark rides. Whether you are running your first small installation or you are the technical head of a large professional laser production house, you will find powerful tools available here.

With the announcement today of SpectraText, we are releasing software that can run without the presence of a QuadMod card for non-Pangolin software. This program will create laser text using any TrueType font with italics, mixed fonts, colors, and variable text sizes. While there is the primary LD version, we are also releasing an ILDA format version for use with the many independent software packages.
"Throughout the development of the Pangolin Applications Programming Interface [API], I have had the opportunity to work with many clients. Most of the clients who create companion software only scratch the surface of the capability provided in our API. However, the Spectra Scan software from Holo-Spectra takes full advantage of the capabilities of Pangolin. It has been a pleasure working with Bill Arkin of Holo-Spectra during the development of these advanced applications." -William Benner: Developer of the Pangolin API, ShowTime, and ILDA Technical Committee Chairman


LD Graphic Converter

LD Graphic Converter can transform all the thousands of PC vector graphics images created by programs like Corel Draw, Visio, AutoCad, Adobe Illustrator, and HijackPro into the .ldb file format of Pangolin LD Pro maintaining all the design and color of the original. Client logos, clipart, found images, TrueType text, etc are now part of your laser library. If you like using professional draw tools such as in Corel, you can make bezier curves and complex structures right within the LD viewport using OLE editing of the Corel server. Convert with the click of the mouse and you can now edit with LD tools. If you have ever used Excel within Word, then you understand how you can leverage the power of these drawing programs for laser display design. It will be released very soon as a software independent program and convert to ILDA format frames without the presence of a Pangolin QuadMod card.



After years of experience with software conversion of PC formats into laser displayable images, Holo-Spectra felt it had enough sophisticated understanding of the process and the Win32 API to take a challenging shot at TrueType fonts and bezier recursive outline conversions (sounds fun huh?).
We now have a program for LD or ILDA frame file formats that directly allows you to convert text from any TT fonts in mixtures of colors, sizes, and italics and position them as you like. You can type in the window or drag-and-drop from Word or load in a text file. The output is proportional beautifully shaped outline letters at the density you select. RichTextFormat is supported as is vector or point mode for the laser output.
Automatic corner recognition and user controlled finesse/point density are key features. A versatile viewport with scrolling and zoom is of course a primary design element. SpectraText is available in versions for Pangolinís QuadMod32 or running without any card for ILDA frames output. Expand your artistic design capability with full font power including localized language fonts for tildas, umlauts, accent marks, and foreign glyphs. Select fonts that your clients already use in their logos and presentations. All this new creative power is available in a package featuring ease of use and low cost.



BeamWizard is an adjunct to Pangolin LD for all realtime performance situations. It combines 10 scroll messages, unlimited animation playback, 30 beams or frames or projector effects, 10 chases, 30 performance frames with a wide selection of active effects, and show/scene playback with fast virtual loading and realtime TimeBend for synching shows to live events.
Because BeamWizard wants you to be able to act instantly, you have multiple presets for scanner offset and gain which are triggered as fast as you can switch tabs to the new performance mode. Now your beam settings can be as wide as the room, your scrolling text in the upper center zone, and your graphics on a side screen. Active effects beyond standard rotation, translation, and sizing include sparkle, fill-in, snake, and pulse.
External MIDI or DMX sources can be used as triggers including touch response interpretation. Here are some of the features:

  • Quick Transition Tabs for Beams/Frames/Chases, RealTime Frame Effects, Animations, Scrolling Text, and LD Shows
  • Automatic Scanner Changes for Gain and Offset for different Image types
  • Full MIDI keyboard support - perfect for club installations - DMX option available
  • Chases can be externally TTL triggered, beatbar input, or single-stepped
  • Random Chases can be created with weighed occurrence and random duration within preset range
  • Beams can be quickly created and positioned
  • Special RealTime effects like Fill-In, Sparkle, Pulse, and Snake
  • Custom Scriptlets can be created and applied to any frame with a click
  • Wave files can be played and looped in synch with Chases, Animations, or Shows
  • Show loading utilizes extended and virtual memory positioning in the QuadMod for low latency
  • Show Performances can be tweaked slower or faster in RealTime with our exclusive TimeBend



Outputting either serial digital or DMX, the software offers projector control of shutters, actuators, color boxes and our special digital effects in an easy to use visual mouse or keyboard controlled interface. Digital effects that have PC software controls include reversible speed-variable dual diffraction wheels, lumia wheels, speed controlled cones, stepper-positionable rotating machidas, and sheet scanners with full wave functions.



This script based laser advertising control activates a server version of BeamWizard (it can be controlled remotely or by other programs). Custom versions are available with time-oriented programming and database recordkeeping.



Built for LD users, this shareware program can batch convert laser files between Amiga and PC LD formats and ILDA file format. Using a drag-and-drop interface, it is also a very fast frame viewer.


Advanced Tools for Laser Display Professionals

Whether it is our powerful programs, our innovative and reliable hardware designs, or our laser repair and rental services, professionals can count on Holo-Spectra for services and products essential to timely economic operation. We started the ion laser refurbishment field 25 years ago and we can solve your laser problems with repairs, replacement tubes, and economical whitelight lasers (WhiteKnight 4Watt Innova systems). We have been doing shows and making laser entertainment equipment for almost that long. This has resulted in a complete line of versatile beam and graphic projectors. We sell specialty controls such as water monitoring systems and Pangolin TTL optical interfaces. DMX and MIDI interfaces are available.
Don ít forget: we are the distributor of MediaLas products for the Americas. Please visit our tradeshow table and tell us what you need. And visit our website at www.lasershs.com. We will soon be distributing free demo versions of our software products.


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