F/X On-line Newsletter - Special Reports
The Live! screen from
the "Money" show. Each button has been set up to trigger a
different scene in the show. Buttons can also be set up for
individual frames, animations, and scrolling text. To set what a
button does, the user right-clicks with the mouse to bring up an
There are 48 cue buttons per "page", with a maximum of 9
pages. This is a total of 432 cue buttons per setup.
A cue playback program built into Pangolin's Lasershow Designer's
- Uses PC keyboard, so standard configuration does not require extra
- Can also be run by external hardware controllers, both custom
(Pangolin-specific) and general (MIDI).
- Frames/animation: Display a single frame or a sequence (animation).
The sequence can simply run, can morph between two frames, or can morph
between all selected frames. A Showtime effect (example: zoom in,
rotate, change color) can be added to the cue, as well as number of
iterations and looping on/off.
- Showtime shows or segments: Display an entire Showtime show, part of a
show (module or scene) or any time within the show (example: play from
00:01:30:00 to 00:02:30:00).
- Text: Display non-moving or scrolling text. Select from 26 fonts. Set
font width, height, color (including cycle), perspective on/off and
Cues can set up to 16 TTL lines for on/off control. Each cue can have its
own size and position, so different cues can display on different screen.
During playback, change cue speed, overall brightness, size. Turn looping
on/off while playing. Pause playback. Stop cue immediately, or with fade out
or zoom out.
The Ctrl-F1 key
combination is being set up to play an animation sequence. This
particular sequence will show frames 272 to 277 twice over 2.5
seconds, using an effect which zooms up from a dot and then fades.
You can also set what happens to the effect when the Live! button is
released. In the upper right is a slider to set which frame is shown
on the F1 button in the main Live! screen.
Pangolin Laser Systems, Inc.
Orlando, Florida, USA · (407) 299-2088, fax 299-6066 · www.pangolin.com
The ability to automatically have a foreground laser frame hide
or "mask" a background frame. This effect was pioneered
by Laser Animations Sollinger.
How to use
In Lasershow Designer's Showtime program, each frame (or
animation) can be on its own track. The track order determines
masking order. For example, a frame in track A will mask objects
in tracks B-Z; a frame in track B can mask anything except track
For each track, you specify whether the frame creates a mask,
responds to (is covered by) other masks, or both.
- Shows look more lifelike, since objects cover other objects
in the background.
- Video effects can be easily done, such as wipes and rolls.
- A mask can be "negative", where one object reveals
the background inside the object, but masks outside the
object. An example is two circles making
"binoculars", which reveal objects only inside the
- The area inside a mask can "sparkle", which is
used for video-type traveling highlights.
It is simpler to use. There are fewer special cases than in
other software. The user just selects from a few general cases,
such as "receive a mask", "mask outside", etc.
LD masks more complex shapes. The algorithm used automatically
takes care of horizontally concave shapes. Without this feature,
the user would have to create a custom mask from two (or more)
hidden masks to perform the same operation.
The screen shots below show a three-level mask. In this
example, we will put a drawing of whales in front of some text.
Both the whales and the text will in turn be in front of a
background grid. We begin by placing the objects on a standard
Showtime timeline. The nearest object is in the highest track: the
whales are in track A, the word "Orca" is in track B,
and the background grid is in track C.
we set the whales (track A) so that they create a
"Visible Outside" mask. This means other frames
are masked inside the whale graphic, but are visible
outside the graphic.
The Mask Preview window shows the mask in black.
sets the word "Orca" (track B) so it creates a
Visible Outside mask. It hides the background (and in the
picture) the whales as well.
To ensure the word is hidden by the whales, we also have
to add it to other masks, e.g. track A.
complete the scene, we set the background grid. It does
not mask any other frames, but it is hidden by
("responds to") other masks.
Showtime now automatically handles the mask, even as
objects rotate, grow, etc.
Pangolin Laser Systems,
Inc. Orlando, Florida, USA · (407) 299-2088, fax 299-6066
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