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Laser F/X On-line Newsletter - Special Reports

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ILDA - 1998 Amsterdam Meetings

PUG '98 Meeting

AMSTERDAM 06 Nov 1998:  
The rain of the night before had ended and sunny skies greeted laserists attending the fifth annual PUG (Pangolin Users Group) meeting. The group was called to order by PUG co-ordinator Richard Gonsalves just after 10:00 in one of the second floor ballrooms of the Hotel Mercure "Amsterdam aan de Amstel".

aserists at the PUG meeting in Amsterdam 1

aserists at the PUG meeting in Amsterdam 2
Two views of laserists at the PUG meeting in Amsterdam

Dirk Baur     The first presenter was Dirk Baur of MediaLas in Hechingen, Germany. Dirk showed the new compact fibre-optically fed projector unit called the "Killer Cat". Based on CT6800 galvos with the MediaLas Cat-Amp IV drivers and the cat-SAFE scan fail monitor. Dirk discussed the low cost CATWEAZLE LC, an improved version of the earlier CATWEAZLE scanners that is capable of performing to the ILDA 30K standard. The scanners are a very fast and reliable unit with built in power supply, driver, mounts and galvos delivered pre-tuned to 30K.
The MediaLas projector was powered by a Laser Physics 300mW while light laser and was used throughout the day for the presentations at the meeting. Hugo Bunk of Laser Image in The Netherlands also provided equipment for the meeting.

     The next presenter was L. Michael Roberts of Laser F/X International in Burlington Canada. Michael presented the winners of the 1998 Brewster Awards with their trophies. Five out of the six shows which won by democratic vote of those present at the Laser F/X '98 conference in May were created on Pangolin Laser Systems.

    The third presenter was Richard Gonsalves who showed off a double CD. This contains all of the musical selections for the laser shows that come with Pangolin software - including some rare and unavailable tracks. Special recording techniques were used to insure that the CD time-code information is preserved so that the shows will sync perfectly to this compilation disk. This CD set is available with license on a 99 year lease for $50.00 US$. CD cover
Derek Garbos     Next, Derek Garbos of New Wave productions in Montreal, Canada made the next presentation of the Sync-Master show controller. This is a software package that provides 64 buttons by 4 pages on screen to control graphics, animations, shows, beams and beam-table cues using a Pangolin system. A companion hardware console (which Derek is holding in the photo to the left) is available to allow selection and changing of cues from buttons with an escape button to end or fade-out the selected cue.
Bill Benner of Pangolin Laser Systems then showed off some of the most recent advancements in the LD software as part of the Pangolin Laser Annual Year End Review (PLAYER). New features of interest are the "test drive" that allows people with LD pro to demonstrate the Intro, Basic and Pro levels of the software to potential clients so they can determine which package is best suited to their needs. The new "raster master" allows for bulk conversion of multiple bit-maps to raster type frames and simpler conversion of bitmaps to raster frames. The abstract generator has undergone an overhaul and now sports an on-screen display of the image including colour-modulation. It now has the ability to store a combination of oscillators to create an abstract which can be re-called as a single oscillator so that additional effects can be combined with it to produce even more complex abstract effects.
Bill also gave a demonstration of the new Pangolin "Live" controller program. This companion program provided with the LD series allows one to pre-program various cues, scenes, animations, etc., and re-call them by pressing function keys. The function keys can act as either momentary or toggle keys.
Bill Benner of Pangolin Laser Systems


Ante Uglesic of Lasscan     Next Ante Uglesic of Lasscan in Ljubljana, Slovenia showed a compact companion hardware controller unit for Pangolinís Live! controller. The under-lit buttons on the controller mimic the virtual keys on the computer screen so that status can be visually determined. The controller also has a single knob that can be assigned by push-button to various functions such as image size, fade, etc.

The meeting then adjourned downstairs to the restaurant to enjoy an excellent buffet lunch, to discuss the presentations and catch up with old friends.

Bill Arkin      After lunch, Bill Arkin of Holo Spectra in Van Nuys, California, USA showed his laser font Converter which converts any TrueType font on the Windows system including non-English alphabets as well as curved text and italics into laser frames in .LDA or .ILD format.
    The next event was the always enjoyable Pangolin Awards hosted by Patrick Murphy. These awards are unique in that they are one of only two industry awards that are voted on by the audience and the only awards that have cash as part of the prize. There were a record 12 entries this year, about evenly divided between graphics and beam modules. The beam modules were presented with low power audience scanning owing to the location in Amsterdam, where audience scanning is permitted. Entries ranged from the traditional Pink Floyd module to a very beautiful beam piece choreographed to the classical music of Vivaldi. Patrick Murphy

The winners were:

  • Honourable Mention for "My Way", by David Kennedy of Strictly FX in the USA
  • Third Place and $250 US$ cash - "Rockit" by Dave Nash of FFP Lasers in Canada
  • Second Place and $500 US$ cash - "Far From Over" by Peter Heyt, !FX Laser Productions of The Netherlands
  • First Place and $1000 US$ going to "Monster Mash" from the team at Laser Fantasy International in the USA.

Pangolin prize winners

Pangolin prize winners (Left to Right) 1st: Tim Hallmark (representing Laser Fantasy); 2nd: Peter Heyt (!FX Laser Productions); 3rd Dave Nash (FFP Lasers); HM: David Kennedy (Strictly FX) - Photo courtesy of Pangolin Laser Systems.

    After the meeting, laserists spent some time talking to the presenters and trying out some of the equipment and software themselves.

Laserists at the PUB meeting

    The meeting was an enjoyable experience for all and was a great way to catch up on all of the latest Pangolin and Pangolin related technology.

  • Pangolin will host a "Pangolin School" (small group workshops for novice, intermediate and advanced users) on the day before the Laser F/X '99 conference, May 29th at the Holiday Inn Burlington.
  • The next PUG meeting will take place the day before the ILDA meeting in Orlando Florida in November 1999.



 In order to present as many pictures as possible, we have broken this special report down into a number of pages to speed access:

SPECIAL REPORT - Introduction and Background
7 Nov - ATW (Advanced Technology Workshop)
7 Nov - Canal ride and Dinner (NOTE: Large page long download time)
8 Nov - Meeting, Seminars and Lase-off
9 Nov - Seminars and Awards Banquet
ILDA Trade Show - A (NOTE: Large page long download time)
ILDA Trade Show - B (NOTE: Large page long download time)
Candid Camera (NOTE: Large page long download time)
Essay: Sex and Drugs in Amsterdam


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