Tech Topics

Tech Topic: Paging All Playbacks

Posted on Thursday, December 21st, 2017

by Brad Schiller

Automated lighting consoles have many great programming and playback features that provide many useful functions. One of the more clever functions has to do with expanding playback capabilities. Instead of being limited by the number of physical buttons and faders on a console, most make use of pages (or banks) to increase the playbacks immensely. The page functionality can be used for much more, such as organizing songs or scenes, adjusting playback styles, expanding capabilities and more. It is important for lighting programmers to understand the paging functionality of their console.

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3D Pixel Mapping on a 2D Screen

Posted on Monday, December 18th, 2017

by Vickie Claiborne

As pixel mapping is becoming more and more commonplace in the lighting world, and LEDs are being incorporated into 3D configurations to create scenic objects like chandeliers and cubes, the challenge of programming them increases. Instead of looking at the pixels in a 2D flat “plan” view, now we’re beginning to think about looking at pixels from all sides and angles.

This new approach to pixel mapping has resulted in applications being forced to account for depth in the pixel map as well as width and height. But laying out a pixel map in 3D space is not easily achieved in most 2D-based media servers that have pixel mapping capabilities. And this is why some programmers turn to applications like Madrix because of the simplicity of creating a 3D pixel map.

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Tech Topics: Pulse Width Modulation

Posted on Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

by Mike Johnson

As the world of lighting moves more and more into LED sources, Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) has become the most common means for controlling LEDs. What is PWM exactly and, more importantly, how does it relate to lighting applicationis it and how does it affect your lighting design?

Pulse Width Modulation — Defined

“Pulse Width Modulation” refers to a technique where a microcontroller rapidly turns the power to a device (in our example an LED chip) on and off at a given frequency and with a certain “pulse width.” By controlling the frequency (how fast the on/off pulse cycle occurs) we can control whether or not the human eye, high-speed cameras, or other image capture devices can visibly detect the occurrence of the pulses. This is extremely important because, if the pulses are produced slow enough to be perceived, “flickering” is visible.

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The Australian Entertainment Safety Resource Guide is live!

Posted on Friday, December 8th, 2017

After a long year of hard work, and a few broken deadlines, the AESRG is now a reality!

The first 21 (!) chapters are on-line and accessible to all members.  Another 10 chapters will be added over the next year and regularly the existing chapters will be updated to reflect changes in legislation or industry standards.

Have a look and become a member to access all the content at all times.  The site has been optimised for desktop, tablets and smartphones so you will always be able to reference things, provided there is an internet connection.

Also check-out the supporters page to see who made this initiative possible, this would not have happened without their help and support.

And have a look at the articles page too, a lot of interesting articles about current and historical incidents and other worthwhile information.


Kung Fu Lighting

Posted on Friday, September 29th, 2017

By Chris Lose

A Tale of Lighting, Confusion and Pandas in the Land of the Red Dragon

Lighting direction has taken me all over the world for some extravagant gigs in far-off lands. I have been asked what it’s like to travel for work in so many foreign countries. I can tell you that, for the most part, it is similar to what you are used to. It’s just the same loading dock in a different country. The food is a little different, the money is a different color and the stagehands speak only slightly less English than at home.

Except for China. China is a different world altogether. China’s booming economy has made it one of the most candidate-short markets in Asia. This is forcing Chinese companies to look abroad for skilled technicians and programmers.

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How to choose the right LED Video Screen for your next event

Posted on Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

By Arosh Fernando, Woohah Productions

The use of LED Video Screen technology has rapidly increased in the events market. From stadium concerts to product launches, LED Video Screens can be a creative medium for your next event. In this article we want to cover the basics of how to choose the right LED Video Screen product for your next event.

PIXEL PITCH – This is one of the most important questions you need to ask regarding a LED Video Screen. Pixel pitch refers to the physical distance between the LED’s placed on the screen. The lower the distance, the higher the resolution and the image quality will be. A 3mm pixel pitch is a much higher resolution and better viewing experience than a 20mm pixel pitch screen.

TRANSPARENT or SOLID PANELS – LED Panels can be used in many different applications and creative ways. The backing of the panels can designed to be semi- transparent, allowing wind to pass through and reduce the weight of the product.

This is helpful for outdoor events and allows for some creative ideas such as placing lights or more LED video tiles behind the open panels. For presentations and other critical viewing applications, a solid panel will be more useful to ensure no ambient light or distractions bleed through onto the picture.

WEIGHT – Depending on the engineering limitations of your event space, this might become a serious consideration when choosing the right LED Video Screen. Weight of products range from those with heavy steel frames to those with modern ultra-light weight carbon fibre structures. In cases where the venue can’t support the weight of your desired video screen, stacking the LED Video Wall from the ground may also be possible.

BRIGHTNESS – Models available in LED Video Screen products range in maximum brightness. Some are bright enough for only indoor use and some are bright enough for outdoor use. Even the lowest brightness screen can resist much higher ambient lighting environment that typical projector setups.

If you have an outdoor event with direct sunlight onto the screen, the brightness of the screen should be in the range of 5000+ nits*

*Nits are a measure of brightness per square meter of area, this is a different unit of measurement to how projectors are rated.

UNIFORMITY OF COLOUR – LED Video Screens are produced in batches to ensure uniform performance of the LED diodes. If you have an LED Video Screen made up with paneling produced at multiple times / batches, uniformity of the colour produced won’t be consistent. A blue background on the screen will vary in hue over the image resulting in a disappointing presentation.

ASPECT RATIO – the ratio of the width to the height of the screen surface.

Unlike projector screens and televisions, LED Screens can be assembled in creative ways that are not restricted to a standard 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio. The aspect ratio of the screen needs to be considered when designing content to be played back to ensure a well fitting presentation.

Hope the information has helped you in choosing the right LED Screen for your next event.

WooHah Productions, is one of Australia’s largest LED Screen providers for corporate events and concerts. We have dedicated ourselves to putting together ‘world class’ events around Australia. We prioritise innovation and creativity, in designing audio/visual solutions, coupled with our distinctive ‘human’ approach to service.


Tech Topic: The Unmentionables

Posted on Thursday, August 24th, 2017

By Brad Schiller

The set of skills one must master to work as an automated lighting programmer range from lighting knowledge to console syntax to organization, and much more. Most people are aware of the common abilities that a programmer must become proficient with in order to provide a great programming experience.

However, there are other non-spoken, or unmentionable, skills that every programmer needs to learn and improve throughout their careers. Without adding the following abilities to the mix, a programmer will be severely deficient at accomplishing the required programming for the production.

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