Tech Topics

What’s the Deal with Intensity?

Posted on Thursday, February 27th, 2014

By Brad Schiller

Programming is largely about adjusting parameters and storing data. There are many different parameter types we adjust, but one is treated very differently than all the rest. Intensity is the only parameter that we can always say that we know the importance between high and low values. It is also the original parameter that was adjustable for lighting the stage.
While some fixtures may not have adjustable intensity, the vast majority does. Automated lighting consoles offer many different tools specifically designed around the unique properties of intensity, and it is important for automated lighting programmers to understand what is available. As always, the exact terminology is different on different consoles, so be sure to check your console’s user manual for specific details.

Programming is largely about adjusting parameters and storing data. There are many different parameter types we adjust, but one is treated very differently than all the rest. Intensity is the only parameter that we can always say that we know the importance between high and low values. It is also the original parameter that was adjustable for lighting the stage.

While some fixtures may not have adjustable intensity, the vast majority does. Automated lighting consoles offer many different tools specifically designed around the unique properties of intensity, and it is important for automated lighting programmers to understand what is available. As always, the exact terminology is different on different consoles, so be sure to check your console’s user manual for specific details.

Read the full article at: http://www.plsn.com/current-issue/42-feeding-the-machines/12729-whats-the-deal-with-intensity.html

 

The King of the Work-Around

Posted on Monday, January 20th, 2014

By Brad Schiller

Automated lighting fixtures and consoles are very complex systems based on millions of lines of computer code.  No system is perfect, and every console and fixture has its own share of bugs or glitches.  When you encounter these, you must think fast and develop a plan to work around the bug.  At one point in my career, a friend dubbed me “The King of the Work-Around,” because I had an uncanny ability to quickly resolve unexpected problems, yet still achieve the desired result.  Although you don’t need to become a king, you should certainly be ready to get yourself out of a jam with minimal effort.  Many of your work-arounds can actually develop into good habits that save you from future problems.

http://www.plsn.com/current-issue/42-feeding-the-machines/12522-the-king-of-the-work-around.html

 

Tech Topic: Show Lasers (part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

By Guido Block

Show lasers are changing the face of the entertainment industry. The most powerful light source on earth has got more and more important, as live shows have become multi-media. The integration of various techniques sees performers, lighting, video, laser and fireworks fuse and come together into a single expression, with much-sought operating methods, that needs perfect synchronization and enhances teamwork, creativity and professionalism.

ZioGiorgio asked three key players of leading companies working in the show laser sector to help us understand better what lasers are about, how to identify a high quality laser system, why laser systems aren’t dangerous at all when used in a proper way, and what we can expect in the future from the show laser market.

Read the full article at: http://ziogiorgio.com/2013/12/08/show-laser/

Show lasers are changing the face of the entertainment industry. The most powerful light source on earth has got more and more important, as live shows have become multi-media. The integration of various techniques sees performers, lighting, video, laser and fireworks fuse and come together into a single expression, with much-sought operating methods, that needs perfect synchronization and enhances teamwork, creativity and professionalism.
ZioGiorgio asked three key players of leading companies working in the show laser sector to help us understand better what lasers are about, how to identify a high quality laser system, why laser systems aren’t dangerous at all when used in a proper way, and what we can expect in the future from the show laser market.
 

It’s About Time

Posted on Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Written by: Brad Schiller

People everywhere struggle with time. They set alarms to signal when to awake or perform certain tasks. They wish that they could go back in time, freeze the moment, or even skip ahead to the future. Interestingly, the automated lighting programmer has total control of time at his/her fingertips when programming a show. The power we programmers have over time is limited to that of our show, but the capabilities are stunning and often overwhelming. Our consoles give us the ability to manage timing in varied methods, and it is important for any programmer to understand the techniques available on most automated lighting consoles.

Read the full article at: http://www.plsn.com/current-issue/42-feeding-the-machines/12006-its-about-time.html

Written by: Brad Schiller
People everywhere struggle with time.  They set alarms to signal when to awake or perform certain tasks.  They wish that they could go back in time, freeze the moment, or even skip ahead to the future.  Interestingly, the automated lighting programmer has total control of time at his/her fingertips when programming a show.  The power we programmers have over time is limited to that of our show, but the capabilities are stunning and often overwhelming.  Our consoles give us the ability to manage timing in varied methods, and it is important for any programmer to understand the techniques available on most automated lighting consoles.
 

Tech Topic: The Venue

Posted on Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Written by: Nook Schoenfeld

No matter what show I design, I always strive for one aspect — to make my show look theatrical. It doesn’t matter if I am illuminating the unveiling of a new automobile, or an opera; I want dramatic lighting. The biggest problem I endure at most events is actually the venue itself. The place where you are holding your show can make for a pleasant experience or a long, slow day.

Read the full article at: http://www.plsn.com/current-issue/35-ld-at-large/12004-the-venue.html

 

Turning Virtual Lighting Into Reality

Posted on Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Written by: Brad Schiller

Our industry is very exciting as it is filled with many different types of technology. Automated lighting programmers are skilled at to not only operating high-tech consoles and new robotic lighting fixtures, but we also find ourselves playing with virtual simulations of the real world. Lighting visualizers have come a long way over the past 20 years and now provide nearly realistic looking emulations of the lighting and production on a stage. However, there are still challenges involved when working with a visualizer, and it is very important for a programmer to be aware of the pros and cons of the technology.

Read the full article at: http://www.plsn.com/current-issue/42-feeding-the-machines/11819-turning-virtual-lighting-into-reality.html

 

Virtual Design: The Right Tools Make All the Difference

Posted on Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Written by: Frank Brault

Over the last 20 years, advances in computer technology have benefited the entertainment industry. In particular, CAD programs have altered—for the better—how designers execute their ideas. But the benefits of digitizing workflows have changed more than just how we approach design. As a result, there’s never been a more exciting time for our industry. And as the growing availability of mature software tools continues to improve our design thinking, idea communication and the installation and execution of design concepts, we’ll continue to benefit by doing it more efficiently and accurately than ever before. When I reflect on this evolution, the journey has been remarkable. I’d like to share my own journey and how I arrived to this point in time today where we finally have at our fingertips the right tools for the job.

To read the full article click here http://www.plsn.com/current-issue/24-focus-on-design/11270-virtual-design-the-right-tools-make-all-the-difference.html

Virtual Design: The Right Tools Make All the Difference
Written by: Frank Brault
Over the last 20 years, advances in computer technology have benefited the entertainment industry. In particular, CAD programs have altered—for the better—how designers execute their ideas. But the benefits of digitizing workflows have changed more than just how we approach design. As a result, there’s never been a more exciting time for our industry. And as the growing availability of mature software tools continues to improve our design thinking, idea communication and the installation and execution of design concepts, we’ll continue to benefit by doing it more efficiently and accurately than ever before. When I reflect on this evolution, the journey has been remarkable. I’d like to share my own journey and how I arrived to this point in time today where we finally have at our fingertips the right tools for the job.