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Thread: Announcement: New laser show software available: Procedural dynamic frames, Much More

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielbriggs View Post
    How does it compare to LD2000 + Showtime?
    In my opinion, Showtime is easier to use. Also, there is a lot of content already out there for Showtime. LSX will only have a few demo modules with it; beyond that, you'll be on your own.

    LSX can do some really mind-blowing stuff though. (3D warping, 3D wrapping, intricate transforms, abstracts like you've *never* seen before, and incredible effects that can be programmed to do literally anything you can dream of.) And in that respect I think it's probably more versatile than even Showtime is. It's also considerably more affordable, making it very attractive to the hobbyist who is looking for the most power for his dollar.

    The procedural effects in particular have to be seen to be believed. However, you really need a solid background in either mathematics (algebra and trig) and/or simple computer programming in order to really unlock the power of these expression-based effects. So yeah, there is a definite learning curve with LSX, and it's much steeper than the one for Showtime.

    One big difference between LSX and Showtime is that LSX offers is the ability to stack multiple iterations of even the most simple effects (without diving into the complex expression editor at all) to create hybrid effects that are very intricate. For example (keeping it simple here), you could have a rotate about Z effect, and then add a second rotate about Z effect below it and a little later on the timeline. This would produce a "speed shift" when the second effect started.

    To do this in showtime, you have to replace the first rotate effect with a second one that has a higher speed, because you can't have two effects that do the same thing active in the same track at the same time. But in LSX, you can have as many effects as you want (up to the limit of your computer's memory), so there's essentially no limit to how deep you can stack effects.

    Some people might prefer Showtime's standard of only having one rotate effect for the track, and I can see how that might actually be preferable for a professional show designer who is following a script or a storyboard. But I have often wanted the freedom to stack effects in order to create new visuals, without having to calculate ahead of time exactly what combination of settings would be required to pull it off using just a single effect.

    Where this "effect-stacking" really shows it's power is when you start combining move effects with rotate effects and color effects, all while the frame is being drawn. It's fairly simple to turn a circle into a cross, or an octagon, or some wavy abstract shape that has no name. Add some point-count-based color effects and you've got a flying, wispy line that curves through the air, trailing a blaze of color that slowly fades away as it moves. You've got to see it to believe it...

    There are some quirks to the LSX interface that you'll need to get used to. One is that the navigation buttons are spread out among three sides (top, left, and bottom) of the main window, and some of the most common controls (play, stop, pause, zoom, etc) are located at the bottom. Also, the frame list window is not normally open while you are working on the timeline, which is different from the way most people use Showtime. Still, these are minor differences that most users will quickly adapt to.

    The effects editor is very daunting the first time you look at it, and it might actually scare some people off. By contrast, Showtime's effect editor is a lot easier to grasp when you first load it, and overall I think that Showtime is more user-friendly that LSX. But what LSX lacks in ease of use it more than makes up for in raw power. Even with the built-in effects, you'll be amazed at what you can do with the software right out of the box.

    Hopefully there will be some video available soon to showcase some of the power you can unlock with this software.

    And in closing, I agree with Steve: LSX is valuable even if you already own another laser show software package (including Pangolin's LD-2000 system), because of the versatility of the effects editor as a frame-creation tool. I think a Basic license for LSX would nicely compliment *any* laser show software suite.

    Adam
    Last edited by buffo; 05-28-2011 at 07:35.

  2. #12
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    [QUOTE=buffo;193076]In my opinion, Showtime is easier to use. Also, there is a lot of content already out there for Showtime. LSX will only have a few demo modules with it; beyond that, you'll be on your own.

    More then a few, Content will come with time as the user base grows

    LSX can do some really mind-blowing stuff though. (3D warping, 3D wrapping, intricate transforms, abstracts like you've *never* seen before, and incredible effects that can be programmed to do literally anything you can dream of.) And in that respect I think it's probably more versatile than even Showtime is. It's also considerably more affordable, making it very attractive to the hobbyist who is looking for the most power for his dollar.

    The procedural effects in particular have to be seen to be believed. However, you really need a solid background in either mathematics (algebra and trig) and/or simple computer programming in order to really unlock the power of these expression-based effects. So yeah, there is a definite learning curve with LSX, and it's much steeper than the one for Showtime.


    I think we will see a sticky on unit circles and basic trig appear on PL. Before you think Adam and I are running two different versions of the same software, please remember, its mind blowing and very versatile. He's found functions I have not seen yet, and I've found ones he has not explored either. I'm 45 minutes from the "Main Office" and got a bit of a personal demo. If the idea of using trig scares you, don't let it. I can save a effect and send it to you. In fact, there means for me to name and distribute the effect and make it so it either can't be modified,set to slightly hackable, or open source. Effects content will be out there. Effects IP is set up so you can distribute my effect with your mods and we both get credit for it in the credits box. There is built in trig you can select and it will "paste" it into the effect.


    Some people might prefer Showtime's standard of only having one rotate effect for the track, and I can see how that might actually be preferable for a professional show designer who is following a script or a storyboard. But I have often wanted the freedom to stack effects in order to create new visuals, without having to calculate ahead of time exactly what combination of settings would be required to pull it off using just a single effect.

    Yes, when I first cracked this open, I thought, Oh, Wayyyy too complex, Showtime's easier! I'm changing my mind on that one. Its not that different, you just need to remember to look for effects below what your working on, that may affect you.


    Where this really shows it's power is when you start combining move effects with rotate effects and color effects, all while the frame is being drawn. It's fairly simple to turn a circle into a cross, or an octagon, or some wavy abstract shape that has no name. Add some point-count-based color effects and you've got a flying, wispy line that curves through the air, trailing a blaze of color that slowly fades away as it moves. Yeah, it's cool like that!

    Agreed!


    There are some quirks to the LSX interface that you'll need to get used to. One is that the navigation buttons are spread out among three sides (top, left, and bottom) of the main window, and some of the most common controls (play, stop, pause, zoom, etc) are located at the bottom. Also, the frame list window is not normally open while you are working on the timeline, which is different from the way most people use Showtime. Still, these are minor differences that most users will quickly adapt to.

    There is a add ILDA function so you will not have to have PICEDIT open to make all additions. I asked for that, and am glad it was added. Again, a difference in Philosophy, you assemble your frames away from the show. You do not have to 100% assemble all frames up front.

    The effects editor is very daunting the first time you look at it, and it might actually scare some people off. By contrast, Showtime's effect editor is a lot easier to grasp when you first load it, and overall I think that Showtime is more user-friendly that LSX. But what LSX lacks in ease of use it more than makes up for in raw power. Even with the built-in effects, you'll be amazed at what you can do with the software right out of the box.

    It does require patience. But it took me three days to find Showtime's animation button in the old days. Our award winning beam show was programmed entirely with still frames manipulated by effects, because the tiny animation button was on the left at the edge of the editor screen. Not over at the right with the effects. You really had to look for it.
    Two of us working on that show in 10 hour shifts did not see it for 3 days.
    Then again, the artistic difference in how that looked might have been why we placed second in a peer voted competition full of drunken laserists and their guests!

    Steve
    Last edited by mixedgas; 05-28-2011 at 07:53.

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    First off, thank you for your questions and responses, everyone. After working on something for so long, the worst thing possible is to just have it ignored, so your posts and PMs made my day.

    Quote Originally Posted by swamidog View Post
    Any chance of getting some YouTube footage up showing the interface and output in action?
    Yes, video tutorials, especially a getting started video tutorial are on the shortlist of things to get done soon. With those, you'll be able to get a faster feel for how to do things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Solarfire View Post
    Very intersting.. Will the software work with a Medialas USB Hyperport DAC?
    LSX supports the mamba interface in frame mode, according to the spec posted on their site. If that DAC follows that interface specification, then yes!

    Quote Originally Posted by danielbriggs View Post
    Is there going to be a demo version available? (I.e. No save; no laser output etc...)

    Genuine question: How does it compare to LD2000 + Showtime?
    Yes, demos are available on a per-user request, send me a PM for a demoversion. For your second question, I'm glad others have tacked it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Solarfire View Post
    @drlava

    I was just stumbling around on your ordering page wanting to place an order, as a few questions arose during the selection process.

    Selecting the software license is clear, except for, how does future upgrading look. For example if I get the basic now can I upgrade to the pro later or do I have to pay the full pro-license price?

    The DAC selection is a little confusing, due to the word “bundle” in the selections drop down. What do these bundle selections lite, basic and pro consist of? Does that mean if I get a basic software license and I want one of these RIYA DACs that I would have to get the basic DAC version/bundle?

    cheers!
    Thank you for your questions. I'll add 'upgrade' options to the list to clarify things. Basically, Leveling up with be the price difference plus $20. You can select any DAC type you want with any level, I'll make changes to clarify that.

    Quote Originally Posted by turbohead View Post
    DrLava:

    The introductory price appears to be a tremendous value particularly for the hobbyist.

    I built my own laser scanner with a sound card DAC (after spending about 4 to 6 months reading through the Photonlexicon's forums and threads). I am currently using Spaghetti software, however, I have longed to be able to create graphics. The next level up appears to be QuickShow, however, I have not been able bring myself to justify the $595 price.

    As for licensing, in your introductory description there appears to be an option to tie it to a dongle, controller or the computer. When purchasing from the website, how can I select the dongle licensing option?
    Good question, I'll add that to the site also. Basically, you tell me in an email or PM the serial number of the device you want to tie it to, and that's about it. I'll set the activation to follow your request. One of the really nice things about this setup is that when you want to use more controllers, you simply have to purchase them, you don't have to re-purchase the software.

    To Adam and Steve, your posts are so long I won't quote them here, but thank you both, as well as every other user, for your enthusiasm and suggestions, and honest posts.

  4. #14
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    I started playing with the demo version last night... all I can say is wow. I've only spend a few minutes with the software, my head was exploding with possibilities. The rendered preview is beautiful. I had laser control software dreams last night.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by blowfly View Post
    I've only spend a few minutes with the software and my head was exploding with possibilities.
    Yeah, that was pretty much the same reaction I had when I first saw it.

    Adam

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    First off; Steve, Adam,
    Many thanks for the thorough responses; the effort is appreciated.

    I'm glad the conclusion I draw from your remarks is "good but different".


    Quote Originally Posted by mixedgas View Post
    There is a significant difference in philosophy. In LSX you create a show and build your world around it. You don't need to go to Masterbeam to do some of the things which "Live!" does, you can just turn on a Midi keyboard or a virtual on screen midi keyboard and assign keys to events on the existing time line. So you can have a show play to music, as a classical laser show, and then turn right around and use it in a club as a manual effects console or under external MIDI or DMX.
    That would be interesting to try out on a show...


    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    there is a lot of content already out there for Showtime. LSX will only have a few demo modules with it; beyond that, you'll be on your own.
    That is not an issue; I like to try to make the content where I can.


    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    It's also considerably more affordable, making it very attractive to the hobbyist who is looking for the most power for his dollar.
    Not from my point of view; as LD is bundled with the QM
    But I am considering it from "another screwdriver for the toolbox" view


    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    The procedural effects in particular have to be seen to be believed. However, you really need a solid background in either mathematics (algebra and trig) and/or simple computer programming in order to really unlock the power of these expression-based effects.
    Again, that would be really interesting to play around with.


    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    You've got to see it to believe it...
    Heehee, hopefully I can get a demo version... *Andrew* PM incoming!


    Quote Originally Posted by mixedgas View Post
    So its apples and oranges, both can do the job, if your hungry.
    &&
    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    And in closing, I agree with Steve: LSX is valuable even if you already own another laser show software package (including Pangolin's LD-2000 system), because of the versatility of the effects editor as a frame-creation tool. I think a Basic license for LSX would nicely compliment *any* laser show software suite.
    Excellent


    Best Regards,
    Dan
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    Default Excellent.... 2, ok 3 'requests'....

    Hey Sir Andrew -

    OK, #1, *bitchin*, I'm stoked...

    Request 1: Wish to discuss (..yes, *original*...) content... frames and shows...

    R 2: Not sure why you would not have considered me / us for Beta-testing... yes, extremely busy, all the time, but, ie: just finished a gig where for 15 days, had all day, every day, free, until 'show-time' each nite... Sure hope it's not that I am 'deemed unreliable', or something, now... Would love to dig into this 'cookiejar', and can promise you, I'll give it a 'proper stretch'... And, already have a RIYA PCI Pro card...

    R 3: ...*Please* don't 'sell-out'... Competition is good.

    I guess we can chat more, PM-style, if yer interested in chatting...
    L8r...
    j
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuka View Post
    Looks VERY cool!!

    How soon do you expect to have a full (BASIC level) release ready for the QM2000?
    [bump]

    Would be interested in finding out how soon a fully tested version will be ready for the QM2000...
    and if it will work with the QM2000.net!
    Last edited by Stuka; 05-28-2011 at 12:53.
    RR

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    Sweet.....

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    Right about now is when Pangolin want to deliver the FB3 SDK......
    http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems
    http://www.frikkinlazors.co.uk

    You are using Bonetti's defense against me, ah?

    I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.

  10. #20
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    Excellent work, Andrew! Now I have a good reason to finish building my own projector (I could use some help)...

    Dean

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