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Thread: Advice picking lasershow software for realtime programmatic control?

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    Default Advice picking lasershow software for realtime programmatic control?

    Hello!

    I'm working on a project which involves projecting laser animations onto an object being moved around by a performer. I'll have motion capture markers on the object, and some code which figures out the orientation of the object based on this. But, I'm not sure of the best way to author/control the animations.

    Right now, I'm thinking of two approaches:

    1) Use the openlase library and hardcode the animations right along with the calculations for deforming them to be projected onto the object. This seems complex.

    2) Write a program that does the calculations for deforming the projections, and send commands via OSC or something to a more traditional laser show control software that makes it easier to author the art/animations. Based on my research, LSX seems pretty cool, but I'm not sure what it's external control capabilities are.

    My budget's around $1000, so I'm willing to pay out for a more robust solution...would rather invest my time making cool animations here rather than hacking something together on the cheap.

    Any advice would be appreciated, thank you!

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    Maybe i think very simple but i would think about the following.
    The movement of the object which will be done by the performer will this always be the same movement?
    If so, you could try to use Beyonds opportunity to use movie with lasers preprogrammed?
    You could record the movement of the object and program the animations just in place with the video on the background.
    Ones this is done you could test this with the performer and fit the zone where the object is moving in.

    It's just a thing which comes up, maybe useless but maybe it's a start.

    The only problem would be, you need Beyond (hire it would be an option)

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    swamidog is offline Jr. Woodchuckington Janitor III, Esq.
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    LSX can be controlled externally via midi, dmx, and OSC.

    coloredmirrorball has more experience with this than i do, but i'm fairly certain you will be able to externally trigger animations and control scale/position/rotation/playback speed etc in real time via your protocol of choice.

    here's the liveshow portion of his lsx video tutorial series.





    Quote Originally Posted by 405nm View Post
    Hello!

    I'm working on a project which involves projecting laser animations onto an object being moved around by a performer. I'll have motion capture markers on the object, and some code which figures out the orientation of the object based on this. But, I'm not sure of the best way to author/control the animations.

    Right now, I'm thinking of two approaches:

    1) Use the openlase library and hardcode the animations right along with the calculations for deforming them to be projected onto the object. This seems complex.

    2) Write a program that does the calculations for deforming the projections, and send commands via OSC or something to a more traditional laser show control software that makes it easier to author the art/animations. Based on my research, LSX seems pretty cool, but I'm not sure what it's external control capabilities are.

    My budget's around $1000, so I'm willing to pay out for a more robust solution...would rather invest my time making cool animations here rather than hacking something together on the cheap.

    Any advice would be appreciated, thank you!
    suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.

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    Heh, thanks for sharing that swamidog
    But what he said... LSX has some nice tools for these kind of purposes.

    I'm not familiar with OSC at all, but as it looks like there's direct support for various OSC commands like toggle laser output, play/pause and runtext, and 255 variables that can be used in expressions.
    So you could have a variable that controls the X or Y position of the animation in an expression, listening to OSC input. Maybe make the size of the animation corresponding to the Z value or something...
    I can't find direct support for accesing the built-in geometrical correction with OSC commands but if that's required, drlava could implement it if you ask him. But I guess the best way would be to write expressions for this yourself, as the image corrections aren't really straightforward.

    You sound like you know programming, so getting around expressions in LSX shouldn't be too hard (especially not when you can bear to watch through my tutorial series :P).

    In short you shouldn't be worried about external control of LSX.

    This sounds like a really interesting program, please keep us updated!

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    Cool, thanks everyone!

    Will report back with what I discover.

    Now to see about getting a demo version from drlava....

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    This screams LSX. Pangolin is unlikely to adapt Beyond for your needs, yet Dr lava will consider it, and it would not take him much time to do.
    You can also use external opamps and a decent quality D to A converter to add offsets to the scanner signals before scanning.

    I've had joysticks summed into my scan system before for this sort of thing.

    The nice thing about doing it externally in analog is you do not lose resolution in the laser image. If you do it with the direct laser outputs you can loose resolution if you scale down the images and position them.

    If you need the external hardware method, send me a PM, and I can cook something decent up for you.

    If this is a person moving things on stage, there are safety issues that must be addressed.

    Steve
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    LSX already has a joystick input feature. you can tie that into x/y shift or whatever.

    Quote Originally Posted by mixedgas View Post
    This screams LSX. Pangolin is unlikely to adapt Beyond for your needs, yet Dr lava will consider it, and it would not take him much time to do.
    You can also use external opamps and a decent quality D to A converter to add offsets to the scanner signals before scanning.

    I've had joysticks summed into my scan system before for this sort of thing.

    The nice thing about doing it externally in analog is you do not lose resolution in the laser image. If you do it with the direct laser outputs you can loose resolution if you scale down the images and position them.

    If you need the external hardware method, send me a PM, and I can cook something decent up for you.

    If this is a person moving things on stage, there are safety issues that must be addressed.

    Steve
    suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.

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    I know, but if does the summing externally in analog, he'll be better off in some cases.

    Steve
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    swamidog's Avatar
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    fair enough

    "Why teach an ape to talk?"

    Quote Originally Posted by mixedgas View Post
    I know, but if does the summing externally in analog, he'll be better off in some cases.

    Steve
    suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.

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    Why using a joystick when you have motion sensors? I'm confused...
    Even when the motion sensors somehow produce an analog signal (maybe with a DAC that listens to OSC commands?) you still need to correct the position for geometrical reasons, and this is much easier with math in LSX than with analog circuitry (math is much easier to adjust :P).

    Anyway, I don't think resolution loss because of the DAC bitrate for small images is a problem. When I scale my images down to the point I lose resolution because of the beam size, I can't notice DAC caused resolution loss. But I keep my beams intentionally untamed... Any decent DAC has 12 bit X/Y resolution so I'd be surprised if this was ever an issue.

    It's a good idea, but maybe not for this application?

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