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Thread: Current Trends

  1. #1
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    Default Current Trends

    I suspect that the rise of the machines from China is the cause, but I see very little laser related work on this forum anymore. The bulk of the work discusses how to integrate projector systems for shows. Lighting engineers are often disparaged for not respecting laserists, but I see much less difference between a lighting engineer and a laserist when both are working with light from purchased systems for entertainment venues. The lasers are potentially more dangerous, but the lighting guy works with more variety.

    This trend is neither bad or good, yet I find it less interesting. I believe the original attraction many have to lasers is just how improbable they seem. They are so bright and fast that they are not like any other source, however they have become so ubiquitous that they have come to be expected. They are still neat, but they no longer surprise.

    Is anyone doing anything new and exciting with lasers for any reason? Or, is anyone planning anything? I am working on several projects that are relatively complex and so my updates have been slow, but they're coming. It would be interesting to hear about some fresh ideas.

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    I agree, its probably just a cycle that happens with lasers every 8-10 yrs.
    Market is saturated, novelty of lasers is gone for now.
    Lasers are so cheap and common nowadays, they are being used in large quantities, almost look like just another moving head fixture/ boring.

    The last time this happened, there was like a 5 year pause in brisk laser use/ biz.
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    Working on some very interesting stuff right now, really a two year and one year project so far, if successful, then things could change quite drastically in some areas of the market. As someone has on a signature here; the quantum well is deep!

    Personally I think the golden age of diodes has peaked now, they are widespread and in most colours needed for basic effects. However emerging laser technologies are maturing, which could shake things up a little. That said, I'm hoping the medical industry can spur development of yellow diodes, over the next five to ten years.

    It seems that many have grown out of their hobbyist cocoon, using knowledge gained here or other places, to move into shows and begin to expand from there. I think for many this is the ultimate goal - as I say to people, being a laserist is a very expensive hobby.. If you can make your hobby a business, then you at least will enjoy it some of the time, working your way to better toys as you progress!

    We've all dealt with the disgruntled lighting engineer, however I personally find a much nicer approach wins the day, this goes both ways and forms the majority of my experiences. If you each know what you're doing, plus you are coordinated and friendly, you can work together as a team, so each has their own space, lights, VJ, lasers, or combined once you have that 'feel' together, for a total mind breaking experience for the audience. Too often I see lasers fighting the lighting rig or VJ. Sure, you're untouchable out above the audience, or on stage with enough grunt, power density is king, but really, it becomes too busy and the effect is lost. 'Symbiosis' is the word here.

    With regard to the current wave of projectors from the east, the appeal is understandable. At the professional level , when it's busy and you need that next projector, you can't always whip it up in your garage. You can buy another one and have it delivered in no time. But at the mid to high end of the professional level, if you have great skills, along with a competitor, typically, respected equipment will get you in the door before unknown equipment. Case in point, having skills and a GrandMA mixing desk.
    Another advantage to this, is that if you are purchasing from a company with very good service (no points for guessing who I'd recommend there), you can have access to a pretty exclusive network of laserists, who are prepared to hire their same brand machines to you, for when you land that super size gig which is beyond your typical capacity to provide projectors for. Even some of the laser biggest entertainment companies have this issue from time to time, be it scale or double, or triple+ bookings etc.

    Also the over saturation of lasers is both cyclic and geographic. Some shows have budget one year, other years not. Meanwhile, some areas of the world have little to no lasers, especially high end lasers, so they are still as magic as they were in the 80s and 90s. This is a market I enjoy, I don't do shows every weekend, it's a special event thing. So when the big guns come out, they come out blazing.

    Another avenue is broadening your horizons. Lasers can do much more than event work. The real sauce is in art, unique effects which nothing else can do. I have recently worked in large film, projection and art avenues, for me, these are more creative than shows, you can really shine there, if you have an active imagination.

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    Couldnt have said it better myself!!
    I agree 100%.
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    I also agree. Yellow will be nice, but it is only another color that is currently approximated by combining red and green. The saturation will improve and the power when modulating will improve and that's not a bad thing.

    At a recent get together by a few laser enthusiasts, we powered up 12 projectors with about 100 combined watts, but to me it was the content that made the shows worth watching, not the lasers and half of that power was mine.

    There seems to be two edges to the envelope; those with the artistic ability to create original content, including displays as well as shows and those who are developing the technologies to bring lasers and light well beyond where it is now. The purchase of a couple of RGB projectors, no matter how powerful and loading up a few canned graphic loops is less than interesting, it's boring.

    I think that this is why there is a developing interest in drones and Tesla coils. Our inventiveness needs an outlet.

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    Content has always been "king" in my view. Before I started actually attempting some of my own shows, it was the reason why I started buying whatever software and DAC combinations I could, just to be able to collect the content people had created with those packages. You do have to sort through an awful lot of so-so in order to find gems though. And shows that are just beams are hard to make exciting and unique looking without multiple projectors anymore. It's very exciting to find a unique and well done beam show. It's one of the reasons I've grown fond of mixing graphics or abstracts along with the beams. I'm really looking forward to the Advanced Laser Routers from DZ and Ed arriving this week since I think that's going to open up a number of new possibilities to make beams shows more interesting. We do need more good laser artists though...
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    Personally I don't think the novelty of lasers has gone, at least in Europe. Go to any hard dance event, and you'll find them, almost guaranteed.

    What has dropped off is the community interest in self builds. I wonder if this is in part due to the cheap quality projectors from Able and Eightonlight. When the choice was RGB or Kvant or poor quality a lot of people on here built to save money. Now there's quality choices for very reasonable money, I'm guessing for most it's just easier to buy as building costs a very similar amount overall to those cheaper quality projectors without any real advantage in quality for the average build (I dare say some can out design even the quality Chinese, but for most there's little to be gained unless you're an expert with optics). Sure the quality probably isn't quite at Kvant or RGB levels, but it's close enough to justify the savings for many hobbyists, as most hobbyist self builds aren't at those levels either.

    As for Tesla coils, bring it on. I've always thought how great HV effects would be in a club but only ever seen them in Hollywood club renditions. I'm guessing H&S concerns stop most venues deploying these.

    The one exception to that is the Netherlands where some shows such as Awakenings get away with a lot more (I'm guessing the laws are more lax over there). Awakenings often has pyro rockets above the audience. I'd love to see you get a licence or insurance cover to do that in the UK!

    Look here at 1 min 35 (showers of sparks into audience from flash bangs) and then again at 2 mins, pyro rockets overhead on cables. I don't think you'd get that past a UK risk assessment:




    Can't fault the lasers either. Think it's usually Hugo, and they never disappoint!

    ..and the show overall, with the LED ceiling, fantastic as someone clearly knows how to keep the lasers and LED's separate for the most part.

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    ... I'm more focussed on laser-material-processing, than show-lasers, so a different view-point or interest scale

    Last week I've tried with short-pulse-exposure for image grabbing ... other projects with laserdiodes are aimed on low-cost-SLS ... or UV-curing ...

    Viktor

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    Just like the DIY PC builders of old, it's now almost as cheap to buy off the shelf, and in most respects the vendors really have listened to what we want and are mainly good at delivering it.
    I've decided that for the first time in 4 or 5 years I'm not going to have a winter build project, because I'm sick of doing it TBH (well ive got a build project but it's not lasers... )
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    Quote Originally Posted by White-Light View Post
    ... I'm guessing concerns stop most venues deploying these...
    ... I don't think you'd get that past a UK risk assessment:!...
    .
    I've done live shows with both these aspects... H&S isn't the problem, budgets are the problem. In the UK, dance promoters generally aren't interested in putting on a great show with interesting and different things going on, more interested in raking in the money for as little expenditure as possible.

    There are exceptions to the rule, and Arcadia are the most obvious one Check out their collaboration with Mutiod Race Team
    If in doubt... Give it a clout?

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