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Thread: The history of Laser show controllers and software, post your contributions here.

  1. #141
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    mixedgas is offline Creaky Old Award Winning Bastard Technologist
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    Laser Chorus had a stand alone controller, which is why I listed it. It had dedicated software and a Z80 or such. Not DMX.
    Hardware should only be included when it is a console.

    Steve
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    When I still could have...

  2. #142
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    I don't know if this counts for the list of controllers, but how about:

    Xerox Sigma 9 mainframe computer running custom "Laser Animation System" software written in APL, 1980

    I was the programmer (and basically the only user). Its big accomplishment was morphing between frames.

    This program was the direct predecessor of the direct predecessor of the direct predecessor of what became Laser Show Designer 256 for the Amiga. There was a TRS-80 Model 1 program and a few earlier Amiga programs that came before LSD256, all of which were custom programs done for the laser show company I had with David Lytle and Roger Lippincott.

    There is more information about my pre-Pangolin history at http://www.famous-company.com/pm_oberlin.htm. This page also has links to early history of Laserium, Laser Displays and a 2001-2002 thread on the Laserist List.

    As for other dates, I pulled out some old documentation and found the info listed below.

    -- Patrick Murphy

    Laser Show Designer, program and documentation copyright 1988, 1989 by Patrick Murphy. I believe the first publicly released version of LSD (just LSD, no 256 or 100/200/400 etc.) was available to other people such as Bill Benner starting in 1988.

    LSD release 1.33, December 22, 1989

    LSD-B, released August 21 1990. Supports blanking coordinate along with X and Y for each point. The manual indicates "Of course, the blanking information is not used by LSD." This implies that the QuadMod card, allowing 4-channel output from the Amiga, was not yet being sold. I could be wrong on this; Bill would know better.

    FVtoLSD, converts Broderbund "Fantavision" movies to LSD format, release 0.9, February 1 1990

    RTV raster-to-vector conversion program, first public release, May 6 1988. Release 0.85, March 7 1990

    AutoLSD animation scripting program, release 1.1, March 11 1990

    LSD Font Editor, release 0.5, April 11 1990

    Bill and I first showed LSD (not sure exactly which version) to the laser industry on Monday, Nov. 12 1990 at the ILDA Conference in Bradenton, Florida. The software had so many features that others did not, and was so well received, that that was the day that we decided to make this a business and not a hobby.

    It became Lasershow Designer (LD, not "Laser Show Designer" LSD) sometime before July 1992.

    Lasershow Designer Font Assembler, release 1.0, July 17 1992

    LD400-P, Lasershow Designer 400 playback-only version for the QuadMod16 card, release 1.36, December 11 1992

  3. #143
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    Also for the history fans, I found handwritten notes I took at the 1990 ILDA Conference in Bradenton. This was on Nov. 12 or 13. John Goss of LaserMedia was talking about their system which I believe was Zap. Here are my transcribed notes:

    2-1/2 hours to design and digitize a frame
    Balance structure to have simple sections/complex sections
    Put most resources into real emotional sections, such as dolphin splashing
    $10,000 to $20,000 for custom sound [composer], for those clients it can be attractive
    For animations, makes special moments on command [?]
    Big library is important
    Use Sculpt-Animate 4D, print files, have them digitized
    750 points in an image is flicker threshold
    Clients hate flicker
    George Michael tossed 3 months of work because it flickered
    LaserMedia uses freelance animators when necessary, but they often don't understand laser
    Can use small sequenced [repeating] animations to not look cheesy while waiting for complex sections
    Artists sometimes overdigitize -- it gets lost in the show, so the programmers cut it out and it becomes wasted effort, like film on the cutting-room floor
    4 people 6 months full-time, using 75% library and 25% new [I believe this refers to making a whole new show -- not sure]
    LaserMedia uses the Amiga to snapshot and pencil test, using Amiga Live and Flipper ($30 NOT PageFlipper)
    Get a style, then have all frames revolve around it such as Rome or Egypt
    People get burned out from "just" digitizing, so the good ones can move on. Good digitizers have a good eye & familiarity with computers

    [End of John Goss talk]

    Also, there was a talk from J. Pablo Cruz (J.P.) talking about a show called "Picasso" which had 48 Picasso drawings in laser. My notes:

    Took 3 months to do
    2 scanners per picture
    1 day per frame
    Problem [with using lasers] in Mexico -- if clients want animation, they'll do it in 35mm film

  4. #144
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    Here's a blast from the past I just came across that may or may not be appropriate in this thread. This MWK catalog comes from 1997 and features their scanners and controllers. Although low budget for many here, these were probably the only option for many wanting to get their feet wet with laser shows 20 years ago.

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  5. #145
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    speaking of ILDA i just found 3 VHS tapes from old ilda conferences (that were Dan Cohn )

    Tape 1 Says Ilda laser follies

    Tape 2 Says fantastic five Ilda 92' 1988-1992

    Tape 3 Says Ilda awards, stone mtn display ,LDI displays , Laser Media Modules (fim work by Paul)

    now to find a vcr (i lost all of mine in the floods)

  6. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by VJ AIWAZ View Post
    now to find a vcr (i lost all of mine in the floods)
    Richard Gonsalves kindly offered to digitize some old ILDA video tapes I have. He might be willing to do those as well.

    -- Patrick Murphy

  7. #147
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    wow 750 points per frame! That's really not bad, in fact that's perfectly in alignment with the current standard most still use. I know the struggle of making some really seriously optimized frames with all kinds of detailed color tones where it indeed takes many hours to digitize but the result is so stunning. The 30th of august my commodore 64 drawing tablet comes in. The Bytemare by LaserDreams will have some new graphics made for it!
    Pointed some people to this thread who already mentioned some systems like the: LGRASS and production Studio.
    Last edited by masterpj; 08-28-2016 at 06:02. Reason: I typed marebyte instead of bytemare

  8. #148
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    i found an old video vcr tape that says bytemare i guess thats what is (i forgot all about that software)
    its on one of those ilda tapes

  9. #149
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    Super info there Patrick, many thanks for your contribution and clarification.

    Quote Originally Posted by pmurph5 View Post
    I don't know if this counts for the list of controllers, but how about:

    Xerox Sigma 9 mainframe computer running custom "Laser Animation System" software written in APL, 1980

    I was the programmer (and basically the only user). Its big accomplishment was morphing between frames.

    This program was the direct predecessor of the direct predecessor of the direct predecessor of what became Laser Show Designer 256 for the Amiga. There was a TRS-80 Model 1 program and a few earlier Amiga programs that came before LSD256, all of which were custom programs done for the laser show company I had with David Lytle and Roger Lippincott.

    There is more information about my pre-Pangolin history at http://www.famous-company.com/pm_oberlin.htm. This page also has links to early history of Laserium, Laser Displays and a 2001-2002 thread on the Laserist List.

    As for other dates, I pulled out some old documentation and found the info listed below.

    -- Patrick Murphy

    Laser Show Designer, program and documentation copyright 1988, 1989 by Patrick Murphy. I believe the first publicly released version of LSD (just LSD, no 256 or 100/200/400 etc.) was available to other people such as Bill Benner starting in 1988.

    LSD release 1.33, December 22, 1989

    LSD-B, released August 21 1990. Supports blanking coordinate along with X and Y for each point. The manual indicates "Of course, the blanking information is not used by LSD." This implies that the QuadMod card, allowing 4-channel output from the Amiga, was not yet being sold. I could be wrong on this; Bill would know better.

    FVtoLSD, converts Broderbund "Fantavision" movies to LSD format, release 0.9, February 1 1990

    RTV raster-to-vector conversion program, first public release, May 6 1988. Release 0.85, March 7 1990

    AutoLSD animation scripting program, release 1.1, March 11 1990

    LSD Font Editor, release 0.5, April 11 1990

    Bill and I first showed LSD (not sure exactly which version) to the laser industry on Monday, Nov. 12 1990 at the ILDA Conference in Bradenton, Florida. The software had so many features that others did not, and was so well received, that that was the day that we decided to make this a business and not a hobby.

    It became Lasershow Designer (LD, not "Laser Show Designer" LSD) sometime before July 1992.

    Lasershow Designer Font Assembler, release 1.0, July 17 1992

    LD400-P, Lasershow Designer 400 playback-only version for the QuadMod16 card, release 1.36, December 11 1992

  10. #150
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    Isn't it funny how -- after Yol8r was called out as being a troll, he never showed up to the forum again and hasn't logged on since?

    Still waiting on the results of that IP trace...

    Bill

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