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Thread: Tools for automatic reading animation.

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Tools for automatic reading animation.

    Hi all.

    This is my first post on the forum. So happy to find this forum!

    Im an artist based in Sweden who mainly has been working with videobased installations during the years. Based on projected light Im now staring up a project with laser as the main material.

    As Im new in the field om looking into the different tools of creating content. One of my key functions Im looking for is a way to automatically read a huge amount of letters and transform these individual letters into execution of letter specific assigned animations.

    For example: If I have a text row " ABCBBBCBBABBBBCDDDAAEEE" I would like an animation linked to letter "A" to be executed, followed by animation "B" Then animation "C" then "B" again. "B" again in a continues flow.

    The amount of letters in each full animation flow will vary from just a few up to a few thousand, and the way Im trying to find is this enormous capacity when we comes to the latter letter amount.

    Looking into buying either Beyond of LSX, maybe if I need both, but just trying to get a picture of whats possible before letting go of the cash. If some of you knows things in depth know a solution it would help me soo much.

    Maybe I need to go tough some external reader and send instructions though Midi?

    Well hope you get my questions.

    Thanks so much for any thoughts!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Charleston, SC
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    2,147,488,855

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rymdfyr View Post
    Im an artist based in Sweden who mainly has been working with videobased installations during the years. Based on projected light Im now staring up a project with laser as the main material.
    Welcome to the forum! Always happy to see new folks.

    Before we go any further - a standard disclaimer: Laser projectors can cause serious eye injury (including blindness) as well as thermal burns to the skin. They can also damage digital still-image and video cameras, as well as certain types of video projectors (mostly DLP projectors). Any laser operator should be very familiar with the safety concerns and legal requirements surrounding lasers and laser projectors before they purchase, install, or operate any laser equipment.

    Also, the laws governing the use of lasers in public differ greatly depending on which country you are operating in. I honestly don't know what the laws are in Sweden. But most countries require at least some equipment certification, while other countries also require the operator to obtain licensing or other approval before using lasers or laser projectors in public. Before you get too involved with this new project, I urge you to research this topic thoroughly so you understand the legal requirements and safety regulations.

    One of my key functions Im looking for is a way to automatically read a huge amount of letters and transform these individual letters into execution of letter specific assigned animations.
    Pangolin's Beyond software supports a scripting language called Pango-Script that would allow you to program this fairly easily. However, I'm wondering if there isn't an easier way to accomplish your goal.

    Is the letter sequence always going to be the same, or will it change in real time based on some outside trigger? If it's always going to be the same, then what you're describing is a timeline, and that's a feature that nearly every laser show software package supports. If you've ever worked with video editing software, you understand how a timeline works. Pre-choreographed laser shows are edited together in the same way as a video would be.

    Basically you have a linear sequence of frames and animations that play back in a defined order from start to finish. You can add all sorts of effects to the content on the timeline, and you can also add an audio track to the timeline so you can synchronize the show to music. You can work on the timeline in any order you want, but when you're all done the show will always play in the same order from the beginning to the end.

    On the other hand, if the sequence of frames or animations that you want to display will be constantly changing and you need the laser show software to *automatically* respond in real time to changes in the sequencing, then you're back to the Beyond + Pango-script solution I mentioned above.

    Note that there is a third option we haven't discussed, and that's having an operator making the selections in real time. This is how live laser shows are done. The operator listens to the music and selects frames, animations, and effects as needed to make a pleasing show that follows the beat. This live control method is also supported by nearly all laser show software packages.

    The amount of letters in each full animation flow will vary from just a few up to a few thousand, and the way Im trying to find is this enormous capacity when we comes to the latter letter amount.
    The number of animations you have to choose from is limited only by your ability to collect (or create) the content and the amount of hard drive space available on your computer. I've seen workspaces for Beyond that had thousands of cues. And each cue can be a single frame, or a short looping animation, or an abstract pattern, or even an entire show sequence lasting several minutes with multiple scenes. So it's no problem to have hundreds of thousands of frames ready to be selected and displayed at any given time. To automate the frame-selection process from that large library of frames based on a string of letters is a trivial Pango-Script application.

    But I'm curious why you're stuck on using a string of letters to select the frames or animations. That would dramatically limit the number of choices... (upper and lower case plus the numbers 0-9 would give you 62 choices, but even if you used the entire ASCII character set you're only looking at 127 choices) Is there another part of this application (apart from the laser projector) that is driving the need to use letters?

    Looking into buying either Beyond or LSX
    Both are solid choices for laser shows, although I believe Beyond may have an advantage for your application because of Beyond's Pango-Script support. (Beyond is also more expensive, however.)

    just trying to get a picture of whats possible before letting go of the cash
    Smart. Don't buy *anything* until you've done more research. I can't tell you how many people have wasted money because they bought something on a whim, only to learn later that it's not adequate for their needs.

    Maybe I need to go tough some external reader and send instructions though Midi?
    Not sure about LSX, but I know that Beyond supports MIDI in and out, and you can use physical MIDI devices or virtual software MIDI solutions that mimic the hardware but actually talk to other programs.

    Again though, we need more information about exactly what you want to accomplish and why letters in particular are required for the frame or animation selection process. Unless your idea is something very specific to those letters, I suspect there is a much easier way to get the results you're describing.

    Adam

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