Importing a frame library (from LD2k) and show it as a list of pictures (like LD2k)?

Discussion in 'Lasershow Designer BEYOND' started by Stingray, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. Stingray

    Stingray Beta Tester


    in LD2000, if I build a show in showtime, it was / is a very good thing that I have the "frame list" window where I have an overview of many frames, can scroll easy through the frames and select / drag / place the frame in the showtime window.

    Is there a similar possibility in Beyond?
    Yes, there ist the workspace with the cues that I can drag into the timeline.
    But when I import a LD2000 *.lds file in the workspace, ALL frames are placed in ONE cue, one behind the other. So I have no overview over ALL frames to easily select one.

    So my question: is there a window like the "frame list" window like it is in showtime and (if yes), how can I import the *.lds files into this window to have all single frames?
    Or is there another workaround that I is more practicable?

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
  2. Aaron@Pangolin

    Aaron@Pangolin Staff Member

    I think what you are after is the BEYOND Bridge (or something like it) when it becomes a reality.

    Currently when you import a LDS frame file into a cue it goes into the cue as a single animation; which is basically useless unless it is one of the few LDS files from a show that "IS" only one animation as opposed to just a list of frames used in a LD2000 show. There is no LDS frame "browser" in BEYOND nor is there any way to open a LDS frame file so it will populate the cues of a workspace with each frame contained in the LDS frame file. This is exaclty how it is in QuickShow.

    What you can do (not a solution a workaround) is to import the LDS file into a cue, right click on the cue and click "edit" frame/animation; this will give you access to the individual frames in the LDS file but you will need to Save out any individual cues you want to use THEN import them each, individually, into cues back in the workspace.
  3. LaserFan

    LaserFan Beta Tester

    When we load in BEYOND the big show in a LDS-format (for example «moloko_i492» or «volvo-laser-over-video_i143» from in cue properties is established wrong duration of show (for example for moloko_i492 FPS=10, Total seconds=3600, Frame duration=0.100 though duration of show makes 4:48 min).
    If I modify Total seconds the show to be output incorrectly (wrong sequence, blanks frames etc).
    Whether there is a way correctly to adjust output of such show?
  4. Aaron@Pangolin

    Aaron@Pangolin Staff Member

    You cannot load a LD2000 Showtime show into BEYOND at this time. Even when you can load a Showtime show into BEYOND you will not do it by loading the ".LDS" file. The ".LDS" file is not the show it is the frame file that the show was built from.
  5. LaserFan

    LaserFan Beta Tester

    Here again without LD2000 Showtime not to solve in any way a problem…:waa:
    Thanks Aaron!
  6. soforene

    soforene Well-Known Member

    It's not really a problem.

    A similar analogy would be to buy a car from a company (say Ford) which is a basic 1 litre model and you are expecting to do 150 MPH in it.
    Ford will sell you a model that will do 150 MPH but the basic one you bought will not do this so if you really want all the fancy bells and whistles (and the ability to have superior performance) then it's easily attainable.

    Just put on your Big Boy Pants and buy a more expensive model. :D
  7. LaserFan

    LaserFan Beta Tester

    What is "a more expensive model" in our case?
  8. Stingray

    Stingray Beta Tester

    Hi Soforene,

    yes, the same question from me: what Version (the "more expensive model") should I buy to have a solution?
    I own "LD2000 PRO" and "Beyond ULTIMATE" at the moment...

  9. Pangolin

    Pangolin Staff Member

    Hi Reinhardt,

    I think Soforene's analogy is somewhat flawed, but still somewhat applicable if you set aside price. But let me come at this from a different angle.

    My own feeling has never changed on this topic. I see Pangolin's role as providing tools. BUT -- no single tool can do every job for every customer. That's why Pangolin provides a number of software products, each one having its place in the toolbox.

    If you purchased LD2000 in the past two years, or purchased BEYOND with a QM2000, then you actually received two separate tools for the price of one. What this means is that if you want to playback LD2000 shows, you already have a solution. That solution is called Showtime! It's if you want to do something different, something better, something more than Showtime can do, THEN you might turn to BEYOND for answers.

    To answer the original question, we believe that the "frame list" concept embodied in Showtime was actually flawed all along. One problem with it is that you saw a single image on the screen for a single frame. So this means if you had an animation with 1000 frames, you would have to scroll through 1000 single images before finally getting to the end.

    What BEYOND offers is a workspace. So you can load a single animation into a single cue. Now you have a single image on the computer screen that represents a whole animation. You can see the whole animation by only moving the mouse over the cue. And if you want to, you can edit the animation with only a few mouse clicks. This is far better and easier than it would have been with Showtime and LD2000.

    So we believe that the workspace is a replacement for the framelist. Moreover, you can organize the workspace in any way you wish by merely dragging cues around on the screen. You can click on cues in the workspace to test out various animation scenarios BEFORE placing them on the timeline. Then, when you are ready, you drag and drop a cue onto the workspace -- that cue representing the entire animation.

    Note that what I'm really talking about here is using a single workspace PER SHOW. You don't have to do it that way, but it would be the smartest way to go, and a way which has the strongest parallel to how shows were build in LD2000/Showtime.

    So the process would look like this:

    1. Click on the Grid button at the top/left
    2. Click on File/New Workspace in the menu
    3. Right-click on cues and use the file browser to locate individual frames and animations that you want to import into that particular cue. Note that if you have a single LD2000 frame file with many animations this still works, since you can choose the starting and ending frame WITHIN THE WHOLE FILE to be loaded into the cue.
    3a. repeat step 2 as many times as you would like, building up a frame and animation library that will be used to make the show.
    4. If you want to, you can also use the QuickTools, or more advanced tools to build up additional things in the workspace.
    5. Click on Timeline view
    6. Click on the Workspace tab on the bottom
    7. Drag and drop from the workspace onto the timeline

    Note that this process is really very similar to how it would be done in LD2000, but instead of needing to set the beginning and ending frame, and paging through thousands of individual frames, you drag and drop entire animations, entire sequences, and really entire "thoughts".

    Also note the on the timeline itself, you can double-click anywhere, load brand new frames and animations directly, and even create dedicated content right then in there.

    All of this is far more productive workflow than would ever be possible in LD2000 and Showtime, and frankly more productive than any other laser software we have ever seen.

    Sure, it's different. But if you want to, you can create a workflow scenario that is similar to LD2000 and Showtime, or a workflow scenario that is far different as well. BEYOND offers much more freedom, and each show programmer will need to decide how to best use that freedom to match their own style.

    Best regards,

    William Benner
  10. Stingray

    Stingray Beta Tester

    Hi Bill,

    thank you very much for your detailed answer. I agree with nearly all what you wrote.
    And by the way: yes, BEYOND is a great Software and the last days I programmed my first show and it was very easy (the only problem was to find exactly the "button" to do things as I want, because of the huge amount of options that are inside BEYOND ;)

    And yes, a big benefit in the "cue grid" are your points regarding the animation handling... This is what I didn´t consider.

    The main reason of my question was a lds-file containing many SINGLE frames (no animations) as a "basic pool" for creating new beam-shows. When I have every frame on a separate cue, you are right in the things you wrote about "easy programming a new show" and your "checklist" is the exact way to do.
    So there is only one Problem left (and as I said that was one of the reason for this topic): converting the lds-file in a BEYOND workspace. I think I have to invest the time and create a new workspace by importing frame by frame in separate cues.
    It´s some work, but I´m doing it only one time and I think it´s worth the work.

  11. Pangolin

    Pangolin Staff Member

    Hi Reinhardt,

    Your input is valuable. Here are my thoughts.

    LD2000 has been around for nearly 14 years, and it was build on LD/QM which had been around for nearly 10 years before that. Because of that, there was a lot of kind of "background support" -- frame lists which people could load and use as the basis of a new show.

    BEYOND is really brand new. We made a concious choice to break with the past, just like Motorola made a concious choice to break from the 6800 when moving to the 68000 architecture, or Apple who made a concious choice to break from the Apple II to the Macintosh. In both of these examples, the previous-generation products were VERY popular and there was a lot of background support. But I think we'll all agree that it was the right choice for these companies, and the world is a better place because of it.

    But what this means is that artists now need to kind of start over, and create the same degree of "background support". What this means is that you (and us and others -- including people who have contributed to the Pangolin Shows Portal) will need to create workspaces with the frames you want. But this is not too difficult. It amounts to right-clicking in an empty cue and saying "Import", and then loading individual desired LD2000 frames. BEYOND fully supports all previous Pangolin file formats, and so this is not a problem.

    HOWEVER, I will also point out that, just as Motorola, Apple, and Pangolin made a concious choice to break from the past, this is also your opportunity to break from the past as well. What I mean is, you can create brand new beam cues using QuickShape and also the Image Synthesizer, and one of currently four separate abstract generators. All of this is done with the same kind of "right click in a cue". The result could be a show that looks in fact different from what you've done in the past. And I think our QuickShape and Image Synthesizer delivers results with quality not even possible with simple LD2000 frames.

    Let us know if you have any other comments or questions. The discussion and debate helps us to develop our tutorial materials and presentations as well.

    Best regards,

    William Benner

    PS: BEYOND is also 100% compatible with QuickShow, so any of the currently more than 150 free QuickShow shows on the Pangolin Shows Portal will also work with BEYOND, and could possibly serve as the basis for derivative works.