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Laser Show Technology for Lighting Professionals

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Lasershow Converter MAX is a plug-in for the computer graphics program 3ds Max (sometimes called 3D Studio MAX). Lasershow Converter MAX automatically converts 3D objects into laser show animations. The objects can be any geometric or shape object, including meshes1) , renderable splines 2), particles, and NURBS. The objects can be created in 3ds Max, or they can be imported from other programs such as Adobe Illustrator or AutoCAD.

Lasershow Converter MAX can look at these objects, can determine the color and position of lines, and can translate this into information needed for optimal display on laser display projectors.

Since Lasershow Converter MAX is a plug-in, you can interactively create animations for laser display, with playback from within 3ds Max. Once you are satisfied with the animations, save them as frames to be played back using Pangolin's BEYOND program.

Below are sample 3ds Max scenes and their laser counterparts. As you can see, Lasershow Converter MAX makes intelligent decisions about where to put lines and what color to make these lines. It also optimally places points for laser projectors. And it does all of this with the click of a single button!

This help file uses the older name “3D Studio MAX” in some places, and a few pictures in this help file are taken from 3D Studio MAX version 3.0 – the version that was published when LC-Max was created. The new versions of 3ds Max have a flatter look to the panels and buttons, and a darker screen as well.

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A mesh is defined as: “A surface composed of many connected planar facets, usually used as an approximation to a continuous curved surface.”

A mesh model is defined as: “A graphical model with a mesh surface constructed from polygons. The polygons in a mesh are described by the graphics system as solid faces, rather than as hollow polygons, as is the case with wireframe models.”
A spline is defined as: “A mathematical interpolation routine for describing curves or surfaces. More precisely, a sequence of curves, usually cubic polynomials, joined to ensure C(2) continuity. This term is sometimes loosely applied to any set of cubic curves.”

A spline model is defined as: “Representing 3-D objects as surfaces made up of mathematically derived curves (splines).”

In 3ds Max, splines can be used to control camera paths and to control object manipulations. In addition, splines can be made renderable and therefore can produce a visible outline.
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tools/lcmax/intro.txt · Last modified: 2021/05/02 14:30 by Bob Varkevisser