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How to draw in laser

Dante drawn as laser graphic

Graphics are the essential base of any laser show. Many laser control software solutions come with a base stock of already pre-made graphics and animation, Pangolin Software even with a large amount of professional graphics and animation for many occasions.
But though there are tons of high quality laser images in Pangolin software and there are many more available by the Pangolin Cloud build-in with BEYOND and Quickshow, there maybe the wish to create something new by your own.
May it to extend the pool of animations shared in the Pangolin Cloud or to create a logo of a client in laser.

Pangolin Cloud laser graphics
Pangolin Quickshow Cloud for laser graphics

Basicly there are three ways to create the laser graphic:

  • Create a 3D animation and render it as laser frames
  • Convert / Trace an animation from a bitmap graphic to laser frame(s).
  • Draw laser frames by hand

Create a 3D animation and render it as laser frames

Pangolin BEYOND 3D Animation for laser graphics

This requires a bit of skills in dealing with 3D animation software and a kind of three dimensional thinking.
Pangolin supports plugins / converter for the most famous 3D animation software creation tools Maxon Cinema 4D and Autodesk 3ds Max. Depending on the versions these tools are quite complex and expensive. For that reason Pangolin created it´s own 3D animation software, especially prepared for the needs of a 3D laser animation creating artist. This 3D software module is available in the best selling BEYOND Ultimate version and mostly used by professional laser show programmer to create stunning animation and graphics for laser shows.

Convert / Trace an animation from a bitmap graphic to laser frame(s)

Pangolin BEYOND 3D Animation to create laser graphics

Converting existing bitmap graphic for the use with a laser is a very quick and convinient way to get a laser graphic. This can be already done in the entry level software Quickshow and also in all versions of BEYOND.
Different detection modes enable to try out the best way to get an awesome result.
The different detection modes create different looking results and are used depending on the origin image template and the desired output result.

Color Separation
Separates the image based on it´s different colors. Colors basicly remain in the resulting laser image. The amount of dectected colors can be limited to avoid the use of too many points in the laser image.

Highlight Separation
Detects the image based on it´s brightness contrast. A threshold determines the detected information that is used for the resulting laser image.

Centerline
Detects the image based on it´s brightness contrast but also combines narrow double lines to one line (in the center) to create the laser image.

What happens at all?
The software tries to find corners and edges in that bitmap to convert it into a vector image (a mathematical representation of the image). By this only outlines of the image can be considered.

Why converting the image to a vector image?
As the vector image is a mathematical representation of points and lines of the image, it is the way the laser projector needs the information to output any graphic in laser.
At a glance: All laser graphics and animation are in a way a kind of vector file (mathematical representation of points and lines).

Draw Laser frames by hand

Pangolin BEYOND QS Editor for drawing laser graphics

This method is the eldest way of all to create laser images and animation. But not to forget, this method is the best way for full control over your laser frames. Single still images as well as animation are possible. Professional international laser graphic designer still prefer this kind of creating laser frames and animations. And that has it´s reason.

Good software solutions, like the Pangolin laser software, support you with advanced laser frame creation tools for easy creation of marvelous laser images.
Just a right-click on an empty Cue and a new single frame or multi-frame (for an animation) and a laser graphic can be drawn.
If you have a bitmap template, you can place it in the background and start drawing on it, tracing the outline edges. Or you start from the scratch, drawing an image you have on your mind.
The drawing editor from Pangolin is available in a standard version and an advanced version. The advanced version is only available in Pangolin BEYOND and offers you some more tools to create great looking laser images.
The standard version of the drawing editor already offers all possibilities for creating laser images and even multi-frame animation.
Tools like Freehand, Elipse, Rectangle, Polygon, Coloring, Scaling, Moving, Points etc make it easy to draw any shape you like.
Additionally effect options for Fade in/out, Rotate and Write-in create breath taking frames. And even multi-frame animation are done in no time thanks to the easy-to-use “Animate” feature where only two drawn frames must be specified, to create an automatic created multi-frame animation. All frames in between these two specified are automatically calculated and created.

Pangolin BEYOND QS Editor for drawing laser graphics

It has never been more easy to create laser frames as with Pangolin Quickshow and BEYOND.


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