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  Works as a plug-in
  Draw objects in a variety of ways
  Automatic color
  Line smoothing
  Laser output
  Summary
   

  Lasershow Converter MAX - Overview
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In 3D Studio MAX, you create objects that will later be converted to laser. These can be any geometric or shape object, including 3D Studio MAX standard objects such as meshes, renderable splines, particles, and NURBS, plus most third party objects.
        Objects can be simple geometric shapes, or they can be complex structures with thousands of polygons. The picture below shows two examples of mesh objects created in 3D Studio Max and then converted with Lasershow Converter MAX (click on the picture to enlarge).

Click to see full-size picture

You can create still frames or entire animations. For animations, 3D Studio MAX makes it easy to move your objects and/or camera around, so that a scene comes to life. Lasershow Converter MAX outputs the individual frames directly to the laser so you can see exactly what your scene will look like, as you work.
        When you are ready for the final output, Lasershow Converter MAX generates a sequence of LD2000-format frames. These frames can then be used as part of a Showtime show. They can also be converted into ILDA format, for use on other systems.

 

Works as a plug-in

Details: 3DSM lets you set up two renderers at the same time; one for "production" work and one for "draft". This means you can easily switch between rendering to the screen (using the Default Scanline Renderer) and rendering to the laser (using Lasershow Converter MAX). It does not matter which is "production" and which is "draft".

 

Lasershow Converter MAX works as a 3D Studio MAX plug-in. This means it is accessible directly (and solely) from within 3DSM.
        3D Studio MAX can have many different renderers -- ways of displaying or outputting the scene data. When you go to render your 3DSM scene, choose Lasershow Converter MAX as the renderer (click picture to enlarge):

Click to see full-size picture
  

 

Here are the main controls. There are four sections: Line Types, Line Color, Filter Parameters and Laser Output. The controls in each section have been carefully considered, so you have maximum flexibility with minimum complexity.

Click to see full-size picture

Draw objects in a variety of ways

The Line Types settings specify how lines are drawn. You can pick the method(s) that will work best for your scene or object.
        The screen shots below depict the original shaded objects, then how they look with a simple silhouette, and finally how they look with folds or contours added (click pictures to enlarge):

Click to see full-size picture

Click to see full-size picture

If you need more control, you can specify how objects are drawn on an object-by-object basis. Here are the settings (they appear as part of the object's properties, not within the renderer itself):

Object Line Types panel

In the screen shots below, the soccer ball object has different parameters assigned to it. You can see how Lasershow Converter MAX is extremely flexible. Whether you need to portray a solid, a wireframe or a transparent object, Lasershow Converter MAX can handle it.

Click to see full-size picture

Automatic color

Notice that color is automatically generated. This is useful, since some other methods of generating laser artwork from 3D programs create only white lines.
        In the Line Color section, there are four ways of coloring lines. Usually you'll choose the object's diffuse color (what it looks like under diffused white lighting). The other options give added flexibility.

Line smoothing with Filter Parameters

Some objects can generate unwanted short lines or dots when converted to laser. Lasershow Converter MAX takes care of this with the Filter Parameters settings. These include how large of a gap to jump over, whether overlapping lines are removed (to eliminate duplicates) and how short a line can be.

Laser output

The Laser Output section automatically assigns text notes to each generated frame. This helps you later locate the frames on your computer, using Lasershow Designer's "Search" feature. In addition, you can specify the starting laser frame to write, and whether you see the results on the laser as the frames are generated. 

Summary

If you have experience with 3D Studio MAX, you can get started right away with Lasershow Converter MAX. The plug-in works like other 3DSM controls. You'll soon find that it is the easiest way to make high-quality laser show artwork. Lasershow Converter MAX truly revolutionizes laser shows!

 
   
  This page last updated: Thursday, June 25, 2009 12:00 AM

 
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