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Laser Snow with Pangolin BEYOND laser light software

Its the time of the year when the weather gets colder and the sun just lights up for a short time …..the perfect time for projecting laser snow. What else?!

This little tutorial will enable you to generate your own personal laser snow with the professional Pangolin BEYOND laser light multimedia show software. No matter if you like to use it in a laser light show or for outside house / room / venue decoration purposes.

At this point in time a little word about responsibility:
When enlighting objects with laser, take care that no being is hurt by any laser beams from the laser light projector and you do not cause any danger for any other surrounding elements. Be the master of your laser projector and do not leave it unattended and take precausions to immediatelly shut it down in case of a harmful situation.

Generating laser snow means that we are using some of the powerful effects that come with Pangolin BEYOND and do not draw it by hand point by point. By this we get the benefits:

  • Easy to customize all the time
  • Can be apted to any laser projector in not time
  • Can be extended as needed with just a click
  • Direct use of the HQ output from the Pangolin laser hardware controller; the network controller FB4 or the USB Plug-n-Play laser controller FB3QS

Ready to start? Here we go.

First we add a “New Synthesized Image…” into a Cue by right clicking on a tile and choosing  “Create>New Synthesized Image…”


Then we “Create” a new item within the Image of type “New Shape…”.


What we use here is a line, displayed as single dots for the snow flakes. Also I reduced the number of points and increased the size of the dotted line, so it fills horizontally almost the whole available space.


Then I move over to the Effects section of the Shape and add a “Key effect” > “Geometric” > “Postion”.


The intention here is to shift the line out of the center, by adding some values for the Z axis, so that I am able to create a movement with the line around the center in some distance. Also what you can see here is, that the preview image, that appears flat, is in fact a 3D representation, just with the view port from front. You can left click inside the preview and move the mouse to move around within the preview.


Now as announced, I will add another effect to create a movement of the line around the center point. There for I add the “Key effect” > “Geometric” > “Rotation”.


Here I like to manipulate the parameter change (X Rotation) over time. So I add a key frame at “0%” and a keyframe at “100%”. At the 100% position, I create a full 360 rotation along the X Axis, which is then displayed with the small “1” in the lower right corner of the rotary. You now see the shift of the single dotted line around the center of the preview (maybe move around in the preview for a better view point).


One single rotating line….is not a nice snow fall …. so we add some more dots. The easiest way to do this, is another effect that we can add. Its the “Key effect” > “Cloning” > “Roto Clone”.


As stange it may look at the beginning, the function gets clear when you reset some of the other parameters and just alter the parameter for “Copies” and “Delta X”. This creates copies of the dotted lines and shifts each line by a value of choice (here 45 is fine).


But now I can see all the rotating lines, also those who seem to move upward when looking from front. Up falling snow … well lacks a bit of realism. So we want to eliminate that up moving snow. Here I use the “Key effect” > “Window” > “Window clip” which will cutt off a specific area.


So as the “up falling snow” happens in the depth area, I simply limit the visible area to the area that moves up to bottom. I use “min Z” to cut the back area.


Straight in line falling snow also has rarly been seen. So I want do give it a bit dynamic display. I use the “Key effect” > “Transformation” > “Bend surface warp” for that.


Moving the handles of the parameter line on the bottom, gives lines a bit of wave. That, as it is a key frame, can also be animated over time for some more action.


A nice feature is if the snow get a bit of a fading effect when it starts to fall and ends at the floor. The “Color effect” > “Brightness effect” enables us to do some nice fading.


Here I add some more color handle within the gradient area, so I can fine tune the start and end point of the effect. Not to forget to change the “Options” for the affecting area to “Options: By Y axis, Brightness Control, Gradient” so the brightness effect affects the vertical area of the preview.


Wow its done we have our deep laser snow falling …… ahh .. deep… ok looks still a bit light. But all the work is done and now we benefit from a simple and quick copy of the item. Just a right click on the “Shape+Effect” and “Duplicate Item” does all we need.


No all the lines, as usual with copy, are on top of each other…so we need to give it a little shift so it separates from the existing lines. But easy…we use the “Key effect- Position” and shift the Y and Y Parameter so we get a nice second layer of falling snow. Of course now we could add another duplicate of that and and and… so you see.. its only limited by your imagination to make it look even more and more realistic.


We are excited to see what you will do …. and do not hesitate to share your awesome work with the Pangolin community with using the Pangolin Cloud feature. Its just a click away.

Celebrate the holidays and a merry XMAS time with pleasure and joy for you and your family.

Your Pangolin Team

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