Pangolin’s Quickshow is one of the most popular laser control software systems in the world, and its Quicktrace feature is a favorite tool for help creating custom graphics displays. Continue reading for 10 quick tips for using Quicktrace in Quickshow, and for projecting graphics in general.
Do you have a client asking for their logo projected in laser on the wall at a corporate event? Do you have a custom personal logo that you want to show off using your laser during your DJ set? The Quicktrace function in Pangolin’s Quickshow software is one fast and easy way to do this. If you have specific questions that this article can’t answer, we recommend contacting Pangolin.
Check your equipment.
Before trying to do any graphics projection, make sure the laser you’re using is suited for the task. We recommend lasers with at least 25K scanners to be able to project images of moderate complexity. Units like our Skywriter HPX and Mobile Beat Mirage are perfect for graphics like those created using Quicktrace.
Survey the surface.
The surface onto which you project laser is almost as important as the projection itself. Be sure not to project onto reflective or mirrored surfaces in a manner that could be dangerous. The lightness, darkness and color of the surface onto which you project will also affect how the projection looks.
Learn the laser basics.
When a laser system creates a projected image or graphic, it’s basically “connecting the dots” of that pattern very, very quickly. This is why lasers work best when projecting vector-style graphics with easily defined lines and shapes. Remember that simpler is better, so trying to Quicktrace a full-color photograph won’t work well at all.
Follow the format.
Quicktrace works with the following image file formats: JPG, PNG, GIF and BMP. To be able to upload an image into Quicktrace, be sure that the image you want to use is in an acceptable format. A note about image resolution: higher resolution is typically better, so the software can find and define the highest number of traceable points.
Select a separation mode
Within the Quicktrace dialog box, the software provides the tip: “For good-quality imagery, try the Color Separation mode [or] try the Highlight Separation mode, and move the Separation Level slider for best results. Use Centerline mode for tracing line-art…” These settings within Quicktrace basically help Quickshow “see” the image you want to create.
Choose your color(s)
If you have a design that you need to project in just one color, you can select the number of colors that Quicktrace will apply to the image. Do this by toggling the arrows on the “Colors” bar on the left side of the Quicktrace box. Remember, color selection requires a laser projector with multicolor functionality.
Create permanent cues
Once you have an image traced and displayed as you like it, you can drag and drop the cue into the workspace/page on which you’re working. Once you save your Quickshow workspace, the cue you created using Quicktrace will remain there, where it will be customizable just like all of the other preset cues and patterns.
Adjust the interface appearance
At first, the Quicktrace interface can seem cramped. To alleviate this, just click and drag the upper border of the toolbar to enlarge the Quicktrace working area. You can also click and drag to resize the Quicktrace preview box, so you can get a better look at the processed image.
Try advanced tweaks
Once you upload an image into Quicktrace, you can add adjustments including zoom, position, brightness and X/Y/Z axis control. To make these adjustments, click and drag on each corresponding icon below the Quicktrace preview box. Remember, only lasers with analog diode control are dimmable.
Forget the fog
When you are projecting an aerial beam show, generally, the more aerial fog or haze, the better. That’s not the case with projected graphics, as no fog or haze is needed and the image will look better on the projection surface without having the beams appear in the air. While some of this comes down to preference, it’s a guideline we like to follow.
Remember, Quickshow is a Pangolin product, so see Pangolin’s Quickshow support if you have questions that go deeper than our guide(s) can offer.
Pangolin’s full support guide for Quickshow can be found at: http://pangolin.com/support-products/lasershow-designer-quickshow/
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