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There are three versions of Lasershow Designer. The names describe the intended use: LD Professional, LD Basic and LD Intro. The table below contains details about how they differ, plus a comparison of LD Intro with two other low-cost programs.

Frame Creation

Show Creation

Output Capabilities

Miscellaneous

LD Professional, LD Basic and LD Intro

Here is some general information about the three versions:

  • All three versions can playback any LD show, with full effects. This means that even LD Intro can play an LD Pro show, with all of its advanced features. Thus, if you just want to playback a Lasershow Designer-created show, your best buy is LD Intro.
  • Not only can you playback shows, but you can edit them – for example, to replace a logo with your own. However, you can only use the editing features available in the particular program. For example, in LD Intro, you can edit just the first three tracks of a show. In LD Intro and LD Basic, you can edit a frame's X and Y coordinates, but not the Z coordinates (since these programs are 2D-only). So if you need extensive editing of a show, consider LD Pro or LD Basic, instead of LD Intro.
  • LD Intro is ideal if you need a simple digitizing station, to support an LD Basic or LD Pro workstation.

All three versions act as "slaves" for each other, in a multi-scanner setup. You can put an LD Pro and LD Intro into a computer, and the LD Intro will act as a slave to the LD Pro (including all LD Pro tracks and features) so you can run a two-scanner-head show.

Please see the chart below for more details, or contact Holo-Spectra or Pangolin if you're still not sure which version is ideal for your particular situation.

 

For more details about the points of comparison listed in the first column, click on the underlined link
Frame Creation LD Professional LD Basic LD Intro X29 Lite Lasermax 3
Drawing coordinates 16000 x 16000 16000 x 16000 16000 x 16000 506 x 344 4096 x 4096
Draw true 3D frames Yes No No No No
Draw using Beam Brush Yes Yes No No No
Bitmap raster-to-vector conversion (auto-trace) Yes Yes Yes $1500 extra program (RTV) No
Additional Accessory Programs Yes.  SpectraScan Suite of Graphic Converter & BeamWizard for conversion of PC format graphics and RealTime play of beams, graphics, scrolling text, and shows. RTV No
Digitizing tablet input High-resolution (tablet direct), screen resolution (tablet as mouse) High-resolution (tablet direct), screen resolution (tablet as mouse) High-resolution (tablet direct), screen resolution (tablet as mouse) Screen resolution (tablet as mouse) High-resolution (?), screen resolution (tablet as mouse)
See laser output while drawing/editing Yes Yes Yes No No
Number of colors 256 out of 280 trillion possible colors 48 fixed shades (12 basic colors, 12 lighter, 12 darker, white, "black", 10 grays) 24 fixed shades (12 basic colors, white, "blacK", 10 grays) 16 fixed shades 16 colors with 16 levels
Color output Analog color (can be faded), digital color (color is only off or on) Analog, digital Analog, digital Digital Digital/analog (16 colors with 16 levels)
Number of undos 5 5 5 1 1
Raster (TV-type) picture frames Yes Yes No No No
Vector (high performance) frames Yes Yes No No No
True abstract frames Yes, 3 oscillator banks, color modulator, ability to use any frame as a waveform Yes, 2 oscillator banks, color modulator, 4 fixed waveforms Yes, 1 oscillator bank, color modulator, 4 fixed waveforms No (pre-generated static frames) No
Number of fonts 25 standard, plus ability to create and use custom fonts 25 standard 25 4 3, plus ability to create and use custom fonts
Pre-computed morphing between frames Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Real-time morphing
between frames (no need to store in-between frames)
Yes Yes No No No
Recolor tools Paint roller, paint brush, rainbow line & point, smooth colors Paint roller, paint brush, rainbow line & point, smooth colors Paint brush, rainbow line & point Paint brush None
Movement tools Manual, quick, numeric Manual, quick, numeric Manual, quick Manual None
2D tools Mirror horizontal & vertical Mirror horizontal & vertical Mirror horizontal & vertical None None
2D warping 180 & 360 degree curve. Fisheye lens. Spiral. 180 & 360 degree curve. Fisheye lens. Spiral. Spiral. 180 & 360 degree curve. None None
3D tools Extrude, spin (lathe) None None None None
3D warping and surface mapping Cube, sphere, hemisphere. Cylinder, hemicylinder. Cone, hourglass, black hole. Bump map from bitmap. Stretch Z. None None None None

 

Show Creation LD Professional LD Basic LD Intro X29 Lite Lasermax 3
Timeline-based motion (stretch or shrink to change effect timing) Yes Yes Yes No No
Number of X-Y scanner pairs controlled 4 2 1 1 1
Number of tracks (simultaneous frames doing different things) 32 16 3 1 1 (separate utility can merge frames to simulate multitracking)
On-screen preview Yes. Can output to computer screen and laser projector simultaneously. Yes. Can output to computer screen and laser projector simultaneously. Yes. Can output to computer screen and laser projector simultaneously. Yes. Cannot play preview and CD simultaneously. Yes. Preview plays at different speed than show.
Realtime (not precomputed) animation capabilities Time-based (animate for X seconds), refresh-based (draw frame X times) Time-based, refresh-based None None None
Realtime (not precomputed) morphing between frames Morph between any two frames; sequential morph between any number of frames Morph between any two frames; sequential morph between any number of frames None None None (separate utility can create precomputed morphs)
Rate-of-change for animations and effects Linear (smooth), accelerate, decelerate, accelerate then decelerate, ping-pong, oscillate, random. Linear (smooth), accelerate, decelerate, accelerate then decelerate, ping-pong, oscillate, random. Linear Linear Linear
Parameters that can be controlled Size, rotation, position, 3D perspective, viewing distance, scan speed, window-wipe, brightness, color cycling,draw-out, erase-in, depth cueing, master screen size and position, 16 TTL outputs, 1 aux. voltage output. Size, rotation, position, 3D perspective, viewing distance, scan speed, window-wipe, brightness, color cycling,draw-out, erase-in, depth cueing, master screen size and position, 16 TTL outputs, 1 aux. voltage output. Size, rotation, position, 3D perspective, scan speed, window-wipe, brightness, color cycling,draw-out, erase-in, 16 TTL outputs. Size, rotation, position, 3D perspective, scan speed, TTL outputs. Size, rotation, position (others as special effects)
Automatically synchronize to audio CD in computer Yes Yes Yes Partial (CD can play with show, but not hard-synchronized) No
Automatically synchronize to sound files (.WAV and .MIDI formats) Yes Yes Yes No No
Automatically synchronize to SMPTE timecode (incl. offsets) Yes Yes Yes Limited Partial (requires extra-cost software add-on)
Mark music beats and see visual marks Yes Yes Yes No No
Output show (or parts of show) as a sequence of frames Yes Yes No No No

 

Output Capabilities LD Professional LD Basic LD Intro X29 Lite Lasermax 3
Playback any show created on LD Pro, LD Basic or LD Intro Yes Yes Yes n/a n/a
Hardware output board Dedicated laser computer Dedicated laser computer Dedicated laser computer I/O board using PC computer's processor I/O board using PC computer's processor
Output status at startup Beam is centered; blanked; shutter off. Beam is centered; blanked; shutter off. Beam is centered; blanked; shutter off. Beam is blanked. Beam is visible and can be anywhere in scan area.
Can run other programs during a show Yes Yes Yes No No
Scan speed remains the same no matter how fast or slow the PC computer Yes Yes Yes Partial (needs software adjustments if changing computers or importing shows from other) No
Show continues even if PC crashes or freezes Yes Yes Yes No No
Actuator output (TTL lines) 16 16 16 8 16
MIDI output to control special devices Yes Yes No No No
Stereoscopic output and control (requires additional hardware) Yes Yes No No No

 

Miscellaneous LD Professional LD Basic LD Intro X29 Lite Lasermax 3
Import file formats LD Windows, LD Amiga, Aura/Laser Fantasy, ILDA LD Windows, LD Amiga, Aura/Laser Fantasy, ILDA LD Windows, LD Amiga, Aura/Laser Fantasy, ILDA X29, Laser Media, Lasermax, LSD Co., ILDA Lasermax
Export file formats LD Windows, LD Amiga, Aura/Laser Fantasy, ILDA LD Windows, LD Amiga, Aura/Laser Fantasy, ILDA LD Windows, LD Amiga, Aura/Laser Fantasy, ILDA X29 only Lasermax (ILDA requires additional software module)
Ability to write custom programs using C, Visual Basic or other languages Yes Yes Yes No No
Windows screen mode Any Any Any 640 x 480 only DOS-based - does not run under Windows
Executable program size, bytes LD drawing program, 1,475K. Showtime program, 1,325K. QuadMod board firmware, 590K. Total: 3,390K LD drawing program, 1,475K. Showtime program, 1,325K. QuadMod board firmware, 590K. Total: 3,390K LD drawing program, 1,475K. Showtime program, 1,325K. QuadMod board firmware, 590K. Total: 3,390K 303K 250K
Help file(s) size, bytes 6 files; total: 4,500K 6 files; total: 4,500K 6 files; total: 4,500K 56K 20K
Number of shows (songs) included 26 26 13 (13 additional shows available for $910) 10 (?) 3. Shows flash "Laser Production Network" periodically.
Money-back trial period (satisfaction guarantee) 90 days 90 days 90 days 10 days None
List price $6995 $3495 $1995 (includes bitmap autotrace program) $1495 (bitmap autotrace program "RTV" $1495 additional) $1895

Disclaimer: Information presented herein is accurate to the best of our belief. Data on X29 Lite and Lasermax 3 is based on our best impression from reading advertisements, listening to users, trying it briefly, etc. There may be some inadvertent errors; we welcome any clarifications and corrections. In addition, programs are subject to updates so features may change. 1998, Pangolin Laser Systems. All rights reserved.

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Copyright 1999 Holo-Spectra Inc.
Last modified: January 06, 2000