February 20, 2007



The main event of the GRL Rotterdam tour - 'L.A.S.E.R TAG' - 60mw geek graffiti madness.
Watch the video here on the Graffiti Research Lab website.

In the spirt of GRL's and Eyebeam's open source beliefs, we are posting the code and executable
for the Laser Tag application online for you to download, dissect, reuse and hopefully improve. The code is
C++ and compiled in a super old school Codewarrior IDE for windows but it is oepnGL based and written
using openFrameworks which is a cross platform library for writing creative code. So it should be very
straight forward to run in Visual Studio, DevC++ or even xcode on a mac.

In its simplest form the Laser Tag system is a camera and laptop setup, tracking a green laser point across
the face of a building and generating graphics based on the laser's position which then get projected back
onto the building with a high power projector.

There are a bunch of things you need to do to get Laser Tag up and running yourself, so here follows the required
equipment and setup instructions. This will assume that you using windows but it will also apply for other OSs too.


EQUIPMENT

We used:

1 PC Laptop - ASUS A8JS - Core 2 Duo 1.83 Ghz 1GB Ram Nvideo Geforce Go 7300 256MB - VGA and DVI out.
1 Pansonic PTD5600U 5000 ANSI Lumens 1024x768 DLP Projector.
1 Watec 221S Security/Astrononmy Camera with manual iris zoom lens.
1 Bogen magic arm and super clamp.
1 Pinnacle PCTV USB capture card.
1 60mW Green Laser (super illegal in a lot of places and very dangerous)
and loads and loads of AAA batteries.





SETUP

Location:

Choose a building or wall that the laser shows up well on. If using a building make sure the lights aren't on
as this will make the tracking of the laser beam harder (also it is not a good idea to point powerful lasers
at a building with people in it) .

Pick a spot far enough back that the projector can overshoot the building by a couple of feet on all sides.




Alignment and calibration:

If the building is vertically orientated and the projector can handle it, put the projector on its side so you are
using the full image of the projection.

Fix the projector in place and then fix the camera underneath the lens of the projector so that it is looking at the
projection area. Allow the camera to see a little more than the projection area so that you can designate an area
as a clear button.

Make sure all the settings on the camera are set to manual - no auto exposure or gain control etc. Adjust the color
balance of the camera so that it looks as natural as possible - make sure any lights in the shot don't look green as this
will confuse the tracking sytem.

Software setup:

Set your resolution of your screen to 1024 by 768.

Connect the projector to the PC and in your display control panel set the display mode to horizontal span.
This should span the Desktop across the laptop screen and the projector so that you have one large screen
of 2048 by 768 resolution. If you have access to openGL and 3D preferences in the control panel, set all settings
to performance.

Connect the camera to the usb capture card and the capture card to the PC. You can use Amcap
to make sure you can capture video okay.

Start the app and you should see something like the image bellow.
Follow the instructions in the diagram to align the camera to the projection surface.



Once the camera is aligned to the projector hide the white alignment lines on the projected image by pressing L.
Turn down the iris of the camera to the point where the surface is as dark as possible but the laser still shows up strong.

Settings:

The settings for the app are saved in an xml file so once you have made your adjustments hit the S key to save your changes.
The up and down arrows on your keyboard will run through the list of settings and the left and right arrows can adjust the values.

The first settings you will want to adjust is the four at the bottom - which define the color tracking of the laser.

Hue Point - should be the value of green that the camera sees the laser as.
Hue Thresh - is how wide a range from the hue point it should consider.
Sat Thresh - is the minimum amount of saturation.
Value Thresh - is the minimum brightness.

Anything that is outside the range of these settings will show up as black in the Thresh Video anything that is whithin
(hopefully only the laser point) should show up white.

Here is an explanation of the rest of the settings:

Slide - slides the screen over so you can see what is being projected
Verticle mode - if the projector is being used on its side.
Use blobs - should stay on, blob tracking ended up being more reliable than motion difference.
Motion diff - don't touch
Use camera - toggle between using the live camera and an included test video.
Drips mode - when on, small drips of paint will descend from the letter forms.
Fade out - slowely fades the image over time - alternative to clear button.
Slant brush - toggles chisel brush and fatcap mode
Clear zone - Use an area of the image as a clear zone, if the laser is detected there it clears the image.

Brush width - Size of brush
Drips freq - How many drips you want - lower is more
Activity thresh - This determines the time before starting a new line, the background screen should flash red whenever a new line begins.
Min blob size - the smaller this value the more sensitive to noise it will be but also the smoother the line motion.
Jump dist - the max distance to draw a line between two captured points, any distance greater means it starts a new line.
Line resolution - how many points to interpolated a line with, higher number means smoother line but uses more cpu.
Clear X - adjust x position of clear area.
Clear Y - same for y
Clear thresh - lower means a more sensitive clear area , higher less sensitive - adjust so that only laser point clears image.


NOTES

Once everything is setup be very careful not to bump either projector or camera as even a move of a 1mm will be
enough to mess the alignment.

The settings are saved in settings.xml file - if you want to back up your settings for a location just zip the file and rename it.

If you are pushed for framerate - try overclocking your graphics with hacked drivers from laptopvideo2go,
you will notice quite a difference!

Press h to hide all gui except the projected image, this can also give you a bump in the framerate too.


DOWNLOAD

Laser tag source code and application for windows
Download (aprox 100MB)
Mirror (Thanks Snarto)

Also if you want to use the same IDE to recompile the apps:
Get it here IDE link now live.
Install all 3 updates and make sure you click the yes button on the last update to recompile the libs

UPDATE:
I have compiled an app with S-Video support for those that asked.
Put the new exe in the same folder as the old one (app/LASER_TEST_013_DAY1/bin)
The app will try and capture via s-video.
Download it here




Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/20 by Scytale www Reply

Absolutely awesome. That's why the hacker ethic says "you can create art and beauty with a computer". Thanks for releasing the software, maybe we're going to have some fun with it. Although we might need to find a replacement for the Laser...

By the way, if you don't want to get into trouble with Flickr, you should link the photos back to their corresponding photo pages.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/20 by Theo Reply

Cheers for the feedback.

Didn't know that about flickr I'll take care of it before they Goatse me :)

Hope you find the code useful!

Theo

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/23 by alberto www Reply

...compliments great stuff!
I wonder to try it soon with a Christie 25.000 lumen projector...and maybe change colours....real art painting...

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/23 by Theo www Reply

No - from what I hear those projectors are hard to come by - and expensive! Also if they are that bright it might make it harder to didtinguish the laser point. If you have a spare one though I am up for giving it a try!

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/06 by Mathieu Reply

Hello, I m working in a french event company. I m very fond of your "laser tag" technic. I d like to use it on a coming event in september in Paris.

Do you realize / produce / commercialize yourself this work? If yes, do you have a formal presentation and a phone number / contact to send us? If not, is this work "free of use" by other companies? I mean can we produce it ourself?

Thank you in advance for your quick answer ! And well done for your work.

Mathieu

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/20 by cb www Reply

this is the greatest show of digital art i have ever seen. -- did you guys specifically choose the 5600u because of high lumen output ?

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/20 by Theo www Reply

Actually we got that one because it was liquid cooled and could be put in almost any position without damaging the bulb. Also because it was DLP you get a pretty good contrast ratio. We got two of them because we though we would need to double them up or something but we only ended needing one it was so bight.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/20 by Kevin Neberman Reply

beautiful. I just downloaded the source code and hopefully ill have it running tonight on my projector ;D

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/20 by Anonymous Reply

thanks for the tut/source :)

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/20 by cale Reply

This is awesome! Thanks for making it open source.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/20 by Michael Flessas www Reply

Way awesome. I'm impressed.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by BG Reply

Won't that blind someone?

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Theo www Reply

Yeah - you have to be super careful. That is why it is better if you do it against an empty building or large wall or something. The laser snuff clip at the end was very irresponsible :)

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/22 by Stan Reply

Nice, the idiotic, but funny part of aiming that laser at a person reminded me of a very fun weapon in a great game: HALO! The glow looked exactly like the plasma pistol fully charged....... Anyways, I'm gonna try to set up a smaller scale of it, and stick it on the Remote Controlled Tank I've got, In addition to the airsoft cannon and the new GPS system so that the UAV can calibrate it! Once it's done I'll send you guys a video of the entire armada in action! Plus the laser is pretty powerful, but is small compared to the 120mW laser on the tank.... prototype for a anti-munitions defense system....

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Alain www Reply

Hi there, great project! It makes me think of the project in Germany where they put up a huge amount of light bulbs in each window of a huge building and those lights were then controlled by people who would send SMS through a website. Can someone find the link to that site?

Also, can someone post where we can purchat the 60 mW laser? I've seen one here but it looks HUGE, is that what's needed?

http://cgi.ebay.ca/New-High-Quality-Animation-Green-Laser-Disco-Lazer-60MW_W0QQitemZ140088484183QQihZ004QQcategoryZ14984QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Theo www Reply

The project in germany was called Blinkin Lights I think. That is a seriously large laser - what you want is the ones in the consumer electronics sections http://electronics.listings.ebay.ca/Gadgets-Other-Electronics_Laser-Pointers_W0QQfromZR4QQsacatZ94881QQsocmdZListingItemList
We also bought a lot from http://www.wickedlasers.com

If you are doing it on a smaller scale you won't need 60mW - you could even get away with 8mW. Obviously it is best to use the laser lowest power possible.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Alain Reply

Is this the camera that you are suggesting we buy for this project?

http://www.spytown.com/wat-221s.html

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Theo www Reply

Yeah that is the one. Make sure you set all settings to manual and get the color balance right. Also we used this lens http://www.spytown.com/13vm2812as.html

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Giles Reply

The german Blibkin Lights things is here. They played Pong on the building too: http://www.blinkenlights.de/interactive.en.html

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by robert Reply

Incredibly great! Thanks!

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Sean Reply

Will a 50mW laser such as the following work? (http://cgi.ebay.com/Powerful-Astronomy-50mw-50-mw-Green-Laser-Pointer-Pen_W0QQitemZ280083694171QQihZ018QQcategoryZ14954QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Theo www Reply

Yes 50mW would be fine - even as low as 8mW would be okay it depends how far etc

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Sean Reply

When I get rich I am going to do this.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by J R Reply

Thanks for posting the source code! I am making this my summer project. I am going to try to hook this up to a synthesizer, a sound system and make laser music with it. I will post my progress. Thanks again!!

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by bram www Reply

Hi, What does this awesome machine cost?

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Theo www Reply

well with all the equipment listed around $8000

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by binks Reply

Does it have to be 60mW Green Laser
can it be 50mW? Its will only be on a near by wall

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Theo www Reply

you could prob get away with 8mW - 50mW would def work!

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by RikkieLow Reply

Is there a cheaper way to do it for a school senior show project on the future of graffiti? I am broke :)
thanks

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Theo www Reply

Well if you can get hold of a pc, a projector and a camera of some sort - you might be able to get it to work. The important thing with the camera is to be able to turn off all the auto 'features'

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Physics is Cool Reply

Will any camera work as long is its captured by the computer?

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Theo www Reply

The important thing with the camera is to be able to turn off all the auto 'features' - So auto exposure, auto iris, backlight compensation, white balance etc.

Then in theory any camera will work.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Jason stiebs Reply

Alright this is great. And I have a projector and a webcam. So in theroy this should would. But when I plug in my firewire webcam the captured input has all verticles lines but you can kinda make out colors. Is this cause im using a firewire? (note this is really short distance like 4 feet)

And if I wanted to change the lasers color to red for instance i should just change the hue point correct?

Thanks

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Theo www Reply

Hmm - some firewire cameras work. DV ones don't unfortuantely. Usually if Amcap can see it, then you can use it.

With the red laser thing - that is correct, just change the hue point. The green lasers tend to appear brighter.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/22 by Anonymous Reply

Thank you for the reply. Well the interesting thing is Amcap does see it but like you said DV cameras won't work and thats what I'm using so I will either find a webcam or recompile the program to accept 720x720(?) and hope the computer can handle it.

Great Project/

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/22 by Theo www Reply

Hey I am almost certain the computer won't be able to handle it as pixels wise that is 4.5 times the amount of data to process. When you are doing many operations on the image even doubling the amoutn of data can be crippling.
I would suggest going analog out of the DV cam and use a cheap capture card.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Newyouth Reply

Fantastic job guys! Lazers are aways cool and have some great applications, but this is just FUN. nice work :)

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Ryan Reply

Any tips on using a firewire video input, like from a DV cam? I've tried, but the setup program seems to lock up at: "Capture device doesn't support 320 by 240. Reverting to 720 by 480."

Thanks!

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Theo www Reply

yeah DV cams are tricky. Unfortunately the code is set to use 320 by 240 (720 is just too slow for the computer vision stuff). To fix this you can use $50 usb capture card (pinnacle pctv usb or wintv usb ) with your DV cameras analog out - or recompile the code to resize the DV cam to a 320 by 240 image (much harder).

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Ryan Reply

Thanks for the quick reply. Too bad about the lack of DV cam support, they're so ubiquitous that it would make the project just that much simpler for folks on a budget. Anyway, this is a fantastic idea, very creative. Thanks again for sharing the concept, the code, and your knowledge. Keep up the good work!

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I cant download the source
2007/02/21 by Adam Reply

I cant download the source code. is there another link that I can get it from?

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Chris Putnam Reply

Now all you need to do is combine this with the Wiimote software so it doesn't involve illegal death lasers.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Anonymous Reply

wow great work. i think i have all the equipment besides the laser and capture card...hope i can get it to work.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Anonymous Reply

wait quick question...when you say camera do you mean camera or camcorder? or will both work

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Theo www Reply

should be a video camera - ideally the one described or something similar. though a webcam or other video device recognised by your pc could work.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Anonymous Reply

so a digital camera will not work?

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Tyler Richards Reply

a couple of my friends and myself love what you guys did, around how much did the setup cost you, and where could i buy the material for it

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/21 by Spoonicus www Reply

How cpu intensive is the program? i've noticed you have a rather beasty machine running your rig. could one get away with a more modest machine? What would be the minimum recommended cpu/gpu specs?

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/22 by Theo www Reply

Prob need to be minimum 3.2Ghz P4 - there is quite a lot of heavy number crunching going on. Also the nvidia graphics cards can do horizontal span which is important.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/22 by adam Reply

hey, i have a projector and a tablet pc, could this be adapted to take the input directly from my tablet? if so how would i do so?

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/22 by Theo Reply

See post below :)

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/22 by SyS64738 www Reply

Well, this is just plain wonderful. Urban art mixed with "legal" defacements. This makes a point in the history of the communication i guess.
Kudos to you also for releasing the project in an open source way!

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/22 by Kate www Reply

Hey guys

I'm a journalism student at the London College of Fashion and am really interested in finding out more about lasertag if anyone would be keen to talk with me please let me know.
This stuff looks so cool

Kate

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/22 by Brandon Reply

I have a webcam that shows up in Amcap, but no projector.

I'm assuming the projector is required? :P

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/22 by Theo www Reply

Well you will need the projector to have it show up on the building/wall - if you just want to test the software you don't need to have a projector

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/22 by gabriel www Reply

i'm not into programing and stuff but i'm curios if it can be allso colored. if you can do someting like paint? and if it's posibile how it can be done
ths and by the way SUPER COOL STUFF

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/22 by kaiz Reply

yes i'm admirative. wonderfull application of laser devices.

i'm also interested with the question about tablet pc, Pen Tablets and similar drawing devices : any chance to use it as an input in your program ? or is there another program able to handle it somewhere on the web ?

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/22 by Theo www Reply

well in the code you would have to switch the x and y vars to the mouse x and y scaled down to a 320 by 240 coordinate system.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/22 by Anonymous Reply

quote : "well in the code you would have to switch the x and y vars to the mouse x and y scaled down to a 320 by 240 coordinate system."

well but i'm not in programming, so if someone else with programming skills can do it and publish the modified executable, it would be great for me in an educational low-cost optic for children.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/22 by k47 Reply

just for info, if you guys want to test the software : i have no laser and no expensive camera, but i got the software to work just by moving the (green)power led of my laser mouse (logitech mx610) in front of my cheap webcam. works great

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/22 by corncutter www Reply

yeah, awsum

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/22 by Patryk www Reply

This is great.
I'm planning on building this project myself. I've already got the software to work, and couple other things. I would like to get some more info about the video input. Can someone please contact me?

Thank you,
Patryk

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/24 by Theo www Reply

Hey just send me an email, look in the info section for it. Be happy to help.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/23 by David Macchione www Reply

Where can i get one of the 60mW Green Lasers i have everything else and does the type of projector matter?>
PLZ email me

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/23 by Theo www Reply

www.wickedlasers.com

In regards to the projector - the brighter the better :)

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/23 by LaserDoug Reply

One thing to
consider, which might allow for using a lower power laser. If you were to put a suitable green optical filter in front of the
camera, and then only project graphics in a non-green color, then the camera can
only see the laser
spot through the filter, so you may be able to crank up the gain of the camera, and use a lower powered laser.
This might also allow one to use a
red laser pointer at
much lower cost if you were to use a red filter (any photo/video store), and then project in
high visibility green. Keep in mind that green is at the
top of the eye response curve, so
you could also use
less of a projector,
depending on the
projection surface.
Meantime, great project, am anxious
to try it myself!
Thanks!
D.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/23 by Theo www Reply

Yeah that makes sense - it is definatley better to filter out as much as possible befire you get to the image processing stage. One of the problems though is that the laser is so bright the camera does not see much of the green - of course dropping the power will help of course.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/23 by light-o-matic www Reply

Nice! I'll have to try it. Have you tried putting a 532nm dichroic filter (or reflector) on the camera?? That would cut out most of the ambient light, allowing only the laser. More contrast, less laser power needed...


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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/23 by Theo www Reply

No we didn't - that sounds nice though? Is that just for the green spectrum or is it more just a very high threshold filter?

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/23 by LaserDoug www Reply

Sorry about the formatting.. You can get specific 532 narrowband filters, however they tend to have low transmission specs, which cut the amount of light to the camera. You could use a much wider band filter such as a dichroic type that is used in lighting instruments. These have the benefit that you can angle tune them for color selection, and quite large ones aren't that expensive. Even good quality plastic
type lighting gel may work if the clarity is good.
I've included my URL for some of my laser stuff that folks here may be interested in.
Thanks again!
D.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/24 by Theo www Reply

Thanks - I think for the next outing we will experiment with that - it is always useful to be able to do that stuff before you even take it into the computer, especially if you can't turn off the lights in the building (we had people running around every night to make sure the lights were off).

I looked at your website, I am super impressed. We have been talking about making a laser projector for a while now but that thing is amazing! I can't believe how good the colors look. Do you have any videos of it in action?

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/24 by NotLarry www Reply

Sweet. I borrowed projector out of the office, picked up a $3 red laser pointer at the store and snagged my kids eye toy. Within an hour they were drawing on the side of the house. This is going to be their science project this year. Thanks for the code.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/24 by Theo www Reply

Wow that is awesome! If you have any pics of it I would love to see!

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/24 by Anonymous Reply

sry for reapeting myself but i realy whant un answer: i'm not into programing and stuff but i'm curios if it can be allso colored. if you can do someting like paint? and if it's posibile how it can be done

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/24 by gabriel Reply

sry for reapeting myself but i realy whant un answer: i'm not into programing and stuff but i'm curios if it can be allso colored. if you can do someting like paint? and if it's posibile how it can be done

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/24 by Theo www Reply

yes it is possible - just any color but green - otherwise it will intefer with the green laser tracking.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/24 by viktor Reply

really awesome project!

my question is: was your beamer used upside down? i havent set it up with beamer yet but on my sec. monitor the drips are dripping upwards. swapping the corners of the yellow rect dindnt help either. is there an option to invert the image or do i have to code it in myself?


thx for this awesome program again!
bye

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/25 by Theo www Reply

Ahh ha - I was waiting for this question to pop up. The Drips were programmed very quickly and so I didn't have time to add a setting to change their direction etc. If you can find the drips function in the source code it is a simple matter of changing x++ to x-- and then making sure they don't go off the edge of the image (massive memory error will occur) - otherwise just turn the drips off in the settings, it is still impressive without. :)

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/27 by Kriz Reply

Grate project guys
The way to fix the drips is play with the corners of the white rectangle in the projection window. This is much easier then messing wit the code (also safer).

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/24 by LaserDoug www Reply

I don't have any live video of the full color laser video projector. I do have some video of a single color (argon only) LV projector that I built to the project on a water curtain at a theme park in Italy, Gardaland. I also have some live video tape of it in the shop showing it's interior while
working. Also, it may be entirely possible to do the
"writing" using a IR
laser diode type pointer, and then using a video camera in night vision mode which puts an IR filter in front of the chip. All consumer video camera's are very sensitive to the near IR and if you were to hack certain green laser pointers, you can remove their internal fundamental IR pump diode filters and get an IR laser pointer, at
very high (and illegal) power. It would be much better to get an 800 and some nm laser diode and build it into a
pointer, then you could project ANY color you wanted as the scanner camera would just be looking for IR instead of visible.
It might not be as cool looking as a nice high power green pointer though!
D.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/25 by Theo www Reply

Yeah I was wondering about IR lasers. I use IR filters on my cameras for a lot of stuff that I do - just so you don't have to worry about what you are projecting. I didn't realise that making an IR laser was so straightforward. But it makes sense - if the laser can produce heat that it should transmit in the infrared spectrum too right? The only downside I can see to using this method would be any infra-red light coming from the building - but maybe the level would be pretty low in comparison to the laser so you could just close the iris of the camera down or something. One of the other reasons we just projected white is to make the image as bright as possible. But if we could get a brighter projector it would be fun to experiement with color 'tagging too'

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/24 by TallNeil www Reply

You guys need to come to Burning Man! I wonder if you had the funding if you could project to the surrounding mountains? Eitherway large scale interactive art like this is what BurningMan is all about.
Just go...you only live once.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/24 by Anonymous www Reply

even though i am going through s-video and amcap can see it i get a error (check URL attachment)
any ideas?


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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/25 by Theo www Reply

This should be an easy fix if you can recompile the app.

make sure before VI->setup(0); you have a line VI->setPhyCon(0, VI_S_VIDEO); (in testapp.cpp)

The app is set to use Composite by default. If you don't feel like rebuilding the app plug the camera into the composite (yellow rca port) port of the capture card.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/25 by Anonymous Reply

"This should be an easy fix if you can recompile the app.

make sure before VI->setup(0); you have a line VI->setPhyCon(0, VI_S_VIDEO); (in testapp.cpp)

The app is set to use Composite by default. If you don't feel like rebuilding the app plug the camera into the composite (yellow rca port) port of the capture card."

thank you for the help

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/27 by Theo www Reply

I compiled an S-video app - see the update at the end of the post.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/24 by LaserDoug www Reply

I've had a project that I've been working on in various forms since about 1986. I fear that if I ever took it to Burning Man, it could cause severe mental distress/religious conversion amongst the crowds. Imagine a 20-30ft plasma ball with live video wrapped around the diameter, yet it can be packed up into a few roadcases, or "flown" with only needed about 500lbs of lift. I may yet have funding for it before I "burn up", but I'm not getting any younger (but still somewhat dangerous...)
D.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/24 by ET Reply

Anyone interested in tweaking this code for use on...dare I say it...a Mac?

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/25 by Theo www Reply

The code it self is built with openFrameworks http://openframeworks.cc which is cross platform. To make this run on a mac you would need to replace the videoinput capture system with quicktime code (part of openFrameworks) and find the OS X compatible version of Intel's IPP. It is very possible to get this tunning on a mac but it would be a fair amount of work.

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Clean Graffiti
2007/02/25 by nh www Reply

Love this project. It'd be interesting to know how long this has been in development. I also worked on a project in my final year at uni with a similar concept although mine was more product design centred and works in a different way. Shares the overall concept though of the possibility of creating huge graffiti artwork on buildings. Check it out on my coroflot link. http://www.coroflot.com/nick_hunter also check the video out at: http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=753660817452444876&hl=en-GB

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/25 by Andy Reply

this is fantastic... i would love to make one myself however i lack the technical knowledge of what is happening here. Can someone point me to a 'begginners' site or explain how it all works? ie, how does the laser drawing stay up on the building, why is the camera needed and also what is the use of the software etc? i am really dumb but would like to find out some more informaiton on this.
Thanks kindly

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/25 by tye Reply

any chance anyone got the software just to run, tried compiling it got errors

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/25 by Theo www Reply

Did you compile it with the Codewarrior IDE included on this page? That should just work straight away.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/25 by Seth Reply

This is the coolest project I've seen. I'm setting one up in my home theater and wondering, does anyone know what the hue point of a red laser is? or how I can figure it out? And again, A+ on this one!!!

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/25 by Anonymous Reply

crap...can anyone please recompile it for s-video for me? im terriable at it. if you can please let me know

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/27 by Theo www Reply

I compiled an S-video app - see the update at the end of the post.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/25 by Mike Reply

I'll gladly take a stab at compiling this for OS X. I'd like to get it running on my Powerbook. (Although it's been a while since I've done anything in C++.) Any idea when Openframeworks will have a public release?

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/25 by Mike Reply

Nevermind that, didn't even check to see if the libraries had been included. I'll post any progress with this.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/26 by Theo www Reply

Cool man look forward to seeing it.

Things that will you'll run across:
The video capture library is windows only but openFrameworks can capture using quicktime on a mac. Check out the ofQtVideoGrabber class. Also the XML parser might not be cross platform and that is used pretty heavily to read and save the settings. Also you'll need Intel's IPP for OS X. If you want an Xcode project set up for openFrameworks send me an email and I'll send you a link.

Oh and quite a big thing is that there is no IPP for G4 based laptops only the newer intel macbook (and macbook pro).

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/28 by Technomorph Reply

Sorry, please ignore my previous post regarding the mac questions. I'll follow this link here instead.

Thanks to the other poster for taking a stab at this. I for one greatly appreciate this and to Theo for developing this wonder tool! This truely has been one of the most exciting technological art pieces I have seen in a while (and I've been to Burninman 5 times....and this is so Burningman!).

If there is any support, help, whathave you regarding getting this Mac version going let me know. I've not programmed in a while, but I know my way around a computer and am a good problem solver. Even if you need me to find out info (IE like finding these modules in the library).

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/09 by technomorph Reply

Hey Mike,
Any luck with the Mac conversion yet?

thanks

Kerry

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/25 by jesse Reply

hey man.

thrilling stuff you have. i'd like to compile the code and start some tests, but i can't extract the zip file. is there a password i need to open it? something else i'm missing?

thanks,
jesse

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/26 by Theo www Reply

There is no password on the zip archive. It unzips for me just fine. Did you download the one from impssble.com? Try winrar, that works for me.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/25 by jesse again Reply

i even tried 1429, that guy's pin from the video.
hilarious.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/26 by meico www Reply

Awesome project! Thanks especially for sharing the code and exe. :)

Unfortunately, I had some issues getting the system running properly...

I couldn't get any hue point (or threshold values) to work for my red laser pointers (in a dark room with a white wall). :( It looked like it almost worked but not quite (as if something was wrong with the hue point algorithm). Have you tried the system with a red laser?

The default output was tilted 90 degrees and when I used "vertical" mode to fix this eveything was upside down- since there was no "flip" mode I couldn't fix this without turning my camera or prjector upside down. :(

Any fixes for the above?

Thanks.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/26 by Theo www Reply

In regards to the Laser point - firstly does the camera see it as red or is it so bright that it appears white to the camera? If so adjust your camera settings so that the image is dark enough for the laser to appear red. A good way to test the color thresholding is to take some image that has a wide variety of colors and put it on the wall - then with the saturation at brightness at 0.2 and hue width at 0.3 then go up and down with the hue point and see when the red parts in the images start showing up.

It is also useful to do all the tracking stuff before you even switch the projector on. Another problem it could be is that with the projector so close to the wall the projection is too bright and is interfering with the tracking.

In regards to the image being upside down, that is no problem. Just switch the corners of the yellow quad around - this will flip the image vertically and fix your problem (its mentioned in step 2 of the guide above).

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/26 by Kane www Reply

great job man, very well done for making this open source. keep inspiring
-kane

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/26 by limiwinks Reply

can anyone please recompile it for s-video? i cant seem to get it. let me know if you can

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/26 by Max Reply

I second this, I have been trying several different cameras and have had no luck using s-video.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/27 by Theo www Reply

I compiled an S-video app - see the update at the end of the post.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/26 by Ro1 Reply

Awesome!
I have one question, will this work using a decent webcam against a building/wall? (not a house but an actual building maybe half the size of the one in the video)

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/27 by Theo www Reply

Sure why not! Give it a go :)
Make sure you adjust your webcam settings (you can do this with amcap) so that all the auto stuff is turned off and the image is bright enough to see the laser pointer.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/26 by Max Reply

I have almost everything needed (just need a different camera or a way in with the svideo port. My question is this: Right now when I run the program after changing the monitor properties to "extend my windows desktop" to the other monitor output (my BENQ projector) the other side does not display the projected image. I dont know what else to try.

Also has anyone found a cheap webcam or something similar that has worked for them? My DV camera comes in fine on AMCap but is scrambled on the software. I am probably going to try a point and shoot camera next to see if that gets me anywhere.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Max

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/27 by Theo www Reply

I compiled an S-video app - see the update at the end of the post.

If that still doesn't work a logitech quickcam will do the job.

First open it up in Amcap and make sure you change all the quickcam settings to manual - auto exposure white balance etc. Make it so it looks good in amcap and those settings will be saved when you run it in the laser app.

In regards to the projector you need to specifically set Horizontal Span in the Nvida graphics card settings. If you don't have an Nvidia graphics card then I don't think it will work.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/26 by Eloi Maduell Reply

THANKS FOR MAKING IT O.S !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
there's a way !!!!!!

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/26 by LaserDoug Reply

Just wanted to mention in regards to possibly using IR instead of visible for the tracking.. Quite a few of the lower cost green lasers pointers that have come out of Asia are lacking a IR blocking filter on the output. This in some cases allows many milliwatts of both the 808nm pump diode IR, as well as the 1064 fundamental IR from the YAG section of the laser. The 808nm would be easily picked up by any video camera that can run in nightvision mode. The idea would be to put a visible blocking filter in front of your green pointer, and see if you can still pick up the tracking spot on a camera set for nightvision. Due to the high power of the IR pump diode, I would guess that there is enough leakage from even "good" green pointers to give IR tracking..

D.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/27 by Theo www Reply

Yeah I just tried it - I put a Kodak 87C filter in front of the green laser and my IR camera saw just as much light with the filter as without. That is pretty handy to know I guess they (the chinese) forgot the filter after all :)

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/27 by MP Reply

with a 3500 lumun projector what sort of maximum projection range from a building am i looking at.Thanx

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/27 by Ro1 Reply

so an ati graphics card (x1600) is out of the question? strictly nvidia?

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/28 by Theo www Reply

well unless it can do nvidia style horizontal span than yes - google around for hacked drivers etc - on my laptop I had to install modfiied drivers to do horz span.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/27 by Ro1 Reply

Which logitech quickcam are you referring to? Thanks in advance!

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/28 by Anonymous Reply


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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/28 by Gixor Reply

If I could handle it on OS ( Mac ) it would be awsome. But Openframeworks isn't open yet :-/

Anyway greets from Luxembourg! Would be nice to see you here!

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/28 by Theo www Reply

IT will be soon :) We are finishing the website at the moment. Sign up to the mailing list and you will get to test it in advance.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/28 by Gixor Reply

thx for msg.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/28 by Gordon Sumner Reply

They Theo thanks for incredibly fast responses to everyone's queries, thats really great. I was wondering if this software/projector could be manipulated into creating motion that reacts to other motion. Such as the classic game "PONG," one object in motion strikes the ball which reacts to a different direction. Would it be possible to create this kind of visual effect with this technology? Certainly not saying it isn't already 100 % amazing, but wondering what it's limits were.
Thank you :)

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/02/28 by Theo www Reply

Like dynamic animations drawn by the laser? With the different drawings reacting to other elements?

I did something similar with some kids drawing software i made - http://muonics.net/blog/index.php?postid=9

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/01 by Low-Key www Reply

Theo, this is just a beautiful concept and application. Truly creative and geeky. I love it. Much respect.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/01 by Theo www Reply

Cheers man :)

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/01 by jose Reply

HOW MUCH WOLD ONE OF THESE THINGS COST AND DO YOU SELL IT

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/01 by Theo www Reply

Well not really - but you are welcome to give it a go.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/01 by Cloner Reply

Great idea and great prog. But I cannot span the screen to the projector so that it becomes one 2048x768 screen. I guess that many people with ATI videocards will have same problem - and the projector will stay black. Can you redo the program that it actually uses the second monitor directly (without need of horizontal span)?

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/01 by Theo www Reply

Hmm From what I read you can download ATI's HydraVision software which lets you span your desktop across both monitors. Otherwise I think there is also a windows display option too I think.

the other easier option is to set the projector as your primary display and then set the 'slide' value in the laser tag software to 1.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/02 by uzair malik Reply

SHANI GROUP OF COMPANIES is a well Reputed International Group having its presence in U.S.A and CANADA dealing in various services such as Advertising (INDOOR & OUT DOOR), EXPORTS, EVENT MANAGMENT,HOTELING AND CONSTRUCTION.
It is great Honor for us to be the Country Head of �GENTEL� CANADA AND �CLUB LIMO� U.S.A.
dears we are interested to introduce this kind of a Advertising here in pakistan sir please show me the way to buy that machien. thanks and best regard

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/02 by Max3 Reply

Hi! I'm really intrigued by the project. But I can't watch the video. My dial-up connection doesn't work with Yuotube. Is there any link from which I can download the video file? Thanks.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/03 by Theo www Reply

Its quite large but here you go:

http://graffitiresearchlab.com/rotterdam/laser_tag_WEB.mov

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/02 by Afonso Reply

hi, first of all i want to thank you for releasing the source code, i have one question regarding the color of the the projected image, using a 2100 lumens projector i can only see a white line and in the video and in the photos the color of the projected image is blue/green, my know how of c++ is none but if you can point me where i can change the color... (maybe glColor3f(1,1,1);... dunno)...

regards from portugal :)

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/03 by Theo www Reply

No actually it is white - it just appears blue green in the video/photos. It has to be white because we are doing hue sat val tracking and this way the projection does not interfer with the laser.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/02 by Zumbrota www Reply

Thought you all might be interested in a related bit of coolness. I ran across an artist in the SoCal desert doing light projection art at random places. Really gets your attention at midnight.
http://www.guerillalight.com

She's using a program called Kaleidica and some other visual tools. see

http://www.visualinstrument.com

Once I get hold of a projector I'm off to graffiti art onto some old buildings.

z

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/03 by jesse Reply

Theo!!! awesome, super super awesome. absolutely correct, no password. i am one step away from recreating this badass art. camera settings are perfect, only the laser beam shows up in the thresh window, i can \\\'paint\\\' in the warped video area, i can clear the buffers by hitting the beam in the red box.

i have an intel graphics driver on my laptop, which has a setting to explicitly allow \\\'horizontal spanning\\\'. both graphics windows are 1024x768.

i cannot, however, get the projector to output the paint. it will output my mouse cursor, if i slide my cursor too far to the right (or the left, if i make the projector my primary display)

might you have a suggestion towards trouble-shooting the output?

thanks,
jesse

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enough buggin'
2007/03/03 by jesse Reply

WOOOHOOOOO! got it man!

from an earlier post, set the laptop to be secondary and the projector as primary, and then use the slide function from the software!!! AWESOME!!!!
we are gonna paint TONIGHT!!!!!!!


would still like to figure out how to get the output to the projector without using it as primary monitor, so we can change paramters live while painting.

do you have any insight into that?


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Re: enough buggin'
2007/03/05 by Theo www Reply

Well done man! I would love to see the results of your laser escapades - please send me some pics if you have them!

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/04 by Andre Jaeger www Reply

Hallo!
I'm from Germany, i use Pangolin LD2000 Software and Output Board (www.pangolin.com) I wish to use my 10-50Watts (!) DPSS Laser for projection, and not a Video Beamer, can you upgrade yor software for this ? Thanks Andre

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/05 by Theo www Reply

Wow that is some serious gear!! - I don't know if we could get it working. I have a feeling the LASER projection might intefer with the LASER tracking. What does your system need in order to work?

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/04 by Christian Merz Reply

Thanks for the software. After some problems with ATI grafics card and exteded desktop in my notebook i�ll use slide function of your software and flip the image on projector side. Now its working and i�m happy. Using a red filter in front of the projektor will draw the graffity in red. This will also increase the trakking reliability of my green laser point.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/05 by Theo www Reply

Yeah sorry about that - I always use Nvida, I assumed it was easily doable on other cards too.

Nice hack with the red filter btw - please send me some pics - I would love to see your setup etc!

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/05 by Leon www Reply

Wow! this is really impressive stuff. Totally inspiring concept. And full respect for making this freely available.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/06 by mathieu www Reply

Hello,

I m working in a french event company. I m very fond of your \\\"laser tag\\\" technic. I d like to use it on a coming event in september in Paris.

Do you realize / produce / commercialize yourself this work? If yes, do you have a formal presentation and a phone number / contact to send us?
If not, is this work \\\"free of use\\\" by other companies? I mean can we produce it ourself?

Thank you in advance for your quick answer ! And well done for your work.

Mathieu

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/06 by cb Reply

Excellent program! I have one problem with it though. I am seeing only the 'config' part of the program on my first monitor. My projector shows nothing but my desktop background. How would I go about fixing this?

Running XP with nVidia gfx card. Resolution is set to 1024x768 on both screens.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/08 by Theo www Reply

In display options make sure you set it to Horizontal Span mode.
If there isn't the option, download hacked drivers from laptopvideo2go.com this enables horizontal span in your nvidia settings.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/08 by ximo Reply

An idea for you.. Assign some keys on the keyboard to change color, then you could use the keyboard as a palette to "dip" your pencil (laser) and then paint with the chosen color. Take it one step further and use some sort of custom keyboard with colored buttons or something.

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Re: GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
2007/03/09 by Lee Reply

I get only so far in opening the program. Its starts up a command prompt window and starts loading stuff. Its gets to, Media Type is RGB24 converted to RGB_24 and it just stops. How to I make it keep going?

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