Studio Drift commissioned Naivi, the company at which I’m currently working as lead developer, to design a completely new control, sequence and pre-visualization environment for their kinetic light Shylight. The result gives the user direct, real-time control over hundreds of Shylights simultaneously. The choreography is accurately pre-visualized in 3D, giving the artist the option to configure and design a complete show in advance, without the physical installation present.

The application is written using NAP Framework and features a sequencer to animate both the light intensity and position of a shylight, the blending of a procedural effect (such as a wave) into the sequence and a 3D pre-visualizer that accurately simulates the drop distance, folding behavior and light intensity of all the Shylights in the scene. For real-time communication with the Shylight we use Ethercat, which gives us direct control over all the Beckhoff slaves on the network, including the LED and Servo terminals. All slaves are synchronized to the same clock and controlled at a frequency of 500 to 1000hz. The user is notified of potential hardware issues through a web-interface, which also allows the user to adjust show times, select and start a show without being present on location.