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So I stumbled across this video on youtube and I wondered if any one has any idea how the effect at around 1.40 of this video is achieved where the man apparently has the lasers in his hands and is twirling them around etc? Is it just clever lighting from behind of is there something more to it?



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Magic is the application of little-known technologies (usually operated in the exact reverse of the way you'd expect) combined with way way more rehearsal than you'd think any sane person would put in to something so quick. The precise method could be described in less than a sentence but it still wouldn't explain or express the work involved in actually implementing it or making it look even 1% as good as the magician does simply because you don't have the time or need to put as much work in to it as it needs.


Theo's "Laserman" act is also covered by various copyrights, proprietary technologies and trade secrets so even if you could find someone who actually knew they wouldn't be able to discuss it in detail and you really shouldn't / wouldn't be able to perform it.

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I'd not seen this stunt before, but I have a suspicion on how it is done, and to do it requires some clever use of technology.


Tom's hint as to the guys name was enough to waste an hour googling and youtubing. So yes, what kit he uses for the "non-secret-sauce" bit is there for the looking. On youtube theres a guy doing pretty much the same thing, and pretty much as impressively, on Indonesia's got talent.


But... he's got a youtube of soime stuff he's been involved in the development of, of people interacting with lasers, and its entirely possible he's using this technoilogy as the basis of his show, as that would solve some of the timing problems that require endless practice. (E2A: Not that this isn't a routine that is clearly very practiced!)




The dude's definitely got it going on.

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The original "laserman" act (standing over a laser) is just rehearsed / syncronised to death.

The battle act and a lot of the corporate / one off stuff he does uses the responsive systems.


FYI Theo rarely performs himself now - he's got 5 staff who perform the part in shows leaving him to play and innovate more.

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Some combination of Pango timelines, and fairly simple sensors.


Black stage, light coloured hands and the processing knowing where the laser is pointed at any given time would make for a fairly simple way to tell where the pattern was being touched - think photodiode with 532nm dicro filter in front of it and sample the scanner position feedback to get a indication of which beam was reflecting).


Putting the photodiode behind a second scan head so it was tracking the laser would increase sensitivity and reduce false detections, but may not be necassary.


Even a camera in the grid and software that knows the distance to the stage could be used to detect the change in beam offset from a scan head not absolutely vertically above when the reflection was from a hand nearer the scanner then the stage, plenty of ways to do this with a cctv camera and openCV or such (Anyone remember the projected fish at Plasa that swum away from your feet? Same basic idea).


Well, that is how I would skin the cat, but there are plenty of ways to pull this off if you have a good lasers/sensors/software type available.


It is a very well practised show with some interesting technical elements but from a technology viewpoint there is nothing 'sufficiently advanced' from the perspective of a sometime practitioner of the laserists art.

Prehaps the most interesting thing is that he has actually managed to integrate a laser system into what is effectively a dance piece in a way that actually works rather then being a case of 'oh look, they have a laser' (Most laser shows fail this one).


Regards, Dan.

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