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The ILDA Awards are the laser display industry's equivalent of Hollywood's Oscars. Each year, they honor companies and individuals from around the world for their achievements. These awards were bestowed at the 2017 ILDA Conference:
• The Artistic Awards cover virtually all aspects of modern laser displays, from the creation of individual laser graphics to the production of huge outdoor shows.
• The Technical Awards, named for pioneering laserist Fred Fenning, honor technological achievements that advance the industry.
• The Career Achievement Award is ILDA's highest honor, given for work spanning many years in the area of show quality, innovation, and industry service.
Booklet with details
For more details on the winners, download the 2017 ILDA Awards booklet (PDF format). The booklet lists all winners, plus credits and a description of the work.
(Note: The version online is updated from the printed version and the PDF on USB drives, both of which were distributed 8 November 2017 at the ILDA Awards Presentation. The version online includes winners whose names were not known in advance of printing, and has a few corrections.)
Videos of each of the winners (1st, 2nd and 3rd) are available on YouTube. Links are below, in the list of winners. You can also go to the ILDA YouTube playlists for all Award-winning videos or for just the 1st Place winning videos.
(Note: A few Artistic and Technical Award winners are not at YouTube either due to copyright issues with the videos, or because a photo or written text was submitted instead of a video.)
If you want to get a quick overview of all of the winners, below is a video compilation of the 2017 Award winners. This 25-minute video contains short excerpts from each Award-winning entry.
Video winners can be seen on YouTube. For first place winners, click on the picture to play the YouTube video. For second and third place winners, click on the show name link to play the YouTube video in a new window.
1st: “Zayn - Like I Would”, ER Productions (official Zayn video above; YouTube blocked the ILDA Awards-submitted version)
2nd: “ ‘Ignite the Night’ Website Promo”, Laser Show Design
3rd: “OneRepublic - Bose”, ER Productions (official OneRepublic video; YouTube blocked the ILDA Awards-submitted version)
Winners selected by ILDA Members viewing photos online and voting via email
1st: “Diamond”, LaserTech Canada
Photo by Derek Garbos; 4U2C in collaboration with Brigitte Henry for the show “Classic Cher”
2nd: “Trinity”, LOBO
Laser artist and photography: Udo Gauss
3rd: “Circle”, KVANT
Performed live, and judged by attendees, at the ILDA Conference's Lase-Off, 7 November 7 2017 in Bratislava
1st: Derek Garbos, LaserTech Canada
2nd: Love Karlssen, Laserimage AB
3rd: Mario Tomazetich, MT-Electronic
1st: “ScAn - Scanning Laser Effects Analyzer”, James Stewart
scAn is a software based tool used to analyse and provide exposure data for complex scanning laser effects. Laser effects data is collected from either a standard ILDA (ILD) file, or in real-time from Pangolin’s Beyond laser control software, or an ILDA Digital Network (IDN) stream. The user enters the laser characteristics and viewing distance, that the software then considers along with the effects data to provide a detailed representation of the exposure created by the laser system, and the relationship with the maximum permissible exposure (MPE).
(Written material only submitted — no video)
2nd: “ArtNET Guru”, Showtacle
ArtNET Guru allows you to play your laser shows using your phone. You can even play it synchronized to your music from your iTunes library. Generally, once you create the laser show in “big” creation software, you just have to export it to SD card and bring only your mobile phone and laser to the venue to be able to play the show. ArtNET Guru allows you to change settings like position, size, rotation or brightness for every laser show from your SD card separately. You can also read preview images for the content from the SD card, so the preview images will always be actual. One of our clients also uses it for live laser shows. He brings his iPad and once the laser setup is complete, he gives his iPad to his client and lets the client do his own laser shows. The client loves it!
(YouTube video is here)
3rd: "Laser Scanners: Technologies and Applications" Textbook, Pangolin Laser Systems
“Laser Scanners: Technologies and Applications" is a 320-page textbook by William R. Benner, Jr. that describes acousto-optic, electro-optic, polygonal, resonant, and galvanometer laser scanners. It describes the benefits, drawbacks, and details of each type of laser scanner.The book was written from a high-level perspective – helping the reader understand these laser scanners well enough to specify them when creating new products, or perhaps troubleshoot existing products.
(Written material only submitted — no video)
1st: “A prototype for recording and replaying IDN (ILDA Digital Network) streams”, University of Bonn, Institute of Computer Science 4 (Laser and Light Lab)
In early 2016 we started to implement a prototype to evaluate the feasibility of receiving, storing and replaying IDN streams containing media data of laser shows (laser samples and audio).
The toolset makes use of existing network tools like tcpdump (for capturing packets in a local network) and tcpreplay for replaying the packet captures. Additionally, filtering before storing the packet stream and IP-/MAC-address remapping is necessary before replaying the laser show.
The IDN recording concept was introduced in a presentation at the Advanced Technology Workshop at the 2016 ILDA Conference in Baltimore and was used for IDN recording both at the Lase-Off and the Awards evenings in Baltimore.
Furthermore, the concept of IDN recording and replaying was presented and practically demonstrated at a scientific conference in Göttingen, in March 2017.
(Click on photo above to see YouTube video submission)
2nd: “Wireshark Plugin to analyze IDN stream packets”, University of Bonn, Institute of Computer Science 4 (Laser and Light Lab)
The IDN plug-in extends the well-known free and open source network packet analyzer Wireshark to be able to display detailed information on the content of data packets according to the IDN (ILDA Digital Network) stream specification.
(YouTube video is here)
Alexander Hennig is well-known within the laser industry for helping build LOBO to a preeminent leader in laser and multimedia, and for his record-breaking number of awards. And he is well-known within ILDA for his long and influential service to help improve the association.
Alex began by studying computer- related animation and media. In 1992 he began his long association with LOBO, as an intern. Alex said “I was fascinated by this magical light from day one. At the same time it is something immaterial but looks like being a physical object you can touch.“
In 1994 as a LOBO freelance artist he created a multimedia show for the 1,250th anniversary of the city of Fulda, Germany. This won LOBO their first ILDA Award. And winning the award was one reason he was asked to become LOBO’s creative director — a position he held for 23 years.
Under Alex’s leadership, LOBO received a record-breaking 162 ILDA Awards. No other company has come close to this, making Alex one of the most influential laser artists in our industry.
One reason for this success is that Alex was careful to have a varied style both in his own works and in those of others that he supervised. This meant there was not a typical or repetitive “LOBO look” — their work was always fresh.
Alex has represented LOBO at trade shows, and within ILDA where he has been very active.
Alex attended 16 ILDA Conferences since 1997. He worked on the Awards Committee, and served on the ILDA Board of Directors from September 2010 until November 2016. During his three terms he especially championed international members, smaller companies, direct voting for awards and Board members, and the ILDA New Talent award.
Alex and LOBO significantly supported ILDA by co-hosting the 2000 ILDA Conference in Stuttgart, and again in 2013 by hosting both the ILDA and the Laserfreak conferences in Aalen. The 2013 event is thus far the most heavily-attended ILDA Conference ever.
In 2016 he left LOBO after a quarter-century to work as creative director for a non-laser company, Zweiplan, in Munich.
This is an appropriate time therefore to honor Alexander Hennig for his laser career achievements as the all-time ILDA Award winner, and as a strong supporter of the International Laser Display Association.
Voted by the ILDA Membership, via email ballots
Below is the speech given by Alex Hennig at the ILDA Awards Banquet and Presentation, November 8 2017 in Bratislava, Slovakia.
I should be used to accepting awards [LOBO has received more ILDA Awards than any other company, to this point] but this one is very special — and to some extent it is also … difficult.
I cannot tell how much I am glad, proud and overwhelmed receiving this award. Because it’s also special in that respect that it is the result of the vote of the whole membership. So this is a completely different sign of appreciation, and knowing that just one award per year is granted to a person — it makes me blush.
But at the same time it makes me also a little bit sad because without any doubt this is the highlight of my career in the industry and it won’t get any better; I know that. So especially as I shifted my focus on different things in live entertainment, it seems to me kind of like a terminating point of a very important time in my life.
I think it’s very important to say “thank you.” And the first one to thank is the association itself, because without ILDA I wouldn’t stand here; without ILDA I wouldn’t have won one single award. No, perhaps at least one because about 25 years ago I created as an intern for LOBO those times a show for the 1,250th anniversary of the city of Fulda and this was actually the first award LOBO ever received — it’s been a first prize right from the start.
One year later the telephone was ringing and Lothar [Bopp; LOBO’s founder and head] asked me whether I would like to become the creative director of LOBO. Sometime after that I got to know that the deciding point of asking me was this ILDA Award.
So without ILDA, not those awards I received together with my team.
As I experienced it like that, it was very important to me to give this opportunity to others as well. So when I built up the LOBO studios, and have built up also the team, I was always looking for new talents. Giving them a kind of creative playground where they could develop their talents. Also I tried a little bit to keep the pressure away from them we always experience from clients.
I’m very proud that the whole team and those many artists have got over the years so many awards.
Knowing this personal background, you probably now understand why a central focus on my work at ILDA; for example, on the Awards Committee or during my three terms on the Board, was also making ILDA not an exclusive club of the big ones. But trying to attract and to bring in young, talented people; the ones who shape our future. I’m very proud that I got a lot of support. What’s making me really happy is looking into the audience, watching all the presentations today and seeing how many young and fresh faces we are seeing there.
We even have a president who started not that long time ago as a Student Member, became an Individual Member, and today is a corporate professional and president of ILDA. Isn’t that great?
So thank you ILDA, thanks all Members, not just those voting for me — all of you. I have a lot of friends made here and I can tell you already right now, I miss all of you.
I want to thank also a few persons. The first of them for sure is Lothar Bopp. Lothar trusted in me at the right time. We had a great time together. He provided funds, equipment for our creative playground to make that success story possible, so he’s certainly the central person to thank.
Certainly all of you but I want to point out two persons. One of them — both of them — became over the years valued friends. This is something very important.
The first one of them is a visionary pioneer and a central game-changer in our industry and actually he keeps ILDA running today. Patrick [Murphy], I want to thank you very much for what you do and what you help over the year to get ILDA what it is today.
And the other one is a lady who led ILDA through many years of fundamental change through difficult times who made it finally possible that we’re here today, because without her there are no Conferences, definitely not. Thank you very much Christine [Jenkin].
Thank you all for your strong support. Thank you many people who became friends and not just colleagues, because that’s the great thing about ILDA. Not being at ILDA means you just see competitors around you but when you are at the Conference meeting people in person, also competitors become valued colleagues and friends.
No matter what I do, I promise you I will continue using lasers. I will try to promote and to advance lasers also in the future. Thank you very much, and thanks also to the host [KVANT] for that great show.
In 2017, ILDA received 181 artistic and technical entries from 37 different Member companies.
• Most of the artistic entries were judged 3-4 June 2017 in Germany by a three-member panel that met for two days of review and voting. In addition, there was an earlier, separate round of judging which was a test that did not affect the results.
• Laser Photography and Career Achievement Award entries were judged by ILDA Members voting online, 29 May - 12 June 2017.
• Fenning technical entries were judged via online discussion of a three-member panel that reached its decision 25 July 2017.
• Laser Jockey entries were viewed and judged by attendees at the Lase-Off during the ILDA Conference in Bratislava on 7 November 2017.
The 2017 Artistic judges rated each entry according to four factors: technical competency, artistic competency, quality and variety of effects, and music sync. These were used by the judges in making their final choice of winners.
Below is some information about the entries' scores. This may be of interest to persons who submitted in 2017, as well as those submitting for future Awards:
• The Judges' Rating Spreadsheet lists all of the Artistic Award entries, and the ratings they received from the judges. (For this public version, the show names and entrant names have been removed.) The most important column is "AVG. SCORE". This has been color coded, so that green means an entry received an above-average rating, yellow indicates an average rating, and orange & red indicate below-average ratings. The Average Score is used to help determine the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. (Some entries were disqualified due to safety concerns, which would then move up non-disqualified entries.)
Members who entered the 2017 Awards were emailed their row numbers and entry names. They can match this with the row numbers in the anonymous Judges Rating Spreadsheet, so the Member will know how his or her entries did, relative to others in the same category.
• The Test Results Round 1-2 Judging Spreadsheet shows the results of a trial to see if judging could be sped up.
The idea was to use the previous year’s judges to briefly preview all entries. Each of the three first round judges decided whether they thought an entry was good enough to be in the top five or so entries in a category, or whether an entry was so poor it would not make it in the top five. This was a Yes/No decision for each first round judge. Then, only entries with all three first round judges agreeing “Yes” would be sent to this year’s main judges, for their detailed discussion and placement.
For 2017, this was intended to be a test. However, the first round judges were not told of this in advance. It was felt that if they knew it was a test they might not take their task as seriously. The first round judges thought this was the new system being used in 2017.
But instead, all entries were sent to the second round (main) judges just like in previous years. This way, we could see whether the two sets of judges agreed on which shows scored poorly.
As the spreadsheet data indicates, the test was not a success.
There were two cases where all three first round judges voted that an entry should not go to the second round — yet that entry was voted in the top five by the second round (main) judges. One of these even won a Third Place ILDA Award.
The spreadsheet’s second-to-last column also shows 16 cases where two out of the three first round judges voted that an entry should not go to the second round — yet that entry was voted in the top five by the second round main judges. Six of these even won a First, Second or Third Place ILDA Award.
ILDA requires its Members to perform safe and legal laser shows, and to acknowledge basic principles of laser show safety.
Beginning with the 2014 Awards, all entrants submitting videos have explicitly certified that their laser effects depicted met safety standards, as well as all applicable laser safety laws and regulations (including laws for audience scanning) in the location where the show was performed.
• Entries filmed in a studio, with no audience, can use any power and can scan anywhere, even if the original show was intended for an audience.
• However, if the video depicts an audience watching the laser show, or has lasers near performers, then the show must be safe for the audience and performers, and must comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Documentation must be provided to ILDA about the show’s irradiance at the point of closest audience access, and any other safety measures that were implemented.
• The above documentation is also required if an entry depicts beams in an area where an audience might be, such as an empty tradeshow floor or an empty auditorium. This is because a video of unsafe beams in an audience area gives an impression that the same show would be run with an audience present.
Since 2014, ILDA has reviewed every entry for any potential safety issues.
ILDA has the right to remove or disqualify an entry if, in our sole opinion, 1) the show violates or appears to violate safety standards, laws and/or regulations, and/or 2) the show does not have sufficient documentation of safety and legal compliance.
Note that despite ILDA’s review process, ILDA cannot absolutely certify that an Awards entry is safe and legal. This is ultimately the responsibility of the entrant.
IMPORTANT: If you have a laser or a laser projector, do NOT attempt to perform the type of audience-scanning effects seen in ILDA Award-winning videos 1) without qualified expert safety planning and supervision and 2) without prior written permission from appropriate authorities. These authorities may include federal, state and local laser safety regulators, venue operators, and insurance companies.
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