Wybron Inc. makes the Autopilot. But the Colorado Springs, Co-based company, renowned for its scrolling color changers and other landmark lighting accessories, never runs on autopilot, insists president Keny Whitright. "One of the things that we strive to do is build products that are unique," he explains. "You don't see us building a product that somebody else built first."
Winner of the LDI94 Lighting Product of the Year (Entertainment) Award, the Autopilot automatically makes up to 24 moving lights follow up to four performers, in real time, and in 3D space. Since its release, the Autopilot has provided followspot effects for ZZ Top, Van Halen, fashion models and even Barbie and Ken, as part of an Epcot Center attraction.
This year, the Autopilot is going cyber. A San Francisco-based firm that makes computer-generated scenery for TV shows, Electro-Gig, is using a customized system to pinpoint camera placement in its virtual images. "If there's a crime scene that a TV crew can't get to because the police aren't through investigating it, Electro-Gig can model it via computer, and walk the anchorpersons through the scene even though they're not there," says Whitwright.
Graham Nash has a one-man virtual reality show going out this fall, accompanied by Autopilot. "He's spent a tremendous amount of time and effort and money with Silicon Graphics doing a backdrop that is computer-generated," says Whitright. "He's using Autopilot to trigger the imagery that is shown on the screen behind him, including a Pac Man-type character that chases him back and forth on the screen."
With a half-dozen or more …