This year's LDInsitute, at The Entertainment Technology Show LDI2004 in Las Vegas, offers a wide range of courses at varying professional levels, emphasizing visualization software and console training. Courses that have been popular in the past and are back by popular demand include a two-day WYSIWYG course combining beginning and advanced skills, taught by Laura Sellors and Dany Tancou of CAST Software, in cooperation with ETC; a one-day course (offered on three different days) for the basics of LD Assistant 04, based on a 2D/3D Autodesk AutoCAD and taught by Rufus Warren of Design and Drafting; a full-day of VectorWorks training (offered on three different days) taught by Frank Brault for Nemetschek North America, creators of Vectorworks Foundation and VectorWorks Spotlight (Frank's half-day lighting design tutorial on Friday or Saturday is the perfect follow-up to this course).

New this year is the Media Server Overview: The Art and Technology of Media in Motion led by projection designers Bob and Colleen Bonniol of Mode Studios, with representatives of media servers, including PRG's Mbox, High End System's Catalyst, the Virtuoso EX1, Martin Professional's Mexedia, the RADlite, and the Hippotizer from Scene Change. Also new is a full day of training on High End Systems' Catalyst, taught by High End's Vickie Claiborne.

Console training courses range from High End's Wholehog III and Martin Professional's Maxxyz to MA Lighting's grandMA (taught in conjunction with ACT Lighting) and Strand Lighting's Series 500 console. These courses give lighting designers and programmers a leg up on the latest consoles for automated luminaires.

Additional courses include a two-day Tomcat Motor School, a two-day charette for the design of permanent attractions using lighting, audio and projection technology, and Volts Without the Jolts: a primer in the safe and effective use of electricity. ILDA (International Laser Display Association) has co-located its annual conference with LDI this year and will present its Advanced Technology Workshop with presentations by major laser manufacturers.

Complete details about all LDInstitute classes, as well as the full Entertainment Technology Show conference program, can be found at