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March 2017

TLS Productions, Inc. News & Announcements


Empowering Creativity, And Making It Reality - Our mission at TLS Productions, Inc.  We do this by offering a turnkey operation; we provide consultation and all the necessities to design, rig and light exhibits, productions and permanent installations of any size, including state of the art audio and video elements. We offer equipment rentals and sales encompassing most international brands and both electronic and mechanical repairs are done in house.  TLS Productions, Inc. also provides theatrical draperies for rental and sale and can fabricate drapery to meet your specific needs.  If it's lighting, rigging, staging, audio or video related, there are no limits to the products and services that we can provide.

Did you know that TLS Productions, Inc. is an ETC Factory Authorized Service Center with ETC Factory Authorized Field Service Providers on staff?  Our ETC Field Service Providers handle a variety of functions – advising contractors on proper methods for installing various products, providing phone tech support, providing onsite tech support when problems arise, updating operating software and doing new system commissioning along with owner training.  And when needed, we can provide loaner equipment or acquire equipment direct from the factory, we can also facilitate factory repairs as needed. 

Keep your ETC equipment operating at peak performance, and contact Michael Kelty, ETC Factory Authorized Service Technician!

In other TLSP / ETC news, our very own Emily Ann Jugowicz-Miller and Dustin Miller recently completed ETC Systems Layout & Design Certification!  Congrats!

To learn more about upgrading your system to the latest ETC technologies, contact Emily Ann Jugowicz-Miller TODAY!

STAGEMAKER hoists are designed to handle stage and theatrical equipment and enable the safe and accurate positioning of lighting systems, speakers, and various scenic elements.  The features and options of STAGEMAKER hoists make them a great choice for a demanding customer.  Their low weight make them ideal for touring events.  Their compact size permits them to fit inside truss structures.  Their quietness makes them ideal for operation during performances, even in theaters.  Stagemaker’s CE mark and CSA c/us certification ensures the quality process.

TLS Productions, Inc., accepting the STAGEMAKER Regional Sales Excellence Award at LDI 2016 

TLS Productions, Inc. is a dealer and Factory Authorized Service and Certification Center for STAGEMAKER hoists, with one of the largest rental inventories in the Midwest.  We invite you to learn more about STAGEMAKER products for your next production, so contact us today! 

TLS Productions, Inc. is also a Columbus McKinnon Authorized Service Center and can provide CM Hoist Service & Certification, in addition to CM hoist sales and rentals.  Our mission, along with Columbus McKinnon's mission on this topic, is to improve the quality of hoist service and repair; contact us today to learn more about CM Hoist Service & Certification, or to inquire about CM hoists for your next production!

TLS Productions, Inc. had a great experience at 2017's EXHIBITORLIVE !!!  As first time exhibitors, we had the opportunity to make great contacts with some of our industry's top companies!  We're already looking forward to next year! 

From Left to Right: Sue McCloy - VP of Operations; Brad Hayes - President; Carl Kedzierski - Director of Marketing | Account Executive; Doyle Martin - VP of Show Services | Director of Design Services; Emily Ann Jugowicz-Miller - Account Specialist

In addition to a successful three days exhibiting on the show floor, Doyle Martin, VP of Show Services | Director of Design Services for TLS Productions, Inc., hosted a successful series of Peer2Peer Roundtable Discussions, and presided over the EXHIBITORLIVE session: R621: Understanding Your Overhead Rigging, Lighting and AV Exhibit Options.

Thanks to those of you that attended Doyle's EXHIBITORLIVE session and the Peer2Peer Roundtable Discussions!  And many thanks to those of you that took the time to stop by the TLSP booth to learn more about us!


Limited Seats Remain!
Join Us For QLab Masters Classes!

QLab Master Class I
Friday April 7 @ Noon-4pm
$199 ($149 Education Discount)
QLab Master Class II
Friday April 21 @ Noon-6pm
$299 ($249 Education Discount)

Used from Broadway to Britain’s West End, QLab is the tool of choice for many of the world’s most prominent sound, projection, and integrated media designers.  Now, with the advent of QLab 4, lighting control has been added into the mix.  Join us at TLS Productions, Inc. for a master class on QLab taught by Jeromy Hopgood, the author of QLab 3 Show Control - and the forthcoming QLab 4: Projects in Video, Audio, and Lighting Control.

Jeromy is a Michigan-based educator & designer and is not affiliated with Figure 53, LLC. - the makers of QLab (though he is a big fan of their work!).  To learn more about Jeromy, visit his Website:
This introductory course covers the new QLab 4 software, audio control, cue carts, video control, and lighting.  Learn through hands-on projects and benefit from tips and shortcuts to develop your own workflow for designing in QLab.
Specific topics include:
  • Setting up QLab
  • Using slices in sound design
  • Audio Effects
  • Using Cue Carts
  • Surfaces and Projection Design
  • QLab Video Effects
  • Animating Video Cues in QLab
  • Using QLab for lighting
  • Creating fixtures in QLab
  • Advanced sound practices
  • Show control (OSC, MIDI)
  • Advanced Projections
  • Multiple projector setup
  • Creating layered animations
  • Projector mapping
  • Surface masking
  • Using a Go Box control interface
  • Making complex cue carts
  • Setting up templates for your space, and more

To request a seat for this two part class, visit the following link:

We hope to see you there!


The Design Layer March Update

File > New...

Hello everyone!  Busy times all around this month!

At the beginning of March, we held the latest Ann Arbor Vectorworks User Group (A²VUG) meeting, and had a decent turnout.  Our conversation starter for the meeting was - Vectorworks in Education & Schools - where we tried to tackle some of the issues students and educators have with the Educational Version of Vectorworks.  One of the topics that came up included Vectorworks’ Student2Pro program, for recently graduated students, which allows them to have a discounted copy of the latest version of Vectorworks, along with the option to remove the watermark from some of their previous drawings built in the Educational Version.
More details on the Student2Pro program can be found here.

Keep an eye out for the next A²VUG meeting!

Find and Modify...

Submit your questions to


"Many times, when I import AutoCAD files, I have instances where sections of the document are non-editable, or seem to be viewports within design layers.  Is there a solution to this?"

Yes & no actually…  While the process of importing AutoCAD files has advanced leaps and bounds within Vectorworks 2017, there are still things that AutoCAD does within their system that doesn’t always transfer over to Vectorworks in the way most of us would hope. 

When you import a file, Vectorworks takes the Blocks within an AutoCAD file and converts them, based on a few factors - to either symbols, multiple objects (lines, shapes & other geometry), or into layered groups of objects & symbols.  The best course of action when you first import is to ensure all layers and classes are visable, so you can get to the bottom of where everything within the file is now located. 

Also, as a quick tip, it may also be a good idea to change the class and layer settings to “Show/Snap/Modify Others” so you can select and seek out where objects are located.  I like to right-click on certain objects that are giving me issues and select ons of the following to better understand how Vectorworks imported it:

- Force Select: To see what class and layer the object is in.
- Edit: Whether it’s a group or a symbol, you can find out simply by activating this.
- Lock/Unlock: Many problems can be solved by simply allowing the manipulation of the object in general.

Hope this helps!


"I keep having to build shows that are in the same space.  Is there a better way to create projects rather than starting from scratch, or duplicating an old show file and deleting what I don’t need?"


Really, there are two ways to fix this dillemma, and to read up on the answer, jump over to:


This entry has a special overview of the changes that have come to The Design Layer website.  We have added new services, new design & much more!
Head on over to to check it out!

Save and Commit...

Please feel free to jump on to the contact page of my blog and send over your questions for next month's entry, comments on this month's entry, and any and all follows ups on my tutorials, overviews, and answers.

Design & Conquer My Friends,


Vectorworks User Groups are an important part of the Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc. community.  They provide a forum in which Vectorworks users can learn about the software, share knowledge, experiences and advice, ask questions, and network with their peers.  The User Group will meet on a regular basis, a minimum of four times per year, once per quarter.

Join today!  Membership is FREE and provides:
  • Vectorworks software tips, tricks, and techniques
  • Networking opportunities with local designers
  • Support from Nemetschek Vectorworks
  • 10% discounts off Vectorworks software
Please enter your email at the link below to signup for updates and information:
Ann Arbor Vectorworks User Group

Once you're all signed up, fill out the form at the link below to give us a bit more information about how you use Vectorworks, and what you want to gain from the Ann Arbor Vectorworks User Group.

Membership Confirmation Form


TLS Productions, Inc. & Entertainment Design and Technology at Eastern Michigan University
Contributed by John Charles, Technical Director, Eastern Michigan University Theatre

The collaboration between TLS Productions, Inc. and Eastern Michigan University’s ED&T program continues to offer new advantages to both organizations and new opportunities for our students.
For EMU’s production of Spring Awakening, Opening March 31st, we were invited to experience and preview the soon to open Programming Studio at TLS Productions, Inc., where student lighting programmer Bethany West and I began to explore the capabilities of the pre-visualization software on a wall sized projection screen.  My conclusion is that this will be a really useful and time saving tool for future productions.
In addition to the opportunity to work in their Programming Studio, TLSP has provided enough intelligent light fixtures to make Bethany’s job as programmer a challenge.  She has programmed a visually exciting production with some breathtaking moments.  The show also includes some provocative and exciting projection content produced by Jeromy Hopgood, with help from student assistant projection designers, Kelsey Green and Karli Songalewski. 

For more information and tickets, click here.

TLS Productions, Inc. has partnered with Eastern Michigan University to create the John Briggs Endowed Scholarship for EMU's Entertainment Design & Technology program.  This scholarship creates a legacy at Eastern Michigan University by honoring John Briggs for his devoted service to the entertainment industry and the field of theatre technology. 

This scholarship honors the passion, dedication, and commitment to the field of theatrical technology by Eastern Michigan University Alumnus - John Briggs.  Over the years, John Briggs and TLS Productions, Inc. have generously given their time and equipment to assure EMU Theatre productions are of the highest quality, while using the most cutting-edge technology.  EMU students appreciate the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art technology that prepares them for their professional careers in technical theatre.  The scholarship is awarded annually to an Eastern Michigan University student majoring in Entertainment Design & Technology.

To donate to this scholarship in John's honor, you may do so by downloading the scholarship brochure, available here - or by calling the Eastern Michigan University Foundation at 734-484-1322 - and of course, you can contact us for further information on the scholarship and learn how to donate.


From The Desk Of Design Services - March 2017

Contributed by Doyle Martin, VP of Show Services | Director of Design Services

I do not know about your part of the world, but here in North Texas - the place I call home - spring is in full effect.  Everything is greening up nicely, and in the past few days, the BlueBonnets and Painted Indians (called that from my youth - now known as Indian Paintbrushes or Firewheel Flowers) are in bloom.  None of this has anything to do with this newsletter article, but it makes me happy and gives me a lift, so I thought I would share it with you.  Here is a great BlueBonnet picture - just because.

Now, on to more "newslettery" stuff.  The month of March is, at TLSP, a time for preparing for the upcoming spring shows more than anything else.  The New York Auto Show is in full planning glory, and has, indeed, already gone through its pre-rig by the time you read this.  ISC West is getting ready to load in, and the planning for NAB, GBTA, and the International Licensing Show are all well under way for us.  Although it is extremely busy, it also marks the time when all of our staff can see the light at the end of the long auto show season tunnel.  It marks the time when a large part of our team gets to focus on the things that are placed on the back burner during the craziness of the Detroit-Chicago-Washington DC auto show fury in January and February.
For our sales and marketing team - myself included - this month was a big one!  We got to attend and exhibit (for the first time!) at the ExhibitorLive show in Las Vegas.  I believe it was a great experience for our team whom all did a fantastic job at representing TLS Productions, Inc.  My most sincere thank-yous go out to Carl, Cameo, Emily, and Sue for all of their hard work both on the exhibit floor and at all the events they attended.  I would be remiss if I did not include a huge thank you to Adam and Dustin for their effort in making sure the booth was prepped and ready to go in the shop.  Without them, it would not have been near as smooth.
For myself, I had a great time hosting two different roundtables centered around entertainment technology and sharing my knowledge on the use of overhead rigging and related technologies to improve your trade show exhibits.  Although I managed to contract a rather nasty sinus infection, I do hope that those who attended got something they could use out of those talks through my light headed sniffling.  I know, illness aside, that I had a great time sharing my knowledge and answering questions.
May I ask for some feedback from you, dear reader?  Thinking about ExhibitorLive next year and some of the various other industry associations and events that provide speaking opportunities, I would like to know what rigging, lighting, and AV questions you would most like to have answered or to be able to discuss with someone outside of a "sales" environment.  Please email me at with your questions, concerns or comments - and not only will I get back to you individually, but I will also try and share your questions and issues with the exhibit and event community as a whole.  I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Until next time, enjoy the spring awakening wherever you may find yourself!  Take some time for yourself and for nature.  I for one will certainly be contemplating the beauty and optimism of springtime in the natural world.

Doyle Martin - TLS Productions, Inc.
VP of Show Services | Director of Design Services


Be sure to contact our Sales and Rentals Team for great deals from the industry's leading manufacturers, and to find out what TLS Productions, Inc. & Design Services can do for you, contact us at any of the options below.

And watch for more BIG news and BIG announcements from us during the weeks and months ahead regarding NEW class offerings at TLSP! 

TLS Productions, Inc.
78 Jackson Plaza
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

(855) 515-TLSP (8577) Toll Free
(810) 220-TLSP (8577) Office
(810) 229-8292  Fax

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TLS Productions, Inc.
78 Jackson Plaza
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103

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