Software so easy, it removes all artistic skill….
I know, there are a lot of people that this new piece of software will piss off.
It’s exquisite. It’s everything I dreamed of when I was a kid- robotics, in-camera film effects, precision. The San Francisco based firm of Bot & Dolly has pretty much upped the game for everything involving projectionmapping in real-time and combined it with extreme robotic film making. It seems a natural progression though, and I can’t think of anyone more capable and qualified to do it. But before we give in to our Robot Overlords, let’s remember they still need to be told what to do. It’s just that they do it over and over again with ridiculous precision and razor-accuracy. I don’t know what they used for projectors, but I suppose it wouldn’t take much in terms of lumens for a project like this. Projection software on the other hand was accomplished with Touchdesigner. As advanced as Touchdesigner is, the more you watch what they’re doing with the Iris robotic arm the more you realize that projectionmapping is the easy part. They have an entire array of tools at their disposal- BD Live, BD Time, and the stunning BD Wheel- a hand-held control wheel that allows you to scrub through a shot or attenuate playback speed. If you’ve ever been to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and seen their toy manufacturing display – this is like that x1000. They have a couple of Motoman robotic arms that you can race and play against…but this scale is entirely different.
It’s not hard to discern where or how the effects are in-camera, but the marriage of the elements is what overwhelms me about Box. That, and the sound. That first big whoosh at 1:24 is just plain sensual.
Tobias Kinnebrew of B&D explains: “Box explores the synthesis of real and digital space through projection-mapping on robotically controlled moving surfaces. The short film documents a live performance, captured entirely in camera. Bot & Dolly created this work as both an artistic statement and a technical demonstration. It is the product of an experience vision realized through the integration of multiple technologies pivoting on our software platform BD Movetm for precision control of robotics.” It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to extrapolate where you can go with this type of gear on a film set. With the extreme precision and playback capabilities, the possibilities are truly endless. I gotta get out to the coast and see this in person. That’s all there is to it.
Absolute heaven. Dig it!
From AV Interactive:
Digital Projection, the UK based manufacturer of DLP projectors, has been shortlisted for the best ‘Specialist projector of the year’ in the annual prestigious AV Awards.
The projector has been recognised for its 20,000 lumen output from such a small and compact chassis, and the overall winner will be announced on 11th October 2013 at the Hilton Hotel in London, UK.
Commenting on the shortlisting, Dermot Quinn, COO & Director of Development said, ” The remit set for the Development Team was to create a projector with the luminance and colour performance traditionally associated with Xenon, but with the compactness, reliability and low cost of ownership of mercury lamp technology. Highly specialised, software controlled cooling has been developed to keep each lamp within its ideal thermal operating range, the performance of each arc being constantly monitored to maintain coupling efficiency over life. The result is not only very a high initial light output, but also exceptional lumen maintenance over the lamps life.Comprehensive video processing and fully automatic, user-friendly HDMI 1.4 3D offers flicker free 120Hz frame rate capability. These ultra high bandwidth inputs with zero latency compliment the Warp, Blend, and PIP to offer a projector for any venue”
They’re up against the Panny PT-DZ21K 20k and the Epson EB-G6900WU. No word on the over/under for this race, but my money’s on DP.
For you Touchdesigner followers, Touch In-N-Out Meetup is in Brooklyn this Friday Sept. 6th. Dev Harlan and Barry Threw will be on hand to discuss their work with Touchdesigner and give attendees a rare glimpse into the world of this great piece of software and it’s influence on the industry. Head over to TouchIn NYC to RSVP and get directions. If you’re anywhere near the Eastern Seaboard and want to attend an incredible session- this would be the one!
Rumor has it there will be a live stream, so stay tuned- I’ll post a link if one becomes available.
I’ve been a Clancy fan from the beginnings of Rainbow Six to the latest release of Splinter Cell- even going so far as to join gaming ladders and lose myself in FPS overload. So I was absolutely giddy when I saw the latest press from Leviathan. Looks like Touchdesigner was the weapon of choice for the mockups and playback…read on:
From our friends to the North:
CHICAGO – Aug. 27, 2013 – The principals of the award-winning Leviathan creative studio are very proud to showcase their artistry for Ubisoft(R) Entertainment at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) trade show. At its global press conference streamed live worldwide this past June, Ubisoft dramatically announced the forthcoming release of the next blockbuster title in the critically acclaimed Tom Clancy franchise. That title, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist, was released last week in the U.S. and Europe. (more…)
Huge shout out to our friends Jack Hattingh and Alan Demafiles- they’ve opened up shop at Pointcloud Media and their website is live. Check it out- they have an immense background in projectionmapping, domes, and other creative uses of projection.
I know- it’s been a while. The summer, sadly, has gone. I pretty much worked and relaxed and didn’t pay too much attention to the blog. Life is like that- hit it hard in some areas, lay low in others. But luckily those patterns are bound to shift and I feel change a’comin’. To start off, we just finished a multi-million dollar renovation to the theatre I work at…which sounds glorious on the surface. In reality, it was replacement of the seats and carpet, addition of air conditioning to the tech areas, and a lot of paint and roofing. Not at all what you’d think from a gear perspective, but we did get a kick-ass sound system out of the deal- details forthcoming….
But about the PODCAST! I’d toyed around with the idea of other media for a while but the opportunity never really presented itself and being a video guy, my heart wasn’t in it. But along came George Tucker from AV Nation with just enough idea and wax to spark me and viola! A podcast! But what the heck would anyone want to listen to? Projection stuff of course!
In the first of what I hope will be a series of casts, I interviewed Bryan Dodson (along with Michelle Dodson and Brian Blessinger) of Integrated Visions. You’ve seen them here before….they’ve done all manner of projectionmapping projects and curated an art show that used projectionmapping as the primary medium. I was completely honored to use the interview for the inaugural run of the Projectionfreak Podcast. Much thanks go to the IVP team for putting up with my schedule and really shedding some light on a fascinating subject. AV Nation has a ton of other podcasts as well with a wide range of projection related topics so be sure to give them a listen.
And about that schedule…..keep on reading- there’s some great stuff coming up (including some gear reviews)
I know it may come as a surprise, but I don’t go to movies that often. I have a theater rig at home and with three kiddos the time, expense, and hassle of going to the theater to see a movie is just…well, not that often. We went this past Friday to see Despicable Me 2 and decided to take the whole entourage….we had a $25 gift card and the matinee is cheap anyway. After shelling out another $25 for snacks/popcorn/crud we sat in pretty maxed out stadium-style seats just off-center-right. I watched the previews and noticed that all the text was either drop shadowed or just out of alignment. I looked up to the booth and saw that they were indeed using two projectors- definitely out of convergence. For a minute I thought maybe they’re set for some sort of 3D setting and when the feature came on they would be in line. Not so. The Feature was just as fuzzy. I thought- OK, I’ll just watch and enjoy. But I kept going back to it- it was making me crazy!
Really? In a modern theater that uses what I think are decent digital projectors- out of alignment? Maybe my off-axis viewing was the culprit- but I don’t think so. I don’t think that Regal would shell out the dough for an auto-align system…so I found myself thinking about the theaters in the past with actual operators that would ensure a clean, beautiful presentation- devoid of (holy-crap-I-can’t-believe-their-projectors-are-not-converged) alignment errors. Do they occasionally go through and align the rig? Wait- I paid a crazy amount of money to watch a feature- and it’s out of alignment????
Needless to say I won’t be seeing any movies at the cinema too soon. I’ll watch them on my properly tweaked, single gun system at home. And when I do have to use my two projectors at work, I’m going to make it a point to make sure they are not only properly converged, but razor-sharp. I sent an email using Regal’s lame “contact us” web-form, but you can only submit 255 characters, so I don’t think I got my point across. It’ll probably end up in some cyber-trashcan anyway.
Calibre UK has further strengthened its LEDView530 scaler/switcher with the addition of new firmware for user selectable and variable picture-in-picture (PIP) flexibility. For all of you LED freaks out there, this ought to be a welcome upgrade. The LEDview 530 has a street price of $10,999 so it’s low-cost insurance for a great image!
From their press release:
“The new PIP function of the LEDView530 scaler/switcher adds the functionality of expensive windowing solutions available from other manufacturers in the market today, but at an affordable price,” explains Tim Brooksbank, Chairman at Calibre UK.
PIP is used for the composition of a single displayed image comprised of background content, plus a second windowed input channel, viewed on one single LED videowall. Typically the background content will be computer generated. The LEDView530supports virtually all sources including Mac and PC and the PIP content is a video feed either direct from a camera or via a vision mixer, typically over 3G or HD-SDI.
“The firmware update is considerably important for smaller installs requiring variable PIP sizes and backgrounds, particularly at smaller facilities such as sports grounds where it gives LEDView530 a significant advantage in allowing users to generate a combined image, with advanced features such as pixel-accurate PIP sizing and PIP fade in/out transitions,” adds Brooksbank.
Significantly, LEDVIew530’s PIP is inserted within the defined output pixel area, so once the overall picture size has been set tosuit the LED videowall using Calibre UK’s class-leading per-edge-based left/right/top/bottom sizing mechanism ensuring the PIP is automatically sized proportionately within that defined LED videowall pixel area. This advancedprocessing makes it very fast & simple to adjust the LEDView530 scaler/switcher for virtually any LED videowall.
“Variable PIP size can be used as a main background, so that a display showing a sports event plus scoreboard or advertising data can be composed. An event may be shown in the top portion of the screen with data below and to the right, or either side of that live image.”
The new firmware for the LEDView530 scaler/switcher is available now. Existing users can take advantage of the firmware update immediately by downloading the update free from www.calibreuk.com.
Got a great tip on a massive 360deg. projection rig for New Zealand’s Barfoot and Thompson’s 90th birthday. Spyglass used 22 Christie 20k projectors and covered about a 290m image of immersive projection. From blowing out 90 candles to a full 90 year history of barefoot and Thompson, this was truly impressive!
This business is full of deadlines and we all hate them. For some of us it’s more Love/Hate (I personally love tight deadlines…makes you feel alive). The following video shows a rather hectic deadline that Montreal-based GraphicsEmotion dealt with around Coachella time. Next time you have a deadline, remember what it must be like for a bunch of people to have that same deadline, and what it took to get to the end! We’ll look at some more great stuff from Julien Abril and the team at GEM in the very near future……
Got a great tip from Erick Calderon over at Light Art Interactive- his new projectionmapping app for iOS called- you guessed it- Light Art. Erick works a lot with Touchdesigner and got tired of using giant computers to come up with mapping schemes, so why not make a tablet app? I haven’t had a chance to download and use it yet, but it looks fascinating. As soon as I procure an iPad, I’ll let you know how it goes, but in the meantime, for those of you with an iPad with an HDMI interface, give it a go and let me know…better yet- let Erick know!
From The Agency, comes this great looking project- shot at night in the forest of Fontainebleau. Romain tells me they first shot the band members in their photo studio. Then, during the night in the forest of Fontainebleau, they projected their portraits on the rocks and trees and then took about 600 pictures (like a stop-motion). Finally, they assembled the pictures and added a camera traveling (parallax) and transitions between pictures (morphing) with Apple’s Motion software. Love that they did it on the fly, with a car battery and an inverter!
- video projector Optoma 3000 lumens
- electrical converter
- power supply car battery
- midi keyboard
- camera Nikon D800
- Apple Motion
- Apple Final Cut
When I was a kid growing up on the West Coast, the hot ticket in shoes was to own a pair of Vans. They ultimately became the de-facto skate/surf/grunge wear shoe-of-choice when they came out with the slip-on version (still are AFAIK). The beauty of Vans at that point (early 80′s) was that they were still quite boutique and you could pick and choose different colors/fabrics for the various designs they had. If you were reeeaallllly cool, you could take (as I did) your own fabric in and have them make a pair for you.
Fast forward 30 years and you get the following. (more…)
Looks like Mark Coniglio, creator of Isadora- the unique AV programming interface, will be at 3LDNYC to give a workshop. More details can be had at their blog, but the basic gist looks like 2 parts…..the first is an intro course on July 8 and then an extensive master class from July 9-12. It’s a great thing to learn from a knowledgeable person, let alone from the actual designer of the app…so if you can- send in an application and get there! You’ll need the requisite hardware:
Computers: We require that you bring your own Mac or PC laptop.
Macintosh Requirements: Intel based computer with a bus speed of 2.0 Ghz and 2.0 GB of RAM; Mac OS X 10.4.0 or greater; latest version of Apple’s QuickTime. (G4/G5 computers will work, but they do not perform nearly as well as the Intel machines.)
Windows Requirements: Intel based computer with a bus speed of 1.8 Ghz and 2.0 GB of RAM; Windows 7, Vista or XP; latest version of Apple’s QuickTime.
Video Camera: Some means of capturing live video is required.
The best option is a Digital Video Camera: Video (DV) camera with a FireWire output. (Make sure you have the required cable to connect it to your computer.)
A second option is to purchase a composite video-to-USB adapter like the Daystar Technology XLR8 Interview (Mac) or the Pinnacle Dazzle DVC-100 (Windows).
A third option is to use a web cam, either an external USB model or the one that is built-in to your laptop; this latter option offers the least flexibility however.
Microphone: For those whose computers do not have an integrated internal microphone, an external microphone compatible with the microphone input of your computer is also recommended
As far as the application process:
Include one paragraph explaining why you are interested in attending the workshop and one paragraph describing the kind of work that you make. Briefly tell us about your level of expertise with computers. Please include your name, address, telephone number and email address.
Applicants must have a basic understanding of using a computer, i.e., opening and saving files, copying and pasting information, basic navigational skills, etc. Applicants must also have gone through the Isadora® Tutorials 1-6 before the workshop begins. Send applications to james-at-3leggeddog.org with ISADORA® WORKSHOP in the subject line.
A Note About the Selection Process: Please know that, beyond your application information, an important factor in choosing the participants is how the group fits together as a whole. When the skills of those participating vary too widely, it means that someone ends up either bored or overwhelmed. So please understand that if you are not chosen it is not a reflection on your abilities or your skills as an artist. Participants will be chosen with a median skill level in mind and the limited number of seats available.
Check out the newest AV Nation Podcast featuring none other than yours truly along with Paul and Richard Marganski from PicoPros.com, George Tucker, and Tim Albright (from AV Nation). Lots of great ideas concerning the tiniest of our projector brethren…..
Big reminder- Form and Substance: Projection Mapping in Contemporary Art, the first group exhibition in the United States dedicated exclusively to artists working with projection mapping as a medium- is this Friday. If you’re in the NYC area and you’re a fan, get to this exhibition!
In addition to the already outstanding line-up (including Davy and Kristin McGuire, John Ensor Parker, Joanie Lemercier), they’ve added two new artists to the roster: Joel Fitzpatrick is a fine artist, fashion designer, interior designer, lighting designer, and production designer. He will be presenting three works, including a collaboration with New York based painter and graffiti artist Adam Dare.
The exhibition opens Friday, May 10 at 6 PM at the Gowanus Ballroom at 55 9th Street in Gowanus, Brooklyn. The opening party is from 6 PM to 10 PM, and entry is free.
There will be a $10 cover charge starting at 10 PM, with Percussion Lab residents Nooka Jones and Archie Pelago playing till 4 AM. Proceeds from the door go to benefit the Gowanus Ballroom, which is still recovering from damage incurred during Hurricane Sandy.
The full list of artists is below. We are also still accepting tax-deductibe donations to help defray costs, including travel and accommodations for our foreign artists, promotional expenses, and production costs for several works. All donations are processed by Mister Artsee, a 501 (c) (3) arts-industry non-profit. Email for details about donating.
d3 Technologies are pleased to announce San Carlos based rental and staging company Tekamaki have signed up to become the latest d3 Studio. With a client base ranging from NASA to Nintendo and Electronic Arts to Google, Tekamaki profiles as a high-end technical service provider with deep roots in display technology and an extremely knowledgeable staff.
Tekamaki’s capabilities range from concept development through process management, project design and staging. A small, flexible company with decades of industry experience between its team members, Tekamaki’s focus has always been on teamwork, talent, innovation and the latest in display and media technology to help their clients successfully communicate their message. Tekamaki used d3 systems on the September 2012 DreamForce event for Salesforce.com, which saw the entire San Francisco City Hall mapped up for a one-off performance by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Based in San Carlos, California, Tekamaki team members include Matt Ward (co-founder of Element Labs), Joe Conway, Ron Machado, Robert Loney and Christopher Burdett.
I know I know….Coachella’s in full swing and UMF is so- well, done. But UMF was a huge hit this year (surprise) and along with being a huge hit, you have to have huge structures- like this one:
Design by Stephen Lieberman – SJ Lighting -sjlighting.net Production by AG Lights & Sound – ag.tc Video by ASK Media Productions – Adam Kaplan – askmediaproductions.com
Mapping Festival 2013 is about to get under way in Geneva so get tickets NOW. There’s something for everybody- installations, VJing, and workshops on mapping and stage design from the likes of Boris Edelstein, Joanie LeMercier, and Phillipe Chaurand.
“The Mapping Festival is a multidisciplinary festival dedicated to audiovisual arts and digital cultures. As the sole broadcasting space of this magnitude in Switzerland, the festival is now also recognised internationally, and this with the richness of programming. Mapping Festival offers every year audiovisual performances, installations, clubbing parties, live performances, architectural mapping, as well as workshops and conferences.
Thanks to this unique diversity aspect, the festival is recognised throughout the world as an major event, a real experimental meeting space, for creation and exchange with its innovative thinking in the field of audiovisual arts.
Now in its eighth edition, the Mapping Festival has steadily grown and has become one of the leading events of its kind in Europe.”
Good Lord. I haven’t posted for some time because- well- I’m lazy. Actually that’s a lame excuse, but spring around my place is a crazy-busy time of year and some things take a back seat. My family and work are not in that category so posting falls by the wayside. Stay tuned though, there’s a bunch of stuff coming out of NAB week and Coachella is ramping up so I expect there will be some neato content coming. I’ve also been playing a lot with d3 and I expect I’ll post something about the release of V.11- speaking of which, I just finished a run of the broadway musical American Idiot which had a pretty killer d3 rig. It was great to be able to speak with Kirt (the op for the show) at length about the ins-and-outs of the system, which apparently was a custom rig that Ash put together for them. I’ll see if it’s OK to post some shots…..
See you all soon.
Check out this massive work from QED. They were contracted to projectionmap the stage for the BBC broadcast of “Funny for Money”, a huge fundraiser put on by Red Nose Day to help people in need.
From their press release:
“QED Productions successfully delivered ground-breaking video mapping and stage lighting integration for Comic Relief’s seven-hour television broadcast on BBC One, by using nineteen high-brightness Christie 3-chip DLP projectors.
According to QED Director Paul Wigfield “not only was this was the most challenging indoor projection mapping ever attempted but also the entire rig had to be installed in just one day”. (more…)
Such a versatile tool, our friend Madmapper. This is a fine example of how to push a little projector juuussssst about beyond it’s capabilities. It’s an old Panasonic desk PJ (800×600) on it’s side, shooting about 50deg. off-axis, onto a wall roughly 40′ away. It’s in the lobby of the building where I work and the idea is to have it on the wall for an artist’s reception. It’s our 50th anniversary coming up and we plan on displaying one work of art in each 48″ square and to give the artists a sense of the scale that it would end up being. Talk to me after we’ve hung 50 pieces of art using scaffolding and lag screws…..Lovin’ Madmapper though!
Indiana University’s outstanding Opera department teamed up with the Indianapolis Opera to produce Philip Glass’ masterpiece “Akhnaten”, a first in many ways for opera in the midwest. It was the first time the collegiate program has staged a Glass opera, it was the first time a Glass opera has been seen in Indianapolis, and it was the first time I got to lay my hands on the venerable Barco FLM 22+. There’s an excellent article over at NUVO- worth a read…but I’ll focus mainly on the projection. I’m a huge Philip Glass fan (occasionally OD’ing on the Qatsi trilogy is a fave pastime) so I was stoked when I learned I would be the tip-of-the-spear for an actual production in the 30th anniversary year of the seminal work. For the last week I’ve been hunkered down at PFHQ breathing 98 degree air- sitting behind two of these behemoth DLP projectors. The rig was originally designed to have both projectors doing different things, but with the shot from our venue slightly (!) different than the original presenting venue, we decided to converge and let ‘em rip.
I know, you’ll all want to see gorgeous panoramic displays of the actual imagery, but all I had time for was the down-and-dirty tech porn. Sorry- you’ll just have to find it on Youtube. Playback was achieved with HogPC software on a laptop feeding Artnet to the PJ’s and to another machine (a beefy Dell Precision) running Arkaos MediaMaster Pro. Mike Schwandt was kind enough to cue the show with a Hog Playback wing, so the run was super easy and quite accurate. We shot about 120′ onto a tight-weave white scrim for an image roughly 50′w x 32′h. There were a few unique shapes…one was the scrim flown out to a trim of about 8′h x full width for a scrolling Book of the Dead. Another was an open, unfocused nebula during a Firefly effect that was quite pretty. All in all it was a piece of cake and the IU Opera was great to work with. Hope to do it again someday!
Stay tuned in May when the IO presents The Flying Dutchman, heavy on the projection!