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PointCloud Media is online!

PClogoHuge 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.

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The Projectionfreak Podcast is Here!

ProjectionFreakI 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!

Listen Here!

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)

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Cinema Projection FAIL

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.

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Marshmallow Laser Feast has Frickin’ Lasers!

Check out this recent vid from the venerable Memo Akten of Marshmallow Laser Feast. Just some tests with realtime interactive lasers (this time a 4W RGB, 90Kpps), finger tracking, ilda, etherdream dac, leapmotion, openframeworks, ofxEtherdream, ofxIlda, ofxLeapMotion and a DJI Fantom thrown in for good measure.

I’ve played with a Leap…it’s veeeerrryyy promising! Nothing beyond the developer stages just yet, but this takes it to a whole new level! Nice work Memo!

realtime interactive laser ILDA tests from Marshmallow Laser Feast on Vimeo.

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Calibre LEDView 530

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.

LEDView530 angle front 300dpi (white bg) Cliff knob
“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.

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Immersive Ltd. for Greenpeace

From our friends over at Immersive Ltd. comes this building-sized projectionmapping done at the Friends House, home of Quakers in Britain.

Ben tells me they used 3 x Christie Roadie 35K to do the gig. Parts of the content were created by the in-house creative at Immersive’s Studio using 3D Studio Max, After Effects, Cinema 4D, Maya. Immersive also worked with students to produce some of the content using a variety of packages. Students were from Ravensbourne College, University of West London, Middlesex University and Teeside University.

The final piece was edited together in Final Cut Pro. The resolution of the project was 3600 x 1080.

Friends House - Projection Mapping - Save the Arctic - Greenpeace from Immersive on Vimeo.

The mapping and playback was from 2 x T4 Ai media servers a primary playback machine and a hot spare running through a Switcher.

Biofuel power lights and sound equipment by Firefly Solar (http://www.fireflysolar.net/). Sound design by Zen Death Squad (http://zendeathsquad.com/), music by Jazon Mraz (http://jasonmraz.com/) and the project was curated and directed by Immersive Ltd (http://www.immersive.eu/). Immersive donated the project to Greenpeace UK.

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Spyglass for Barfoot and Thompson’s

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!

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