It’s always great to come across stuff that takes projectionmapping to another level- especially when it’s so simple, but powerful. As is the case with this piece from a dandypunk. He used an NEC NP500 for projecting, and the entire thing was done in Final Cut Pro and dragon Stop motion, no mapping software at all. He says he just photographed the set, imported to FCP and just created the animations around it using key frames and stop motion from hand drawn illustrations. It reminded me a lot of a Pilobolus piece I saw a while back….but it’s another fantastic example of not having to use expensive techniques and gear to achieve a great result.
Direction, illustration*, animation* and performance of all characters* by a dandypunk
*Sacred Geometry by Grahame Gardner westerngeomancy.org
*Tentacle animation by RUBBISHBELT.COM
*Falling silhouetted man performed by Roger Fojas
Eternal thanks to facebook.com/dollskills for many many things..
Music by Edit -Ants
I recently took delivery of a new MBP 17″ (quad i7, 8 gb RAM) and it is heaven. Without sounding too much like a fanboi, I have to say unpacking the thing was nothing short of a pleasure. Everything is clean, precise, and extremely well designed. Transfer of apps was only a pain due to machine ID ( I had to go one-by-one to make sure the licenses took). I went ahead and installed Windows 7 for a dual-boot and it was painful. So much about the Windows environment makes me crazy- but- it was so I could take advantage of a few projection related tools that I hope to write up very soon. One is Emulator from our friends at SmithsonMartin, and also Derivative’s Touchdesigner. I’ve been dyeing to take a crack at these and hopefully I’ll only have to deal with the PC side for these and these alone…..
Carry on Projectionfreaks- and remember….- hit the “donate” button on the right- or I’ll just settle for a follow on FB or Twitter. Try our RSS feed or subscribe by email for info like this on a timely basis!
One of the great things about running Projectionfreak is that I get to connect to all kinds of creative minds in the world of technology. Recently I ran a few pieces that utilized the work of Flightphase-their installation of a huge, interactive video wall at the University of Dayton, and an interactive museum exhibit at the National Maritime Museum in the UK.
Karolina Sobrecka, Creative Director of Flightphase, gets to do some pretty amazing projects and her solo work looks (more…)
I recently had the pleasure of working a show at our theatre called “Street Drum Corps“. For anyone who hasn’t seen them, it’s a quartet of guys that bang on everything from trash cans to printers to microwaves and drums. They also use grinders and powertools. It’s quite a trip. From Cloweshall.org: “Since their formation four years ago, Street Drum Corps have constantly refined their sound on the road, blowing away audiences at nearly every major U.S. festival with their combination of thunderous percussion and visual stimuli. SDC’s shows are a primordial, stomping blast of energy, theatricality and passion. There’s a reason why members of No Doubt, Bad Religion, and Revolution tourmates Atreyu all want to play with them – why Conan O’Brien invited them to perform on his show – and why The Used’s Bert McCracken has practically adopted them as his pet band. SDC are more concerned with rhythm than genre. In their performances, one hears tribal, rock, punk, dance and industrial, all somehow blending together in a chaotic, beautiful mess.” (more…)
Some crazy stuff happening at PF HQ. The sad news is that I had to send one of my Digital Lightning 35hd’s back to the factory for a full refurb. It had gotten to the point where I was having to take lens motors out of it to use in the other PJ, and it was getting a little nutty. As is usually the case with any high-end gear, the motors are apparently pretty hard to come by. I looked up and down and even on the manufacturer’s website- the part number is not listed. I’m thinking they’re a custom sort and only dealer-available. In any case, The symptoms pointed to two things on the 35hd- bad motors, and/or re-programming the lens limits (with bad limit sensors), both of which I’d have to send the unit in anyway, so why not get her spruced up while she’s there? Bon Chance Mon Ami! You’ll be home soon and GET BETTER!
Other happier news- my OWC RAID0 enclosure that started last week with an RMA arrived and appears to be functioning just fine. Odd thing about this drive- the Mighty Macpro will not boot when it’s attached via eSata. No matter what combo I tried….no boot. I’m using it as an external video drive for capture and I’m not even booting to it…it’s just that when it is on the system I can’t even boot from the primary drive! I had heard of some issues with a quad-interface drive and Apple before, but all appears well now. The big machine booted up just fine and recognizes the external RAID. Now I’m going to try and figure out some speed settings. It’s a RAID 0 and the BlackMagic speed test software runs it at about 125 MB/s read and write. I was under the impression that it should be faster than this so if anyone has any pointers- by all means let me know! It’s plenty fast for capturing SDI through the Studio2 card, but I’d like to see what kind of performance I can squeeze out of it.
CES 2012 is coming up and there ought to be plenty of cool things to discuss soon….I also have a few projection gigs on the near horizon so I’ll be sure to keep ya up-to-date…..stay tuned….
I’ve been playing with a lot of software lately. Mostly video manipulation stuff- I won’t be specific because I may end up reviewing some of it and, quite frankly, friends make the stuff- so I need to be kind. But the one drag that I keep running into is control. Sure I can mouse and click all day. I even use my trusty Apple Magic Pad. But I may be one of the only people on Earth that doesn’t use an i-device. What’s that? You’re a filthy Android user? How dare you try to send and receive MIDI, OSC, or any other protocol for that matter! Certainly you can just make your own interface, seeing as how you’re all…..-ack- open-source….. (more…)
The Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA) is running a workshop on real time video manipulation in Quartz Composer:
Dates: Tuesdays & Thursdays, January 10, 12, 17, 19
Times: 6pm – 9pm
Course Length: 12 hours
Cost: $20/instruction hour, $240 total, $216 for GAFFTA Members
Location: GAFFTA, 998 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Quartz Composer is a visual programming environment (like Max/MSP, PD, VVVV, etc.) which comes (more…)
I’ve been experimenting with my new Blackmagic Studio 2 card a bit and was pleasantly surprised to discover that not only can it capture at 720p, it does it quite well. I am using Isadora Core and feeding the live video input via the Black magic with SDI. I should digress…the feed is coming directly off of my Vaddio Productionview HD switcher at 720p 59.94 and then hitting a Black Magic mini converter (analog RGB to SDI). I then have Izzy set for full size, no compression, with the Black Magic card set as the live input. A simple patch of a projector actor with a video watcher is all I have….I don’t really need to add any effects…just yet. I am currently experiencing only an occasional framerate drop of 1 or 2 frames. Granted this is on a Macpro 2.8 dual quad, 14gb. RAM….but dang that’s fast!
This has some pretty big implications as I can run IMAG thru this rig and output to the new 35HD projector purely digital! Not to mention SD monitoring coming from the card as well, which I will run to record decks. I guess the only disadvantage is I can’t capture HD for record….So what I’ll end up doing is send the Y/C feed directly from the BM to a deck for record and live with it.
Life is all about trade-offs, no?
The week after Thanksgiving means one thing for me. Nutcracker. The theatre I work at does a huge one. For as big and crazy of a production as it is, I like it- if only for the classic feel of it. We use a huge set that has been amalgamated from various productions over the years, some costumes dating back 40 years or more. We use every line-set we have and then some….we actually hang to the back catwalk! For my part, I get to do a little projection naturally and I figured I’d explain the rig: (more…)
The following appears in the current issue of PLSN magazine (check it out here) and while you’re there….there’s a great buying guide to media servers you should read as well as a pretty in-depth interview with the one and only Mark Coniglio, creator of Isadora, on “Loopdiver”. We ran a piece on Loopdiver a little while ago when it was featured on PBS and it’s great to see the behind-the-scenes stuff on PLSN. All this in addition to the great columns from Vickie Claiborne, Dan Daley, Brad Schiller, Debi Moen, and Nook Schoenfeld.
From our friends at Madmapper:
A workshop in Berlin! Featuring Madmapper programmer extraordinaire Ilan Katin and Pedro Zaz (of UnitedVJs). I can’t imagine how great it would be to take a class from these guys (and hopefully there’ll be some pics to post later…), but here’s your opportunity-
Tuesday, October 6th 2011 @ 18:00 – 22:00
Wednesday, October 7th 2011 @ 18:00 – 22:00
The focus will be how to use MadMapper using the Syphon enabled VJ software of your choice. We also demonstrate how to use the Spacial Scanner, MAD_lab tools and provide technical/creative feedback.
- A Mac computer running OS X 10.6 or greater
- VGA adapter that works with your laptop
- A joke involving peaches and/or possums
The workshop is 50€.
Only 20 places are available.
You will be provided with a time limited license of MadMapper and, optionally, a time limited license of Modul8.
The workshop will be conducted in English.
I have been playing around recently with an app for Android called TouchOSC (available from hexler.net) and controlling VDMX for video playback. VDMX is an extremely powerful video-manipulation platform for Mac. For those of you into other control protocols, OSC is Open Sound Control, a content format for messaging between computers, synthesizers, and other multimedia devices. Often used instead of MIDI, OSC has better performance, better resolution, and a wider musical parameter space. With the advent of TouchOSC (iPhone, iPad, Android) your handheld device becomes a crazy-cool controller for systems running software like VDMX to manipulate everything from a DJ mix to full-blown projection. After seeing Nuformer’s use of interaction with projection, I decided to dig a little deeper and see if there was a way to do it “on the cheap”. Thanks to Jan R. for the following vid, and be sure to check out his stuff on Vimeo. Also a big thanks to hexler.net for the great app!:
La Traviata is here and the Indianapolis Opera is in full swing. This one is in Italian and unless you’re fluent, the show’s gonna be kind of lacking something….something….what if…..AHA! Translate it in a relatively unobtrusive way and it’s a whole new ballgame.
Surtitles, subtitles, whatever you want to call them- are translated or transcribed lyrics/dialogue projected above a stage or displayed on a screen, commonly used in opera or other musical performances. The word “surtitle” comes from the French language “sur”, meaning “over” or “on”, and the English language word “title”, formed in a similar way to the related subtitle. The word Surtitle is a trademark of the Canadian Opera Company. Surtitles are used either to translate the meaning of the lyrics into the audience’s language, or to transcribe lyrics that may be difficult to understand in the sung form. The two possible types of presentation of surtitles are as projected text, or as the electronic libretto system. Titles in the theatre have proven a commercial success in areas such as opera, and are finding increased use for allowing hearing impaired patrons to enjoy theatre productions more fully. Surtitles are used in live productions in the same way as subtitles are used in movie and television productions. The super-slick (and pricey) way to do it is to use something like Figaro Systems Simultext seat-back system. These are individual LCD screens in the seatbacks of the auditorium that display the titles for individual patrons. It’s in use at such prestigious venues as La Scala, and the Santa Fe Opera.
At our theatre it’s not nearly as glamorous, but it gets the job done. Like many theatres, we use readily available DLP projectors. In our case two Panasonic PT-D5600 DLP projectors, one for the actual (more…)
I know….it’s a blast from the past….but since the Met is running the Ring Cycle (and Indianapolis Opera is presenting La Traviata soon) I figured I’d revisit it in a little more detail. Joachim Schamberger directed the stage as well as produced all the video. This production had the orchestra onstage, with the performers downstage utilizing our hydraulic pit elevator. There were two towers of scaffold left and right as well as a small bridge piece across center. We used a seamless cyc on the furthest downstage lineset to project on, and trimmed it about 8′ off the deck. Projection was from a booth about 128′ from the cyc. The aspect ratio ended up being roughly 2.8:1 or well above scope. We used two Panasonic PT-D7700 converged fro the main screen, and two PT-D5600 for super titles.. Playback was from a Macbook Pro using Vidvox’s VDMX. The pics tell the story below:
Tonight is Spotlight 2011, the annual fundraiser for the Indiana AIDS Fund. Every year, professional performers from all over Central Indiana come together for one reason – to raise money for HIV/AIDS education, prevention and testing programs across Indiana. They stand in the spotlight in order to keep the spotlight shining on HIV in Indiana.
It’s held at Clowes Memorial Hall on the campus of Butler University and all the performers and technicians (IATSE Local #30) generously donate their time to make it happen. Projection will include super titles and fundraiser totals over the stage on a 3′ x 24′ super title screen as well as various video playbacks onstage. We’re using 2 Panasonic PT-D5600′s, A Macpro tower, and a Macbook for playback. If yu’d like to make a donation to Spotlight 2011 click HERE
A while back I wrote about a great piece of software called Qlab. Rob Sayer over at On Stage Lighting has posted some great tutorials on Qlab, the popular media playback software for Mac. Rob does a thorough job of going over the basics of this powerful (and essentially free) app in a few screencast videos. Join Projectionfreak (and no doubt countless more) and give it a go!
Does anyone else find it odd that they called it Thunderbolt as opposed to , oh say….lightning? Doesn’t thunder usually follow lightning? Whatever the legal folks had to do with it- Thunderbolt is coming and hopefully it’ll catch on like the ubiquitous IEEE 1394 Firewire did. What exactly is Thunderbolt? It’s the hot new I/O technology from Intel on Apple devices. I’ll admit- the specs are impressive. Dual-channel 10Gbps per port, bi-directional, Dual protocol (PCI Express and DisplayPort), daisy-chaining, electrical or optical cables, compatible with existing DP devices, power over cable for bus-powered devices and the list goes on. The official word from Apple is that you can use it for 0ne, not two, external displays, so at least the portable carrying folks can get some more real estate out of it. The best thing for everyone in the entertainment or projection industry is the stupid-fast transfer rates. At those speeds you’ll be able to transfer a full-length HD movie in less than 30 seconds! How many times have you been on a gig and feared a transfer/backup because the fastest you could go was 800 Mbps? Fear no more! Back up the whole show and the backup for the backup faster than you can blink! Here’s a great article over at Ars technica with graphics, details, pictures, etc.
If you like this article consider subscribing to our RSS feed. It’ll make the reading a lot easier…
We’ve all tried to meet these at some point in our careers, right? If you’re in the business of projecting shows for a living, chances are you either use a media server of some sort (Hippo, Pandora’s Box, Maxedia) or a computer system to drive the content on the screen(s). If you’re using a computer to drive a projector (DLP/LCD), LED wall, LCD or plasma display -or any combination thereof- for a show, you’re more than likely going to use the secondary display output as your “show” pallette. Many will use multiple outputs or a break-out box like a Matrox Triple Head to Go or Dual Head to Go. But what of the computer itself? (more…)