The following is a review I did for PLSN magazine in June. It’s quite the projector and I was able to clip some quick video together as well.
The problem with new technology and gear is that you usually only get to put your hands on it the day before a gig, or worse, actually ON the gig. I’ll admit- under duress is usually the best way to learn a piece of gear, but not exactly the most stress-free activity in the world. So I was delighted to be able to get my hands on the Barco HDX W20 Flex actually IN a shop and not under any time gun or a client breathing down my neck.
The Barco HDX W20 Flex is their latest addition (more…)
Barco’s DP2K-10Sx looks like a great PJ for smaller venues and art-cinemas. With 9k output and 3TB of RAID 5 DCP Doremi storage, it’s listed with a max screen size of 9-10m for 2D. It looks to be in the ranks with the Solaria 1 and the Sony SRX-R515. Rumor is the street price is $35k-ish. Read on:
Tim Sinnaeve, Market Director Digital Cinema at Barco: “Going digital is a big and important step for smaller cinemas. There is a lot of concern in the industry that the transition from 35mm to digital threatens the survival of smaller, independent and arthouse cinemas that take up a unique position in the cinema landscape. Barco strongly believes that Digital Cinema also offers a unique opportunity for these cinemas to thrive, as it offers them flexibility in their programming and new business opportunities. Our new projector will make the transition easier for smaller theaters and help them grasp these new opportunities.”
The Barco DP2K-10Sx projector comes as a fully integrated, DCI-compliant projector – including a 0.69” DLP Cinema® projector, a high-grade cinema lens and an Integrated Media Server with integrated redundant storage. In it’s class, it offers the brightest and sharpest image quality, being the perfect worry-free solution to go digital with minimal hassle and risk.
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!
Tigrelab just did this great videomapping for TV3 featuring Sacude. Projecionmapping and dance already go together well, even more so when you do it sideways 30 ft. up a wall! In addition to some fantastic camera work, a Dataton Watchout was used along with a single Barco 20k.
Devin Wambolt over at DCBolt Productions gave me the heads-up on this crazy nightclub install they just completed. The club is Castle Nightclub in Chicago and they premiered the system for a huge NYE bash this year. Devin reports: “We are using three different types of LED’s in this system, (aside from the house lights) LED panels, LED strips, and LED modules. Our LED strips are (32x) SMD5050 LED pixels per meter, our Modules are (5x) SMD5050 LEDs per pixel, the LED panels are 6 millimeter pitch SMD2835 LED pixels. The led strips and modules are run by MADRIX Ultimate for real-time dynamic playback. The LED panel screens are being driven by a custom configured Resolume Arena setup.
Some pretty impressive work, and I’ll be sure to check it out next time I’m in Chicago!
And here I thought that was just my favorite bar reply….
Netherlands-based media firm Circus Family combined forces with Jurlights and came up with this huge 360-degree projectionmapping at Gashouder Amsterdam. The gig was for Amsterdam Couture house, Scotch and Soda, for the launch of their 2013 line. Using four Hippo HD’s they were able to pipe content to ten Barco HD20′s mounted in a ring in the center. They used the ScreenWarp feature to cut the roundness and then threw in a couple of Hippo Critters with a 16×16 DVI matrix to finish it off. Technician Menno Broere tells me they didn’t even have to blend the projectors…just masked out some physical attributes. That’s how we like it- simple and clean. So many times this type of technology is ‘over done’ from the production side, so it’s nice to see people keeping to the oldest axiom in show biz- Keep It Simple Stupid.
OK. Well….color me not surprised. Barco just bought 61% (a majority stake) of projectiondesign. The remaining shares of projectiondesign will be held by minority shareholders including projectiondesign’s president Jorn Erickson, who will ostensibly, remain in charge of the firm. This means a few (well…a LOT) of things. Barco, huge as it is, cool-factor off the charts, and production heavyweight, hasn’t done a whole lot in the meeting-room/home theater/corporate market in recent years. Talk to any projection freak and the first word out of their mouth when asked about production/touring projection? How about LED tech on the road? Digital Cinema? “Barco”. How about your own home theater or a museum/boardroom install?…..silence.
So enter projectiondesign. They are kind of an elite thing here in the US…so exotic, so sleek and white, so…well…Nordsk. But they have a HUGE portfolio of well-designed, high-performance projectors that fill a definite (and huge) market. Not to mention they are an OEM manufacturer for some brands here in the US.
We’ll keep an eye on this one….here’s the press release from Barco:
Barco, the Belgium-headquartered global leader in digital visualization, announced today (more…)
Celebrate the holidays the Seeper way! The BBC invited the nation to celebrate the start of its 2012 Christmas Lights in a techno-driven finale at the closing of the One Show Live on BBC one. Clips taken from popular BBC programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing and Doctor Who were reworked by seeper into a two- minute, three-dimensional BBC Christmas experience to kick- start the festive celebrations in a way not seen before. “Growing up in the UK the BBC has always been central to Christmas for me”, said seeper’s founder, Evan Grant. “It’s a pleasure to use such an iconic building as our canvas. This is a great opportunity to celebrate Christmas the seeper way.
They used five of the Barco HDQ-2K 40, Barco’s giant 3D-capable projector in a specially built FOH rig to blast through the infamous London fog. Units supplied by XL Video, natch. XL recently invested heavily in Barco’s latest super high brightness projectors and these were no doubt part of that batch. The proprietary “SeeperServer” was used for playback of media.
Seeper has done some pretty outstanding gigs in the last year, and you can read more here. By all means, have a look at their website- as well as their Vimeo channel. And for some great info on their process (as well as projectionmapping in general) check out this slide deck.
A little projection pr0n from a recent gig. It was for Intergalactic Nemesis, a ‘live’ comic book, where the action gets played out by performers in front of the screen. In this case, a Da-lite 28′ RP surface, with two Digital Projection Lightning 35hd’s. I also used a Barco ImagePro for processing and a shameless plug for Coolux test patterns. Happy Friday!
Corporate Staging Resources recently staged a huge projectionmapped stage for the USANA International Sales Convention in Downtown Salt Lake City. The event at Energy Solutions Arena spanned 3 days with 12 hours of content and 11,00 in attendance. The stage and set elements were 100% projection using pre-produced animations, live action video, motion graphics, integration with live performance, video rolls, powerpoint files, and live IMAG. All the content was developed by USANA Studios. The custom scenic 44′h x 88′w x 40′deep finished wood and muslin panels were underlayed with steel/aluminum structure and the deck was 40′d x 88′w which included hydraulic doors and an elevator.
Stage Design: Jeffrey Berke and Michael Dolan
Projection and Pandora’s courtesy DWPLive!
For projection, they used 15 (fifteen) Barco HD18X in 5 (five) zones and 8 (eight) Pandora’s Box Servers plus a Manager. It’s pretty evident where the zones were if you look at the model ( around :27 in the video). I love seeing stuff like this because it makes me believe that the one-off gigs are coming back- that the ‘corporate staging’ market is coming around again…..remember when we all did HUGE corporate gigs that really needed technology like this? A great job by CSR and I hope to see more of it!
Corporate Staging Resources recently did the Fusion-IO ION launch with non other than the Woz himself throwing the ‘Wozinator’ switch. The event was at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and the gear list is as follows:
6 Barco HD20
3 Coolux Pandoras Box Media Servers
Animations created in AfterEffects with a special guest appearance by Photoshop
Projection surface integrates existing architectural details with built scenic elements
Creative Director/Producer: Jeffrey Berke, Corporate Staging
Pandora Programming: Ben Ryle, DWP Live
Animation/FX: Doug Stringham, MediaGrabbers
Projection: Jerry “Yellow Fever” Popescu, Corporate Staging
Well I finally had a chance to see Amon Tobin’s iconic ISAM 2.0 show in Chicago at the Congress Theatre last weekend. I had to restrain myself from just jumping in at FOH and bugging anybody about the setup, but there were two pairs of what looked like Barco FLM-HD20′s and Peter Sistrom’s control bridge. Behind all that was the excited crew from Leviathan. The visuals from V Squared Labs and Leviathan didn’t disappoint and the Congress’ killer Nexo line array thumped with authority. I wanted to hang around after the show to chat up the crew, but since I get to Chi-town once in a blue moon, I left to go hang with some close friends. Plus, Amon didn’t take the stage until fairly late- and I’m old. Kidding.
It’s hard to explain what I saw exactly. There’s a lot going on and one only needs to see some footage to really understand….which, by the way, you can do here:
This is a behind-the-scenes look at the process behind creating the visual work for “Wooden Toy”. Check this great article over at Spinner.com, too.
All in all, it was a fun time. I rarely get to actually attend a concert unless I’m working it, so it was a treat to see. Hats off to the whole crew that put their efforts into this one-of-a-kind event.
Any time you can combine camping, champagne, killer video projection, and EDM- life is good. As was the case at Houza Palooza, recently held in Belgium Aug. 24-25. VJ Konstruktiv (Jean-Michel Verbeeck) was kind enough to answer a few questions concerning the rig for this two-day EDM/videofest:
imagery courtesy FramedMedia.de
1) What exactly is Houza Palooza?
Houza Palooza is an upcoming Dance Music festival with different kinds of music genres located in Bree, Belgium. The past 3 years they managed to create something unique to the world of festivals. With their creative, inspiring & innovative (more…)
I’ve been really looking into the whole cost/quality axiom that plagues projection and set design. I work at a theatre so I see this problem daily- it’s a business that is constantly running up against more for less. I just ran an article on Tom Beg, a graduate student who overcame this conundrum with a few good ideas and some relatively inexpensive gear. I also featured the Indianapolis Opera a while back using nothing but white canvas panels and readily available VJ/DJ software (Modul8, Madmapper, PF faves). With the following, it looks like Steven Hall and crew at the Northland Church have achieved a pretty decent end result with an eye towards cost as well.
Every year Northland church hosts the Battle of the Bands, and this year they wanted to step up the look of the stage by using projectionmapping. You’d think “pricey” right off the bat, but with a little elbow grease and some good ideas they pulled off a great looking stage.
For a BOB format, you need flexibility to keep things fresh. For projection they used two DL2′s FOH and utilized the on-board AXON media servers to fire content. These units, while not exceptionally bright, are readily available and relatively inexpensive to rent (and buy for that matter). The units were controlled from a lighting console via DMX, and they used the collage blend mode in a 2×1 to cover the stage. The screens are where the big creativity came in- using simple 2×4 construction covered in white muslin, they were able to suspend these from their upstage truss. Then, using simple masks (created in Paint.net) they were able to separate each shape onto a different layer, letting them create all kinds of looks. Check out his blog for some video and more pictures!
This time from the good folks at Klip Collective featuring Dr. Mojo of MojoVideoTech and Ryan Uzilevsky of Light Harvest. They got to hang in Boston and projection map, shoot, and generally wreck havoc on Beantown for the run up to the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. Looks like they got to use the killer water-jet technique made popular recently in a vid from KC and the Good Doctor for Nike’s Melo M8. Check out the custom projector mounts….especially the tripod-mounted 10k! I love the work these guys do and you can’t help but admire the craftsmanship.
From MVT’s website:
“To celebrate the 2012 Olympic Games, Procter & Gamble and Gillette staged a series of projected video displays on buildings throughout Boston. The series concluded with an event at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art which coincided with the Opening Ceremonies in London.
The ambitious video concepts and technical production were spearheaded by Philadelphia-based Klip Collective. The projector package at the museum event included two Christie HD+35Ks, six double stacked converged Barco FLM HD20Ks and featured two massive water vapor screens provided by Mirage Water Works, as well as projections on the museum’s facade. A Christie M-Series HD10K plus an additional Barco HD20K were used for the mobile locations. The challenge of video mapping with poor weather conditions and a tight production schedule was met by the highly skilled projection team which included KLIP’s Ric & Steve Rivera, Ryan Uzilevsky of Light Harvest Studios and MVT’s Doctor Mojo.”
The end of summer is a weird time around here. The theatre season and school are about to start, I try to spend more time with my family, and the olympics are on. The damn olympics have managed to make everything seem to grind to a halt. We watch religiously and the opening ceremonies are way up there on the list. So it was that I watched and wasn’t that impressed. They had to top Beijing after all, and that’s a tall order. The big star was LED however and there were a couple of effects that I think are harbingers of things to come in LED-land. One is the LED tiles that are permanently installed throughout the stands. Tait Technologies, a longtime provider of gear on a huge scale (U2, JayZ, Roger Waters), provided the LED tiles to extend the graphic mapping of the opening ceremonies into the stands at the olympic stadium. This type of technology is going to start becoming the norm with systems like this and also with the advent of gear like the Xyloband being deployed (see Coldplay’s use HERE). But here’s the official word: (more…)
Arkam.tv recently were involved in making the visuals for the after-hours party at Google I/O. Their overall size was 80′x20′, rear-projected. They also came up with a really inventive playback system using Android pads with Touchdesigner as the control, of course. There’ll be a write-up over at Derivative’s site soon so check there for more details.
Adam explains: “Falcon Northwest was nice enough to provide us with their newest micro tower build, The Tiki, for this project. It was running a NVidia GeForce GXT 680 which gave us an option for up to four outputs. The show’s output resolution was 2560×640 and we split that into two 1280×640 signals. Those signals were pumped out the two DVI outputs on the video card into a proprietary video mixing station from Riverview Systems. Once it entered their system they used some customized software to re-composite the two signals back together. Beyond that it was all in their hands and we didn’t have anything else to do with the signal. They were able to split the signal into three outputs that fed into corresponding projectors. (edit- looks like they used the Barco FLM 22). It was a rear projection set up. The full resolution of the combined projections was 4320×1080. The scaling on the projectors was so high quality and sharp that we decided to build our project at 2560×640 in order to maintain a high fps since our graphics were running in real-time.”
Jake Jorgovan and the Rabbit Hole Creative crew have outdone themselves with a well done projection-mapped set for Telemundo’s Upfront 2012 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in New York. They had a handful with their last big outing, the touring set for Mute Math, but it looks like this one was every bit as challenging and delivered a great result. Using 10 of the Barco HD20′s (supplied by CT Video), they were able to map the set and deliver content using 4 Pandora’s boxes (supplied by DWP Live). The set from Onset Design was painted with Screen Goo, a technique Rabbit Hole Creative has used with success in the past. Dig it!
NEW YORK – WorldStage, the new brand for Scharff Weisberg and Video Applications, Inc., has become the first company in the U.S. to acquire Barco’s new C5 5.5mm pixel pitch, black-face indoor LED display. Introduced earlier this year, the Barco C5 has pushed the boundaries of image quality and price.
“Our specialization in LED video is related to mid-size, high-quality LED displays and we’ve done well with the Barco NX-4 and NX-6 tiles for a number of years. However, they are an expensive technology beyond the budgets of many of our clients.” says WorldStage President Josh Weisberg. “We first saw the C5 at the Detroit Auto Show and thought the video performance of the tile was markedly better than the inexpensive tiles that are proliferating throughout the events community and, when we learned that Barco had priced the C5 tile competitively, we were sold.”
In addition to the new tile’s visual characteristics, the C5 is constructed of high-strength aluminum, the C5 enclosure is a silent “fan-free” design and the cable system is clean and logical.
According to Weisberg, “The contrast performance of the C5 tiles is amazing. Due to a unique shader design, the blacks are unbelievably deep. It’s like looking into a void even in bright environments such as a broadcast studio. We also like the system used to align the tiles along concave and convex curves – it’s simple to implement in a precise manner.”
Another advantage of the system is that it uses high-quality processing in the DX-700, Barco’s premier LED processor system. Otherwise, the system uses newly designed ground support and rigging support parts that reduce the number of pieces and parts to a reasonable minimum.
“By investing in the C5 we’ll be able to deliver a better-looking product over its lifespan than our competitors,” says Weisberg. “The C5 may be a more expensive system but it is a high value-based product any way you look at it.”
Can’t get enough of the Super Bowl Halftime show? Thought so. Here’s a vid from media magnates Moment Factory going in-depth on the production behind the production. Incredible amount of detail and work! For other posts on this crazy event, check HERE.
We see a lot of palaces getting projected onto these days, but when you get to project onto THE palace- Buckingham, that is, it’s a big deal. d3 Technologies was out in full force with Sam Pattinson (yes- of U2 and Elton John fame…) for the Diamond Jubilee last week and did a massive mapping onto the facade of Buckingham Palace as the highlight of the festivities. The event featured such celebrity acts as Kylie, Robbie Williams, Stevie Wonder, Sir Elton John, Madness and Sir Paul McCartney. A full detail of the event and breakdown of the gear is available at their website, but here’s an excerpt: (more…)
I picked a heck of a week to go on vacation. infoComm2012 is in full swing at the Las Vegas Convention Center and although I had all kinds of chances to go and meet up with some great folks, they had to play second to my family! BUT- all of my extended family are showing off some great stuff at the show. What are the issues? Which one to buy of course….and there’s the fact that if you attend the show, how does one keep one’s head from exploding whilst on the show floor? Let’s see…..Las Vegas (check), high end electronics (check), massive, mind-blowing projection offerings (check), ummmmm. Can’t really come up with any negatives. Read on: (more…)
The following appears in the current issue of PLSN Magazine, and many thanks go to the team there- Justin Lang and the entire editorial staff, the web folks, the sales team, and all the other fantastic writers. I couldn’t ask for a better team to work for (when I get the chance) and the quality of the mag is beyond great. Be sure to visit PLSN.com and subscribe! There is so much more with the electronic version as well. If you work in the Biz, than you need to read it. Simple as that. The current issue is chock full of articles from industry experts Nook Schoenfeld, Vickie Claiborne, and Brad Schiller, as well as some great pieces on portable power, the Clay Paky Alpha Spot QWO 800, a tribute to Chip Monck,…..just get there and read! (more…)
We got a peek at a great mapping done by Senovva for Red bull at UMC a couple of weeks back, and here’s a look behind-the-scenes. They used 12 Barco FLM 20′s and a d3 rig from d3 Technologies. And you thought shooting the side of a building was easy, although the pros from Senovva and Integrated Visions make it look that way! Check IVP’s input for the RB event HERE.