Posts tagged “signal

Summer Light Phantom

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
- laptop
- midi keyboard
- camera Nikon D800

- Apple Motion
- Apple Final Cut

Summer Light Phantom from Le3 on Vimeo.

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Microsoft IllumiRoom

Brett Jones, over at Projection Mapping Central sent me a really neat project he worked on as an intern at Redmond. Microsoft’s ‘IllumiRoom’ is a proof-of-concept system for augmenting the area around a display with projected visualizations. Gamers- take note! Yikes…what’s going to happen when I use this with 3D glasses????

The Kinect has revolutionized a lot of stuff recently…including a few projects featured here at Projectionfreak- The MIDAS project, NuFormer, and the future of car buying.

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projectiondesign’s X-Port Modules

Enabling future upgrades and custom configuration of projection and visual display systems whilst at the same time optimising current investments in projection, projectiondesign®’s new X-PORT™ modular based front and back-end connectivity extensions offer great new connectivity and image processing options. The new X-PORT modules are designed for use with the new F35, FL35 and F85 series projectors using projectiondesign’s Magnesium electronics platform. Whilst the F35 and FL35 series X-PORT modules are available for purchase now, the F85 series X-PORT module will ship in December 2012. X-PORT is a small and unique module based extension that enables easy connectivity to and from current and future formats, as well as supplemental image processing. The discrete devices (more…)

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Analog Way Eikos EKS500 Review


The following appears in the September issue of PLSN magazine. Give ‘em a look for all the latest and greatest in the biz- especially during LDI Week!

Analog Way Eikos EKS500 Matrix Switcher
I have to keep reminding myself that computers really only do one thing at a time and even then, it’s only what you tell it to. It’s like I always tell my technophobe friends, “think of it like a toaster, you can make toast- not lasagna”. Video gear is much the same way, in fact, that’s what I think distinguishes great products from mediocre ones. If it does one thing well- great. Presentation switchers in a perfect world would be the same way. But the live event world is rarely perfect and presentation switchers try really hard to bridge the gap. Does this mean doing many things is not a good thing? No. For more complex presentations, units that can accomplish many things are perfect for rental/staging companies. These units are designed to do a lot, and like most everything, you get what you pay for. There are units that will simply and passively switch two sources -and there are units that try to be full-blown 2 M/E engines of wonder. Somewhere in there is the right piece for your application.

I came across the Eikos EKS500 from Analog Way recently and it seems (more…)

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Show Control Book Contest!


Time is running out on the contest to win a copy of John Huntington’s “Show Networks and Control Systems”. I get it- if less people enter the better your chances of winning……but it’s like the lottery….you can’t win if you don’t play!

Read THIS POST and then head over to to enter your answer. Two copies will be given to the entrants with the correct guess. You have until 5 PM July 24th to enter your answer so get on it! Don’t miss a chance to get this excellent guide to show control and networking. Everyone remotely involved in this stuff can use it for reference- from beginners to a hardened pro!

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Show Networks and Control Systems- The Book


That acronym conjures up many a late night. There’s usually a point in everyone’s career when it comes up. Maybe it’s after a hellish night patching and re-patching around a piece of gear, maybe it’s after discovering that shiny-new rack has a lot of hidden surprises. But it’ll come up one way or another. I read manuals for fun. I love reading manuals. If they’re well written- so much the better. In the case of putting together all the stuff that makes our industry work, there really isn’t a manual. Use Google all you want, but there aren’t really any definitive writs that piece it all together.

At least, that’s what I thought until I read Show Networks and Control Systems. I came of age when consoles like the Hog II and the Status Cue were the talk of the town, and DMX was in it’s hey-day. ACN and RDM were but a mere dream and sound consoles still had faders that you actually pushed up and down. Hell, the PC boom hadn’t even really taken off. But then the Network came into play and everything started to change rapidly. And that’s just light and sound! Think of all the other technologies that happen when we’re watching a show or visiting an amusement park…animatronics, pyrotechnics, lasers, water fountains, video.

The thing I like about John’s book is that it is really broad. It is a manual in every sense of the term and one I will refer to many times in the coming years, I’m sure. It covers all of the aforementioned plus a lot more- in plain terms. He explains how all these systems work together as networks- from peer-to-peer to star topology to master/slave. Being that it tips the scales at over 400 pages, I can’t begin to even guess how many times the word “network” is in there (although I tried to count…)! Maybe you can and you can win a copy! Head over to his excellent blog at to get all the details and enter your answer for a chance. If you don’t win, get the book anyway and learn something!

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Show Control from Hell….

I couldn’t help it….

A colleague of mine, John Huntington, over at writes an excellent blog on show control and I immediately thought of him after seeing this. We’ve seen a fair amount of tragedy occur in the Biz this last year, mostly from stupid human error, and I’m glad this one only ended up with a lot of people saying “Wha-fu?….”. But it begs to question the scenario- SOMEONE in control of a decent amount of explosives had something go terribly wrong. Bad button push? Lackluster programming? Less-than-capable understanding of electricity? Granted- the pyro people are a different breed. Talk to anyone who has blown stuff up for a living and you’ll quickly sense a different vibe from the rest of us. But they are, in large part, very methodical people….so that leaves control.

We push a lot of buttons in our industry. Those buttons do things. In video, it can be a simple trigger to fire a video at the right time, or a soft-key that fires a bunch of other things into motion. The EDM artist DeadMau5 recently lambasted the whole perception of DJ-ing in an article in Rolling Stone. “I’m not going to let it go thinking that people assume theres a guy on a laptop up there producing new original tracks on the fly. Because none of the ‘top DJs in the world’ to my knowledge have. Myself included.” John’s got a post on it over at Controlgeek.

We all hit play. Those are some truthful words from a guy who hits ‘play’ for a living. But when that ‘play’ button has a bunch of stuff strung to it, and other events occur, it’s a little-bit bigger deal. In this case, there was enough explosives to do some serious damage. To be fair, he folks over at Garden State Fireworks aren’t amateurs. The Santore Bros. have been setting off fireworks since 1890, so it’s not like they just sent the ‘B’ crew and let it ride. I’d love to see the inner workings of the control system however……..

Anyway- back to the point……John has written a book called “Show Networks and Control Systems” (formerly known as ‘Control Systems for Live Entertainment’) which has been the de-facto standard for this realm since 1994. Show control encompasses a lot of things and in the entertainment world, it can be everything from DMX to ACN to Ethernet to MIDI (SMPTE comes to mind) or a whole host of other languages that our machines speak. The book is available as of TODAY. Give it a whirl and see what the control people do for a living. There’s also going to be a chance to win a copy here on Projectionfreak real soon so stay tuned!

I’m thinking Garden State Fireworks, the company who provided the display, had a major malfunction at some point. What that is I have no idea, but you can bet that the after-action-review was intense. Maybe they should brush up on Chapter 9 of John’s book…..

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VJ Software List

Industry vet and projectionist extraordinaire Dr. Mojo of MojoVideoTech has an outstanding list of VJ apps that he keeps in the toolbox. Make sure to visit his website and check out some in action on recent gigs.

I use a few of these and thought I’d add a couple:
Derivative’s Touchdesigner
TouchDesigner 077 is a visual development platform that equips you with the tools you need to create stunning realtime projects and rich user experiences. Think Amon Tobin…

d3 from d3 Technologies
d3 is a real-time 3D stage simulator, timeline based sequencer, video playback engine, and content mapper, all integrated into a single piece of software that runs on your own laptop or dedicated d3 hardware.

Import stages from the CAD program of your choice, add screens, props, and content to get a true simulation of your production, well before you actually start your build. U2, Red hot Chili Peppers, Coachella…

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Karolina Sobrecka “It’s You”


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…)

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The Visual Drugstore Invades North Africa

The Visual Drugstore invaded North Africa last month on a mission dubbed ‘MMOVΞ’ to travel, experience, and project onto, the desert and any structures that presented themselves. Mar-K.os and crew loaded up the world’s most tricked out mobile projection platform, the MMOV, and some trailing vehicles and headed out for a month of cruising the dunes to project onto whatever they could find. Love this!

Like this kind of stuff? Hit the “Donate” button over on the right to help keep PF up and running….or I’ll just settle for a follow on FB or Twitter….try the RSS feed for timely delivery of all things Projectionfreak! Or you can always subscribe by Email.….

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Vaddio ProductionVIEW Switcher- Review


The following appears in the current issue of PLSN magazine, and I can’t thank them enough for printing it. But here on Projectionfreak you get some extras….

I use a PTZ camera system at work that is a package supplied by Markertek (outstanding prices and service from these folks….highly recommend them!) ….and manufactured by Vaddio…namely a ProductionVIEW switcher, 3 HD19 PTZ cameras with CCU, a Vaddio 3-way monitor, and a Vaddio 2-way HD monitor. The switcher is at the heart of the rig, providing control over the 3 cameras, a fourth PTZ (Sony EVI-D70), computer input, and DVD input. I should say up front that I am not paid by Vaddio or Markertek, nor do they receive advertising credit or endorsement from me or from……although ANY/ALL of those options and scenarios are open for discussion! Hint hint- as in “call for a rate card” hint….

I happen to use their gear based on price and performance and I couldn’t be happier. It’s great stuff and the image quality is outstanding- but on with the hands-on review:

Vaddio ProductionVIEW HD Switcher

As the ‘video guy’ I get asked to wear a lot of hats and it’s not just because I’m a nice guy that says “yes”. There’s a lot of factors to keep track of- not the least of which is keeping a decent image onscreen. If you’re touring, you’re usually just trying to keep the gear from being destroyed- if you’re in corporate you have the constant harangue of having to edit presenter imagery- if you’re in trade shows, well- that list is too long. Usually this is all on top of being the switcher. If you are the lucky person that owns/rents the gear that makes all that happen, you need equipment that does more than one thing. So it goes (more…)

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Flightphase Interactive Projection Wall at University of Dayton

Flightphase, along with HUSH studios and 160over90, lent their talents to the creation of an incredible interactive projection wall featured at the University of Dayton. (You may recall Hush was the motion graphic studio behind the giant Toyota touchscreen we featured a while back) Intended to be an “interactive attractor” for prospective students and their families, the wall is housed (more…)

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V Squared Labs Reveals the Scion FR-S

I’m a huge fan of Vello Virkhaus’ (V Squared Labs) work and it seems he’s lent his touch to a car reveal. Projection on cars has been in the news a bunch recently- I guess everyone just jumps on the bandwagon at some point, but I happen to like it. Cars are perfect for this type of treatment….sleek lines, interesting shapes, smallish (so a really bright projector can look great), and you can use a lot more than 1 or 2 projectors if need be. V Squared Labs put their touch on this reveal for Scion and while they (more…)

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Projectionmapping with VIZZable 0.9.3

Using VIZZable, a series of modules for M4Live, and Ableton you can route video via Syphon to other apps….like Madmapper! This vid features Zeal of who I recently ran a post on using the patch to make a MIDI based map. Love creative uses of apps like these! I also updated the Tutorials for Projection page with the link, so be sure to check it out!

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Barco Releases Next-gen Image Pro II


It seems like anymore not a gig goes by where I wish I had an Image Pro… I can wish for a Image Pro II. The original Image Pro earned a reputation in the industry for being a bit cantankerous, but it’s one of those pieces of gear you’re glad you have when push comes to shove. It’s the original “anything in- anything out” box for super quality scaling/converting…not so much for switching- but it’ll do that too in a pinch. Barco is launching the new ImagePRO-II, a video scaler, scan converter, switcher, and transcoder in one at Integrated Systems Europe, January 31 to February 2, Amsterdam.

The company says the ImagePRO-II is the most versatile (more…)

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Derivative’s TouchDesigner goes Gold


Derivative’s TouchDesigner is now in it’s final release after three years of development. TouchDesigner 077 is a visual development platform in the Windows OS (for now…) that equips you with the tools you need to create stunning realtime projects and rich user experiences. Whether you’re creating live music visuals, interactive media systems, architectural projections, or simply rapid-prototyping your latest creative impulse, TouchDesigner provides you with an exploratory, visual, and fun way to work. (more…)

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Saturdays are supposed to be for rest, no?

It’s Saturday and things at the website are usually slow- plus I have to be at the day job…..most of you know I’m a video technician at a professional theatre on a college campus. It just so happens that I came from a moving light background, so when the 1st electrician is away (like now, for LDI) I get to take care of lighting for whatever event is here. It’s mostly instrumental music this weekend, so it ain’t that bad. Easy, in fact…to kill time why not blog a little and get some projects done?

The two big projects that are happening right now is the addition of two very high-end projectors and the other is an install of an HD camera system. First- the projectors. We got a hold of two DPI Digital Lightning 35HD’s for a steal, one with a lens one without, circa 2006. Both have about 2000 hours on them. They are both in very good condition. The 35HD is a 16,000 lumen, 2k res projector, meaning it’s going to take a crapload of power in my booth to make them work. We have yet to work out the details, but for now we have 2 x 100 amp breakers…I may have to invest in two buck boosters though as the voltage will not be quite what it needs to be. The other thought was that we just had a bunch of new work done on the HVAC system and there are two subpanels below my booth that are 277v. Hmmm…..maybe not buck boosters, but just a big shunt to get to 230v. I’ll also need to beef up the table that both will rest on. Once these things get installed, I don’t plan on moving them very often.

The camera system has been a long time coming. I have been using a 4 camera system that was largely piece-mealed together using different parts from a now-defunct distance learning program. It’s currently 4 Sony EVI-D70′s controlled with an RMBR-300 and all switched with the Roland LVS-800. I then feed this to various legacy decks and monitors (also to projectors), but now that we have some high-end projection, we need some high end signal! The new system is based on the Vaddio Clearview HD18 CCU camera (x3) and a Productionview HD switcher. I also got a Blackmagic Studio 2 capture card for the big Macpro to record in analog HD (at ProRes 422 1280×720). The plan is to purchase a 1TB RAID0 from OWC as well so I’ll have a decent speedy drive to record to. Storage is another deal altogether. We’ll look at long term down the road. This install is going to be a bit of a challenge- I need to run 3 CAT5E cables to every camera position and in a theater that was built in 1963 out of poured concrete, this is no small feat. I also basically have to gut the rack I have now and reconfigure the whole patch. This is sometimes good, though, as it gets rid of unecessary cable and allows me to refine the cable runs a little cleaner.

I’ll be taking pictures along the way so stay tuned and you can watch the progress.

That’s it for now. Have a good weekend.

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Chivas Mapping from Visual Vibes Group


In what looks like an after-party for a sponsored production, the Visual Vibes Group gives us this projection mapping from the inside of a theatre. There’s some great textural stuff, and who wouldn’t want their theatre filled with whiskey? (more…)

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Electrosonic at the National Maritime Museum in London


Electrosonic has been busy recently with the install of the National Maritime Museum in London. We ran a story a while back on their involvement with the Dover Castle Tunnels project so be sure to have a look…..
From Electrosonic Europe:

London (October 10, 2011) – On the 14th July the National Maritime Museum opened its new £36.5m Sammy Ofer Wing, housing ‘Voyagers, a permanent gallery dedicated to helping visitors gain a richer understanding of Britain’s maritime heritage. Electrosonic was selected by the museum to supply, install, commission and provide warranty of the audio-visual hardware. The gallery was designed by Real Studios, with audio-visual creative direction by the Light Surgeons. (more…)

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Arkaos GrandVJ 1.6 beta with Syphon Support

GrandVJ 1.6 beta, that crazy-capable mixing software from Arkaos, now with built-in Syphon support!

Syphon is an open source Mac OS X technology that allows applications to share frames – full frame rate video or stills – with one another in realtime. Until now, Syphon could already be used in GrandVJ through Quartz Composer, the graphical modular language of Apple.

Syphon is now natively supported by GrandVJ, where it acts as an additional (virtual) output, and you know what that means- through Syphon, you can send the output from GrandVJ to any other application that support Syphon as input, which makes it possible to use GrandVJ as video mixer module in some more complex setups. Rejoice and download the latest beta HERE. Remember- it’s a BETA folks. Don’t go running it on a mission-critical show or anything, k?

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The MIDAS Project

A synesthetic exploration of traditional artistic performance and digital art, MIDASpaces was devised as an interactive projection mapped space for the Creative Arts. Using the latest tracking technology, the space learns and reacts to performance, allowing the artist to explore new improvised choreography live and in time. The team worked in tandem with dancer Tom O’Donnell. Given a narrative revolving around man’s ever-changing relationship with technology; the movements challenge assumptions within performance and the evolving role of the performer within art.

An interactive projection mapped project- MIDASpaces employs a combination of light projection, sound and camera tracking to add a digital dimension to the Creative Arts in a real world space. The project made use of custom software written in openFrameworks (C++) running in conjunction with QuartzComposer (openGL) to create the visuals. (more…)

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Connecting Isadora to Madmapper

The folks over at Madmapper (one of our fave new apps) have a great tutorial on connecting to Isadora (one of our other fave apps). It uses a QC patch through yet another fave app, Syphon, to accomplish this. I don’t know what the download results are for Syphon, but given the popularity it’s achieved in the past 2 or 3 months, it’s gotta be huge. Dig it- everyone’s talking to everyone nicely now…….on with the show……

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Mapping Festival 2011!

The Mapping Festival 2011 is about to get into high gear in Geneva. It looks like it’ll be HUGE with a lineup of such VJ’ing and Electronica stars in the following categories:

AV performance:

  • 35plis
  • Supermafia
  • Iduun
  • Manuel Chantre
  • Zan Lyons
  • Fernando Velázquez & Francisco Lapetina
  • People Like Us
  • Greie Gut Fraktion
  • CENC
  • VJ Fader, Adrian Sierra Garcia, Aya Irizuki, Elsée Dall’ava, Tilman Porschuetz
  • Ioann Maria
  • murat ombombe
  • Krash On Earth
  • Chloé Mazlo & Son of a Pitch
  • ExLex
  • Transforma & Yro
  • the erasers
  • Michal Mierzwa (Antistatic Family) / Piotr Bejnar (Mo’s Ferry)
  • legoman & Stray Dogs
  • Pascal Greco & Goodbye Ivan
  • Cagoule
  • Recoil Performance Group

DJ Set/Live

  • Born Bjorg
  • Junction SM
  • Water Lilly
  • Simian Mobile Disco
  • Nemelka
  • The Hiiters
  • Electric Rescue
  • D.I.M
  • Shadow Dancer
  • Opuswerk
  • Dachshund
  • Ina D
  • Dirty Mad Sound
  • Da Krew
  • Fukkk Offf
  • MC Crazy D
  • Unknown To The Unknown
  • D1 – All In feat. Jenna G
  • Oneman
  • DJ Die
  • Franky Digital
  • Paul de Valsonje
  • Raw-shan


  • Get Set Festival – M’s & M (Modeling, Manufacturing and Mapping) COMPLET
  • Modul8
  • Workshop Body Double COMPLET
  • Conférence: From Hal to Kinect
  • AV:LAB present UVA, onedotzero, lightrythm, RVA, Shantell Martin, Olga Mink and Benge.
  • Cybercinema
  • A.Visualist
  • Présentation Vimeo CANCELLED
  • Workshop “HD” mixer
  • Présentation M’s & M
  • VJ Contest
  • In conversation

From their website:
The Mapping Festival is dedicated to the advancement of the VJ medium. It does so by initiating events where the medium of projecting images is combined with other currents in contemporary culture, and bringing these events to the people of Geneva and international visitors.

Formed in 2005 by the creators of Modul8 and the association of the night club Le Zoo/Usine, The festival seeks to present works by individuals and collectives that share a passion for real time image making and performance.

The festival is a labratory for the VJing discipline, offering both novices and professionals the possibilty for experimentation as well as a forum for exchanging ideas and resources. This approach has given it a reputation within the world wide VJ community.
This year the festival will focus on the technical aspects of video mapping, i.e. video-projection on surfaces that is one of the fastest growing art mediums in the world. Highlights include:

- Video projection on bodies by our 2011 visual.
- The official release of MadMapper, a new video mapping software created by GarageCUBE (Modul8) and 1024_architecture. The release will be accompanied by an exclusive 3 day workshop.
- A mapping workshop presented by Get Festival from Porto, Portugal.

This genre of visual performance/technology integration is the birthing grounds for a lot of the ideas and gear that permeate the business right now. I need to get there.  Someone send pictures/videos!!!!!

MAPPING FESTIVAL 2011 - TEASER from mappingfestival on Vimeo.

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Tools, Tips, and Tricks of the Trade- LCD Misconceptions Explained

If you’re in the business of projecting or displaying media for a living, you know the importance of calibrating your gear correctly. Many times you’ll run into displays not reacting quite as they should or having to explain to a client why something looks the way it does. Dr. Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate breaks down misinformation about displays,and specs. Never be fooled by LCD refresh rates, frame rates, or interlacing again! Check out these GREAT articles on response time and motion blur and also artifacts and image quality. All projection freaks need to know this stuff so read up! There will be a test and quiz later………
Let me state that this is NOT a paid plug….(although it would be nice) but be sure to check out all their display calibration software- indispensable!

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