Category Archives: Video

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Projector Animations

Wireframe-OE-(0;00;00;00)For Not So Silent Night this year we played around with using a projector as a light source.  We took a 17,000 lumen projector, put it upstage center, and faced it towards the audience.  With the room hazed out we were able to create some pretty sweet animations.  Stuff you just can’t do with a normal moving light.

We used Qlab since it is a very reliable media player and the new version adds a lot of on the fly controls for manipulating content.  It’s also controllable from a variety of ways, MIDI notes, keyboard shortcuts, MIDI Show Control, iPad app, lots of options.  This made it easy to add into our Ableton show control rig.

We loaded up some content into Qlab and tried full color, complex stuff along with black and white, really simple stuff.  We started to find that the simpler the better since we’re trying to discern images in mid-air using haze.  The more negative space in the image, the easier it was to read.

Think of your moving lights.  The gobos that give the most distinct beams are typically the least busy ones.  The really busy gobos may look good on the ground or wall as a texture but probably don’t look as good in the air through haze generally speaking.  Instead of individual beams you can end up with a frosted look.

Not that all colored content look bad, color bars through the air actually looked really cool, ha ha.  I was really interested in beams for this show so white graphics with a black background seemed to work best.  This gave us the most contrast possible for the beams to cut through.

White is also easy to color correct into other colors.  Take away green and you’re left with magenta for example.  Taking away a color from white to change the look is way easier than creating content in a specific color and then trying to get white instead.

After seeing what worked and what we liked I created some simple stuff in After Effects.  Things rendered nice and fast since they were so simple.  Creating everything ourselves also gave us full control over the look.  Searching through stock content is sometimes more work than just creating stuff yourself if you know what you want.

Below is what we made.  I’m pretty sure we didn’t use everything but we wanted lots of options.  Feel free to rip them from YouTube and play around with a projector you may have lying around.  You don’t need 17,000 lumens (but it helps, ha ha) you can try it out with a smaller projector just to see the effect.

I think that my favorite effect was the small dots falling.  This created an awesome starry, twinkly, kinda look.  We actually used it on a song where it was the only light in the whole room and it was great.

The moving line was probably my second favorite.  Real laser like effect waving around.  The OE logos came out nice too.  Always cool when you can incorporate a little branding into the effects.

Audio Dots
Audio Lines
Circle Dots 1
Circle Dots 2
Line
OE Wall
Lines
Moving Line
Snow 2
Snow 1
Snowy Dots
Squiggles

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TypeMonkey After Effects Script

typemonkeyartA big part of motion graphics for worship is animated type.  Whether it’s lyrics to a song or a powerful Bible verse, at some point you’ll want to create moving text.  While there are some great presets built into After Effects I just found out about a script add-on that takes it to the next level.

TypeMonkey is a script for After Effects that takes the tedious process of animating a lot of text and makes it easy and quick!  It offers a lot of cool features and has a lot of options making it pretty versatile.  Now it’s not a cure all, but it looks like it’s something that will work well in a lot of cases.

Head on over to AEScripts.com and check out TypeMonkey.  It’s on sale until the end of the month!

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Cinema 4D And After Effects

433505036_640I’ve been using Adobe Creative Cloud for about a year now.  For a flat fee monthly subscription I get every Adobe product.  It’s awesome!  Instead of forking out thousands of dollars for everything, and then paying for upgrades every year, I pay one flat fee and I always have the latest and greatest.

And it’s that last part that makes CC awesome.  The newest big upgrade to After Effects is its deep integration with Cinema 4D using a new plugin Cineware.  If you don’t know Cinema 4D is a high end 3D program.  It’s been used in lots of movies and TV programs.  It also has a lot of motion graphics uses.

Like any program there’s a learning curve but it is one of the industry standard 3D programs and it’s not exorbitantly priced so it’s a good one to learn.  Since it is a standard there are many resources out there to learn from.  GreyscaleGorilla.com is one worth checking out.

With the recent CC upgrade After Effects now comes with Cinema 4D Lite, for free!  With the Lite version you get a lot of features and you can get your feet wet in the world of 3D software without any extra investment.

Cineware eliminates the need to render out before sending things to After Effects.  This makes the whole process a lot faster and a lot easier!  Plus if you need to make a change you just go back to Cinema 4D and make the change.  Those changes then go to After Effects in real time, no re-rendering!

While you may not use Cinema 4D for everything it is very powerful.  Even if you’re not making 3D movies it’s still a great compositing tool for creating stills.  Once you try it and learn the basics you’ll find lots of uses for it.

On a side note I recently made a couple of things with Cinema 4D, check them out!

Where To Crank, Red Black

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The Show 2013 Ableton Live Show Control

Screen Shot 2013-06-09 at 5.50.26 PMI can’t believe we just got done with The Show 2013, just doesn’t seem like another year has passed!  Will Doggett from LoopsInWorship.com and myself put together a video showing how we controlled everything for The Show.

Once again everything centered around Ableton Live and it worked great!  All 3 nights went very well considering the hundreds of cues that were happening.  Check it out!

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Microsoft IllumiRoom

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 5.30.38 PMWith all the high end projection mapping out there for big events it’s easy to overlook ways to integrate things on a smaller scale.  Looks like Microsoft figured it out already, ha ha.  They have some really impressive proof of concept videos on their site.

Basically they’re using a combination of a short throw projector and a Kinect to map the room’s objects in 3D then project content.  Some really awesome ideas!

Check out the link for more technical details and the video below for a short demo.  It would be pretty interesting if a media server company like Green Hippo integrated a Kinect into 3D mapping setups like this.

Microsoft IllumiRoom

Research Paper

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Renewed Vision Announces ProVideoServer

Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 8.56.16 AMRenewed Vision is probably best known for ProPresenter, their church presentation software.  They also make ProVideoPlayer which is tailored a little more towards video walls and environmental projection.  Recently at NAB they announced a new product, ProVideoServer.

ProVideoServer is a software based solution that replaces an older software and hardware based solution for satellite church campuses.  Basically it provides sync’d playback of up to 4 video sources.  This allows for what most churches do for satellite campuses where there’s a center large screen and smaller sides screens.  And since there’s up to 4 channels of playback you have even more options.

You can get a little more info from Renewed Vision’s site, they have some teaser info up now.  They also showed a demo at NAB which can be seen below.  Pretty cool part is that with computers getting so powerful now you don’t necessarily need special hardware like you would even a few years ago.  In the demo he’s just using a newer MacBook Pro, very cool.

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Oblivion The Skytower Virtual Set

Today I received an email linking to this short behind the scenes video.  Pretty awesome setup!  Huge seamless video wall for the set of Oblivion The Skytower.  Now if only I could get their budget to use in our sanctuary, ha ha.

For the filming of Universal’s new sci-fi movie OBLIVION, the Tom Cruise film opening this weekend, Cinematographer Claudio Miranda, ASC, and Director Joseph Kosinski filmed many of the visual effects live in-camera rather than using blue screens. For the scenes in the futuristic “Sky Tower”, a set built almost entirely of glass windows and highly reflective surfaces, PRG projected a 270° sky surrounding the set. Eleven PRG Mbox Extreme media servers and 21 Barco FLM-HD20 20K projectors were used to cover the 494’ wide by 42’ tall projection screen.

 

PRG Project Manager Zach Alexander, the Media Operator on the film, used the PRG V676 control console to call up the different looks. During filming, Kosinski and Miranda reviewed and selected the sky footage options by viewing the video directly on the V676’s Media Window.

 

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Supraflux Camera Stabilizer

supraflux-stabilizer-1-webKickstarter has been one of my favorite sites lately.  So many cool and unique products are being launched on there by smaller companies.  Products that wouldn’t have launched without the help of Kickstarter and the backers willing to fund projects.

Recently I was contacted about another great product that was just launched on Kickstarter.  The Supraflux Stabilizer is a new camera stabilizer that is very versatile and has some cool, unique, features.  This product hit it’s funding goal so it will be produced.

What stood out to me was that it can work with a wide range of cameras, from iPhones, to GoPros, to DSLRs.  It also has a custom brake allowing you to pan your shot without touching the platform.  This means that you won’t ruin your shot with shakiness when you adjust your framing.  There’s lots of other features too, it’s pretty obvious that they’ve done their homework on this one.

Check out their video for the full list of features and to see some demo footage.  If it looks like something that will help your next video production head on over to their Kickstarter page and support their product!

Supraflux Stabilizer

Update, they’ve hit their funding goal so this will go into production!  They’ve also uploaded another demo video, looks very cool.

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Green Hippo Hippotizer 3.2 Released

Screen shot 2013-02-16 at 6.35.50 PMGreen Hippo has officially released their Hippotizer 3.2 software update.  They’ve added a lot of really cool features to their already powerful and easy to use Zookeeper software.

A couple of the features I’m looking forward to are the built in region mapping (for 3D mapping).  A crossfade engine that goes way beyond just crossfading media.  It creates smooth transitions for anything you can control.  So media, FX, color or geometry changes, anything!  Lastly they have a nice preset component that makes it really easy to create, store, and load, all kinds of looks.  Again it goes way beyond just the clips themselves to include FX, multiple layers, whatever you want.

There’s a lot more than what I’ve listed.  Head on over to Green Hippo’s site for the full info on their release.

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TouchOSC App For Video Control

Screen shot 2012-12-18 at 12.56.08 PMI’ve been looking into MIDI controllers lately for controlling lights and video.  I didn’t really want to purchase one though before I really was sure it would do what I want it to do and that it’s worth the money.  I searched for some apps for my iPad that offers MIDI control and I found a really cool one called TouchOSC.  It’s only $5 and so far does everything I want it to do.

I put together a short video showing how to set it up and control ProVideoPlayer as an example.  My goal is to get it to control the Green Hippo media servers.  Once I get that working I’ll post another video.  Enjoy!