This shows you some nice ways of using the 3D line actors and 3D renderer actor – which is pretty new.
Previously the 3D actors have been like projectors; meaning they are the end of the line before the video goes out to the stages. But now you can turn the ‘destination’ setting to renderer and it re-directs the video to the 3D renderer actor.
So…. this opens up a lot of possibilities!
A short but sweet video on Image Processing in Isadora. This is an often forgotten feature of Isadora that beginners and pro users sometime forget about it. Try it out – it may help the performance of your machine/project.
Mud, sun, rain, more rain, great music and a kick-ass projection system. That was Glastonbury 2014, in The Common field, at the Temple arena. Wow – what an experience…. I don’t know where to even begin with this one!
Let’s start from the beginning. I got a really nice email via this very blog from a guy called Ryan asking if I was interested in a gig. He wanted something a little different and asked if we could talk more if I was interested. I won’t lie – I thought it may have been a small VJ gig or some kind of install using isadora – I get a lot of questions, emails and comments each week. I reply to them all but admit – I though this one was no different.
After the initial hello emails Ryan casually said it was a venue at Glastonbury. I had to read the message about nine times over to believe it. I had never been to Glastonbury, but like many reading this, knew it was an amazing opportunity. I knew this could not be done solo – this was a job for me and Dan and his place of work; guildhall school of music and drama. I work quite a lot with Dan, we get each others workflow and being a lecturer for many years he knows I am professional and reliable around students – not only this I love getting student involved in real world gigs. In my opinion it’s the best place to learn and experience things first hand. If I had the opportunity to work at Glastonbury it would have been amazing!
So you get the idea, we then had various emails, phone calls and Skype sessions, we bounced ideas around and got the ball rolling. We looked at lots of hardware and software options but decided that Isadora was the tool for us. The video mapping features that we had custom made for Lux, Helsinki had been developed to a very high standard and whilst still under a beta we were confident we could use it.
A year passed and the gig was just around the corner, we all contributed to the video content using After Effects, Cinema 4D and a really talented student called Neville built the main Isadora patch. We all helped map the structure in a variety of roles once on site. My main job was to keep an eye on isadora, make subtle tweaks, maintain performance and spot any crucial errors, make any last minute programming changes and be on stand by incase of any crashes or errors (there were none by the way!).
The pictures show the Temple and surrounding fields aesthetic, we wanted the Mayan/Aztec like structure to come alive with a nice blend of historical symbols, images and custom graphics. There was a hint of hi-tech alien like sci-fi VJ loops also. The lighting, pyro and music all worked really well. The mapping looked great despite a few set-backs; the main one was losing half a day due to extreme rain, wind and an electrical storm; so bad that the electrical company shut down all non-essential power. This was not cool – but al part of the experience.
It’s hard to describe the full set up so I am going to keep it simple.
- Two Mac Pro’s 9not the new black (‘dustbins’).
- Each Mac pro had two Touch Screens for triggering video. (one screen for DJ booth, the other for exterior)
- Two Lindy DVI switches
- Two Spark D-Fuser Video mixers
- Then into a Datapath X4
- DJ Booth had four Panasonic 16500 lumens projectors on it.
- Exterior had four Christie Roadsters 26000 lumens each.
- Everything was run over Cat5 once it left the Datapath.
- We used a custom beta of Isadora (the soon to be version 2.0)
- Modified APC20 from Akai for MIDI effects and control via Isadora.
- A few TFT monitors via splitters for monitors, etc.
- We also had Blackmagic capture cards running into one mac for CCTV feeds, etc.
We had a great experience, a few crashes when programming things and trying stuff out before shows (during the day) but no crashes during live sets. Because we had two Macs mixing between each other , both doing inside and outside, if one machine was to crash we had the other as a back-up, however we treated them both as live machines.
We got to VJ for some great artists, I can’t name them all here but it was a privilege to hear them, meet them and talk to them over the course of the three days. Likewise the whole team at the common were amazing. We were very well looked after and I can’t thank them enough. I can safely say we delivered what we said we would. We made it happen. The pictures and video are great – but it’s never as good as seeing it live. The arena felt alive. It felt like it had an energy oozing out the walls.
A few highlights for me:
- Seeing a huge que of people wanting to come in at 5:45 in the morning even though we closed at 6:00. Not that I liked people not being able to come in but it was great to see the demand.
- Seeing people walk up and touch the wooden lock gates when they were being projected onto. Granted some people were ‘out of it’ but that magical element you can see in peoples faces is amazing – you can see the cogs working in their heads going ‘how is that moving’, ‘where is he light coming from?’.
- Watching the sun come up (and down) multiple times whilst working, with a nice breeze in your face, time flew by and was just an experience I will never forget.
- Seeing the DJ Booth mapped for the first time was a true OMG moment. It wasn’t even fully Dark yet and it was so so bright! Seeing the visuals you had been working on for months and months finally on the structure was amazing.
- Waking up at 3 in the afternoon and dancing to old school jungle before going for breakfast – which was actually tea… strange, but amazing.
- I went to see DJ’s Above & Beyond play at the Sonic tent – incredible! This was my only 2 hours off I had the whole week and it was well worth it.
- Last but not least – just being n Glastonbury was a highlight. It’s so hard to explain. It’s not just another music event. It’s like a mini city. A fantasy world were anything goes. It was so cool.
So. It was quite an experience. There is some video being made which I will add soon. But for now… a few pictures (click to open gallery):
It’s not that often that my 9-5 day job crosses paths with my interest and passion for Isadora. But this mini project did and I am happy to share it all with you today.
At work at York Museums Trust I work as a Digital Creator. One of my new tasks has been to train up as a collection photographer. I’ve had a lot to learn and lots more still to come! Anyway, I have been researching lots of software because in my head it made sense to feather my funky new Nikon D300s to my mac and watch all the pictures magically appear on my laptop. I managed to do this using a few demos and found that:
1) USB cables are a bit of a pain – especially around priceless museum pieces.
2) You need a long cable one moment, the next a short one, then an extension, blah blah – again a real pain.
3) No matter what price the USB cable – they are easy to come out, a slight tug and it’s all over, even a wiggle can name it go crazy. I know some are *bit* better but they are not lockable. And no I am not sticking tape on my work mac! No way – this is not a tacky windows machine….
4) Similarly; the mini USB, or Micro USB, tiny mini small USB or whatever type of USB it is, really isn’t located in the best of places on the camera. I can’t complain at this really – it wasn’t designed to be used at the same time as me taking pictures was it? (Or was it? In which case – what stupid place to put it, smacking me in the cheek, getting stuck under my elbow… )I’m sure given half a chance it would try and attack some priceless pot and throw it on the floor. These cables do have a life of their own I’m telling you! If you are smiling or laughing at this right now then you know EXACTLY what I am on about. Anyway….
5) Some tethering software is good, some bad, some glitchy and some are £2000+ for stuff I don’t need. All I wanted (for now) was the last picture I took nice and big on my screen close by… so I know it looks good, needs adjusting, checking for shadows, contrast, etc. I figure if I have a super sexy Mac Book pro retina scree why not use it?
6) So, USB is also fairly slow. This can’t be helped.
7) Did I mention the USB cable was always getting in the way….?
So… I found out about these things called Eye-Fi cards. Not cheap but less than £100. So we ordered one. I created a closed network on my Mac, jigged around with the card – by jigged I mean set-up without reading the instructions. This was problem 1 out of 2 solved. No more cable, no more tripping up, no more USB extensions, silly connections and hazards.
So the full screen software? Well this is where Isadora came in. If you have not heard of Isadora then you can read my blog or visit the website.
So here is how I linked it all together.
– WIFI card is connected to my mac via WIFI (or adhoc network)
– Images are dropped into a folder.
– Using this action script kindly shared by Jamie Griffiths then isadora automatically imports the picture into a folder.
– My Isadora patch ‘watches’ the folder and indexes the pictures.
– Every time a new picture is added and then imported it tells a counter to show that image full screen.
– If I want to go back and forth then Z and X keys on my keyboard can be used to do this for me.
I do have plans to develop it but for me, this is all I need.
So here is my patch, it’s free! (But donations welcome…)
Every now and again I like to post some video that I’ve seen. Here they are;
A music video/live performance all done using Z-Vector; VJ Julius Tuomisto and his Z Vector software from Delicode. I love this type of live, real time visuals.
Lots of people have been talking about this video. Chances are you have already seen it. But hey, if you haven’t its amazing an well worth a watch! Read more about it here also: http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/video-exclusive-bot–dollys-the-box-unpacks-a-radically-new-design-concept
Isadora user ‘Lanz’ posted this on the forum. A very fun, vibrant and interesting piece. Lovely digital scenery! [More info here]
“Taking inspiration from fairy tales, In A Deep Dark Wood is a fun and interactive show about a little girl who bravely ventures into a dark and mysterious wood. Encountering tempting trees to climb and beguiling creatures, the tale unfolds as the young audience help to create a magical world using shadow and light to guide the little girl through her bewitching adventure.”
Last but not least check out ‘The zero hour’ by Imitating the Dog.
“Taking as its starting point the final moments of the Second World War in Berlin, The Zero Hour follows the stories of three couples living through three very different versions of the same historical events”
If you have any cool videos to share then add them to the comments below.
If you came to my World Stage Design talk in Cardiff a few weeks ago then you will recall me offering to share the demo patch I used on the day….
Well here it is. This is just a template. I highly suggest you watch Mark Coniglio’s tutorials here to refresh your memory.
I have added the ‘tracker.mov’ video which replicates a person for motion tracking.
[DOWNLOAD HERE] It’s in a .zip file and is 618kbs.
You can download the demo of Isadora here for free: