Visuals, Club Visuals & Tour Visuals

20 01 2009

This is an astoundingly exciting and creative area of moving image production, and something that has been growing smaller and smaller in the category cloud (on the right, just under the strip of videos) on my blog, just because I can’t think where to start writing about it. But I’ve abandoned it for too long, so here’s part one of a (hopefully) long running series of posts…

We now increasingly expect to see interesting visuals when we see a gig or go to a club. As video projectors get cheaper and brighter, more and more clubs can afford to have them installed, and as more and more people enjoy seeing exciting visuals, it becomes the norm. It has also been breaking out of the club and gig environment, with very interesting work now in art installations, public displays, fashion shows and events of every kind. Then when you invest in a number of screens and use the space more fully you can create beautiful compositions that take us away from the single boring rectangular screen we are used to seeing in our homes.

Example – YSL Triptych – Click on the above to see an interesting use of three screens for a fashion show (Credits here) (Article here).  Once we can break away from the convention of a single screen then great possibilities are afforded to us. Multiple screen installations look fantastic, and give us another option to play with, as the image on a screen is affected by what surrounds it.

There are a lot of applications of visual material. One obvious use is in gigs, and a couple of examples are below. First,  Charles Lee and Dstrukt have posted their visuals for the Linkin Park world tour. These are generally themed around a song. In this case “We used Flowers to represent the progressive growth/development of a teenagers personality.”

Second, Etienne De Crecy Live 2007 Transmusicales de Rennes.

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Due to the nature of a video projector, we can choose to change the image at a touch of a button. In contrast a film projector would need to be turned off, the film changed and then started again. This opens up great creative possibilities for everyone from musicians, filmmakers and artists. If laptops and cameras are being used to provide the visuals, rather than just playing them off a dvd player, then you can have a level of interactiveness and experimentation that can be really exciting to play with. A wealth of software is on the market for producing live visuals/installation. There is also a thriving scene with fans and forums helping each other. 

Enough for now. I feel happy that I’ve scratched the surface, but there’s so much more to say. Hopefully soon.

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Canon 5D mkII update

19 01 2009

Well the 5d mk2 has been out for a little while now, and a lot of people have got their hands on one. I’m still holding off to see what Canon are going to do about the 24/25p issue. For those of you not aware, the camera shoots at 30frames per second. This is pretty much the standard frame rate in the US and Japan, but for Europeans, we have 25 frames per second. The 24p relates to the speed that film runs at and is obviously great for those wanting to shoot more filmic videos.

Anyway, lots of sites have been moaning at Canon to do the decent thing and update the camera to work properly in the UK. They’re selling it here, but we don’t get the same functionality that they get in the US. We’re already paying a massive premium on top of the US prices, so don’t make me any more depressed. Come on.

If Canon don’t get the job done, then maybe the people at CanonHack.com will do it for them. Another good place to find out if it is being updated is at canonrumors.com 

I was also interested to see if there is any more nice footage out there to show what the 5D MKII can do. Vincent Laforet’s blog is still a great resource, and he  has some tips and tricks. Tips and tricks for the 5D MKII – Part 1  Tips and tricks for the 5D MKII – Part 2 Audio. He certainly seems to be getting a lot of work as a cinematographer since releasing Reverie into the wild. 

Another good place to see what the camera can do, especially in low light (what I really want it for), is on Angus Giorgi’s Vimeo page. Vimeo is a great site, full of interesting videos. Vimeo works more like a showcase for new and existing talent, rather than Youtube’s mass of lifted programmes and sneezing pandas. No more yapping from me, just click below to see Angus’ video.

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There’s also a forum thread over at dvxuser.com where desperate 5D MKII owners are retiming the speed of their clips to make them 25PAL footage. It looks like it’s going to take a long time rendering if you want to do it.

If you have no idea what the Canon 5d mk2 is, or why it’s so revolutionary for moving image then read a good review of it here or read my original blog entry

update – check out all the latest on the camera at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-eos-5d-mk-ii-hd/

James Miller details a high shutter speed workaround on his vimeo page 





Happy New Year!

5 01 2009

Crikey, another one over. I haven’t made any resolutions, but I need to get fitter and do more creative work. So I’d better get on. Before I do, a quick post for this amazing video. If you ever needed any inspiration as to what to do with the 300,000 spare tea-lights you have stashed away in a cupboard, then check this out.

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