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System suggestions for an interactive video installation.

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Barend Onneweer
System suggestions for an interactive video installation.
on Jul 17, 2006 at 9:11:16 am

Hi all,

I'm currently working on animations for a 'semi-interactive' video installation in a store.

The systems-integrator that was contracted (by the client) doesn't seem right on top of things, so I'd love some input from the knowledgeable people in this barn...

To give an overview:

On a big (rear projected) screen of 15 ft wide a continuous seamless loop is projected. A continuous pan through an animated landscape. With music and soundeffects.

Two 'egg'chairs are standing in front of the screen.

When someone sits down in the left chair, a person appears in the video projection, right in front of the left chair, speaking a short bit of text.

Same happens for the other chair. Currently we've got around 8 of these 'talking heads' that can appear.

So, to sum it up what we need is this:

A system that will play back a video loop (preferably 2048x768 - the video is played out on two projectors side-by-side to get sufficient width).

The system should be able to overlay in real time one or two clips with alpha channel (probably around 600x400 in size - maybe smaller).

So far, it could probably be done in Flash, which is what the systems builder seems to want to go with. I'm slightly worried about video quality, but at least Flash supports alpha channels.

What would be utterly cool is 4 channel audio. Stereo for the music and atmospheric sounds and two separate channels for the voice-over left and right. So that you'd send the talking head audio to either the left or the right chair while still having a stereo soundscape...

So is Flash a viable direction to take? I'm not building the system, but I'd like to know how realistic this is.

Are there more suitable systems (preferably PC based, either Windows or Linux) that will do this? I think Macrobe Director supports multi-channel audio?

Thanks for any input.

Bar3nd













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Bob Bonniol
Re: System suggestions for an interactive video installation.
on Jul 17, 2006 at 9:44:27 pm

Barend,

Check out the Hippotizer from Green Hippo. It supports 2048 x 768, it takes care of edge blending the projectors (very important consideration), it supports alpha channels, and it supports interactive protocols like RS232, 422, MIDI, serial code, whatever... You can run Jitter applications to send midi triggers for your interactivity.

Also worth looking at is Dataton Watchout, AVStumpfl's Wings Platinum, and High End Systems Catalyst.

Good luck,

Bob Bonniol

MODE Studios
http://www.modestudios.com
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Thomas Leong
Re: System suggestions for an interactive video installation.
on Jul 18, 2006 at 5:59:05 am

Additionally you may want to check out/contact Arcstreamav to see if they can adapt their 'interactive poolsystem' to project on a wall instead of onto the floor.

Their system has been briefly described as having XY sensors mounted near the projectors overhead which would trigger a preprogrammed event when a person does a particular action very near the projected image, eg. steps near, and the animated projected fishes would swim away. Perhaps they could adapt the sensors to aim at the two oval seats, or use mechanical sensors instead. Their Technical Director, Tony Clynick, would be the one to speak to as he has eons of experience installing/troubleshooting/problem-solving at numerous World Expos over the years. Be warned, however, that their system is not cheap.

I am familiar with Stumpfl's Wings Platinum, and except for a couple of possible gotchas, what you describe/require could be done with Wings Platinum software using their Show Control Module and Mix Group function. The two possible gotchas are multidisplay video loop, and alpha-channel videos. During production, both may not be a problem. But on playback, they may need a workaround.

Suggest you contact Avstumpfl USA Office for further exploration for your project.

Thomas Leong
Yahoo Group Multidisplays Forum



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Barend Onneweer
Re: System suggestions for an interactive video installation.
on Jul 21, 2006 at 10:49:07 am

Thanks for the tips guys, I'm passing them through to the systems builder... let's see if we can get this to work.

Bar3nd

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