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Dave Martin
BIG SCREEN (24 x 80) - Video Production
on Dec 26, 2007 at 5:55:45 pm

Hi Guys

Here's one for the experts...

The screen is a 24x80 and they are using Christie 16k's. They have a 1400x1050 chip in them. Here are the numbers for the screen.

Canvas Total: 3500x1050

Blend: 350

Aspect Ratio: 3.33

The suggestion was to do the entire video/graphics in After Effects at 3500 x 1080 and then output it to 1920 x 1080 anamorphic. A montage system would stretch the video on site.

Does this sound reasonable? The workflow would be somewhat difficult at 3500 x 1080 for a 7 minute video...any other options?

Thanks for replies...






Martin

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-MacBook Pro - 2.16GHz Intel Core Duo - 2 gig Ram

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Bob Bonniol
Re: BIG SCREEN (24 x 80) - Video Production
on Dec 26, 2007 at 6:07:18 pm

Understanding that the Montage is doing the scaling, what is your playback device ?

If it's an HD based device (say a Doremi V1HD), than it is understandable why you might go with anamorphic HD output from AE. If it is a resolution independant media server (Hippo, Pandoras), then I would recommend a reduced resolution that is consistent with the real aspect ratio, but reduced enough to make the pipeline manageable. The Montage is already going to be scaling, but you risk visible artifacting in having it perform the re-shaping as well.

Also, just because the projectors are capable of 1400 x 1050 doesn't mean the staging company intends to run them at native res. Possible or even probable, but not certain. Make sure to check first.

Also, 3500 x 1050 isn't really crippling if you don't want to waste any pixels. I've gone all the way up to 5k+ on blended rastors.

Good luck.

Bob


MODE Studios
http://www.modestudios.com
Contributing Editor, Entertainment Design Magazine
Art of the Edit Forum Leader
Live & Stage Event Forum Leader
HD Forum Leader


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nicholasrivero
Re: BIG SCREEN (24 x 80) - Video Production
on Dec 26, 2007 at 7:38:15 pm

My company is about to go on a spring tour and our set consists of a 7'x36' wall with a resolution of 720x3840.
We decided to opt out of doing an edged blended wall because we own 7'x12' DaLite surfaces so we built our 7'x36' wall using three screens butted up against each other.
Though we have been building the content in AE at native res with little to no issues. I'm working on a 17" macbook pro and build everything in quarter res then then do sample renders on a Mac Pro at work.
We render our content out as 720x3840 from AE and then use compressor to render it down into 3 seperate 720x1280/H264 compressed chunks (stage left, center, and stage right).
At the show we are playing back our content from three seperate mac minis using Renewed Visions ProVideo Player software (http://www.renewedvision.com). So each mac mini plays back it's respective H264 piece.
Hope this helps, //nick


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Dave Martin
Re: BIG SCREEN (24 x 80) - Video Production
on Dec 26, 2007 at 10:00:51 pm

Thanks Nick

How long is your piece at 720x3840? That just sounds like it would really run fairly slow in AE if you had a lot of complicated elements. I've tested a bit with my 3500 x 1080 and it certainly didn't respond like we would like it too...any other tips besides the 1/4 resolution?


Thanks so much!







Martin

- MacPro - Quad Core - 4 gig Ram

-MacBook Pro - 2.16GHz Intel Core Duo - 2 gig Ram

-FCP Studio 5.1.4 - QT 7 - OSX 10 - Firmtek Sata Raid- G-raid dv drive


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Nicholas Rivero
Re: BIG SCREEN (24 x 80) - Video Production
on Dec 27, 2007 at 5:04:55 am

It's not real time by any means but we have been working fine at quarter res and doing ram previews between an 1/8 res and 1/4 res; obviously with no motion blur or frame blending, just basic enough that we can build camera moves, looks, the large scale things. Our tour consists of about 4 hours worth of content. The longest pieces are just under 10 minutes and range down to about 30 seconds.

The most complex piece we built was a 3D hallway in which the camera flies through some Trapcode Particular clouds.

It's not ideal but it is possible.

//nick


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Dave Martin
Re: BIG SCREEN (24 x 80) - Video Production
on Dec 27, 2007 at 9:40:15 am

Sounds like it'll take some time!

Thanks Nick!

Dave Martin

- MacPro - MacBook Pro -


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Dave Martin
Re: BIG SCREEN (24 x 80) - Video Production
on Dec 26, 2007 at 9:56:08 pm

Thank you Bob..I appreciate the reply...

The playback device should be a Grass Valley Turbo but we could change that if we needed too.

Can you explain the difference between scaling and reshaping? I'm coming from an AE/FCP perspective where I just use the term scaling.

If I would work in a reduced resolution and get the montage to scale it up...what, in your opinion, might be a reasonable resolution to work in?

I've never worked in a 3500 x 1050 resolution, even with a mac pro and 8 gigs of ram...I would imagine AE will run pretty slow...would you say?

Thanks for the help Bob...this is new territory...










Martin

- MacPro - Quad Core - 4 gig Ram

-MacBook Pro - 2.16GHz Intel Core Duo - 2 gig Ram

-FCP Studio 5.1.4 - QT 7 - OSX 10 - Firmtek Sata Raid- G-raid dv drive


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Bob Bonniol
Re: BIG SCREEN (24 x 80) - Video Production
on Dec 27, 2007 at 5:22:12 am

OK,

So your original full native pixel res (3500x1050) is a rectangle roughly expressed as a 10 (wide) by 3 (high) (or 10:3 as a divisible aspect ratio). HD is native at 1920 x 1080 or as After Effects see's it 32:27 (let's just say around 16:9). That 10:3 ratio rectangle is WAY wider. So horizontally speaking when you squish it into an anamorphic frame you are interpolating pixels into less pixels in the width axis. The Montage is then "making up" information when it interpolates those pixels back out to the natural width.

It makes things that are vector based look jaggy, it makes color potentially go weird, it can make things with lots of horizontal motion go weird.

It would be better to playback off 3 HD machines, splitting the comp into 3 parts that fit neatly (and WITHOUT anamorphising) into HD (1920 x 1080) (sort of as described in the previous post).

The montage then stitches these back together, and no pixels are lost.

That post also brought up an interesting question. Blending or not. Will the 3 projectors be used with their rasters butted up, or will projector blending be used ? When blending, it is good to plan on using 15% to 20% of the raster on either side to be used to blend the rasters.

I've pounded stuff bigger than your 3500x1050 through AE, both on my quad G5 and my MacBook Pro, and it's really not necessarily a problem. Unless the gig is like, next week, in which case if you are just discovering what your blended raster is going to be, then you are in for a tough two weeks.

I hope not !

Bob




MODE Studios
http://www.modestudios.com
Contributing Editor, Entertainment Design Magazine
Art of the Edit Forum Leader
Live & Stage Event Forum Leader
HD Forum Leader


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Dave Martin
Re: BIG SCREEN (24 x 80) - Video Production
on Dec 27, 2007 at 10:11:28 am

Thanks Bob

This makes perfect sense and I will see if we can arrange extra HD playback. I believe there will be three projectors with a blend of 350 pixels.

I guess either way it won't effect my workflow though will it? I'll work in 3500 x 1080 in After Effects and just crunch through it.

Would you have any other design tips? I understand we don't want to use solid colors (movement in the background is good for the blend) and I shouldn't use pure white or black in the background.

I'm thinking I should design in a low rez (1000 x 300?)comp...get approvals and then rebuild...would that make sense? Things I should keep in mind?

Thanks so much for your help Bob...



Dave Martin

- MacPro - MacBook Pro -


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Dave Martin
Re: BIG SCREEN (24 x 80) - Video Production
on Dec 27, 2007 at 11:59:51 am

Oh...and I have 1 1/2 months so that's good! 8-)




Dave Martin

- MacPro - MacBook Pro -


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Ryan Hodges
Re: BIG SCREEN (24 x 80) - Video Production
on Dec 28, 2007 at 12:46:32 am

i think youll find you can do just about anything you want with video walls using renewedvision.com's software. i use it to feed a wall of 30 50" plasmas hi-def .mov's that i make in premier pro and you can split it any way you want with the software, it really beats anything else you can find.



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Bob Bonniol
Re: BIG SCREEN (24 x 80) - Video Production
on Dec 28, 2007 at 1:02:40 am

Ryan,

Propresenter is not bad software, but I find that when you dig into it, it's not capable of presenting native pixel res (it scales a smaller output stream). If a Vista Montage has been specified, it's evident that there are some high end matrixing, scaling, blending, windowing requirements that Pro-Presenter is going to struggle with (at least even in the sense of tactile interface).

But as I said, it's a great product to get a LOT done on a smaller budget.

But after all the discussion of preserving native pixel res at the creation stage of this thread, it would be a shame to throw it away on the playback/scaling side.

IMHO...
Bob

MODE Studios
http://www.modestudios.com
Contributing Editor, Entertainment Design Magazine
Art of the Edit Forum Leader
Live & Stage Event Forum Leader
HD Forum Leader


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Dave Martin
Re: BIG SCREEN (24 x 80) - Video Production
on Dec 28, 2007 at 1:14:32 am

Thanks guys...I appreciate the input.

Bob...do you know a good place I can read up on the screen blending/multi-display process with After Effects and FCP?

I've got lots of experience in broadcast but not so much here and I'd like to get as prepared as I can...

Thanks again for your advice!



Dave Martin

- MacPro - MacBook Pro -


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Bob Bonniol
Re: BIG SCREEN (24 x 80) - Video Production
on Dec 28, 2007 at 4:00:57 am

Unfortunately there are not a lot of resources for info on this kind of gig... It's a special little niche.

You are in a great place now, and I definitely advise performing a search in this forum for screen blending.

You might also search at the livedesignonline.com website for articles about or describing screen blending. I know I've written one or two over there, so you might just search for Bob Bonniol over there, and see what turns up.

You really nailed most of the basic rules in your description (avoiding black and white solids for instance).

In a really macro design sense remember this: Your composition is serving a scenic purpose. Seeing a screen like that is NOT like watching something on TV. It's like being in the room with it. It's got to support anything else that's going on (Is it part of a trade show booth, or stage set, for instance ?)... It's the loudest voice in the room visually, so you have to exercise discipline in how loud you get and what you say, so to speak... SLOW always looks freakin fabulous when you are LARGE... slow moves can have lots of grandeur... Fast can frequently inspire anxiety, excitement, or nausea. Use cautiously. Where as in doing broadcast or even corporate communications type video, I would avoid wipes in transitions (like the plague), I find them to be big, pleasing, and architectural when you use them on a screen that big.

Using After Effects 3D capabilities can have a huge payoff on a screen like this. It suggests depth and space that will feel very real. Using layers at varying z depths in After Effects, Using light layers in After Effects to light layers as if they were actual objects on the stage. Using small, slooooooow shifting camera moves across scenic content layers in AE can be a big win.

This is all big broad stroke advice... Forgive me if any of it seems rudimentary.

Bob



MODE Studios
http://www.modestudios.com
Contributing Editor, Entertainment Design Magazine
Art of the Edit Forum Leader
Live & Stage Event Forum Leader
HD Forum Leader


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Dave Martin
Re: BIG SCREEN (24 x 80) - Video Production
on Dec 29, 2007 at 5:55:52 am

Hello Bob!

Your big broad stroke advice is most welcome...thank you! I've clipped your comments and put them in the production notes already.

I did a search on screen blending and Bob Bonniol and ended up reading till 4 am last night. You are everywhere! I enjoyed the blog and I'm going to try and sign up for your gig in Vegas this year. Thanks so much for your guidance...

Oh yah...and I look forward to using some wipes! 8-)



Dave Martin

- MacPro - MacBook Pro -


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Nicholas Rivero
Re: BIG SCREEN (24 x 80) - Video Production
on Jan 1, 2008 at 11:19:57 pm

Bob,

Renewed Vision produces two seperate programs: ProPresenter and ProVideo Player. ProPresenter is their lyric/presentation software which does support native pixel resolutions. The current version, 3.2.5 I believe, supports whatever output resolution you tell it. You can then tell the program to scale/stretch to fit or preserve aspect ratio to your desired output resolution. The software defaultly support up to 800x600 but with an extended resolution module, which I am using, you can set your ouput to whatever you choose. In this case, you could set ProPresenter to do a 3500x1050 output which could be scaled or split out to a Matrox Triple Head2Go perhaps (I am sitting in front of ProPresenter and just easily set it to that resolution).
ProVideo Player, on the other hand, you can easily do this 3 screen video wall; it is a dedicated video playback engine. You run a node version for each projector and then a master to control it and it can do the playback of of this 3500x1050 content easily just as I am. We have a wall of 3x 1280x720 projectors each connected to a Mac Mini each playing back custom created 720 content. You can find some information about ProVideo Player here: http://www.renewedvision.com/pvp.php

//nick


//nick


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Bob Bonniol
Re: BIG SCREEN (24 x 80) - Video Production
on Jan 1, 2008 at 11:59:19 pm

My experience with Pro Presenter is that yes, it will allow itself to be set to a native pixel resolution, But it doesn't support multiple layer playback at the scale a Media server like Hippo, pandoras, Watchout or Wings will. It doesn't have (therefore) layer interaction modes (i.e. the full range, additive, multiply, darken, soft light, etc, etc). I couldn't figure out how to get it to do a CUED blend change on blend areas (I like to adjust cue to cue based on luminance, color, and content.) It doesn't have built in encoding, I don't know it to have the ability to map it's control parameters to midi control surfaces, I also don't think it's controllable via a DMX network (very desirable these days in uniting lighting and video control). It also doesn't seem to be able to take SMPTE TC, or to have a really flexible timeline type interface.

I don't mean this to be a slam. ProPresenter is a GREAT product for a market that is wringing a bunch of value from the dollar. The application in faith based presentations is often a little different than big retail brand experience and trade show stuff. ProPresenter functions really well in it's market, but there are so many more layers of functionality that usually need to be present in a top level AV installation (some of which I outlined above). I just can't recommend it in this thread for this kind of gig being discussed. But that in no way means I don't think ProPresenter rocks. SOmetimes you need a screw driver. Some times you need an impact wrench.

Best,
Bob

MODE Studios
http://www.modestudios.com
Contributing Editor, Entertainment Design Magazine
Art of the Edit Forum Leader
Live & Stage Event Forum Leader
HD Forum Leader


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Nicholas Rivero
Re: BIG SCREEN (24 x 80) - Video Production
on Jan 2, 2008 at 2:01:47 am

Bob,

ProPresenter is not meant to be a media server by any means; it is presentation software.

Though again, as for their video engine software, ProVideo Player, it does have MIDI support and DMX is in the works. For doing simple multiscreen video playback, as it seems this thread was inquring of, PVP can do multiples of screens realtively easy and very cost effecitve in comparison to any Catalyst, Maxedia, Hippo, Wings, Watchout, or the Pandoras out there.

http://www.renewedvision.com/pvp.php

//nick



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Nicholas Rivero
Re: BIG SCREEN (24 x 80) - Video Production
on Jan 1, 2008 at 11:20:12 pm

Bob,

Renewed Vision produces two seperate programs: ProPresenter and ProVideo Player. ProPresenter is their lyric/presentation software which does support native pixel resolutions. The current version, 3.2.5 I believe, supports whatever output resolution you tell it. You can then tell the program to scale/stretch to fit or preserve aspect ratio to your desired output resolution. The software defaultly support up to 800x600 but with an extended resolution module, which I am using, you can set your ouput to whatever you choose. In this case, you could set ProPresenter to do a 3500x1050 output which could be scaled or split out to a Matrox Triple Head2Go perhaps (I am sitting in front of ProPresenter and just easily set it to that resolution).
ProVideo Player, on the other hand, you can easily do this 3 screen video wall; it is a dedicated video playback engine. You run a node version for each projector and then a master to control it and it can do the playback of of this 3500x1050 content easily just as I am. We have a wall of 3x 1280x720 projectors each connected to a Mac Mini each playing back custom created 720 content. You can find some information about ProVideo Player here: http://www.renewedvision.com/pvp.php

//nick


//nick


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