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Widescreen Blend, and then some....

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james lowenthal
Widescreen Blend, and then some....
on Jan 27, 2012 at 12:59:03 pm

I have a client who wants to do a 12' x 36' rear projected widescreen and in another room a 15' x 26'9" rear screen. They are looking to us to produce some content for the bigger one as well as provide all on site gear/labor to execute the corporate event.

We do audio visual for events but have not done a lot of blending so here are the questions:

I'll start with the smaller screen.
Since it is 16:9 format and they will just be showing 1920 x 1080p video, this seems pretty straight forward. We don't have much space (about 18')so I'd like to do just a two projector blend. We will use Playback Pro for the video playback and then have another computer to show a logo while no video is playing. How do we figure what projectors will be appropriate and do we just need projectors that have edge blending or do we need a switcher/processor that can do edge blending AND projectors that can edge blend?

For the big screen:
We need to create backgrounds. We will then pip powerpoint, video playback and imag over the background. We'd like to have a dedicated computer for background (with backup)a dedicated computer for powerpoint (and backup) a dedicated computer for video (with backup) and then the HD camera source for imag.
Planning on making some kind of animated seamless looping background in After Effects. What resolution would I make it in and what about that 3:1 ratio? The background needs to fill the whole screen. Also what format should it be finalized to for best playback? I'll have Macbook pro laptops with Playback Pro, Keynote and Powerpoint on them ready to output all content.
Next question on content is, if they provide me with an HD video, I'm guessing it will not fill the screen because it was not created in a 3:1 format. We will use Spyder or Encore so the video playback, I assume, will PIP in over the background as a 16:9 format??
Next, suggestions on how to determine the switcher and how to determine projectors/lumens?? We need a background layer that will change, at least 3 pips at a time that can be anywhere and any size on the screen and the ability to transition inside at least one of the pips. We have about 26' of projection throw distance and have control of all ambient light.

I'm sure this sounds like a lot to discuss here but I have a good amount of time before I have to get back with the client and I have two other people reading this which is why I'd love to keep the replies public.

Thanks in advance for anyone who replies!!


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Thomas Leong
Re: Widescreen Blend, and then some....
on Jan 27, 2012 at 7:44:23 pm

Mmm...quite a bit there. I'm not conversant with Playback Pro, Spyder nor Encore, so I'll leave that section to others, and deal with "The Small Screen" section.

Basically, don't even think of a screen blend for this. For a 1080 pixel height video to get up to 15ft screen height, the 1920 pixels of width will reach 26.75ft anyway (the ratio of the video does not change) so any blend with a second projector will be at about 100%!! To use blend, you would have to use projectors that are not natively 1920x1080, eg. XGA 1024x768 with 678 pixels of overlap for the blend area to get your 26.75'x15' projection [((2x1024)-678)=1370. 1370/768 = 1.78 a 16:9 ratio]. But this would effectively mean projecting with lower resolution projectors and some loss of quality.

Your best bet is to hire a HD projector with a wide angle lens of at least 0.7:1, preferably 0.5:1 or 0.6:1 if these exist. At 0.7:1, you shall need a distance of about 18.x ft distance and this excludes the space the projector will take up. A possible solution is to use a front-surfaced mirror mounted on a rigid backing to extend the projection distance if you cannot get more than 18ft from the room. Some HD projectors with inter-changeable lenses are Christies, Projection Design, Sanyo and possibly Panasonic. Look for a rental company that has these and the lens.

One projector (with a mirror) will have less headaches and alignment problems.

Brightness? Depending on room size and ambient light, I'd guess minimum 10K ANSI lumens or more.

Switcher? Probably not if Playback Pro itself can switch between logo and the HD video without a glitch. Else, you would need a seamless switcher for glitch free switching, or a switcher with a graphic capture and memory where a static logo can be stored in memory and recalled at will. Analog Way and Extron are such switchers in mind.

Thomas Leong



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Walter Soyka
Re: Widescreen Blend, and then some....
on Jan 27, 2012 at 8:39:03 pm

I'll touch on the content issues.

[james lowenthal] "Planning on making some kind of animated seamless looping background in After Effects. What resolution would I make it in and what about that 3:1 ratio? The background needs to fill the whole screen. Also what format should it be finalized to for best playback? I'll have Macbook pro laptops with Playback Pro, Keynote and Powerpoint on them ready to output all content."

For your content creation, work backwards from the display. Figure out what resolution your blended projection display will be, then figure what device you'll use for playback (and if you'll go pixel-for-pixel, or if you'll scale from a standard playback resolution up to the projected resolution). Once you've specified your playback system and specs for the loops, you can deliver accordingly.


[james lowenthal] "Next question on content is, if they provide me with an HD video, I'm guessing it will not fill the screen because it was not created in a 3:1 format. We will use Spyder or Encore so the video playback, I assume, will PIP in over the background as a 16:9 format??"

That's how I'd do it. You may want a unique "video look" background that won't distract the audience as watch the video.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Matt Geiser
Re: Widescreen Blend, and then some....
on Jun 19, 2012 at 1:43:07 pm

I know that I'm a little late to the party but my company specializes in staging HD/Widescreen events. I'm sitting behind an 18' x 91' screen as I type this!

Let me know if you're still interested in answers to these questions or if I can help out on another event.

Matt


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