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Andreas Woelfl
Multiscreen Video
on Nov 8, 2016 at 1:23:26 pm

hello everybody,

i am sure that this issue has been discussed already and I have even found a conversation related to my problem, but as the post is from 5 years ago I was hoping that there has been improvement on this matter.

I have to create a video for a stage that has 3 canvases in the background. the canvases will be projected from the back.

The idea is to create one single video that fills all canvases.

The composition I created in after effects measures 6840x1080px. When I exported it directly for AE to Quicktime with h264 codec I found myself confronted with the technical restrictions of the h264 codec.
(According to this wikipedia post, the h264 can not handle files of this dimensions).

Anyways I tried to export the video with a ProRes codec (which worked without any problems) and tried to make the compression to h264 with MPEG Streamclip. As soon as I hit "Make movie" I get a "Compression error" which may be linked to the codec limitations.

Is there any other common codec for this kind of format? I suppose that the alternative solution would be three separate videos, one for each canvas.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks a lot in advance.


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Thomas Leong
Re: Multiscreen Video
on Nov 8, 2016 at 5:00:22 pm

Try the Hap codec (google!) - out of the 3 variants, probably HapQ. It encodes under Quicktime, and is meant for playback (i.e. easy for the cpu).

BTW, what media player/server/software are you using to playback the one file 'split' over 3 screens?



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Andreas Woelfl
Re: Multiscreen Video
on Nov 9, 2016 at 11:20:20 am

hey thomas,

thanks a lot for the tip. I downloaded the package, installed it and even was able to export the file at its original size (6840x1080) with the HAP codec.

The only problem I get now is that I can not play the file (I tried quicktime player and vlc) in order to check the quality. Would this depend on the program of the playback?

I'll have a call today with the production team and I'll ask them about their technical specifications of their hardware and software.


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Matt Geiser
Re: Multiscreen Video
on Nov 9, 2016 at 2:00:41 pm

We use Hap on the d3 media servers and anytime someone exports it and tries to play on their editing system they call us freaked out because it jitters like mad. Even though we told them to expect it because of the differences in how the mac is rendering the video vs. the ATI card in the PC based d3.

If you're doing 3 discreet destinations that aren't blended why not render them in 4 quadrants of a 3840x2160 then use a data path X4 to break it up.


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Jeff Pulera
Re: Multiscreen Video
on Nov 9, 2016 at 3:15:38 pm

Where did you get the odd dimension of 6840? A triple-width 1920x1080 signal would be 5760x1080. This resolution is supported by the Matrox TripleHead2Go product, which will accept the 5760x1080 output from computer and convert to 3 discrete graphics outputs of 1920x1080 each to feed projectors/displays.

Not sure which codec you would export from Premiere though at that resolution.

http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/gxm/th2go/displayport/

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Thomas Leong
Re: Multiscreen Video
on Nov 9, 2016 at 6:09:20 pm

Andreas,

I tried a quick render with HapQ at Quality 0 and Quicktime Player (v7.7.8) will play it, but vlc will not.

Usually, I use Dataton Watchout which supports the HapQ codec to play such files for multi-display output.

Thomas



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Jim Brown
Re: Multiscreen Video
on Nov 9, 2016 at 3:57:50 pm

Take a look at ProPresenter from RenewedVision. I do not know what the best codec is, but we do this quite often with ProPresenter.

Regards

Jim Brown
M&M ProductionsUSA


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Walter Soyka
Re: Multiscreen Video
on Nov 9, 2016 at 6:14:01 pm

You're right that H.264 won't hold this -- it's too wide.

You might consider working backwards. Choose your your playback system first, then output to a format and codec that suits that system. There are a few good options mentioned above in this thread.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Andreas Woelfl
Re: Multiscreen Video
on Nov 10, 2016 at 7:59:56 am

Thank you all so much!

I realize that it makes no sense exporting the file until I haven't spoken to the production company.

Unfortunately they moved the call to next week and until then I wanted to continue preparing some videos for the project.

Can anybody tell me if a common program that is used to back projections in a three screen stage (I know, this is a really vague explanation but the only info I have) usually has the possibility to layer videos?
Example: 1 layer of background video and on top of it another layer of animation with alpha channel.

Is this something feasible or completely out of range?

Again, thank you all so much for helping out.


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Thomas Leong
Re: Multiscreen Video
on Nov 10, 2016 at 12:14:19 pm

Andreas,

For a reasonable price, Qlab (for Mac only) is often used by the theatre people for videos. I don't have a Mac so am not usre if it will do layers. And depending on the Mac, some I understand are able to have 3 outputs (from laptop), else a Matrox Triplehead-to-Go will be required.

For Windows, Dataton Watchout or AvStumpfl Wings will both do multiple layers and alpha-channelled video and/or still pix. There are others but learning curve would be high (eg. Isadora, vvvv). Watchout and Wings both need a reasonably equipped PC (two units in the case of Watchout - minimum one laptop, one desktop; at least an i7 4790 or 6700 and upwards plus SSDs and a mid- to high-end graphics card; an i5 will probably be slightly lacking depending on output resolution(s) required). As the user base is quite large worldwide for Watchout, rental is likely possible depending on your location. AvStumpfl Wings' rental will very likely be limited unless you are in Europe.

Thomas



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Michael Samarin
Re: Multiscreen Video
on Nov 20, 2016 at 5:54:56 pm

Andreas,

If your canvases don't have to be blended and show production can afford several Macs:

the way how my customers are doing this for the past 12 years is rendering super-widescreen video in several pieces, embeding each part into Keynote and sync them with my KeyShowX. There are no limitations on how many Macs (thus, video parts) you can sync. You can overlay all standard Keynote objects, images, text etc and animate them as well.

First reaction is usually - "Ouch, embedding videos into Keynote? This is so unprofessional". You will be surprised, how well it works and in which movies, TV shows and media installations it was used.

Hope this helps, best

Best,
Michael

Software for multi-screen shows and presentations
http://www.keywebx.com


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Andreas Woelfl
Re: Multiscreen Video
on Dec 2, 2016 at 8:09:56 am

Hello everybody,

thanks again for all the support so far.

It took me quite a while but finally I have information from the production company that will be at the event, doing the back projections.

Here are some technical specifications:

Program for Animation - After Effects CC 2017
2 side screens - 1920x1080
1 center screen - 3240x1080
Program for projection - Playback Pro

So here again the problem:
I created videos that will be split across the three screens. The dimensions of the files are 7080 x 1080px.
As the h264 codec is only limited to files of 3840x1080 I need another codec to export the files from After Effects.

The production company told me that any Quicktime codec works fine for them, recommending the ProRes422 codec.

The problem is that I am in Spain and the event and the production company are located in the US. I have to deliver around 20 videos which means that with the ProRes422 codec I'll have tons of GB that I would have to upload via internet. And that's what I want to avoid.

I tried the Sorenson codec and at least I was able to export the full file size form After Effects. Afterwards I was not able to play the file on my Mac.

Does anybody have experiences with Playback Pro and the Sorenson codec. Do they work together? Would this be a possible option?

Thank you so much for all your help!


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