Week 5: Spatial Design for Video

Week 5 Context: 

Thinking about space –
– how can space be used within your video creation? (motion graphics can provide many ideas)
– how can your space at Melbourne Central be enhanced / transformed / activated by your video?

Exploring Motion Graphics
– Thinking about movement and composition on-screen
– History of cinematography ( Man With a Movie Camera (video) Dziga Vertov )
– Development of motion graphics. ( Video : http://motion-plus-design.com/english/ )
– Expanded Cinema : Gene Youngblood See also: the Cantrills in Australia ( and list of film projects). – Projection mapping / Thinking about movement and composition in physical spaces / environments.

How we use After Effects to explore spatial and motion design: 
– Applying visual effects
– Colour grading / tinting
– Generating motion graphics from scratch
– Creating masked areas / transparency / shapes.

Checklist for your animation skills
– Import an edited video clip, apply visual effects. Experiment with changing these over time. ( Use the stopwatch / key frames function, and animation basics ).
2. Explore colour grading on your videoclip. Try to change the tint of a clip over time.
3. Generate some simple motion graphics that change and move over time. ( shape layers, paths + vector graphics )
4. Masking areas / transparency / keying. ( Alpha channels, masks, and mattes  + Compositing and transparency overview and resources )

Spatial Video Design

Define context for exhibition / installation. Describe as many variables as possible. ( eg light / sound / space / power / materials / size + distance / people flow etc ) Identify key project traits to accentuate. Describe how exhibition space can be used to accentuate these traits. Develop:

  • list of equipment needed.
  • list of media production needed, for translating video to exhibition format. ( eg recompositing video / selecting portions of video for different screens etc)
  • list of other materials needed. (accompanying print materials / materials for projecting / reflecting / masking / guiding etc )
  • Timeline / production schedule.

How does the installation environment differ from cinema – and how can we best translate our videos to take advantage of these differences?

What aspects of animation / cinematography / motion graphics – can we take on board for helping us with spatial design?     [ What is the relationship between your projected image, and the surface being projected onto? What kinds of images / colours / textures might best bring out the qualities of your site? Do you have a good range of imagery to test with? ]]

– For your spatial video design, what is the key idea you are trying to communicate in relation to ‘Constructing Situations’ ? – What are interesting aspects of your site?

– How are you using these aspects to showcase your main ideas?
– What equipment do you need?
– What new video do you need to create / re-composite etc?
– How are you going to document your project strengths effectively? A list of criteria to think about while developing your spatial design, listed in order of importance:
– Conceptually linked to ‘constructing situations’
– Effectively exploring site context: lighting / colour / materials / sound / viewer location + pathways
– Relationship with video content + site
– How is 3D space used well, for video display ? (eg depth / juxtaposition / angles )
– Juxtaposed clips / editing / techniques ( that take advantage of the space / materials / light / site etc ) – Technical parameters ( eg contrast / frame rate / projection mapping accuracy / documentation)

The Projection Central Calculator is great for figuring out how much are coverage a given projector can do.

Introduction to Projection Mapping

We will briefly look at various approaches to Projection Mapping and survey the available software. The most important thing at the moment though, is conceptualising what you would like to project onto your spaces, and experimenting to see what effect different projected shapes / lines / colours / rhythms etc would have on your model.

What is Projection Mapping?

The 2013 Mapping Festival Program gives a good glimpse… but broadly speaking – the idea is to generate a template image that will cover your object / building exactly, then create animations based on that template. Your videos and animations can also be geometrically distorted to suit what your are projecting onto.

Some definitions of 2D + 3D Projection mapping… ( via example VVVV tutorial for 3D video mapping)

2D projection mapping’ = lining up 2D shapes in a projector image with real world features in the projector’s line of sight.

3D projection mapping’= re-projecting a virtual 3D object onto its real world counterpart using a video projector*. All features of the real object visible from the point of view of the projector, have an image projected onto them, and this image is ‘extracted’ from the corresponding surfaces of the virtual counterpart object. This method is the most complex, but enables the possibility of realistic shadows and lighting effects, by moving a virtual light within the 3D animation, recording a virtual camera view , (that matches the real projector angle) of the object+lights then playing back that view as a video file.

How to Create Projection Maps?

2D / Planar Mapping – Option 1: Point a projector at an object / surface, and use Photoshop to create a mask template. Use this template to create animations / compositions using After Effects. (  Using a camera and photoshop to make masks, then mapping these in Resolume. + Tutorial about using photographs to align and map video onto objects )

2D / Planar Mapping – Option 2: See below, for a variety of Projection Mapping Software options.

3D Mapping? Example VVVV tutorial / Example Meshwarp Server tutorial. MWM (See also – Automated spatial detection… Mapamok / spatial scanner function of Madmapper / immersive projections for gaming.)

Projection Mapping Software

Madmapper (mac) ( Edu-price: € 199 ) The most intuitive, easy to use mapping software. (Bonus feature: spatial scanner)

VPT (Video Projection Tool) –  ”a free multipurpose realtime projection software tool for Mac and Windows created by HC Gilje – it can be used for projecting video on complex forms, adapting projection to a particular space/surface, combining recorded and live footage, multiscreen HD playback, for interactive installations using arduino sensors or camera tracking.” ( mac / PC / free )

Painting With Light – “an attempt to create a simple but powerful video mapping software application to enable and encourage artists to experiment with the medium of video projection and video mapping.” (mac /PC)

Visution (mac / PC) (€150 ) Strong features, and can import 3D models (.dae).
Millumin – (mac) – (€599 – but Edu-price available) – Does mapping, sequencing of clips, cue points. It’s timeline and cue controls are good for theatrical shows.

Resolume Arena ( mac/PC) – (Edu-price: €350) A VJ tool for playing and manipulating video clips, also capable of mapping clips to shapes.
VDMX (mac) – (Edu-price: US$199) – A VJ tool for playing and manipulating video clips, also capable of mapping clips to shapes.

Mesh Warp Server (mac/PC) – Free, can utilise 3D models within workflow.
MultiWindowMapper – (PC) – full version being released in Sep. (See also – Automated spatial detection… Mapamok / spatial scanner function of Madmapper / immersive projections for gaming.)

QLAB  ( video features ) – also includes software rental option for $3 a day.

Dataton Watchout – A PC based platform for controlling video across multiple displays simultaneously ( not mapping though ). Meshwarp Server – “a versatile Mapping Tool to create complex Video Projection Installations.” (mac/PC + free)
Touch Designer – a visual development platform that equips you with the tools you need to create stunning realtime projects and rich user experiences.  Whether you’re creating interactive media systems, architectural projections, live music visuals, or simply rapid-prototyping your latest creative impulse, TouchDesigner is the platform that can do it all.”  ( PC only, free version available for non-commercial use. Steep learning curve.))

VVVV (PC) – Free for students, powerful, but very steep learning curve. “a hybrid graphical/textual programming environment for easy prototyping and development. It is designed to facilitate the handling of large media environments with physical interfaces, real-time motion graphics, audio and video that can interact with many users simultaneously.” (free for non-commercial use)
Processing – “an open source programming language and environment for people who want to create images, animations, and interactions.”
Open Frameworks – “an open source C++ toolkit designed to assist the creative process by providing a simple and intuitive framework for experimentation”.

Free : AVMixer Lite – free to use for 30 days… for playing back / mixing + compositing clips, but not mapping/warping . ( mac / PC )

iPad / iPhone Mapping Apps:

PRSPCTV : “A simple tool for projection mapping. You can map image texture or movie texture to quad surface in real scene.” (+ website) ($3.99)
The Light Art iPAD app: “enables anyone with an iPad and a projector to create their own colorful projection mapped installations. Based on the Sku Lights concept developed by Erick Calderon, Light Art uses basic mapping principles that allow the user to project on a variety of individual surfaces. The visual effect is achieved by projecting exclusively on the desired surface, with the remaining portions of the installation remaining dark.” ((Note – only projects colours, not video content, onto mapped areas. $9.99)

(See also: Tagtool – allows for live animation and painting with projectors… not mapping pre-made video)

Constructing Situations
Week 4: Compositing with After Effects
Week 3: Editing With Premiere
Week 2: Planning for Video
Week 1: Introduction to Video Possibilities

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