Hello old friend…….

Hello, how are you doing, its been a very long time since posting here such a busy 2016. Too much has happened to split this down into separate posts so here it is, the past 6 months rolled up packed down and squeezed into a mega post!

Rewinding all the way back to June 2016 i was in the Royal Court programming a Show Called Unreachable for Zsolt.

It was a interesting show to work on as for the whole show there was only 3 minutes of video at the end. Infant the whole stage was pretty bare until the very end where all of the set flew in, the whole lighting rig used, smoke, fans and also a fox on stage called oscar.

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We had 2 projectors, one onstage with a super short throw lens and also a 10k out front, it was pretty tight to fit the supersede onstage as there were a load of trees flown in the grid.

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Because everything was flown in at the end and we were projecting on and through gauze, i made a line grid with used parts of the bare stage to make sure the alignment had not moved.

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This was the stage with he trees in, actual trees cut for the job and mounted with flying steels, pretty bankers for such a little stage too. Good fun and nice to work with Zsolt and the nice people at the court again.

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During the couple of weeks at the court I got an invite from Wolfgang to see a performance  Be One at The Hive in Kew Gardens. It was a really cool setting for the piece and also nice to see everyone and not to be working.

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I think it must have been July and i was in newcastle for the weekend when James and myself decided to take the kites out at Drudge bay on the weekend. It must have been about 3 years since we had had them out and had forgotten how powerful the wind can be.

I only got out the 6meter peter Lynn out and James had the 4m Blade out, I think it was a blade. Anyway, he got a good beating by the wind, you cant really see here but thats a layer of skin gone, ouch!

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Around July I was working with 59 Productions where we were projection mapping onto a cello for the abc proms advert. I had done some RD earlier in the year and then Max setup the project for the shoot.

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We tracked the cello using Blacktrax and used d3 for the mapping, it was a really tight window of 4 hours with Sol but we managed to get some good results.

Below is the final video from the BBC.

Following this I was off to Farnborough airshow working with Chris Simcock to projection map onto a 5m replica of an aeroplane.

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The physical model was incredibly well built and the 3d model generated by Rowan was excellent too. Chris was there a couple of days before  and there was a bit of moving around projectors.  Once everything in it was a really neat installation. The final Client was GKN who were pretty pleased with the result.

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I was looking after the servers for the week and checking the alignment, the client also wanted to be able to trigger the installation with a button push. I had been working on a little personal project to create a d3 Bosc controller using cherry key switches and an Arduino. with he bits i had on me i managed to make this happen for the client, triggering the installation on cue.

006 GKN 3Below is a final video of the installation:

I think we must be late July now where i was off to Beirut to do a one off gig looking after Catalyst for Jvan on a Jean-Michel Jarre gig

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He was performing in some old Roman ruins at Baalbek with was a pretty epic setting.

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After setting up and after the first soundcheck i realised that the stage wasn’t that solidly built and everything was rattling to shit with the base and lack of bracing. In the end, gafa taping down the laptops on foam on lids, and taping in the connectors was the solution.

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The stage design was several led screens of different depths and lots of lasers!!

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There was some pretty epic old synths onstage and a pretty cool  gig to be on after watching Jarre on the tv as a kid when he dine his new your show.

006 JMJ Beiruit 2LASER HARP!!  fully functional, such a site!

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After returning from Lebanon i was heading up to Edinburgh to work with Fiftynine as part of the d3 team projecting on the castle. Blue-i

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I think it was 42 projectors which we had pointing at the castle, over the few nights of lines we went through a few coverage configurations to enhance parts to suit the content.

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In some areas we had Megastacks which was essentially 12 projectors overlaid.  The content team pulled some crazy hours on this and everyone pulled together to pull this off. It was pretty impressive to see this scale of projection.

Heres picture of a castle projected on a castle.

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Coming back from Edinburgh I had a few days off and my PCB which i had designed and ordered had been delivered. This was for the button to OSC control surface i was working on.

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Its essentially an Arduino and cherry key switches on a custom PCB, it works really well though i yet still to move on with this project and get revision2 which has abetter PCB layout and LED feedback.

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Still in august i got a call form PRG to do g gig in Prague woking after catalyst for a very, Very expensive Russian wedding.

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It was in a very beautiful old building by the river which the entire inside was transformed into a gothic mansion.

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The system was a Catalyst system consisting of 12 Apple Dustbins to cover the whole space, it was a odd one as it was definitely a d3 job but the Russian client insisted on catalyst.

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I setup the system and then headed of there the system to Serge who spent 2 days tweaking exact maps. Pete and the boys did an excellent job of projector placement as when we got to site there were these huge chandeliers in the way which were bigger than expected due to the  added decoration.

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The show went well, there was a very drunk wedding party and there was so much can that the following day after the load out we helped ourselves to a bit of cake.

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Pretty much straight after Prague i was off to Dubai to do a job for David Bajt working with Protec. The gig was the unveiling of the model box for the new metro station for the Dubai 2020Expo

008 dubai 1It was a huge gig and only for a handful of people and the Sheik, the above picture is the middle of the installation which was a LED screen cube with a wrap around content on all 4 sides and the roof, the content was beautifully done.
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The presentation consisted of 2 Zendome tent structures and the LED cube in the middle. The guests came into he first Planetarium Zendome which we were projecting onto a projection skin which was vacuumed up onto he inside. Unfortunately both vacuum controllers for this got damaged and we only had a saggy dome for the first couple of days for lineup.

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On of the tent people managed to make one of the controllers work temporarily which meant we could make a start on lining up 7 projectors to fill the screen with pixels.

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Over a period of a few days and after we finally got a stable dome we managed a proper lineup, below is the initial lineup attempting to use quick cal and several lasers based on the dome being the shape that it says it is in the documentation.

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The quickCal got me so far but it was quite clear that the advertised shape of the dome and the actual she of the dome was different. I decided to take a survey of the dome with a laser plumb and a laser measure and took measurements from the floor to the roof every 100mm to profile the actual shape of the dome.

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It worked out hat i took about 200 measurements, brought these into a spreadsheet and then remodelled the dome in C4d to get the actual shape. Below shows the difference int he domes. Tot he right is the advertised dome and to the left is the actual shape

dome profiles

Because the dome relies on a constant vacuum pressure to keep it inlace and the temperature outside would vary as we were outside in Dubai, constant tweaking was needed to keep it aligned, pretty happy with he lineup on this one.

008 dubai 10It was good to work wth the Protec guys who were super professional and fun at the same time. Heres a blurry pic of me inside the LED cube, I’m pretty sure everyone done this.

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Post Dubai i was back in the UK and had about a wee of no work which meant I could catch up with friends and family.  It was a very short week, or it just went over super fast. No siren was that week over i was down london to work with Tal on a show called “Shopping and Fucking” at the Lyric. 
It was quite a crazy but fun show to work on and put together by a great team directed by Sean.

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I ended up doing a bit of content on this mainly 3d for various sections. Heres a picture of Tal captured wth 123D Catch imported into c4d with a HDRI lighthouse environment, no reason to do this impart from learning ;).

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Straight after this I did a one off gig for Dan Bond covering his Suede gig in Bilbao, the first half of the show was Suedes NightThoughts album which has a Film played along with it projected onto a front gauze. I was triggering this off catalyst based on the Lyrics timing and beat. I spent quit a bit of time running though the video, id never listened to Suede intentionally before this but now i think I’ve listened to Night Thought about 10 times.

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Back from Bilbao I was at ArtAv to do some testing with some Encoders to OSC devices they were developing for a job in January. I spent a day there testing my d3 servers and the encoders, then the following week Steve and myself were at Dance city doing some more tests after some software mods. Heres picture of Steve equating like a Slovak watching a spinning piece of cardboard.

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Late October I was doing a little d3 job for VER on Alan Carrs 12 Stars of Xmas. It was a pretty good week which involved switching feeds to LeD screens on a set where the windows opened like advent calendar windows. Below is Raymond the racoon staring in my lineup grids.

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Not long after this my Mavic pro turned up in the post, i wasn’t expecting this to appear till atlas mid December so it was a nice surprise. This was the first drone I’ve owned in 3 years, prior to this i built a DJI f550 then after that a Freefly Cinestar which was so big it scared the shit out of me each time i flew it.

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The first time i took out the Mavic I took it tot he place i flew my first drone, just up form Winlaton Mill. It is really responsive to fly and the handling is amazing, I’m so impressed in how myth e technology has came on in the past few year.
Heres a picture of the lovely little village of Winlaton Mill.



Mid November I got a call from Video Design to go down for a couple of d3 jobs which consisted of project setup for some protection tests in the warehouse for a UK tour this year  and the second job was for an artist doing a slot on the XFactor.

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The Factor was a tricky one as we had limited time to get it in and there were pretty much no reference parks to quickCal to. I had 3 projectors rear projecting onto a curve and also 2 more projectors hitting the floor, 5 in total to get in in under an hour.
In the end i make some measurements not he model and replicated them on the physical set to Cal to, this worked pretty well and the client and production were happy.

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The rest of November and December is taken up with a job I’m not aloud to talk about, so instead heres some pictures of when i went to Brooklands one Saturday whilst waiting for my laundry to be done. Heres Concord from below.

012 brookland 2If your close by its really worth a trip to Brooklands museum, theres loads of history there and a really nice way to spend an afternoon. Best to go on a nice day as quite allot of the exhibits are outside. Below is the Barnes Wallos Stratosphere chamber, just google it, its like a wind tunnel on steroids, and t thin this was built all those years ago and functioned how it did is amazing.

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On the 9th December i was off to Berlin with friends to see Nicholas Jaar DJ at Columbia Halle. When the tickets came on sale I booked 4 tickets straight away, the gig seems like such a long time ago no even though it was only 2 month!

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The gig was really really good, Jaar played allot of familiar stuff and did some really long build ups. I don’t normally go to see DJ’s but this was epic such a good night.
After the gig tony had got us on the guest list to Tresor which we stayed there till about 04:00 then after that we went to tome of my most favourite places in Berlin EmmaPea cafe by day, cosy club by night.

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During our time in Berlin we had the chance to catch up with Ben which construed of a lovely afternoon of eating chatting wandering and taking pictures of stuff in the semi foggy air.

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After begin I was back on the gig that I cant talk about, there was quite allot of prep went into this gig as we had a MASSIVE led screen driven from several really nice m8 video processors totalling 8 x 4k feeds.
One evening after i was the only one left and i was doing some tests on the led and the pipeline I decided to try some moire experiments. I love the effect of moire its a like making digital a bit more analogue, its difficult to show here but heres some pictures of a huge led screen with stuff on.

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This is no more than single pixel lines soared at 2 pixel divisions on the right side and 1 pixel divisions on the left side and rotated by 7 degrees

012 Moire 3More rotation, this is really interesting when your stood next to it. die to the fact that the led screen was so bug it covered a wide field of view and when the line pattern was rotating it was difficult to perceive depth.  
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More lines with the pixel shader occluding the green pixels in the distance giving the magenta falloff.  012 Moire 6

So, back to work! I team apparent that for this job we needed to apply LUT (colour look up tables) tot he content based on the calibration of the led screen. d3 couldn’t do this natively but with the use of Notch and a beautifully simple notch patch we were able to apply LUT and colour grading to the content on the fly. This technique meant that the content guys only had to give us one base grade and then of they wanted to change the trade they gave us the LUT saving hours of re-rendering.

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I left his job on the 21st December leaving behind the gift of a cheap but effective led mirrorball from Amazon to complete the setup of video control, it was appreciated by almost everyone.

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Thats it, it feels like its taken me faking ages to write this, i did start writing this 15 days ago about on the 27th January dipping in and out but its finally done, the last 6 month of 2016. To finish off, familiar to most people heres a face in a flight case catch.

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