March Break saw another theme event for the kids and family at Casa Loma and we created a Medieval knights and dragons visual experience in combination with other exhibits and demonstrations and performances around the castle. I was asked again to create a projection mapping effect for the room we have set up at the end of the tunnel.
This time I had nothing to go on except a vague style guide and some stock content the client requested . I ended up creating a full 3D castle scene and added flying dragon that put the viewers inside Â and on top of a story book castle while the fearsome dragon fly by and then the Hero returns at the gates to fight another day. Â The animations were very simple but cartoony and light so it looked good, the 3d motion and sound assisted making Â convincing and impressive effect.
I ended the scene with some great flaming wall sconces filling the room. I used them throughout the tunnel as well adding to the medieval atmosphere projecting into just the right places with our mini projectors on the articulating arm mounts.
Beauty and the beast Trailer and Character projection mapping . #beourguestto
I was again responsible for the Projection mapping effects for this major theme event at Casa Loma. It was exciting and challenging to work for such a high profile client as Disney and the new Beauty and the Beast remake. I think the results were pretty fantastic and the Castle saw record numbers of people come through for this 4 day event over Family day weekend . Here is a great spot about the show from our friends at Space.ca who came to visit. It was the forst night and I happened to be there when the crew came through and made sure they had a great experience.
Christmas finally came for me when the Machine Gods bestowed upon me the great DJI Mavic Pro (AMAZING)
Mavic Pro Drone As a first time drone owner and operator starting in 2017 and getting into aerial photography I have to say the DJI Mavic Pro has been amazing . I have used it almost everywhere I’ve gone and pushed it in non ideal circumstances like cold weather , mist and high wind and it has been amazing for the most part . It makes beautiful video and photos that are amazingly stable and is a dream to fly . Its also super durable and I may know after having several “emergency Landings” In trees mostly . The propellers are easy to change and drone repair was of one arm was also not expensive. The one thing I think is a con on this system is the fact that you have to use a separate smart device in the controller to have a screen and advanced flight features. I would recommend anyone wanting the best experience from the Mavic to buy a specific smart device that is not a phone like a small tablet to use with the controller instead of attaching your personal phone each time you fly. I have found that using my actual phone that I make calls on to be problematic and inconvenient but it is a small compromise considering all the other amazing features are packed into this Drone.
This Christmas season at the Casa I was asked to create some Wrap around projections for the room at the end of the tunnel under the stable. We used the Vioso Wings show control and projection mapping Media Server system we had for Legends and 6 short throw Casio projectors in the basement of Casa Loma stable building.
We were given a limited amount of pre-cut Spin Master source content to work with and also had to activate other areas of the tunnel . I was able to come up with this idea of re cutting one of the cartoons to play out all around the room. I Re created an episode of Paw Patrol in a ultra wide room wrap around composition. I cut the action scenes from the 11 minute Christmas cartoon and edited it into a 4 minute wrap around paw patrol adventure room.
This effect is a seamless Horse Shoe Shape 270Â° Projection Mapped room using 6 short throw projectors ceiling mounted on fast rail clamped to the support beams around the room.
This project ran throughout a month long holiday installation presented by Liberty and Spin Master.
I delivered projection mapping , installation, visual design & content production for EMD Show systems and Spin Master – Â Paw Patrol Saves Santa
Happy New Year Visualites
The Legends of Horror Halloween experience last year was the largest single project I have worked on and it took the better part of 5 months of prep work and production installation to transform Casa Loma into the Horror scenes of pop culture Legend. I was excited to be a part of it along with a passionate team and I learned a lot while on the job from mentors and colleagues not to mention lessons gained through the marathon show experience.
Toronto Canada’s historic venue Casa Loma hosted Legends of Horror every night this past October to celebrate Halloween and scare tens of thousands of guests from all over. See photos and media from the event on the official facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/CL.Legends.of.Horror/
The hugely successful event was produced by Liberty Entertainment under the Creative Direction of Nadia Di Donato and Clark Graff Production Designer for EMD show systems. I work freelance for EMD at Casa Loma as the Projection Mapping Designer and Video technician. This video shows the large scale projection mapping I worked on installing and operating every night of the show.Thanks to Andrija for coming down and filming this piece for the archives. Shout out to Big Digital Studio for putting together the animations.
The South walls of Casa Loma were almost completely covered by four massive 20,000 lumen bright Barco full HD Projectors. The Casa had custom steel towers built on the lower garden to hold them as well as a small camouflaged control booth that has one of the best views in the city. I mapped/warped and blended the 4 projectors and animated content onto the Castle using AVStumpfl Vioso and Wings for the nightly show control that main wall plus 2 other smaller single beam illusions plus 8 sterio Audio Channels spreading through the various haunted zones of the show. This projection mapping was just a part of a huge walk through entertainment experience featuring amazing sets populated by great costumed actors being enhanced with our sound, lighting and FX designs. Many of the areas and sets included video projection effect elements , There were projections on trees and into Mesh in the forest to create ghost effects. In the tunnel we had dozens mini pico projectors animating elements like crawling bugs or flames on the wall. Everywhere you looked there were convincing sets freaky characters and our terrifying av and lighting effects. I was happy to also work on the prep and maintaining of most of the animatronics and automated effects like smoke and air blasters. It was Freaking Excellent I gotta admit I love Halloween and Haunted houses and the practical effects part.
Thanks to Clark our Production Designer for steering this crazy ship through its first year. Also big thanks to Dasha our production manager for connecting all the dots and getting us set for launch time. The direction and attention to detail of our Producers Nick and Nadia was excellent so thanks to them who made it all happen. Lots of respect to all my friends on the crew, specially Reid Henry the Lighting Designer and another EMD Tech Devon Nutty for making most of the additional sound FX. Also shout out to Joe and his Liberty crew for the great work on sets and construction. Hello to my Sr production tech buddy Randy Boyd, lets go sailing soon. Huge team efforts came together to make this project come to life. Great to be part of and I am already looking forward to the screams of 2017.
I want to add more to this post , I have pics and video from other areas and from during the set up. This was seriously such a huge project and I wish I could have better documented some of the behind the scenes work.
Here is a Instagram post from last year . You can see some regular insider pics and interesting art if you follow me there too. INSTAGRAM/VJGUY
This year I have my drone and time lapse cameras and I hope to better capture some of my processes and results on some future projects. Having the drone and shooting with it regularly is forcing me to be better at content management and getting my own video projects completed . Check out the next posts for my first aerial videos, more project updates and Live Video Art.
I wanted to start just posting valuable information and other peoples videos or links to project blogs. So instead of tying them to long and slightly thought out blog writings I decided to just bunch a few interesting articles and posts up each month and post them all together as my Live Video Artists Info Blast. So without Further delay.
DJI Mavic Pro – (will it ever come out?)
I pre ordered one of these new camera drones from DJI and am very excited to get it. It was supposed to come to our Toronto Vistek Store in late October but now we are looking at Dec 24th lol and so more likely 2017 whenever they finish digesting their turkey dinners . Once i get it I will surely make a video review that I have been planning to be the first of my video product reviews. I will be a very useful tool for me and I will share some of my uses for Drones as a VJ when I get the thing and can do some demonstrations. The Drone is fast , shoots at 4k stabilized. It has range of like 5 miles and has smart obstacle avoidance sensors all over it. Freaking cool stuff. It kills me that I am still watching reviews for this thing when I should have it in my hands . Here is a link to a decent full review by another user and Youtuber.
Since this blog is more for my own future reference than anyone else here is some safety and rules info for drone use. The Macic Pro is small but it can go high fast and far so I’ll have to be careful. DRONE SAFTY INFORMSTION LINK : http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/drone-safety.html
3D Animation for live visuals and projection mapping
I’ve been doing some 3D rendering for my visuals , my portfolio for studio work and for projection mapping effects. I use Maya since I have learned it in school and now I am using the Arnold ray trace rendering engine because it is now included in Autodesk Maya. Â This is an interesting video that teaches us some science behind the amazing developments in computer rendering in recent years. Maya with the live preview of Arnold rendering really changes the game for my creation process and speeds up my path toward a great result.
See one of my renderings here that I made in Maya and Arnold for a ultra wide projection installation. There was a tight timeline on getting this done and on the wall so I was not able to render all the effects I had planned . Fog and some depth of field would be nice . I also have a winter bird animation I wanted to add.
Augmented Reality and an almost magical Leap
finally I don’t want to let this discussion pass by without making a point on it . I have been interested in Virtual Reality technology for many years and now recently VR is becoming more accessible with new consumer headsets and smart phone devices powerful enough to operate the programs required. There are also 360 cameras now that let you film all around you and view in VR.
This is all very exciting and I cant wait to play some core games in full VR but I think VR will always be a novelty and a toy . Â It’s the revolution of AR “Augmented reality” that is really going to change things . AR devices and programming will be useful as entertainment , communications and every day tools like our smart phones but even better. There is a start up company Â called Magic Leap that promises to take this AR experience to a new level with the latest augmented vision display technology. I have seen people posting MEME videos online calling this a “magic” new technology and that it will be just like holograms and images appearing in mid air. But that is not true , of course there has to be some kind of display that we see the graphics on and for AR the display must be clear. Â If the display is to show 3D graphics that move in place over the real world then it will need to use a mix of eye tracking and motion sensors . All this technology is currently available and has been implemented in research projects but the race is on for a company to crack the nut and create the first fully immersive AR glasses that combine all the needed features to deliver the full AR experience as it has been imagined by designers and scientists the world over. If Magic Leap can deliver that by developing some new tech that allows it to all fit into one tiny package then they can certainly have my money. I just hope there will be an open dev kit.
Check out these great videos discussing the possibilities of the next gen AR glasses.
EDIT : Make sure to watch part 2 of that concepts video if you liked the first and maybe check out this article on Technologyreview.com about the challenges of manufacturing such new technology that may be leading people to doubt that this company can deliver the Magic they promised. https://www.technologyreview.com/s/538146/magic-leap-needs-to-engineer-a-miracle/If they have abandoned this photonics display chip then I think it will eventually fall on another company to be able to produce them some day . I am still looking forward to this idealized AR experience in the near future. For now we have Microsoft holo lens and I hope to at least try if not buy that as a solid first gen AR device.
Next post will cover more details form Legends of Horror Production and Ill get one up before Xmas featuring the Christmas work we did at the Casa and a Christmas loop pack of festive winter animations I made this year.
Happy holidays 2017 here we come . hers to many more VJ adventures 🙂
More from Summer 2016 In august I was invited to Wild Summer Festival to work with my friends the Organic Family Deco Crew to do the visuals installation for the Techno stage at the small gathering in Ontario’s Ottawa valley. I was happy to take part in this new festival and we brought out the VJ Mandala for its second performance .
The location and stage installations were fantastic as well as sound and music performances all weekend. I was very pleased to meet a fellow stage decorator Olga of Wizart Visions , her beautiful paintings and canopy designs were inspiring and masterful complimenting the beauty and wisdom of the wonderful woman herself. I hope to reconnect with this kindred artist spirit again some day.
Psykovsky is quite a unique act and he had me dancing hard for about 6 hours with only a few breaks.Â His music is truly psychedelic and the tempo shifts and layers of melody were hypnotic and engaging. Daring me to try dancing to his twisted beats as he wrapped the event . I really needed that shakeup.Respect to the friends and my fave dance floor fairy for stomping all day with me. Â https://psykovsky.bandcamp.com/releases
Meanwhile throughout the summer I was haunting the house on the hill above Toronto. This shot taken while we were doing a fog test using Liquid Nitrogen in the water. We ended up using water based heavy fog emitters and dry ice for the water . 6 large units sat along the top of the hill in the gardens and channeled smoke through long inflated tubes everywhere. The fire department was called on us several times.Â
Liberty Entertainment’s Legends of Horror at Casa Loma was a huge project for me and the team at EMD show systems. Â Under the guidance of Creative Director Nadia Didonado and Production Designer Clark Graff we transformed the entire Castle gardens and 800m Tunnels and stables into a hunted horror theatrical walk through experience. Â We provided high end lighting and audio solutions for all the areas of the event as well as installed designed and maintained all the digital and practical effects . So I worked on all the video projection effects and the practical effects systems install and operations, mainly focusing on the elements in the gardens and the large format projection mapping on the south wall of the Castle.
I also assisted Randy Boyd with the Fog systems employed all around the show and we had some pretty elaborate setups that got the fog in all the right places.
Â From the Projectors setups to running cable placing lighting and producing content this was a huge job and there is so much to cover. I’m going to follow up with a final post about Legends of Horror and some of the production and projection work I did there. I have a full video of the projection show to share and will talk about the mapping and show control system Vioso as well as some of our production and show effects secrets.
!! DON’T BE ALARMED !!
Everything is fine but wow was that a crazy summer and fall for me. With only a few of my VJ Guy shows speckled between constant work at my main contract doing projection installations for EMD Casa Loma (Toronto’s Castle).
“Is summer really over ?” Â Yeah long over Mr Vj. Not surprising it felt short since you worked more since spring than you have in the whole year previous. But don’t forget some of the special moments you had this spring and summer. You actually made something pretty cool remember ?
Oh Yeah 🙂 !!
I did make something cool. I actually completed a personal goal I set last winter.
The goal was to build a new type of VJ screen to project on. Combining pieces of cut modular shapes in an interesting arrangement of pattern and depth with embedded LED lighting that can be controlled in segments by DMX signal.
What came of this idea is this beautiful Solar Mandala that I created for a first performance at Solstice Gathering 2016, a private event I make installations for every year neat CollingwoodÂ Ontario . Â Â Â
With the help of Vj friends and performing guests Vj User Zero and Vj BunBun from Montreal. They each helped me tweak the design and wire up the LED lights once I had cut and assembled it at the stage site with the help of another local Vj Mike Phobos Kitty. This is something I have been planning for over a year but it always takes a good team to make something great and I was so pleased with how it turned out and the friends I had to work on it with. It was a truly rewarding experience when we hoisted it up into it’s hanging position above our awesome Spore dance floor. The assembled mandala is 12 1/2 ” in diameter
There are 14, 3 channel DMX RGB LED light connections to a DMX light control board mounted on the back. LED light strips are attaches in sections around the main circle edge and under the forward triangles back lighting those shapes. The lights are positioned to enhance and not interfere with the intended projection surfaces.
The Mandala can come apart and shapes potentially be rearranged in another way with the LED lights easily replaceable as well. The modular screen design will be flexible and useful for years to come as I adapt it for various environments and hopefully to continue to build and enhance the parts and make new animations to fit it. (thanks to AD Photografe Andrija for these next two shots)
I was able to present the installation at two great little festivals born from my local music and arts community Solstice and Wild Summer . Solstice Gathering a week long conscious and exceptional community music and arts gathering of about 1000 members in Ontario.Â This year was my 14th year in a row at this unique volunteer run event . I traditionally participate by doing a video performance installation and invite other Vj to come and light it up. Spore is the name of our stage and the festival has two other magical music areas Hive and Root .
(Root stage with new roof and packed dancing deck)
Each stage is Unique featuring quality selections of underground dance music with excellent sound and special visual experience to enjoy as well as a beautiful trail filled forest and field filled with art installations workshops and interesting , friendly, fun people.
The decoration design at our stage was done by long timeÂ friend and fellow Om Solstice veteran creator member Tomasz Ciesla heÂ also designed and led the build of the 3 mini pyramids in the area that serve as our performance booths.
The event comes together every year on Summer Solstice thanks to an amazing core group of people supported by the entire member base including DJs and artists. There are no spectators. The festival has a very free and safe chill vibe tied to one hell of a dance party. The amount of work that goes into this relatively small lower budget event is incredible and it makes for a wonderful experience year after year. There is nothing else like Solstice and I can’t even begin to go into detail why but it is where I have grown up as a Vj and made so many memories and is something I will always be really proud to be a part of creating. See our website here if you are looking for more info on Solstice GatheringÂ http://solsticegathering.ca/
Now of the Terror I was mentioning … With a lot more sunshine 🙂
At the same time I was working on Solstice I was also starting on a major long term project for EMD show systems at Casa Loma Toronto . Around then I had just completed the installation and programming of the 8 screen presentation theater in the Pool room in the Casa basement. the conditions of which were definitely scary at times considering I was there working at all hours of the night by myself or with one person since it is full of tourists during the day. I also work on some special events and lead all the LED wall builds and there are many throughout the summer out doors and inside.. Â Visit the Casa Loma website.Â http://www.casaloma.ca/
But seriously we are talking about a real scary project here and that is Legends of Horror .
Legends we call it is a grand production of light sound and performance against the backdrop of fantastic sets built around the Casa Loma location. I took part as a technician and installation designer for all the projection installations and the other special technical effects throughout the experience.
Something from the archive :
Written as part of the info for a previous Live Video Art Workshop we held at ORP Solstice festival 2013.
Scott Vj Guy on Live Video Artwork,
I have created Live Video Art at nearly two hundredÂ events over the years since I first brought my animations to Om Festival Â and I have had many amazing, challenging and rewarding experiences along the way, I hope some of which I can share to help others interested in what it is to be a Vj. The recent increase in accessibility of high end graphics capable devices and live video performance software offers more and more artists of all types the opportunity to try this unique and deeply fascinating artistic medium. I feel video art, live video performances and all the other possibilities in the live visual performance world are a part of the latest avant-garde in the art world. I love what I can do and the seemingly endless possibilities and exploration of styles and techniques of installing and creating content for live event video performances. Vjing and live video art production are a truly new art form so fresh and exciting experimentation and new concepts are always waiting to be discovered and developed into more and more unique and diverse styles. If you are very technical minded you will be fulfilled partially by the endless challenges and solutions required for a video artist to work through. There are more and more capable tools available to make life easier when it comes to content production and installation set up but as some artist are constantly trying new things and pushing the boundaries of our available hardware/software, we are also always working out how to achieve what we see in our heads and with what tools in which combination. I have had the joy and privilege of performing at and working on the stages at our OM/ORP Solstice festival since 2003 and I have really appreciated the opportunity to experiment and develop my craft over the years . Not only have I been able to grow and advance as an artist and person I along with my OMie brothers and sisters like Aspa, Steve, Peter, Lestor, and Dan, I have had the joy of facilitating many other fantastic video artists from our community as well and open the doors for new artists to come and perform on the big screens under the trees and the stars. There is a very special feeling similar to playing in a tight band or dropping that perfect mix when you have integrated your visual vision into an audio performance and the whole environment comes alive as the crowd goes off and I canâ€™t wait to share it with you all again and again. Join me Scott Vj Guy and other seasoned Omie vets for a discussion on the state of the art and a workshop that will cover some Vj fundamentals as well as a presentation of some more advanced techniques.
ORP Vj Academy
Why ? – To share knowledge, Ideas and experiences in live video art with new and experienced VJs. Â
What ? – A presentation from several of the festival’s key video and stage design artists as well as an open discussion leading into a freeform visual jam on multiple screens and workstations.
When ? – Wednesday night during the ambient Jam.Â Â
Solstice festival 2015 , Spore Stage .
Sunday morning Psy Church with Dj Machine Elf shot from the Vj Booth.Â
If you are interested in Vj workshops at ORP Solstice festival 2016 send us a message and let us know you’re interested. entertainment.
I’ve had gigs most weekends over the last two months . It is good to be VJing regularly but also has been a bit tricky due to the fact that I have recently moved out of Toronto Â and have to come back into town from 2 1/2 hours away each time. I am very thankful for a few friends with houses in the city who have been letting me crash at their places making life much easier. More on my living adjustments and new arrangements later…
One of the best events I recently worked was the Techedelic launch party ( www.techedelic.com ) also presented by Acid Reign productions. Â It was a very cool Techno / Psy Trance night with lots of people in the door , the event was fully decked out with a comfy ploung, friendly bar, stage deco & projection mapping installation by myself and deco crew Neuromantix. Also crew artist Czar hung his awesome backdrop paintings.
This is a shot of the night with my projections over top the Neuromantix deco installation and across nearly the whole side wall . I use two projos . The large wall screen was substantially dimer but looking pretty cool with 1280×800 resolution.
I will follow up with a few more photos from all these recent gigs and report on how they went in a next post. have a great day everyone
Blog Re-post from 2016 after having our site wiped due to security breach. – make good passwords friends.
Hello LVA fans ,
I have lots on my plate these days and I am trying to get a system going where I can write about recent events and upcoming projects I am working on . That mental system is not quite in place yet but getting there. Since I had to rebuild my site I actually have a pile of past content I want to re share here and things I never got to post from the last year. I will try to cover it all in time and categorize properly for my own archive purposes as well as yours . Some of it should be helpful reference if you have your own projects on the go or are just getting started as a VJ or installation artist. I have committed to making weekly blog posts at least and possibly more once I get my schedule down . New content will be things like event after videos , project diary’s and postmortems, some very useful how to videos and hopefully inspirational artist showcases and content from around the world of visuals.
Today I present one of my handouts that I give to my first day Vj workshop students to help them start wrapping their heads around what we do as VJs and what they can do hopefully inspiring them to dive in and let the new ideas flow . This is slightly dated now but have a look and then let your imagination go wherever you like. Anything is possible lets make it happen !
Art of the VJ (from Livevideoart sessions workshop series 2014)
I feel it is important to discuss our ideas of creative expression and design as a Live Video Artist. For me a VJ is like a DJ who mixes video to music at dance parties (or a much music programmer) . A Live Video Artist on the other hand can be a VJ but also takes the craft further by creating your own content and presenting it in a more creative display installation. Video installations can be used by VJ and set to music or they can be used in a multitude of other ways such as an ambient and abstract artistic installation at a gallery perhaps or a 3D projection mapped haunted house. I have personally used projection installations for theater and marketing purposes as well as being an event VJ. The key to your design is to prioritize what is important about your installation and consider how to make it work in the space you have and integrate with your clients goals and other elements like deco installations in the space. You are responsible for complimenting the space with your projection light and you have to pick the appropriate elements to do so.
Content selection – when selecting your content you may want to only use certain style clips in order to control the â€œmoodâ€ of the visuals and compliment the style of music or theme you are working with. For example I like smooth seamless loops of sacred geometry and visionary art when I VJ for a trance party but when I do a drum and bass event I will use more urban , industrial or HipHop culture look with more choppy jumpy movement. Sometimes I dont even use video and just create interesting colour patterns that compliment the room decor.
Collaboration – Working with other artists to realize a space design can be fun and challenging. Make sure to set expectations early for your technical requirements and remind people not to block your projector beam. Sometimes you have to work around physical objects that canâ€™t be moved and this makes your set up much more challenging. You want to get all this information well in advance so you know how to plan your installation. Work with the room lighting tek to make sure your images are not washed out by house lighting and suggest other options to use the lights or request they are left off if they are ruining your projections. Communication is key and make the effort to talk to your team well before the event about these plans. edit : Often you are working towards design plans laid out by the lead event designer or client but sometimes you are brought in for your vision and ideas , make sure to share them with all the stake holders involved and even contact other performers to see what they are planning so you can all come together on a unified collaborative design.
Mixing style – Weather you beat match every loop , progressively build compositions , rapidly tweak effects and trigger clips to the music or do smooth calculated transitions you have to practice and experiment until you find what you like best. I try to be able to offer a variety of styles and practice mixing to different types of music finding what looks best to me. Â Some installations will not require a VJ such as interactive pieces or long play looping ambient gallery style installations. For trance music I progressively build compositions and make smooth transitions between clips. For broken beats I do lots of jump cut clip switching and video scratching. For Techno I use lots of minimal and repetitive abstract generative patterns.
Experimentation – There are so many happy accidents I see when I just dive into my vj program and mix for a while. I suggest this is the best way to really learn the software and discover little feature you love that you would use over and over. I encourage you to come up with crazy ideas and try to pull it of by any means necessary . Video projection art is a new and exciting medium of artistic expression and can be done in so many ways. Once you learn the tools you want to use you will evolve into your own style and realize the limitless potential.
Tools are also a very important part of your craft and they are covered properly in an accompanying document. The artist must first understand the core concepts of visuals design before getting bogged down in what tools to use. The only rule of thumb like in any art is use what works best for you but I will give you some recommendations in the next doc. – Scott Vj Guy –
I leave you today with just one photo from a recent event at a closed factory called Tower Automotive in Toronto. This was a challenging space to work in because there is zero remaining infrastructure and obviously no useful features in the space you would find in a night club that make setting up your gear easier. I ended up fashioning two 7′ towers to place my projectors on out of old shelving units and set them at either side of my VJ Table projecting across the entire room and hitting the large structural pillars and the Dj booth for mapping effects . The face on the DJ booth was really fun to play with and I projected animated googly eyes on it most of the night lol . The client specifically requested big cartoony colorful and fun imagery so as always Livevideoart.ca delivered.
I hope to see anyone reading this on the weekend for the Techedelic Launch party on Geary Lane.
Check the face book event info for details.