In Venice with ArtAV for the Biennale

It started for me on the 21st of April when I was down at the ArtAV headquarters preparing for the Irish entry to the Venice architecture Biennale. The entry was buy Niall McLaughlin Architects and was called Losing Myself which reflects on architectural spaces, Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia. 001

The physical part of the installation consists of 16 projectors on quad-pods (like tripods but with 4 legs) Projecting down on the floor. Each of the individual projected images overlap by 2 pixels to create one whole image. I was responsible for the watch out layback and programming, before i arrived Steve Lez & Simon had been rigging the cabling for the speakers and projectors which drops straight down from the roof and into the projectors.


We spent a couple of days in a warehouse with the architects going through ideas and working out some of the technical aspects ready for the install in Venice. About 3 weeks later I was the first in Venice and met Dario, out Italian fixer for the job. We loaded the Kit from the docks onto a boat and then traveled with it on a boat to the Arsenale Biennale venue.


A few hours later Steve and Lez arrived as they were flying from somewhere  else, we unpacked and checked the kit to make sure it had all arrived in once peice. The following day we had a relatively early start and got to work marking out the precise grid onto which we were to position the “quad pods”.


It was quite tricky marking out the grid as we had to take into consideration the angle of the beams in the roof where we were hanging cables and cable tray off. Coupled with a 200 year old non straight rood we had to avoid an pillar which was in the middle of the floor and had to weave between one of the quad-pods. It took a good few hours to get the floor grid placement correct but was important that we spent the time doing that.

005I think this may have been the end of day three after a few long days of marking out, getting projectors into position and cables in the air. There was a local chap who was blacking out the windows in our space and make a lively set of raps for the doorway, we had quite a grand entrance!

The content didn’t arrive till quite late and came as a huge image sequence which I used ffmpeg on the watch out servers to encode to video. It was really pleasing to be encoding one single image sequence into 4 quadrants of video all parallel and could watch it live projected on the floor as each frame was encoded. The video was rendered out into 4 separate quadrants to enable smooth playback from Watchout as it struggled with a single 4k video.


Prior to coming out to venice i spent some time putting some of my own content together just to see what it would look like on such an unusual canvas. Above is just a simple pixel pattern using each projector as simple light source and making a cheesy disco floor. As well as the cheesy stuff I also modelled in 3d the actual quad-pods. I done a few directional light passes around the virtual model and baked the shadows onto the texture. This meant I could create “false shadows” of the legs. Below is an example of this with a fake light source emanating from the pillar casting a shadow on the floor, Im really interested in this effect of tricking the brain with light.


We managed to make good progress getting things ready in time so after the working day had finished I spent some time doing more quite simple animations that when viewed in this context were really pleasing to the eye.  Below is concentric circles emanating from the legs.009

And below a close up of a single set of concentric circles covering the whole canvas which I particularly like.

010The brass legs take bright colours really well with the bounced reflection of the floor image.011Strokes and triangles, when i was doing this loads of people took videos of it, it starts with simple lines coming from the edges and bouncing off each quad-pod leg creating a geometric spirograph effect. I’ll try and find a copy of some footage from someone and upload it to my Vimeo account, i keep meaning to make more of an effort to document stuff then kick myself when I don’t take enough pictures or footage.

I set up a limited company in April SEVENTHREE Productions and the cosplay logo has evolved into this (below) after a few iterations. Im still in the process of building a company website i like. The current one is being rebuilt and i still need to get my head around the sort of complex WordPress template.

013After week and a bit in Venice we were done, the client was happy, the biennale people were happy and we were happy. It runs until the 27th November, if your close buy try and go and visit, theres some really cool stuff to see.


As a temporary departure from places in places, heres Lez’s happy smily face on the way to the airport in a water taxi!

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Adobe Summit 2016

Late January this year I received first an email and then a call from Peter Harding, one of the directors of Hawthorn. We had never met before but Sarah Cox from d3 had recommended me for a job they had coming up in May, on which they were using d3 for the first time. I was in Milan at the time and on my return from the Milan job I was landing in London and driving in Newcastle where I stopped off at Cambridge and met Peter about the forthcoming job.

After a chat and a coffee and getting an overview of the project I was onboard to look after the d3 project & programming.

001 incomming

The conference is called Adobe Summit. this are an Annual meet up of businesses and users of Adobe products in excel. Fast forward to April I went to Hawthorn in Leicester to do some testing with the setup. We had 2 x d34x4 and a 14,000px X 1080px initial content canvas plus a load of LED pixel mapping. The tests went swimmingly well and following month we were in ExCel setting up for the gig.

002 preprod

Nick was head of video for the main room, Tony was looking after E2 switching, Sleepy Tom was tech video guy and I was there looking after the d3’s & programming. It was a really fun team and under the pressure of such a size gig we still had a laugh.
003 preprod

There was quite a bit of pixel mapping as well as the playback of the main opening continent and essentially “backgrounds” for when the speakers were presenting. Downstage center of the stage were a set of 2.5m high letters spelling SUMMIT, which we were projection mapping onto, and also pixel mapping just under 100 DMX fixtures inside the letters to light up the opaque sides matching the fide content on the front.

004 preprod

005 onsite first

There were also some CMY fixtures above the SUMMIT letters, which were pointing down to colorize the shadow behind, as we couldn’t hit that part of the screen with projection because of the letters. 006 pixelmapping

And in addition on site I pixel mapped 22 Ayton blades that were running along the top of the set. After a few hours of tweaking and working with the lighting department we were all mapped and ready.



007 d3 setup 010 lineup

New content came when the client turned up and we got that in the system and basically went straight into rehearsals. It was a mixture of a really fast setup, then parts of waiting around allot then moments of being really busy. I’d never worked for Hawthorn before and dint realize how big the company was and how big this gig was until I arrived at ExCel for the first day. The entire of the conference center was taken over for the event with so much technical kit installed!

011 Stage

After rehearsals and 2 days of shows it was over, It was a great gig to be part of and meet some new friends.

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Late nights in the hills of southern Spain!

Ive just, today, in fact around 2 hours ago decided to start splitting down these blog posts in to a more sensible format. Rather than going through what has happened chronologically and trying to cram everything into one catchup post I’m doing them project to project.


Sooooooo, mid to late April I got a call of Dan from QED asking if i was available for a week to to do some projection mapping onto some mountain sides in Spain. Naturally with a proposal like that I said yes.


After a longer chat on the phone, some arrangements of flights and accommodation, a meet up with Harry in Gatwick and then an super early origin flight for all of us, we were eventually at Almeria with was the area we were going to be projecting.


The gig was for Lexus, we were projecting specifically created animations by video designer Edgar Davey onto huge rock faces and ran the video to cue whist a 3 million pid prototype car drove past and was filmed. The whole thing sounds pretty crazy and actually was. All of the crew were stoping in a villa complex and we had all of our kit in the courtyard, projectors, lenses etc. In addition to the projects sense sand cabling  infrastructure we had a small camper van with a pair of d3 4×4 media servers strapped int he back for us to do the projection mapping with.


In total we had 3 locations which we were going to project onto that week and I decided to make some specific line grids for each one. The first one I included my standard kitten which I stole from the internet in November 2015 she’s called Doris. as soon as it started getting dar and we could see some form of gird, Dan and myself started lining up onto the rock face. it was a really good system using d3 multi edit as we both started on a projector either side of the centre and work out either side, a very good use peoples time and resources.


Once we were lined up, on which we were using 4 x Christies Boxers and 1 x Panasonic 12k we were ready for the shoot. The premise was that the car drove around and then the animation was created to “track the car”. After few takes and refining the cue timings we got a brilliant shot.


I decided to bring up one of the standard d3 images (Lena) onto he canvas and just by chance here eyes lined up perfectly with the hill side, i love this picture.


Here is a video of the actual advert, its pretty good though only shows a small portion if the work which was done by the team.

Lexus – Into the Light

The second day we were ono another filming location, due to tit being a long filming schedule we split the shift so Steve and Harry setup during the day then Dan and myself took over for the lineup and operating on a nighttime.


The picture above shows the really looooong shot we had to make, I think we were around 300m away from the rock face for this one. I was impressed by Dans ability to work out quite quickly in his head what lenses we needed.


On the same day (second day) we projection mapped the engine of the car. Although to be honest, Edgar who created the content took the most amazing guess of the angle of the projector position, tower height, distance to car, and rendered out the content to that.  When we reprojected the animation it fitted perfectly!!


The whole premise of the shoot/advert was that everything was “for real”, this meant that alongside the car advert there is also another viral advert talking about the making of. You should watch it even if you only have a hint of geek inside you, its interesting.

Lexus LC – Into the light : THE MAKING OF



Tis particular night was a productive but quite a long night we achieved allot. When Dan and myself left sight it was light, and we were both a bit giddy from sleep depravation. I was driving us in the camper van back to the villa around some serious steep cliff drops.
Story is we made it home!


Below is day three, final day, for me this was the least inspiring location, we had 3 boxers pointing at a cliff face. it still looks really good but didn’t have the panache of the previous 2 nigts.



Whilst we were waiting for dark, Dan and myself decided to climb up to the highest point on the hill. `if you look at the highest point in the picture above (in the middle) . Thats where we are sat in the picture below.


It was a great place to be working out of and at the same time I do enjoy working with the QED chaps, fun times!!





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The Hive at Kew

This was a job which was meant to start happening last November 2015 then was pushed back and back until it was stripped out of Milan in January 2016 and began to be rebuilt in Kew Gardens in April 2016. This is the UK pavilion from the Milan expo 2015. It was a very strange and irritating job for me, due to the fact I had not been invited to any meetings prior to the install and any of my recommendations for the timescale and install of the LED were disregarded. I can say now this is not the most happy blog post but its a story which needs told.


I was booked to be onsite with Jon and we were to test and maintain the LED ring sections which had been uninstalled from Milan, there was a local crew in Milan taking down the hive and removing the LED rings. I had gone in previous and labeled all the cabling and made safe what need to be made safe, the locals would then do the physical strip down.


Dale was out in Milan supervising the Local crew on the strip down of the whole hive including the LED. Care wasn’t really taken on the out and there were dents and kinks on each section and some parts where parts had been ripped out without un doing the bolts.


It was pretty frustrating coming to test what had been taken down in Milan, after saying that care needed to be taken only to discover damage & cut cables.


The schedule to get the LED tested and replied was 10 days from myself and Jon working out of a pare of gazebos in a carpark outside of Kew gardens. When we got to site the guys installing the hive had been there for a week but unable to work because of setbacks with the groundworks. I was aware that budgets were tight on this job and having 10 guys not being able to do anything for a week probably cost the project in the region of £15k .


This is the woking area at Kew for testing the LED, not really enough space, and after continually asking for a dry area to work and a dry area to store the LED we had an enclosure but to store tested ring sections. Looking back now, I’m not actually sure why I put up with the amateur conditions. This was and still is a big profile job but the working environment was completely retarded. IMG_8964

Gary was continually out to screw fix  for the first week to pick up bolts & fundamental tools for the hive build,  components were shirt even though there were 7 weeks in Milan during the strip down where this could have been already ordered. During testing of the LED the generator we had, broke down and we lost a day whilst one of they guys tried to fix it instead of just hiring one for the week, it was frustrating.


Before the “waterproof” enclosure was built there was nowhere to store the dried and tested rings so we ended up hanging them in the gazebo in an already tight working area.


Jumping back to when Jon and Myself came onsite the, LED transported from Milan was wrapped in polythene to keep them dry but because there was no cover to store them once they had came off the truck water had seeped in and pooled in the poletheyne submerging some of the pixels underwater.


This is one of the pixels full of water, I was stunned that it was still working. When I designed the elctronics and got them manufactured I requested a conformal coating  which essentially created a limited waterproof brier for the electronics.

IMG_8941I had stressed my concerns about the waterproofness of the pixel shell, I designed the shell  and sought advice of the best way to waterproof them from Production at StageOne but none in the office were concerned about my concerns of water ingress.

I think we replaced about 60 (8%) Pixels in the end, even though they were working, if there was any sign of damp they were replaced with new seals.


This is where  electrolysis has happened on some electronics with damp or under water, this is essentially fixable but is not a quick process.


This below is our watertight enclosure for storing the tested and dry LED rings, I have no idea how many times I asked for a waterproof dry enclosure. None on the managers on the job seemed that bothered about the project itself. That was incredibly frustrating after putting 100’s hours into designing the electronics for the pixel, designing the cable infrastructure and also writing the software which translates the activity of a real beehive into light. I really cared and still do about this project but found it impossible to do anything to a good standard without the required resources or support of Stage One. It really did feel like everything was unnecessarily difficult, I had assumed that after not being to a meeting prior to the install that someone had been making provisions, I was wrong. Adam Wildi has an amazing knack of making a really simple task difficult and expensive, I hate inefficiency.


So the 10 days of testing maintaining and replacing led pixel rings ready to go into he hive was over. We had worked in a tent in a carpark, which someone had decided to erect at the lowest part of the carpark so when it rained we had a pool on the corner. We had lost several man days due to an old knackered generator failing on us and never had adequate waterproof cover to store electronics. For the build of the hive, components were still being bought from screw fix instead of having been foreseen and ordered prior to this. All of this happening whist the LED install schedule was so tight due to budgets even though other parts of the build were loosing money due to inefficiency and bad planning.

Its difficult to write this without sounding bitter but I’m actually more saddened and frustrated by the process. At this point I decided to tell the directors that I was stepping down from the project. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly and was unhappy on this project, it made me miserable and my professional opinion wasn’t been listened too. I was saddened and i stuck with it for so long because of the history of successful projects I’ve done with Stage One. It was the right decision and I should have said that I would not have done the project earlier if I could have seen into the future and see the lack of support and respect.
Ive continued to remotely support the project as all the LED electronics and software is my design and theres no-one else to support it, I’m not the kind of person to leave anyone in the shit.

The Hive had a opening party on in early June, I had a call from Robin prior to the opening asking for some support with the LED. I helped him over the phone and he said what time are you coming down to the opening party, I told him i didn’t get an invite and robin said “your fucking kidding me”. I wish I was kidding, about the whole thing.

The Hive will be in Kew gardens for the next 2 years, the designer Wolfgang is a really sound guy as is Mike, Robin, Kev and Tony who have looked after the audio element.  Its worth going to see if your in the Kew area.


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Full throttle start to 2016

Its Bank Holiday Monday the 28th of March 2016 and I’m finally sitting down to update this blog, its seems to be turning into quarterly updates. I keep promising myself to post more regular as theres allot of interesting stuff i miss out or forget to put in when posting at such large intervals. I think I’ve said that pretty much every update for the past 5 updates.

So, picking up where the last blogpost left off, i had been working with QED doing a projection mapping at Islington for Nina Dunn, that was sort of my last job before christmas which meant one thing, Xmas party’s. Luke had invited me to his “Luke Halls Studio – Tardy Christmas lunch” and it was excellent, there weren’t many of us but we managed to start eating and drinking at about 13:30 and ended up gate crashing the end of the 59 Productions xmas party at around 22:00, after much silly dancing and more drinks I made it back to where i was staying, somehow.

-002 Halls xmas party

When I said earlier that Islington was the last job before Xmas there was one little job squeezed between and that was setting up the Dell Street Scene stand at Westfield shopping centre for Drive Productions. It was a advertising stand where we had an massive replica of the current dell laptop they were promoting. Members of the public were invited to stop on the key of the giant laptop which triggered one of several video clips on the rear projection screen. We had a 30k lumens 4k resolution Christies Boxer projector delivering the content and I had my d3 4×2 driving the projection. It did look really tidy and the animations were really punchy.

-003 westfiled drive produtions

After finishing the last job down London I travelled back up north to see friends and family for christmas. About a month prior to this i was out with my mate Marley and after a few beers and chatting we decided to book flights to Berlin for new years, long story short, something went wrong with the booking and I ended up with 2 extra flights after an internet mixup. At this stage the most sensible thing to do was to invite more people, in the end there was 6 of us having a mini holiday in Berlin for the new years. we all got out there around the 29th/30th and returned on the 5th, I can safely say its the most I’ve laughed with a great bunch of mates in a long time. Mitch doesn’t look happy in the photo below but it was minus 12C that day and I think he was the only one without thermals!

001 Berlin Photo automat

After returning back from Berlin there was a short turn around and i was prepping to go back down south for London Lumiere working with ArtAV again doing projection onto another Jannet Echelman sculpture. We had learned allot from doing 1.8 on Durham Lumiere in the previous November and this was a big step up in terms of complexity and timeframe we had too do everything in.

I was looking after projection and d3 project setup. We were using projection on the sculpture as there was an interactive element were the public could long onto a web app with their phone, where the was a topological image of the net displayed. When the user taped the image on their screen a dot would appear on the simulation on their phone/device and an actual blob of light would appear on the actual sculpture through the means of projection. At the sane tim up to 6oo could log onto the network and collectively generate projected patterns on the sculpture. This, combined with lighting made a pretty impressive floating thing above Oxford Circus.

888 Echelman daytime

There was quite allot of preparation which went into this and as we got closer to the event the schedule slightly changed meaning we had less setup time. I got a final 3d mesh model of the sculpture around December, I had no idea how I was going to unwrap it and when I did get the model it came in as 300,000+ polygons and was a pretty complex shape.  After trying and realising the limits if my then 3d modelling and UV unwrapping skills i got in-touch with Dave Shepard. Dave managed to work his absolute magic in super quick time by entirely retopologizing the mesh down to 3000 polygons and doing a really good uv unwrap.


This was the model with a standard UV colour pattern applied.

009 UV grid

And this is the 2d UV unwrap which Dave sent (you may need to open the image i a new window to see the grid), I took the original and created this line-upgrid, in the next image below.


The lineup grid below shows the main elements of the sculpture we were aiming to hit with projection. The white area represents the lowest part of the hanging net  and the numbers and colts are there for clarification when identifying the overlap and orientation of things.


This is a photo I took when I had 2 out of the 4 projection towers (west) lined up, 6 projectors currently out of 12. There was several things with made this quite challenging, first was the sculpture material being around 50% transparent although we were were hitting it with enough light to be visible. Next was the sculpture itself, it is constructed of an inner and outer mesh, one hanging inside the other which gave off double imaging more totable around the bottom so it was difficult to tell if the projection overlaps were correct immediately. Wind, bloody wind, trying to lineup in software projection on a moving surface is frustrating and more frustrating is there is nothing you can do about it apart from wait for it to calm down and cary on. Lastly when the net went up it was close to the requested position but ended up slightly south and was rotated clockwise a little to the original plan. Positioning the final model net position in d3 was a combination of referencing to where it was in relation to the ground, taking photos and laser measurements and quite a bit of guesswork and trial and error.

004 Lumiere

When it came to lining up the first projector I spent quite a bit of time trying to move the virtual projector into the correct location which got the lineup relatively close. The net didn’t actually hang exactly as the model but was pretty close so, I decided as an experiment, to try Quickcal in d3. Given that the upper part of the net structure was a set of rope bridals with little stretch I knew that the upper loop of the net would have the least distortion when hanging. I placed 4 calibrate points along the top of the net where there were obvious vertex and then took an arbitrary point lower down near the bottom of the net and dragged it onto what I thought was close to the real-world position on the net. When I eventually got an image after moving around my fifth quick cal point I gradually adjusted the previous points little by little until the projected mesh was pretty much lined up onto of the real net. After a little more 2d warping it was pretty dam good, and i repeated the process for the remaining 11 projectors. I do feel like I was abusing the quickCal feature in d3 but it worked really well in this instance and gave me consistent results!

002 Lumiere

Rewinding back two days before lining, to get the sculpture in the air, Gary White assembled a team from Unusual Rigging to get it up, this involved a road closure in Oxford circus prior to the event and one or two pissed of shouty taxi drivers. After a bit to untangling and rethreading the massive jellyfish like structure it was up, and looked pretty impressive.

003 Lumiere

On the first night we set up the control room which was in the power distribution room onto of Topshop in oxford circus. It was pretty cosy and pretty noisy and after we had finished with it it was full of d3 and touch designer servers, plus allot of ancillary equipment for the event.

006 Lumiere

The following night involved getting all the signal distribution in from the control room to the projection towers. Because of space restrictions the projection & lighting towers were built onto of the exits to the tube exits on each corner of oxford circus. QED provided all the  d3 servers, projectors and their excellent fibre system to get DMX, DVI and network between the control room and the projection/lighting towers. In addition ArtAV had built some custom Touch designer servers and a rather powerful wifi network system which handled the interactivity, I think at one point the system had 500 consecutive users online generating realtime patters on the sculpture from their phones.

007 Lumiere

After a very short 3 days setup we were up and running of the first evening of Lumiere London on the Thursday. It was a sterling effort by everyone getting everything up and running in time along with all the other artworks being installed around the city too.
008 Lumiere

Quite a few people asked me what the sculpture was meant to be so heres an explanation direct from Jane’s website and also heres an image to go with the description.

The work’s title is 1.8, referring to the length of time in microseconds that the earth’s day was shortened as a result of a single physical event, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that emanated from Japan. The sculpture’s form was inspired by data sets of the tsunami’s wave heights rippling across the entire Pacific Ocean.

012 Epicentre

Literally a couple of days after finishing Lumiere I was back in Milan label and advise on the takedown of the LED element for the UK pavilion from the Milan Expo 2015.  I was out there for just over a week, labelling up everything and stripping out delicate elements ready for everything to be installed in Kew gardens starting this April (2016) and going live in June or July I think


013 Milan hive out

Whilst I was out there I took a short video of the deconstruction with my DJI Oslo handheld camera which you can se below.

After getting back from Milan, i had some time in the north east where i did a bit of maintenance on my equipment, upgraded the OS on my servers and took over to Novak studios where they were working on a project called hinterland (more to follow).

014 Reimaging d3

I also decided to upgrade my car to a newer vehicle with more space for kit, I ended up getting a BMW x3 2011 with is really really nice to drive and I can fit quite a bit of kit in there. All i can say after owning it and driving it for the past couple of months is, i like automatic cars and I love the cruse control, such an upgrade form my 11 year old One Series!

015 Servers in cars

A week later I was off to Saudi with Drive productions to do the Israr awards, i was looking after the d3 racks and system setup. It was a pretty busy and long week getting setup and getting the show together. We had 12 projectors, a hologauze and a high rez led screen to play with.

017 Israr awards

I had to do the lineup twice after a miscommunication about not moving the projectors and finding they had been ratchet strapped together and to the tower the following day, hahah!

018 Israr awards

After a few days and some Epic programming sessions for Rowan we had a show and everyone seemed very happy!

891 - israr

After the show and stripping down all the FOH equipment we had a photo opportunity, I find the is photo so funny, it makes no sense.

019 Israr awards comedy

After a couple of days which involved a flight, a train and then a drive to Cardross, I was at StPeters seminary doing a site visit for a project called Hinterland. I was providing d3 servers project setup a and UV unwrapping for Novak as they were projection mapping onto a section of this iconic building as parter of a larger event.

020 Hinterland Site visit

After 2 hours walking round a damp concrete building and discussing projector positions with Rock I was headed back down south to LS Live to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Nitelites were showcasing their new stick of RCF line array and it was a great opportunity to see everyone. I had to include this picture as I hadn’t seen this guy in ages. This is the morning after we had all had beers together.

021 Sleeping pimpy

After visiting friends i was headed back north to do the last of the preparation for Hinterland, I was in the studio on the Monday, updating the 3d model and getting the system setup and then on the Tuesday I was completely flawed with what i can only describe as the wort flue I’ve had in years. From Tuesday through to Thursday I essentially slept and sweated with a horrible fever and developed a really bad cough. By the Friday I dragged myself back to the studio and then on the Saturday morning I was driving to Scotland with a vehicle full of kit to set up for Hinterland. For more information, and better than i can describe, this is what the Hinterland event was about HERE.

022 Hinterland lineup

I was providing the media servers and projection mapping services for Novak who had made custom content for the event projecting into various elements of the building. One day of setup and then 2 nights spent in a cold damp building lining up projection didn’t help my cold and Phil the lighting designer kept handing out encouragement by telling me to stop being Ill, ha!
By the end of the Tuesday night all the projection was lined up and the media server integrated into the show and being triggered with timecode.

023 Hinterland lineup

I got the below image of the event off the internet and now cant find where i got it from and who to credit, if anyone knows who took this please send email an email and ill credit them. It was a pleasure to work on this event it it has such a great creative team too, since the event NVA have secured £4million worth of funding to carry on the restoration of StPeters seminary to what will hopefully become and arts based venue over the next 10 years, excellent news!  024 Hinterland mappng

I left the seminary before the event to drive down to London for my next job so didn’t get to see the final Hinterland event but I’ve been told it was extremely well received. So, with quite a few details missing in-between tis brings us up to date where I am currently programming video for Tal Rosner at the Royal court for a show called X when we have or first preview on Wednesday the 30th March 2016, not long to go!!!

Last but not least, whats a blog post without a face to finish on, I saw these two little fellas on the plane back from Saudi. OOoooooooooohhhhhh, Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggghhhh!!!

893 - minijack usb face

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Quite a bit of video programming & projection

I always think that work is eventually going to quieten down as surely it cant possibly continue to be constantly busy as its been for the past few months, but nope, its still full on. Lets roll back to the very end of September and I was off to do my first job for Drive Productions, this was d3 operating and projection mapping onto a building in the Isle of man. My flights were booked from newcastle to IOM and when i got to the airport i found out we were travelling in the tinyest little prop plane.

001 small plane

The journey took about 50minutes, it was great and we were under the clouds cover for pretty much all the way, it was an excellent way to see the lake district.

When I got to the hotel i checked out the building we were to project n which was right next door to the hotel. I met all the guys the following day and we had a steady day setting all the projection up.

002 villa marina iom

The building had been laser scanned and modelled so when i did a lineup using QuickCal it all liked into place pretty quickly. The final client for the gig was Pokerstars who are based on the isle of man where they were holding a big tournament on the Island. The whole event was a little thank you to the people on the island.

003 vila marina lineup

The continent was really good, they guys done a really good job in a really short amount of time. Theres also a good video of the whole thing here: PokerStars Projection Mapping

004 poker logo

Pretty much straight after returning from the Isle of man after been there for a week I was back on a train to London to start work on an install working for Stage one, for Chanel in the Saatchi gallery. Ive just had to google the correct spelling for both Chanel and Saatchi. On the first day non of the stuff we needed had not  arrived, we did as much as we could and were going to Maplins to get some bits when Karl got a call of Matthew needing some technical support on a project. I should fill you in with he back story here, Mathew is a friend of a friend Lucy who put me onto Mathew to possibly help with an upcoming project they had. It involved trying to tie into a cars data system to track the speed and link this to something to take a picture, just like a google street car. I then put Matthew onto Karl who was much more suited for this gig & Karl came up with an encoder and PLC solution. On this occasion it was a massive that we were both in london and working together and Matthew needed some technical assistance so we both went and met them. It was great to see the car so we joined Matthew on a trip to the hydrogen refuelling station.

005 Hydrogen car

It took quite a while to get there and it was dark once we eventually pulled into the HYDROGEN REFULLING STATION!!! I had to put that into capitals just because it sounds pretty cool. It took a while to get the nozzle off, in the end it just took a bit for force, we had all been to carefully before that. For the refuting process the station wirelessly links up with the car, monitors the fuel cell and then delivers the correct amount  of hydrogen. After refuelling we drove back into london and grabbed some food.

006 refuling hydrogen car

The following day we were back at the gallery but this time we had our control rack and some equipment to set up! We were looking after the “Perfume room”  which was meant to show the process perfume making, albeit in an abstract way. We had 14 “tanks” 5 of which the lids opened and closed containing a swirling pool of water, speakers and a smoke machine to signify steam. The rest had a LED ticker in the lids displaying names of flowers.

007 saatchii tanks

It was a busy few days as with all of these things, the best laid plans get changed onsite and we have to make it work to the new specification. After a few emergency trips to the devils electronics shop, “Maplins” to buy some overpriced cable we had all control systems talking to each other and a working installation.

008 satchii almost complete

Straight after the Saatchi job I was over in Copenhagen for a couple of days to do some training on integrating a custom encoder  into d3 for an upcoming show. From the 1st of October I was trying to do a 5k run every day, I managed to get to 11 days before breaking the routine, this is a map from my Copenhagen run, it was a nice one!

009 running

The show in Copenhagen is called Der Freischütz, i never saw the show but it has some pretty huge pieces of set, which is projected onto with video design by Luke Halls.

010 barel of a gun

After 2 days in Denmark i flew back to london where I started some pre-programming on a show called Gravity Fatigue with Yeast Culture. We had 4 projectors in total, 2 of which we had control of the zoom and focus from he LX desk for hitting various depth surfaces and we were using Catalyst. I had’nt programmed catalyst, or used an EOS for about 18 months but after a couple of hours setup it all came flooding back,  even the fact you have to do a bit of a hack to enable uniform fades!

011 gravity fatigue preprogramming

The following Monday we were in Saddlers wells for what felt much longer than it actually was programming the show & rehearsing. It was a very good show in parts but there were some sections which in my opinion didn’t really fit with he flow.It seemed well received on press night and will probably be remounted again somehwere.

012 town for the weekend

For a very brief weekend between Gravity Fatigue pre productions and tech week I was in Newcastle where i managed to finally get out for a beer with Adam from Novak. We had been trying to hook up for a beer for a while so it was only right that we had a few of them! Later on I met Michael and we decided to go to the Casino, on the way there we ended up chatting to this homeless woman called Poloma from Holland. She had nowhere to go until 07.00 where there was a place open she could go to. As it was cold and wet outside we took her int he casino with us, got here a pint of cola and chatted for about an hour before getting asked to leave for bringing in a homeless person. Bit of a shame really as we were all just sat out of the way of everyone else.

013 helping the homeless

So, after the weekend I was back down London, in technical rehearsals for Gravity Fatigue, it was long days and allot of frantic action when we had stage time but all went well in the end. Pretty much straight after that I was working for Drive again programming and operating the world rugby awards in Battersea park.

014 world rugby awards

We had a 15m wide screen with an embossed logo in the middle which we had to map the content to. In addition we had 2 PIP screens either side showing a live camera feed and pre-recorded content. It was a pretty long day, much of the content arrived to us rather late and for some moments I didn’t think we were going to get it all in in time. In the end remarkably we had a flawless show being up against it!

015 world rugby awards set

Straight after the Rugby Awards after packing down the servers, I loaded my car and drive to Pinewood, where the next day I was soldering RGB LED tape onto the set of Red Dwarf for the new series. It was a good week cutting tape soldering, sticking it on, testing and pretty dam cool to be working on the set of a tv program i used to watch all the time as a young’un!

016 Red Dwarf

I was at the studios from Monday to Thursday when I then drove straight up to Newcastle ready for the next gig in Durham the following day. I was working for ArtAV on Durham Lumiere and we were lighting up Janet Echelman’s sculpture 1.26 with LED and projection, below is the net freshly hung above the river on the morning of our arrival.

017 one point two six daytime

Nick had packed everything, even a library with something to read for everyone. Networking for Dummies, Introduction to PHP5 etc!

018 Nicks library

We had a few days setup time and testing before the event, we had 4x 30k lumen projectors projecting onto the sculpture, 24 SGM led floods, a very powerful network infrastructure, and a lot of various media servers. In fact there were encroach computers inside our cabin, that even when it was freezing outside we had ti keep the door open as all the servers were generating that much heat.

019 pixel shaders

For the event, Nick had developed a web application where visitors could join the local Lumiere network where they were directed to a webpage which showed an 2d representation of the sculpture. The user then could tap their phone screen and where they tap on the screen a corresponding growing circle of light would appear on the physical sculpture which worked really well. 
021 d3 setup

My task was to take the in coming video signal and seamlessly map it onto the sculpture, there was allot of pulling and stretching and warping but we got a good result in the end.The most frustrating part was the impossible task of trying to line up on a moving surface when the wind blew! A video of some of the projection tests can be found here  1.26 Durham.

022 fog

There was a load of great stuff at Lumiere 2015, i didn’t get the chance to see everything but I really liked Fogscape, there are some interesting facts and figures here.

023 NextJob

With a day between Lumiere finishing and having to be down London for my next job  I managed to get a d3 server rack together for the royal courts production of Linda. I spent all day getting kit together, stuff sorted and the  following day I was driving a hire van back down to London, I dropped the Kit at the court, dropped the van at Waterloo and finally made it to Forest gate to meet my mate Lucy who’s flat I was stopping at.

024 Encoder tracking

The next few days involved setting up projectros attaching an encoder to the huge revolving set and then trying to line up the middle in d3 with the physical set. I have to holiday hands up here and say I made a massive faux pas when i had failed to flatten the keystone on the projectors and couldn’t figure why it wasn’t lining up. I now owe Emily a bottle of rum and stuff for having to move the projectors thrice!

The whole set is projected on from 2 front angles which covers most of the audience viewing angles,

025 Set Projection lineup

Eventually we got everything in a pretty good place, I was finished not he Job before the show was open. Luke carried soon tweaking the lineup and I popped back to do some re-scaling on the encoder to help with the tracking. The show is up and running, its worth watching, runs at the Royal Court until the 9th January 2015.
027 QED correct priorities

Once again, straight after finishing the work at the Royal Court I was in Islington working With Nina Dunn & QED to setup some projection for the Islington Festival of Culture. Dave from QED had his priorities right with he above flight cases. Essentially we were on a building site and the event where really expensive flats were being built inside the shell of these listed buildings. The festival was part marketing and art so people could come into he square which as been closed off to the public for years. We had 6 x Christies boxers firing at the main building (Block A). After one night of installing the projectors, and rough lineup, the following day Dan and myself pulled int he lineup working on half a building each till it was all lined up perfectly.

028 30k Lumens 4krez

The festival was from the Thursday till the Sunday and we ran several projection shows each day after dark.

029 Islington

I had started writing this blog post last week on the Islington festival but never quite got round to finishing it! Finally a week later its nearly up to date with what been going on! Its been such a crazy busy few weeks! Boom!

Last but not least, CRIMP MONSTER!!

030 Crimp Monster


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Blogging in hindsight!

I started writing this blog post about 4 weeks ago, at that point i had found a load of images, uploaded them and was ready to put some text to the images. Now its 4 weeks later, possibly 5 and I’m finally putting words down. Its pretty interesting looking back at the images as since most of these jobs have gone live theres a whole new story on things.
Below is a En-Net14 kit manufactured by Karl after chat with Luke Halls earlier this year, basically I was working with Luke and he wanted an elegant way to get encoder data into d3 to track screen and scenery for projecting on. I then had a chat with Karl who said that he could produce such a thing, and here we are its a product which takes an SSI encoder signal and converts it to a 32bit artnet packet for mechanically tracking screens in d3.
001 Ennet14

For testing and playing with the unit i tested it also with vvvv, creating a small patch to visualise the movement and display the count, with a 34 bit art-net packet you get a range of 4billion counts which is more than enough for most applications! The packet comes in as 4 art-net channels and is converted to an integer. for a value of Zero this is how the packet would look Ch1 000, Ch2 000, Ch3 000, Ch4 000, easy. for a value of 255 this is how it would look. Ch1 000, Ch2 000, Ch3 000, Ch4 255, and for a value of 256 it would look like this: Ch1 000, Ch2 000, Ch3 001, Ch4 000, get it?  In d3 it has an inbuilt function to convert it to an interior so you don’t really need to understand but its useful to know.

002 Ennet vvvv

Currently we have a couple of these units in Copenhagen on an opera tracking some huge pieces of set which are projected onto.

003 Cobbling Stuf TogetherSo above is a Kef speaker in a box, a 12v amplifier and a Brightsign media player, this was for a job at Stage one for and install for Channel. The brief changed quite allot during the time we were trying to put together and build what was expected, in the end quite bit of this was cut.

004 WashedHeadphones

These are my trusty Bose headphones, sie2i to be exact, i really like a good listening experience and these are excellent, so you can imagine my shock when I couldn’t find them, only to discover i had left them in my jacket pocket when I put it in the wising machine! I was gutted and convinced that they wouldn’t work, BUT THEY DID, and the sound was still the same, I COULD NTO BELIEVE IT!! All i can thing is that all the components are plastic coated and sealed, I love them even more.

005 Wembly10K

In early September i did a little gig with Impact Production Services. I knew there we some rigging of LED screen required and I had to be at wembley the evening before and meet Matt in the foyer of the hotel at 04:00 in the morning. Apart from that i didnf know much more, Turns out we had to put a load of LED screen up in a tunnel for a 10k run in which the runners ran through a section and it displayed the “Run to the beat” logo, pulsing through. It was a pretty straight forward gig, long hours but nice to be working with Matt and meet some more of the impact guys,

006 Southampton Priscilla

So, the weekend of working at wembley was a bit of a crazy schedule, on the Saturday i got the 16:30 train to London and was at wembley Ibis for arround 20:30. I had some food, done some work for Durham Lumiare and was in bed for around 23:00. I was then up again at 03:30 to meet Matt in the lobby for 04:00. We went to the van and then drove to site and set up the LED. We had to be on standby and then stripped it out and there finished by 14:00. I then went and found a hirer which was dropped off for me and proceed to drive to southampton where i was to help with the automation install for Priscilla Queen of the Desert. I got to southampton at 17:00 and was in the theatre for 18:00. We installed the kit and got it tested and were done by 22:30, after a couple of beers  I went to bed. The following day, we spent half a day in the theatre, testing and making sure the kit worked and then I was driving back north to Newcastle. I dropped the car with Europe car Newcastle and then the following day i was driving back to stage one in my own car this time! It was a crazy but productive few days.

007 FloorMountTelevisionWhat you see here is a 72″ tv mounted in a steel-deck size frame with the idea that this will be a circular screen set into he floor. This was another Channel R&D idea which we realised. It actually looked really effective but unfortunately it was cut, we did have some fun making a digital fishpond in the workshop which kept Jam entertained for a short while.

009 JamsPond

Jam fish whispering and casually hanging out with Neville the Gnome.

010 PrototypeTank

When I first put these photos on the blog I couldn’t really say what they were but n that so much time has passed and the project is live i can tell you exactly what it is! Above is the inside of a prototype automated perfume tank, again, for the same never ending Channel job. We had to figure a way to automate these prop perfume tanks so that the lids open and closed along with triggering smoke to simulate steam and trigger a sound file locally in the tank. Wh had very little space to put the electronic control so there was a lot of trial and error fitting of stuff and quite a bit gaff tape!

Im not sure how long the current link to the site will exist for but for anyone who’s interested if you google “mademoiselle prive” that will at-least show some of the gig.


011 SaddlersMockUp

In the middle of all of this Ive been in many email conversations with my work colleague and good friend Nick about this now happening gig. Above is a d3 screenshot of my setup for figuring screen and projector positions for this current gig. We’ve been through so many different screen configurations and projector positions and d3 has been such a great too for working these out quickly. I did have to create an accurate 3d model of Saddlers Wells from the cad plans which was a good exercise.


012 Bowie

Finally, meet David Bowie!!

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August wasn’t quiet at all

Its getting to be about a month between posts, id like that to be less and I’m going to work on it being less time between. I did have a really god post written in my head mid august which i should have written down, alas i didn’t. Thats why I’d like to post more to capture those ideas and things which might be interesting to get into the digital realm or blogosphere, you never really hear the word blogosphere anymore.

Going back on my last post I was expecting August to be a pretty quiet month, historically it is, and last year I went to Berlin for 6 weeks to have a holiday and take german language course. This year i was going to just get away somewhere spur of the moment maybe travel around, and then I got a contacted from Stockholm!

Frederik from the Dramaten theatre emailed me on Saturday to check if i was available to do some d3 programming for a show as their normal video guy Bullen was out of action for a while. By Tuesday i was in Stockholm with he challenge of setting up the d3 media server, with at the time 3 projectors and a few non uniform surfaces.

002 OchGeOss

After a couple of days setting up tweaking, encoding content and modelling an unusual screen we were on the right track. The above screen I thought looked really good, it was basically made up of over 100 a4 sheets of paper painstakingly attached to thread and hung. I did a relatively quick model of the screen in Sketchup, and increased the edge size so the model was 10mm larger than the actual screen on all edges. I then brought this into C4d and UV mapped this as a flat map and finally brought it into d3 and used QuckCal to lineup the projected model screen back onto the real screen. For such a short modelling time I was quite surprised at the lineup, it was 95% bang on! Unfortunately it was cut and never made it into the show, boo!

001 PHM randD

I was in Sweden for 5 days when I had to fly back to London for some meetings and R&D at the Philharmonia for future projects. We spent 2 days going over ideas and trying stuff out. It was a good opportunity to showcase some of the digital departments ability to the rest of the orchestra team. One of always the popular exhibits is the Conductor Pod which is like the computer game Guitar hero but instead of playing guitar, your movement is tracked with an xbox camera and you follow the conductor with your hands yourself and try and conduct. The programming was done by Chris Plant and its a really neat piece of software.

003 Projector exposed

After a couple of days with the Philharmonia and then a brief meeting with Nick from Yeast Culture about a project in October i was back on the plane to Stockholm again. Frederik had asked me out for a further 5 days to carry on programming the show and look after the ever changing video setup. For the main back wall projection we had a Barco HDF w30 which needed boxing in to help reduce the fan noise spilling down onstage. To aid airflow even more we took the back of the unit off and I was surprised to discover that your still able to power it on with all the electrical terminals exposed. I was all pretty safe as it was boxed in and 10m up in the air away from prying hands.

From 5 extra days i ended up being at the Dramaten theatre for almost 3 weeks programming the show through to the end. The show is called Och Ge Oss Skuggorna which translates to And give us the shadows, a play about the playwright Eugene O’Neil. It was really good to meet and work with he tech/stage team at the Dramaten, such a lovely bunch of people. The video team consisted of 2, that was myself and Axel local to Stockholm, after press night Axel heard of a forest party going on so at around midnight we got a tax to somewhere south of Stockholm.

004 Forest party

There are a couple of hundred people there once we got into the forest, it was a brilliant setting, in a opening near a lake. I don’t know here the time went but it was fun, before I knew it it was light, the music had finished and there were still quite a few people chilling out by the lake top evening.

004 Axel post forest party


That day Axel had to sort all his stuff out for a tour to South Africa, I was pretty dam hungover when I eventually made it back to my apartment. That day we had another show on the Sunday, again with a standing ovation from the audience.

006 Vasa

With a few hours to spare before my flight back to the UK, upon Piers recomendation i went to the Vasa Museum which was all about the ship called Vasa which sank 300meter into its maiden voyage in 1628 and then was finally recovered in 1967. Its a really good museum and recommend it if visiting Stockholm.

007 Smoke machine

Again on the subject of me thinking it was going to be a quiet August it was exactly the opposite. The day after landing I was driving down to Stage One to start work on a new project along with upping spares on some ongoing ones too.

010 Face


Ahahahahah! This is one of the wooden panels from a project called Prouvé House currently been built/renovated at Stage One, faces everywhere!


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Storm before the calm

I started writing this post as I normally do, finding a load of photos and then writing some words to go along with them. I got to 1000 words and I was not even 1/3 of the way through and then when i read this words again it felt like a bit of a dull read. So instead heres lots of pictures and a few straight to the point words.

This is Grace Jones in southampton Common people festival, where in a single day i had the task of programming and operating video under the direction of her production manager. It was a seat of the pants gig and all went well in the end, she’s a great performer, go and see her if you get the chance.

I was traveling to HSL to do a catalyst video setup for LD Andy Hurst and just before I got there someone crashed into he back of my diddy hire car at some traffic lights. I had driven almost 2000 mile in the past 10 days and this happened in the last 3 days of hire!


Spur of the moment I booked a holiday to Prague, booked it on the Wednesday and was there on the Friday. I walked many miles exploring the city, its a really beautiful place to visit. I stopped at the Apartcity Hotel which i recommend to if your planning a trip, Kristina the owner is a brilliant host and tour guide!

This is a great bar, out door and on the riverside with electronic music, people just seep to gather and drink beer and hang out, great atmosphere and well worth a visit. I couldn’t fid a direct link to the bar but this is a good lace to find out about it.

Whilst in Prague i visited a museum and learned about something called an Ossaury which I found quite interesting in a macabre way. An Ossuary is the final resting place of human skeletal remains, not just one person but many people all in the same place, its thought the were built to evoke emotion for the dead, though there are many theories.

In returning to the UK i was out with Michael and Chris when purely by chance we bumped into our mate Spook in the street home we hadn’t seen for YEARS! It was a great opportunity to catch up over a beer or two.

Couple of days later i was at StageOne getting some training on how to use the Comet L3D laser scanner. This scanner uses the structured light technique to produce a highly precise detailed point cloud. It was good to learn the technique and workflow of how from he scan you turn the point cloud into a mesh.

Once again I was with the Grace Jones team but this time in HydePark where we were performing. The show went well and she once again done a very entertaining performance where she climbed off stage and then got a security guard to bring her back on his shoulders, priceless. After us Kyle was on, she’s very little and looks good.

After hyde park i was with the lovely people from the Royal Court and we were off to Brussels to remote the show 2071. Nice few days working with some good pals.

Straight from Brussels, off the Eurostar  and straight on a mother train to truro I was doing the last install for Universe Of Sound for the Philharmonia. This is a multi screen video install with synchronised playback of footage of the orchestra, this video explains it perfectly here: Universe of Sound walkthrough. Whilst in truro we visited Perranporth beak and swam in the chilly sea!

After the install at truro I traveled to London, with Steve by car, it was an entertaining trip full of nonsense.

I spent a couple of days in London hanging out with the ArtAV guys whilst they were looking after video for the Greenwich docklands show Four Fridas. Steve showed me his Timecode to UDP device which allows you to easily stream timecode across a network, lots of potential uses!

During my stint in London I managed to catch up with Slaney where we enjoyed a few quite strong beers at the Euston tap.

After London I picked up my d3 server and drove to Skegness where I was looking after projection for the finale show on the SO festival. We were projection on a 20m wide rollercoaster shape structure from 70m away.

This is a shot from rehearsals, where we turned the structure into a classic fairground “Duck Shoot”. It was a fun week working with may mates i hadn’t seen for quite a while!

After getting back from Skegness I got a call to go to Stage One to help with a very last minute job for a rather large light box, this is 1/3 of it.

And this is all of it, i think was 5m on the longest end, here we were waiting for the extra LED drivers to be delivered, nice box!

And here we are at the end, I nearly fell over when i saw this face. Whilst in Truro with the Philharmonia team we went for an Indian’s and when Jessie’s starter turned up it was exactly like this! Brilliant!

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30th May 2015 50 days

Its Saturday the 30th May today, pretty much once we round the numbers , 50 days since last putting a post up here. Allot has happened in that time, its been a well busy! Right now I’m sat in a café/bar drinking Czech next to Kampapark in Prague, I’m having a few days break, or more so taking the opportunity of not being booked for work to get away somewhere nice.  It really is nice here though ill save that for the next blogpost. So, lets reeeeeeeeeeewind……… I left off where Jon and myself had visited Consono, that feels like a long time ago, so does looking at some of the photos I’m putting up here time is a little bit elastic like that, there are allot of photos in here also.

Late March, that shen the image above was taken, Rory spent many hours up that scaff tower fitting the nodes in the centre crown fo the hive and swearing now and again, all in good spirit though! Things never seem as bad in heindsight but we all really did have some wet miserable days putting this together, sulthough, when the sun was shining it helped make up for it. The schedule was a little missplaced in some places which resulted in some irritating holdups for Jon and myself fitting the LED but it all happened in the end. 

I was well pleased to have Jon on the job helping me install the LED and help combat my sometimes grumpines. I hadnt really seen Jon for a few quite years untill late last year when we met up for a beer, a few month later we were in Milan grafting, Jon if you end up reading this, I couldn’t have done it without you.

This is the day we shrunk Karl and the lady who was standing behind him at the time , an hour later it work off and he resumed normal size again. Karl came out to Milan with some programming kit, a sense of humour and knowledge as we were having some of the LED’s responding to the incorrect address.  At the time I wasn’t sure what was happening, whether it was interference making the led read the wrong address at start up or some other weirdness. Initially we thought we may have to reprogram every led with a hard address which was our worst fears, eventually we narrowed the issues down to just several LED. Due to slight differences in manufacturing not all of the LED cases were completely waterproof, this enabled the ingress of moisture, which in turn shorted some of the pins on the dip-switch making the microprocessor read the wrong address on startup.  This seems really obvious now but at the time it was such a random issue to fault find and fix.  Lesson learned from this, (a) water will find even the most microscopic gap to get though & (b) Never take “it’ll be fine” as a piece of advice.

I left site in Milan on the 11th April, everything was up and running though we didn’t have any internet to site at the time. This meant, rather than the hive responding to the Live feed from the Beehive in the UK it was running on a pre-recorded loop of 90hours of beehive recording. For each major iteration of the software for control of the beehive I named after a Sting song, in keeping with the Bee theme, ho ho ho, oh how we laughed.  The final version was called Tea In The Sahara, which funnily enough abbreviates to Tits, that also amuses me, I have a simple sense of humour.

After leaving Milan I was straight into a Job for Luke Halls whom I had worked with video programming on 2071 (make link to blog post here).  It was all quite sporadic and basically involved doing a 4 projector map of the dome above the stalls in the coliseum theatre London for a charity gala dinner. Luke was already busy on another job so he got in Jan Urbanowsky to do the content for this who it was nice to meet and work with. Earlier this year I invested in my own d3 4×2 system, this gig involved driving down to London with the media server rack, lining up in an incredibly short space of time with a model of the dome, which was created from really old drawings of the theatre. It was all quite mad, there was no time for a proper laser scan of the dome but with the various warping capabilities in d3 we managed to get the content lined up and the edges blended on the dome.

The gig went well, there was around £250k raised for charity by the Naked Heart Foundation, which is not a small figure at all. We all packed down and I got the kit into the van and started my journey north. I had been up at 06:00 that day and planned to find a travel lodge, not far out of London then continue the rest of my journey the following day. Could I find a hotel with spare rooms, COULD I FUCK!! After my third attempt at pulling up to a motorway travelodge and hearing the phrase “sorry we have no rooms” I parked the van properly in the carpark, put the seat as far back as they do in a Peugeot partner and slept until the sun came up (this was about 3 hours later). Once I rubbed my eyes till I could see properly again I continued the rest of my journey north, dropped the van off and slept from 17:00 until 08:00 the following morning. 

Following on from the Coliseum gig I was, down the south coast working with the Philharmonia Orchestra installing Universe of sound. This is a multiscreen projection synchronized installation where visitors can experience an orchestra and learn about an orchestra without having to go and see an orchestra.  It’s a really brilliant installation to visit. It was really good to be working with the team again, catching up with friend’s and putting this whole thing together again. Above is the new 8 screen projection dome, it’s not really dome but its been called that since its inception, this is version 2 made of “dome” built especially for frequent touring of the show. The install went well,  there’s a good team on this, we’ve done Plymouth, Torquay, where it currently is at time of writing, and then twill finally sit down in Truro for 2 weeks in June marking the end of the tour od the south west.

Directly after the install in Plymouth, Steve dropped me off at Bristol where I flew the following day back to Milan to commission the audio lighting link up for the hive. This is another aspect for the hive, the first element is the audio feed from the beehive generates the swarm lighting pattern on the lights on the hive. The other element is that when certain frequencies of the incoming audio stream peak, these trigger audio samples, which are mixed in with the soundscape in the hive.

 It was a great few days tying everything together, initially on the first day when I arrived it was absolutely pissing down, the water was bad but the patterns the water created when the water pooled on the hive were quite calming in contrast.

This is Tony, one of the composers of the soundscape; it was nice to meet more people involved with the project, there’s a big list, also a quite allot of people who have given there time for free also.

Pretty much immediately after returning from Milan I was into the next job which was looking after video for the main stage of 23rd Shindig. I had been essentially managing everyone involved in the video side, setting up the content templates and then providing my d3 system to easily map the content to the screens and mi-strip. There was a reasonable amount of setup, involved, modeling the stage and sorting the mi-strip layout so the content fitted correctly. The preproduction paid off and once the screen was up and working everything was mapped perfectly. I was taking the VJ feeds into d3 using some Blackmagic  HDMI to SDI boxes which worked really well, I’m astounded the quality which you get for your money from Blackmagic design products.

More so on this gig it was great to be working with mates I hadn’t seen in quite a while. Above is James who was stage managing the DJ setup son and off, we see each other quite often as there is a quite regular beer drinking interval which has to be kept up.

This is Elliot and Clive from Novak, on the weekend it was cold and windy, sometimes really cold and really windy, note the macbooks taped down. It was definitely 12month since I’d seen these guys!

This is Neil, I don’t see Neil enough, seen here being very happy about the weather and the wind. Despite the cold and rain it was well good catching up and having a natter.

This is Aaron from Novak who was VJ’ing all weekend alongside Itaru who is Ritchie Hawton’s VJ. I was impressed with the Richie Hawton set, Itaru had built a custom touch designer interface, which meant he could deliver real-time generative continent matching the content to the set via a controller. Its one of those things that the general punter would never know bit I really think, along with the sound and lighting this humanization of things really helps make a good show. Maybe I’m biased as I love this technology, which allows you to make a show without it being completely payback. The gig almost didn’t go ahead after pretty bad weather on the Sunday, only with perseverance from the team did it happen, Nitelites, DATechnical, Impact, Novak, Shindig, to name a few, what a great, sometimes wet weekend.

 Here’s the obligatory shot from the office, HDMI to SDI, monitored on an HD SDI screen, inputting to d3, mapped out onto the LED screen and mi strip, how many acronyms can you fit in one sentence!!

A few days after Shindig I was back out in Milan again, FINALLY, there was internet to site, I have no idea why it too so long, but it did. I was back to commission the live linkup so the hive was finally responding to a live feed from a REAL beehive in the UK. It took a little bit tweaking and setting up and now it seems pretty stable. If the live stream cuts out I have it set up so that it sends me an email to say it has cut out. If I get an email I can remotely log in and check where down the line the issue are via remote access, and normally fix it immediately. If not there is an inbuilt backup to the system, which means if the live stream stops for any reason it automatically switched over to a prerecorded stream. From a relatively small piece of software there’s quite allot in there now!

There is generally allot of work to be dome but sometimes you end up with an hour to spare here or there when waiting for a flight, bus, train to take you back home. On this occasion I managed to get the use of the UK pavilion Brompton to cycle around the Expo site. Apart from official expo bicycles, all other bicycles may have been banned onsite but I never seemed to get into any trouble which. is a nice change!  So that’s it for now, this still doesn’t actually take us up to date but covers 50 days of work since last posting. Its actually been 70 days since I last blogged, I still need to fill in those 20 days to be current. 



I’ve seen quite a few faces recently, but, LOOK AT THESE TERRIFIED BOXES!!!!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 30th May 2015 50 days