Category Archives: News & Information

User Review – Wacom Intous Generations

Wacom Intous Pro
An independent long term user review by Scott Vj Guy
(Live video art is not sponsored by or affiliated with Wacom company this is just a story of my user experience)

The drawing tablet is my main input device on the computer when using creative software. It is critical for using Zbrush, Photoshop and Maya in certain workflows. I also now use it when doing more complex video mapping setups that require lots of warping and edit point adjustments. I have worked with several models and sizes over the years and owned the Intous 3 and 5 medium size.
I don’t enjoy using the smallest version nearly as much because its cramped and does not offer as much detail across the screen. I have large hands and like to rest on the surface so the large version feels good but it is too big for most desks and not portable. The medium is perfect for me.

Touch and wireless feature are nice bit build quality and durability suffer in the latest versions. It is lighter and smaller.

My Intous 3 was great but brokedown after about 10 years after heavy use and some rough transportation. I got the version 5 as a replacement around two years ago.
It was nice at first with wireless connection and a touch panel feature. I do really enjoy that touch feature in some programs and the new take on the scroll wheel with 4 modes was very useful. The pen that comes with the v5 is a bit smaller than the old one and I liked the old larger version. I think for my bigger hands the side button is easier to hit on the bigger intous 3 stylus.
So I was enjoying the Intous 5 but unfortunately over Christmas my Intous 5 has broken after only just over 2 years so just outside warranty. The the board inside the device is failing somehow and the tablet will not stay on even with a fully charged battery or plugged in with USB. I think it might be a result of often holding the device in my right hand  while I draw with the left in seated or standing positions. The tablet might have over flexed in my usage but I have been careful with it so I feel the toughness of this new version is much lower than the old. There are also many reports of the USB connection port getting damaged from cable bending and causing problems like not recharging or connecting.  So I went online to find a replacement used and I got lucky. I found a like new condition Intous 3 for $80 and scooped it up .

Old classic outshines the new fancy version.

I love my new classic 3. The pen technology is the same industry standard that Wacom is known for and the whole thing is slightly bigger and more solid. I think the drawing surface is slightly bigger and  the frame around it is much thicker and made of hard plastic. Like the first one I had, I expect it will last a long time if I care for the cord. The latest version is much lighter and made of a softer plastic and I think that was an unfortunate choice by Wacom but possibly to reduce cost. I question if it being wireless is a good upgrade at all? Personally I am happy to not even think about keeping the v3 charged. Apparently many of the problems people having with broken Intous 4 and 5 is starting at the connection point of the removable USB cable used for  charging. This port on the v 4 and 5 can easily be broken . Version 3 has a hard wired connection that is quite durable, re enforced even and cleverly connected with 2 channels for the cable to lay into avoiding it ever getting pinched . The 5 was cool and I liked the touch feature a lot but you can’t beat the build of the 3. I would stay away from the 4. It is a first attempt at the new style and was quickly replaced by the 5.

Look for it used .
You can find the 3 and 5 used from sellers on common online platforms. Ensure the full drawing surface is working and the surface or connection is not damaged .
I would definitely recommend to anyone looking to buy one of these to do the same as I just did and search for a used Intous 3 for a fraction of the $400 current model.

Pros & Cons :
It is really a personal usage preference if you like the size difference between the Intous 3 and 5 . I like the larger pen and tablet casing on the classic version 3 but a smaller human might better enjoy the smaller lighter 5

Pros 

  • Intous 3 – Industry standard pressure sensitivity tablet
  • Intous 3 – Hard Surface casing better IMHO than new softer build
  • Intous 3 – Long and sturdy USB cable that is hard wired to device.
  • Intous 3 – It’s more durable
  • Intous 5 – New touch feature
  • Intous 5 – New scroll wheel with 4 modes
  • Intous 5 – Light weight
  • Intous 5 – Wireless

Cons

  • Intous 3 – Wired , because some people hate wires
  • Intous 3 – Less custom button and slider functionality
  • Intous 5 – Softer plastic build
  • Intous 5 – Overtly flexible
  • Intous 5 – Weak USB port on device
Z Brush Character by Scott Guy created using drawing tablet.
Using wacom intous for concept art pieces like this photo paintover

Verdict:
The drawing tablet is an essential tool for many digital artists so it’s a must have for some, and Wacom seem to totally own the market with it’s line of professional tools . I liked both versions that I have had and the touch feature from the new one will be missed since I am using the classic 3 again but it was unfortunate that the version 5 I had broke. I think the version 3 is much better built and am glad I was able to find one in like new condition . There are lower cost options like the Bamboo but I recommend anyone getting into professional or serious hobby digital art should get themselves one of these professional grade tools and get drawing .

Link : http://www.wacom.com/en-us/products/pen-tablets/wacom-intuos-pro-overview

Thanks for coming , I hope these review are useful to someone out there . It’s therapeutic for me to write about tech 🙂

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User Review – Notebook Workstation – Eurocom Sky X7e2 (clevo)

Eurocom Sky X7e . A Portable VJ/VR ready Beast !
An independent long term user review by Scott Vj Guy


For the past couple years I have wanted to move onto a new more portable high powered notebook for show control and portable workstation. I have have been running a mini tower PC for about 6 years and it is getting old and tired from travel plus I am getting more contract jobs for companies that need me to come in and work on location. It was hard to find a system that offered all the power I wanted in a notebook platform. I considered a wide spectrum of computers from gaming systems to tablet hybrids and portable workstations looking for the perfect balance of power and features. In the end I had to make some compromises but ultimately got what I need. After researching and comparing for months and looking at big name and US based custom PC builders I made a discovery right in my backyard .

Once I started leaning toward the custom notebook workstation option I found that the Origin PC EON17 and the Sager NP9876 both custom pc builds from USA I was looking at are the same base system chassis known as a Clevo and it is a system also used by Canadian based builders Eurocom and sold configurable from Eurocom or in pre configured models at Best Buy Online.
The Sky X7e2 is a hefty but really cool modular Notebook computer packing high end desktop features. Four drive bays (2 are M.2 PCIe) and four RAM slots. The X9 model can even support 2 1080 GPUs in SLI for extreme GPU power.  The motherboard inside uses a PC spec socket 1152 Sky Lake or Kabby Lake CPU that is great because the chip is more efficient than most mobile options. The size of the machine is actually perfect for me. I love the full size backlit KB and the solid feeling when resting my hands on the chassis. The monitor hinge is good and tight and display is safely encased in a fair amount of hard plastic. There is no Optical drive in mine and only one HDD so hardly any moving parts.
There is a 4k 60hz screen that does look incredible or 1440p 120hz option available. I got the 4k but I sort of wish mine had the 1440p screen because 4K is maybe a bit more pixels than needed on a 17 inch screen. I think I would maybe trade for the faster 120hz screen at 1440×2160 resolution if given the chance.
For me the video outputs are the piece de resistance on this computer. All these systems have the same 3 dedicated video outputs . HDMI + Two 2 x MiniDisplayPort 1.2 .

The Sky X7E2 is specially built for power users with a budget for computing power. Special features like high tech cooling system under a nice back lit full keyboard with number pad. Not to mention Bluetooth, Four USB3 and Two Thunderbolt ports, card reader, finger print scanner, webcam, NV G-sync support and some quality builtin speakers!
This 17.3 inch Notebook system is packed with features and options.
Feels durable, well made and assembled so I hope the build quality is good over time. Fins on cooling vents are a bit flexible but maybe meant for just keeping debris out of there.
Basically this system is a high end frame that’s as good as the components you put in it and several companies have adopted the frame.
It’s a beast book but I am looking for power not pretty.
It does what’s expected of it very well but not everything is perfect.
It’s very heavy on its own and with the power pack you have to carry around it is a real load. Some would consider it too much to carry around all the time but I am fine moving it from house to car to location as needed but I do feel it every time I pick it up. Battery unfortunately does not last any more than 2 hours and less if you are doing anything GPU intensive but that was expected as spec. I am going to see if I can find a higher capacity compatible battery.
I only have strong issues with the power supply. In addition to it being heavy with a short cord the power supply plug in back of computer is a bit shallow and can easily pull out. This is sometimes caused by the weight of the power block hanging below.
Not really a complaint but it would be nice to have  a touch display option. 

The base system is extremely expandable. I upgraded from the stock config 16gb up to 32 gb of DDR4 RAM and added a new 500gb SSD
This system I have plays the latest games at the highest settings in 1080p 60 FPS with ease , getting 30 to 40 fps at 4K . Tested Star Citizen , Assassins Creed Origins, Destiny 2, Steep, For Honor and more. I have been enjoying plugging it into my 55inch 4K display for gaming in screen mirroring mode and using a bluetooth Xbox One controller to play .
I also use multi monitors in extended display mode with creative applications like Maya Zbrush and Adobe creative suite. Once set up this is fine when spanning over to a 4K screen  but I have run into complications connecting multiple screens with various resolutions. In order to read text on the built in 4k screen you are forced to enable text scaling in the Windows display options and this can sometimes conflict with certain apps and the way things look on others screens like smaller external 1080p displays.
Now this is a Windows related issue and not anything to do with the quality of the laptop. It is something specific to running a 4k screen on a notebook.
If there is a way to set scaling for screens individually in windows this would be better.

Reviewed system specs :
Eurocom Sky X7E2.
CPU : i7 6700k 4.0 , GPU: GTX 1080 8gb , Memory : 32gb RAM,  SSD: 1x 500gb N2m pciE, SSD: 1x 500GB Samsung Pro, HDD:  1x 1TB HDD, 

Pros:

  • GTX 1080 8gb GPU (desktop class chip)
  • 4K and 1440p 120hz display options
  • Multiple 4K Display outputs like a desktop GPU (1x HDMI, 2x MiniDisplayport)
  • Massive expandability with 4 drive bays N2m PCIE drive support
  • Dependable desktop class intel i7 Skylake quad core. Latest Kabby Lake Options available
  • 1x Thunderbolt, 1x USB 3.1C, 4x USB 3.0 (lots of connectivity)
  • BlueTooth, fingerprint scanner
  • Full size backlit keyboard
  • Excellent speaker system

Cons:

  • Heavy . 8.6 LBS heavy plus a power supply that weighs in at least 5 or 6 pounds.  13 + lbs is a lot
  • 4K display is only 60hz
  • 2 hours or less battery life
  • Power supply cord should be a bit longer and it is very heavy.
  • Power supply plug in back of computer is a bit shallow and can easily pull out. (common Pc laptop issue )
  • No Touch screen options
  • Limited camera options

Verdict:
The Sky X7E2 does everything I expected very well. For more casual lifestyle computing I would pick up a small hybrid tablet laptop but Ultimately the Eurocom Sky7 delivers High speed , High Power, High resolutions capabilities. It weighs a ton but I can deal because it gets the jobs done and I make a point of landing demanding jobs that are often spanned across multiple locations or traveling to do VJ performances and installations.

Link : http://www.eurocom.com/ec/configure(2,386,0)SkyX7E2

Live Video Art Gear Round Up

Here is some of the latest gear I am using in my kit rn and why.

Desktop Powered Notebook for show control and portable workstation.
Eurocom Sky Xe7 . A Portable VR / VJ Beast !
Excerpt from my latest user review,
” After researching and comparing for months  I discovered a system  known as a Clevo and it is also used by Canadian based builders Eurocom. These are bulky but really cool modular Notebook frames. 4 drive bays(2 are M.2 PCIe) and 4 RAM slots and a 8gb GTX 1080 GPU. Packed in with a high tech cooling system under a nice back lit full keyboard w num pad. The motherboard inside uses a PC spec CPU that is great because it costs less and runs faster than most mobile options. Also a 4k screen and the piece de resistance for a VJ all these systems have the same 3 dedicated video outputs . HDMI + Two 2 x MiniDisplayPort 1.2 . Not to mention 4 USB3 and 2 Thunderbolt!”
See the full review here: http://vjguy.ca/2018/01/20/user-review-notebook-workstation-eurocom-sky-xe7-clevo/
Product Link : http://www.eurocom.com/ec/configure(2,386,0)SkyX7E2

Micro Projectors
Recently I have used lots of these little mini LED projectors to great effect . If you can manage creative uses of content across multiple projectors at this size you can make projection effects nearly anywhere .
Wanting a set of 4 of these little beauties for my own kit to use on the go and for smaller creative or commercial installations.
Link: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1335995-REG/aaxa_technologies_mp_600_01_m6_led_pico_micro_projector.html

Ultra Short Throw Projectors
Ultra short throw units are highly purpose built for creating a surprisingly large screen when mounted from only a foot and a half away from the wall. Recently by combining up to 6  units I have used them to create wrap around image projection rooms in witch the viewers can walk and not obscure the image.
Ill be following up with another post soon covering more details on current projector tech like Laser ,LED , Ultra Short Throw and micro projectors that will cover the bennifits and best uses for each.
Link: http://www.projectorcentral.com/Casio-XJ-UT310WN.htm

Laser Phospor Color and Laser Hybrid Projectors
More on this in a later post but this new light source technology is nothing short of a revolution in the video projection installation world. This lampless technology makes current generation projectors last much longer without maintenance and they are far lighter and more durable as well.

360 Camera
I have been shooting all year with the Samsung Gear 360 camera . Collecting 360 footage and experiences and learning how to use the 360 view type creatively. I’ve been getting excellent time lapse 360 shots of my production jobs and it gives a great way to record the all surrounding immersive experiences that I create . Check out my 360 content online on Veer.tv.  

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 and I might have a lot more to say about it in a full review post coming soon. I have used it almost everywhere I’ve gone and pushed it in non ideal circumstances. It makes beautiful video and photos that are amazingly stable and it is a dream to fly with several useful autopilot modes. Its also super durable and I may know after having several “emergency Landings” In trees mostly .
After a year of flying and learning a lot of lessons the little guy is flying great and I am in progress of editing a video of our adventures. Look for that post and a full MavicPro review coming soon.

Wacom Intous Pro
The drawing tablet is my main input device on the computer when using creative software. It is critical for using Zbrush, Photoshop and Maya. I have worked with several models and owned the Intous 3 and 5 and now the 3 again. See my up coming Wacom review and why I prefer the Intous Pro v3 over the 4.
Link : http://www.wacom.com/en-us/products/pen-tablets/wacom-intuos-pro-overview

Modular LED kits,
In the last few years I have been incorporating LED light systems into my staging and artistic projection mapping installations. I’ve used several controllers for LED strips from supplier Holiday Coro including the AlphaPix 3 for addressable LED strip control via Artnet . Connected to the ENTTEC DMX to USB decoder box feeding control signal from Resolume Arena or other live visual software .
Link : http://www.holidaycoro.com/AlphaPix-16-Pixel-Controller-V3-p/721-v3.htm

ENTTEC DMX USB
These devices are a critical part of the chain when controlling any DMX fixture from your computer using software like Resolume, Light Jockey and Wings.
Link : https://www.enttec.com/us/products/controls/dmx-usb/pro-mk2/

MS Kinect
The Kinect motion sensor for Microsoft Xbox1 and PC (support since discontinued) is extreemly useful when creating interactive installations and also for 3D scanning and motion tracking applications. I have been experimenting with Kinect since its release and used it in several live projects

Midi Controller
Akai MPD 226. Professional Build quality , illuminated buttons , Great for expressing yourself during VJ performances.

Trackball

I recently moved back to using a trackball instead of mouse and I like it much better. I also heavily usa a tablet and a Midi Controller when performing but the track ball is a great replacement for the mouse.

These are all key hardware components in my regular performance and day to day process.

I look forward to adding a future post about software tools .

Hope everyone is having a Happy New Year

Vj Guy

 

Heavy Meta On The Road to the Burn

Heavy Meta Dragon is now on the way (EDIT; HAVE MADE IT) to Burning Man .

We’re finally home ❤

A post shared by Heavy Meta Dragon 🔥 (@heavymetadragon) on


It has been a lot of fun this summer tagging along with the team who build Heavy Meta. Toronto’s incredible Pyrotechnical Fire Breathing Dragon Art Car has been all over ontario and the states this summer. I went to some of the events they were featured at to capture some footage of the Dragon in action. I also happened to be doing visuals at some of the events like Valhalla. I have my own interest in this awesome project though as a videographer and VJ. It is Canada’s largest “Art Car” representing down at the Burning Man festival in Nevada and it has been touring around some great events in Canada and US all summer. It’s built by friends and people I know from many years in the Toronto events scene including Producer Kevin Bracken and His Wife Marie the lead designer who I have worked with on several occasions. The team is largely made up of some impressive young women doing a majority of the work and along with some solid and crafty guys this Dragon was built with love and dedication. With all my footage I aim to put together my own mini doc showing the project and crew come together and travel the country breathing fire into some of the continents most creative and fun events. It’s been discussed and so I hope we can arrange a show perhaps next year where VjGuy Is more actively involved.


I was not able to attend Burning Man but I will be making another trip with them in September to the New York Maker faire . Until then you can still see lots from Heavy Meta because there has been so much media attention like CBC arts, Vice and Discovery Daily Planet . Some of my footage was used in this CBC Arts piece. Wishing my Meta Viking friends the best of times at the burn and a safe return home from BRC to Canada.
Stay tuned into my blog for the Full Heavy Meta follow up and mini Doc movie .

Full CBC Article here : http://www.cbc.ca/arts/this-fire-breathing-dragon-is-saying-thank-you-to-canada-before-it-heads-to-burning-man-1.4186496

A Photo from the Heavy Meta workshop
https://www.facebook.com/VjGuy/photos/a.1738746146142051.1073741854.130006890349326/1738758492807483/?type=3&theater

@heavymetadragon at Metaverse fundraiser party for Toronto’s awesome fire breathing dragon art car

A post shared by Vj Guy (@scottvjguy) on


360 Timelapse of the Sunset over Ever After music festival Ontario.

Stay tuned and follow my blog for the Full Heavy Meta follow up and mini Doc .
I am heading back up to Quebec this weekend for Timeless Festival on Sept 1st. Last festi of the season and its going to be a great one . Excited to bring some mapping magic to the psychedelic playground that awaits in the woods . Thanks to my Vj pal Mr. Sun and the Timeless ORG for having me up to play.

New Demo Reel and 360 VR videos uploaded

VJ REEL 2017
This is my latest showreel for Vj performances and Projection Mapping . It was a tough editing process having to dig through footage from over the last 2 years or so . I am pretty happy but there are a few parts I see now I want to fix up so I’ll likely do a final cut before posting up anywhere else. Thanks to all my supporters and clients . The Casa Loma work was done on behalf of EMD Show systems and Liberty Entertainment. Stage design work at 2 stages at Valhalla SC in collaboration with my friend and production tech stage designer partner Roland Cash . There is more detailed info on some of the projects in my past posts and some new ones to come will showcase more closely Valhalla and some more Casa 360 projection room stuff.
New 360 videos up on Veer.tv from my recent travels around festivals and shows . At Ever After I was there to shoot some footage of the Heavy Meta Dragon . I shot handheld and with my drone as well as mounting the Gear 360 camera onto and around the Dragon art car.

Live Visuals Showreel from Vj Guy on Vimeo.

Heart of Gold 5 was the finale of a great party series I was happy to be part of since HOG #2 in 2012 Thanks to George and Lo Lita for bring me on to do stage visuals and some really cool custom 3d mapping effects. This year I made some flaming heart animations to go along with my steampunk heart locket screen. I think I will compile a few more in this as a set and release these clips for other people to use in projection mapping. This 360 video shows the bitter sweet final track of the night. The party title track from headliner and HHC mega star Darren Styles Heart Of Gold.

 

New Social Media outlets & Up Track, space for projects and workshops

some of my latest posts on other sites:

Follow and Share Vj Guy on Instagram ! I have been posting a lot to Instagram lately and there is a pretty sweet image collection growing there https://www.instagram.com/scottvjguy

Check out my 360 videos on the latest online VR 360 and 3D content platform Veer.tv http://veer.tv/me/Vj_Guy
I have been getting a bunch of views thanks to the VeeR team reposting some of my uploads that they liked. I really like the platform and it seems to be growing with a great audience. You can browse in VR viewing mode and live other people’s experiences . Check out lots of cool content on VeeR from creators all over the world making 360 videos. I am making lots of 360 timelapse from places I visit, events and projects I work on but I am also planning to release  Vlog Series that will have 360 segments featured on Veer and YouTube.

Up Track is Up and running .
 The new place I’ve been living and working from has really shaped up and we have had a couple of successful gallery events. Andrija my business partner/Co Director at Up Track and I use the 1100 sq Foot open concept studio space as our personal studio/office space and once a month we set up for a special event. Opening up as a venue we are doing events like art shows , entertainment or even educational programs . We try to offer our community some really great evening experiences and are now providing services and a professional private showcase venue to local artists. find us at www.uptracktoronto.com
The new location is perfect for access to anywhere in the GTA and I even have slightly more convenient parking than before. It has been a very nice change settling in here and having a decent office space to work in as well as a studio with enough space for me to build end experiment on most of my projects . Even though I am sharing the space , it is a good arrangement because we are both quite active and working in similar fields so we are starting to do some projects together or just support each other in this process. Also operating the Up Track events is ideal for at least two people , we usually get a bit of help too. Having a good team environment is super important for me I think.

Workshops In July
I am excited to announce another workshop series being held here in my very own space! This will be a 3 night full course on Vj fundamentals, Resolume and video mapping as well as discussion and many examples of high concept and interactive installation art. You will get a chance to be fully hands on with the gear and make your own video mapping installation by the  end of night 3.
This updated workshop will feature the latest info on 3d video mapping , vj mixing and content creation presented by myself Scott Vj Guy and enhanced with live demonstrations and instructional example videos on multiple screens.

An interesting article about Gallery / Artist relationships .
We hope at Up Track we can provide a great location for artists to showcase work and services like fine art and photo printing to help them best present and sell work here and at other galleries. We aim to build great relationships with all our presenters and rely on them spreading the word and inviting friends to the openings working along with us to bring out a great crowd hopefully filled with interested collectors. Up track aims to sell art and sustain Up track operations with event and art revenue but our first priority is a great experience for everyone involved. Because we are artists and we work from the location and live here too our “Up Track Gallery” Overhead is minimal. This means we can have low risk shows artists can easily participate in for small fees and the art can be sold at reasonable prices with a lower commission on top that benefits the artist saves the buyer significant dollars. In this way Up Track is different from other galleries and we are able to do very special shows you won’t see anywhere else.
http://www.artbusiness.com/misconceptions-artists-have-about-galleries.html 

 

LVA info Blast #2 – Suddenly It’s Sprummer

Piling up the projects and wouldn’t let the rain be a bummer.
Spring was here and suddenly it’s Summer !
It will be hot and sticky here in Southern Ontario pretty soon and I will be fighting to keep sand out of my gear and mosquito out my ear. lol 😛

On my way up to Summer Solstice now. 1 <3

Heavy Meta Dragon Tour 2017
– My friends built a Fire Breathing Dragon Bus ! So I am following them around a bit with and camera and we will see what comes out. I started with some 360 time lapse and shots in the work shop as they completed the project and now they are touring around NA as a mobile music stage and epic fire art attraction. Ultimate destination is Burning man later this summer and . Wishing my viking dragon riders a great journey this year .
(Hyperborea- Ontario Regional Burn)
(Ever After Music Fest – Waterloo)
(Valhalla Music Circus- Quebec bass fest)

Festivals :

Solstice Gathering 2017 Mon June 19th – 25th – Collingwood Ontario
Vj Guy + Guests  projection mapping Stage installation at Spore in the forest of this blissful members only community gathering. Will be sharing some art and photos so come back.

Valhalla Sound Circus– Quebec – July 13th to 17 – http://valhallasoundcircus.com/
Performing guest VJ sets and working with friend Roland Cash as Video installation technician. Media and AV team.

Eclipse Festival Quebec – August 3rd to 7th – So many great artists and friends all in one place 10 hrs from Toronto. Not performing but I might make it for the good times with friends. http://www.eclipsefestival.com/

Timeless in Quebec – Hope to be there performing this year after having to pull out last year because of City work. https://www.facebook.com/events/1629961987308446

Aerial Update and Tips:
Flying the Mavic Pro has been fun . I am looking for more purpose in my flying now and going up with intention and good planning to get shots I am looking for and have safe flights. I have had a few crashes loosing a couple props and having to replace an arm on the drone too. But the thing is very durable and I hope all future landings will be intentional as well after learning many good lessons and training a bit with other pilots. The video and photos I am getting are fantastic tho and I have taken to shooting with a drone very well . I am interested now in getting into more commercial applications and so I am beginning applications for several shoots and areas I want to fly for filming.
I hope to serve some high end real estate clientele as well as maybe get into survey and data collection for various industry that are using drones. I am coining the new operation SGP360.

I have acquired new accessories for the drone :

  • ND Filter set – better color in bright sunlight
  • Prop cages (for risky flight situations to protect props and any objects it may come into contact with.
  • Landing Gear (Highly recommended for everyone)
  • Hard Case for travel and camping
  • Got a micro drone to play with for fun

Creating VR Experiences with 360 sphere cam and 3d CGI worlds:
I am trying to get extra creative with VR and make some art that spans across multiple media and can exist in multiple forms. Stay tunes to see my new digital art experiment combining my digital illustrations and 3D renders into VR and 360 cam captures scenes.

VR Meta Data Injector
For anyone making VR content This useful tool lets you inject the Proper VR or 3d viewing meta data into your videos after you edit them.
https://github.com/google/spatial-media/releases/tag/v2.0

Panorama editor
If you want to insert images into 360 scenes they need to be warped into the proper lens distortion shape so it works in the 360 panorama . This tool does that and lots of other cool stuff. http://hugin.sourceforge.net/

Thanks to this blog, Here is a basic tutorial on how to insert logos into 360 videos by warping a normal image like a into a spherical distortion that can be layered on your edits. This is best for placing a non intrusive logo at the bottom or top of the scene that also hides the tripod or other mount.
http://360rumors.blogspot.ca/2016/07/technique-fast-and-easy-way-to-add-logo.html
This is the FREE application that will deform your images that I used since I don’t have the Photoshop plug in.

Keep up with my Instagram to see whats going on day to day in VJ land.

Beauty and the Beast Projections for Disney

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.

Morgan Got A Beauty And The Beast Sneak Peek At Toronto’s Casa Loma

More videos and pics to come of this one for sure .

Updates soon

DJI finally got my Mavic Pro ! High Flying Fun

Christmas finally came for me when the Machine Gods bestowed upon me the great DJI Mavic Pro (AMAZING)

Now want New Goggs

More soon. This post to be updated

LVA info Blast #01 December 2016

Live Video Art INFO BLAST #01

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?)

DJI Mavic Pro
DJI Mavic Pro

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.  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 .  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  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.  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 🙂

 

Something Old Something New

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 hundred events over the years since I first brought my animations to Om Festival  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 can’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.  
  • 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.  

Solstice festival 2015 , Spore Stage .
Sunday morning Psy Church with Dj Machine Elf shot from the Vj Booth. 11722341_1156902854326386_7896355592464265101_o

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  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.  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.
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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

-Scott

Art of the VJ

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 !
🙂
‘Vj Guy

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 “mood” 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 can’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.  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.cropped-P1220495.jpg

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.
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