Wednesday, 27 February 2013 14:39

Meeting Minuek / Destroythingsbeautiful

Do you have an artist/performance name?

Minuek and Destroythingsbeautiful for my own work, I also perform with the Modulate Collective (http://www.modulate.org.uk/)

I also do video for Brain Wash London - http://www.brainwashonline.co.uk/ 

How long have you been working with QC / visuals?

I have been doing live video since 2005 started using QC around 2010 then started using it more in 2012, having been doing live shows and AV set since 2008. What got me into QC was seeing the Memo Amoeba Dance video on Create Digital Motion. That was enough for me. I had been tinkering with VDMX a little. Then around last May I set myself the task of making a new Quartz patch every day. Was slow at start but soon started getting better.

How would you describe your style?

Broken, distorted, glitchy, minimal, abstract; I'm lucky that I get to do shows that have wide amount of variation. Obviously with a show like Yellow Lounge, working with the worlds leading classical musicians you have to create content that compliments the show as well. Yellow Lounge has a reputation for their live shows and the video artists they use have always worked hard to create interesting new content for them, then I get to do the glitchy shows where everything looks broken and distorted.

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What tools/programs do you commonly use to assist you in creating your work?

For the past year my tools for creating live visuals have been Quartz Composer, Pixelmator MadMapper and VDMX, with VDMX being at the centre of everything. The ability to make custom interfaces in VDMX really makes Quartz more user friendly and the developers have been adding lots of new features over the past year that have really taken the application to a whole new level.  I have also used MadMapper on a few fun projects. I've recently got a iPad so have been playing around with Lemur by Liine and making templates for my live sets which has added a whole new layer of fun by having my controls so quickly accessible.

What is the furthest show/event from your home you have performed at?

Played some shows in Europe last year. Performed at the Create Digital Motion and Network Awesome party in Berlin in June.

IMG 0023

What has been your favorite performance to date?

Playing the Geodesic dome at Shambala festival with Modulate last year was a really fun performance and Yellow Lounge is always fun moving venues each time with different set ups and spaces.

Which other artists inspire you?

1024_architecture having been doing amazing things with Quartz Composer for many years now and always inspire with what is possible in QC also a lot of artists for the glitch scene like Antonio Roberts (Hellocatfood), Jon Satrom, NOTENDO, Rosa Menkman and Nick Briz. The work of Anti-VJ and Flat-E also inspires every time I see it.

What's the best thing about your line of work?

Getting to meet lots of other great visual artists and travel.

What advice would you give to someone starting off, aspiring to becoming a successful / recognised VJ?

Focus on learning your tool of choice and do not get distracted by the array of choices in software, It's easy to fall into the trap of having too many plugins and not enough ideas.
Keep a sketchbook handy at all times and sketch out any ideas, I still find myself diving into old sketchbooks for an idea I had forgotten.

P1010506

Do you have a link where people can check out your work?

Destroythingsbeautiful is my blog/site

Modulate

Brain Wash Online

Are there any events / performances you have coming up you would like us to promote?

There is normally a Yellow Lounge not far away so keep an eye out on the Yellow Lounge London Facebook page and they always put on amazing events. http://yellowlounge.co.uk/
You can catch me dodging video for SHHH_IFT who are putting on nights in amazing locations and keeping it all secret in Leeds next month. http://www.shhhift.com/

[Photo & Video Credit: www.modulate.org.uk]

Published in Showcase
Friday, 01 February 2013 11:23

Getting to know Ed Shaw of Ne1co

Do you have an artist/performance name?

When I started VJing, I went by the name Movement, but after getting more heavily involved with Ne1co, I switched to using Ed Shaw, or just Ne1co.

[Ne1co: FutureGods]

How long have you been working with QC / visuals?

I started VJing in clubs in 2002, but only started working with QC visuals when the Godskitchen Boombox tour began in 2008. The majority of the visuals used are QC files, which are manipulated via a PS3 joypad. It’s an incredibly fluid way to VJ.

What got you into this line of work?

After graduating from University, I became resident VJ at Godskitchen in Birmingham, UK. This led to VJing at all their UK and international tours, which included all the Global Gathering festivals. In 2007 I joined up with Ne1co and started collaborating with the other visual artists and VJs, before becoming Managing Director in 2011.

[Ne1co: Susu Installation]

How would you describe your style?

I stay away from using many software effects, and prefer to let the content evolve by layering minimal, graphical elements and adding colour as an emphasis rather than the focus.

What programs do you commonly use to assist you in creating your work?

I use After Effects, Cinema 4D, and Final Cut, but more and more of my time is spent touring and performing, so the programs I use most regularly are Boomboxer, Resolume and Madmapper. 

Ne1coBoombox[Ne1co: Boombox]

What is the furthest show/event from your home you have performed at?

I’ve performed around the world for a number of years, so there have been plenty of long haul flights. The furthest shows from the UK have been in Australia, but I regularly travel to Asia and South America. It’s really enjoyable, but it can be very tiring!

What has been your favorite performance to date?

It’s very hard to pick one single performance or show, but the three that I’ll always remember are an early Godskitchen show in Kiev, Boombox in Gran Canaria with Sasha and Creamfields 2012 in Buenos Aires with Paul Van Dyk.

[Ne1co: GodsKitchen Boombox]

How do you like to spend your relaxation time away from work?

Spending time with my friends that I often don’t get to see for a while and staying out of nightclubs.

Do you feel the economic downturn has had an impact on your line of work?

It hasn’t had a huge impact on us, but there has definitely been a change in how event promoters and sponsors finance events. This has led to budgets for production being cut back, or in some cases shows being cancelled altogether.

Which other artists inspire you?

1024 architecture & AntiVJ have both been big inspirations. Having done an event in the venue where AntiVJ made O (OMNICRON) in Poland, it really emphasised the scale of that project. 

event-wedding-photographer-paul-underhill 01-6

[AntiVJ Omnicron. Photo by event and wedding photographer Paul Underhill]

What's the best thing about your line of work?

I get to travel around the world to some amazing locations doing something that I love.

What do you think your “biggest break” or “greatest opportunity” has been so far in your career?

 Definitely getting the residency at Godskitchen. VJing wasn’t really on the radar, until I was asked to film at one of their club nights and began chatting to their LD about visuals. Without that my career path could have been very different.  

Where do you wish to go with your work/career? Any goals/aspirations?

We’ve been working on some great projects recently and I really want to expand on that. Touring with multiple production concepts that we’ve worked on from the ground up is the goal. 

What advice would you give to someone starting off, aspiring to becoming a successful / recognised VJ?

It’s a real cliché, but be individual and be persistent. Create your own content from as early as possible.

NPM01 new[Ne1co: NPM01]

Do you have a link where people can check out your work?

www.ne1co.info

Are there any performances you have coming up you would like us to promote?

We’re working on a project for a new vehicle launch at Geneva Motor Show in March and FutureGods, which is our monthly event at Mansion in Seoul, South Korea.

Published in Showcase
Tuesday, 22 January 2013 11:38

Making Noize in 2013

Despite Mr. Freeze trying to put a hold on all travel ILQC have been braving the cold to meet with some of music's finest purveyors of all things fresh and funky. Kicking off the New Year we met up with Psycatron before their show in Belfast. The guys share our love for all things Quartz and we're going to be developing custom visuals for their SXSW 2013 Showcase so expect some big things soon.

Last week we had a meeting with the fabulous Boys Noize who played an incredible set at the Limelight – see some pictures below. We're really excited about creating some innovative projects over the next few months so stay tuned. Over the next few weeks there's loads of lovely new artists coming to Belfast but if you see any awe-inspiring visuals out and about let us know who's setting your night alight: We always love hearing from you on our Facebook and Twitter!

We're excited to be working alongside some of the finest names in music and 2013 is going to be the best yet, so keep your eyes peeled for new clips and carry on composing!

(photo credit: Luke Joyce / Limelight)

BOYZ_NOIZE_1

BOYS_NOIZE_2

BOYZ_NOIZE_3

Published in Blogs
Friday, 07 December 2012 14:43

I Love QC 3D Supercharger Plugin V2

We have tuned up our world first 3D loading plugin to allow you to create truly amazing edits never before possible in Final Cut X. We are releasing it today with a massive 50% off just £34.99 / $49!!!

 

Massive workflow improvement

V2 gives you the power to load 3D models onto your timeline footage, and animate it with keyframes allowing you to create stunning composites super fast.

 image of 3d plane flying over clouds

7 Unique Plugins

Our 3D supercharger package now comes with an amazing 7 individual plugins, allowing you to load full 3D scenes, individual models, rotate, zoom, pan, keyframe, animate, effect and render all inside Final Cut X, no additional software required.

Fully Stylised 3D Scene Support

Image of 3D city scene in Final Cut X

 

This version of the plugin includes extra feature and toggles to add glows, colour controls and defocus effects to allow you to make your 3D world shine like never before!

New rendering engine optimised for Mountain Lion

We have reworked how all the 3D is rendered in Mountain Lion and have a new Mode toggle to allow you to choose from 2 different rendering modes!

No 3D software required

Our plugin Loads collada .dae format 3D models, with textures widely available online and all 3D software packages Maya, 3D Studio Max, Cinema 4D, Sketch Up, and Soft Image export to this format, so just grab a model, drop it into our plugin and away you go.

Not only have we almost doubled the number of plugins in the super charger pack, added a stunning array of functionality and allowed you to load your full scene or a composite over your own footage, but we have reduced the price from $95 to $49!  So grab it while you can because this price can’t last for long.

Watch these tutorials to discover more

3D Scene:

Get yours now for just $49 / £35!

System Requirements:

Fcp X 10.0.1+ (10.0.6+ recomended)

Mac OS Snow Leopard (10.6.8), Lion (10.7.5+) or Mountain Lion (10.8.2+)

Mac computer with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor or better.
2GB of RAM (4GB of RAM recommended).
OpenCL-capable graphics card or
Intel HD Graphics 3000 or later.
256MB of VRAM (512MB of VRAM recommended).

Published in Learning
Thursday, 08 November 2012 10:09

Oli Sorenson - Not Just Anyone

Oli Sorenson is a remarkable performer, artsist, curator, visionary. We first knew him as "VJ Anyone" performing globally and a contributor to the development and growth of the UK live visuals scene, he went on to establish the awesome Ne1co label and has created and directed some truly breath taking Visual performances and tour shows.

Now based in Montreal he continues to express himself through a rich and diverse range of creative mediums. We caught up with him recently to get his take on visualaity...

I used to call myself AnyOne when I was doing gallery based work in the 90s, because I was involved with identity issues (loss of traditional roots from globalisation, etc) then when I moved into VJing I changed to VJ Anyone to talk about the idea of loss of ego on a club’s dance floor. Now I’ve gone back to gallery based work and I’m looking at other issues so “Anyone” as a name isn’t relevant now.

How long have you been working with QC / visuals?

I started performing live and VJing in dance venues in 1997 when I was twenty seven.

What got you into this line of work?

Like I said, I was looking at issues of loss of identity in my gallery based work, then I got introduced to clubbing and was fascinated by the idea of loss of ego on the dance floor. So as a VJ I focused on encouraging this idea in my visuals. I made things that you could lose yourself in.

How would you describe your style?

My style has changed over the years, in the beginning it was purely about providing an overwhelming visual stimulation, not eye-bleeding rubbish but just lost of colours, close up of moving bodies, natural textures, etc. then around 2005 I met Motorboy in Bristol, who introduced me to minimal and dark ambient, and my visuals went a bit more gloomy and dramatic, graphic based.

What tools/programs do you commonly use to assist you in creating your work?

I make a lot, A LOT of trial and errors, I often end up liking the mistakes I produced, ie when trying to achieve something, I end up doing something else, I often let my tools guide me. My tools are really conventional: Final cut, After Effect, etc.

Has there been any one person who has taught you skills or techniques that have stood by you in your work?

Not so much while I was in London. I was helping this top guy in Montreal before moving to London in 1999, then I was teaching VJing a lot in London to make a living and this way I met a lot of people that helped me. You could say my assistant (Bopa, Rebel Overlay, Blinkin Lab, etc) contributed a lot to helping me supply the growing demand for work, say from 2006 onwards. But I was very influenced by the UK VJ community in general, which among other things really made me understand the relevance of sampling in popular culture.

Have you done many live public performances? Describe those occasions? 

Gosh I did live performances about every weekend between 2002-2010. Some were AV, other touring with DJs, others with bands, hosting my own nights (AV Social, Vectors, VJ Cult…) it’s really hard to describe them all in one go. I guess you could say it’s just indicative that live video really is an industry onto itself.

What is the furthest show/event from your home you have performed at?

I left home to tour the world in 2007 with Sander Kleinenberg and came home 3 months after.

What has been your favourite performance to date?

It has to be the one at Tate Britain, a gig I organized myself, I did a live AV solo performance in the room 9 of tate, surrounded by huge Turner and Delacroix century old paintings.Cyber Noir

How do you like to spend your relaxation time away from work?

I have a six year old boy, I like to just hang out with him. we either play with action figures, go swimming or play football

Do you feel the economic downturn has had a huge impact on your line of work?

Which one ? I was VJing before 9/11 and the 2008 credit crunch. VJing, like the economy is boyant. Things bounce back, you just got to hang on a little when it dips, and come out stronger on the other side.

Which other artists work is your favourite (general content and/or specific piece)?

Career-wise, I think addictive TV are still the model to follow, they are artists in themselves, not just designers for other DJ visuals. That’s really an important difference.

Content-wise, there’s so many but since I moved back into gallery based project, I really respect the work of Ryoji Ikeda.

What do you think your “biggest break” or “greatest opportunity” has been so far in your career?

My first real big break was touring with Talvin Singh in 2000. 

Where do you wish to go with your work/career? Any goals/aspirations?

I’m now focusing on presenting my work as contemporary art, producing more thoughtful art that one would want to take home and look at for ten years without getting bored, not 10 seconds, like in clubs nowadays.

7_am09.jpeg

What advice would you give someone starting off, aspiring to becoming a successful/recognised vj?

Make your own scene, don't wait your turn, be confident just on the edge of arrogance. Have fun.

Don't work alone, share stuff, make too much stuff, too many iterations then weed out the best after. Do a first round of content without worrying about tidiness. Tidy after. You’ll get more done that way, even though you’re not always in control…

Do you have links where people can check out your work?

Most of my stuff is on olisorenson.com

I’ve got an installation up in Kassel (Germany) on Nov 14th, then a performance in Ljubljana (Slovenia) on Nov 29th.

Published in Showcase
Tuesday, 30 October 2012 11:51

3D Model Loader for Final Cut X

I Love QC presents for the first time ever the power to load 3D models inside Final Cut X.
Available Now in the Marketplace

Our uniqe Super Charger comes with 3 Final Cut effects to allow you to load, navigate and colour your 3D models right inside Final Cut X.  Included is:

3D Spin and Zoom

Load any .dae format 3D model from your system, freely keyframe its rotation and postion, manipulate its colour and that of it's envirnoment.

3D Spin up and Go

For those who under time pressure and who keyframing a 3d move is too much hassle we have created 3D Spin Up and Go Similar to the above loader but with preset animation to spin and zoom your 3d model, simple!

3D Rising Dolly

Another preset Camera move Plugin designed for larger envrionments this rises up from ground level and floats in, great for set up shots.  Pace slider controls the zoom level to allow you to get the camera just where you want it.

3D City Filter

This is a very special addition to celebrate the launch of this Super Charger we are including an image filter that postions any timeline footage deepinside a 3d world, automated camera move so the footage ends up filling the frame ready for the next cut.

 

Get all these amazing plugins togethter today in the marketplace here for just £54.99 / $95

Published in Learning
Friday, 26 October 2012 13:26

Free Final Cut Pro X Plugins

I Love QC Plugins super charge Final Cut Pro to do more.  Today we are realeasing our Final Cut X version with a Final Cut Pro one to be relased in the next day or two.

Register to Download the plugins for free via box in the top right of the sites header and watch the video below to take your edits to the next level!

Published in Learning
Monday, 01 October 2012 13:20

Candy Stations

Last year I went to see Sufjan Stevens Age of Adz tour, live, it was a magical experience, what made it so magical, was in part the concerts epic use of visuals. It is our extreme pleasure to introduce Deborah Johnson "Candy Stations" the artist who created the incredible Projections at that concert.

Do you have an artist/performance name?

Yes, CandyStations.

How did you decide or what inspired that name?

I was working as an Interactive Designer (aka, Flash animator) in Chicago, Illinois, during the dot-com crash of 2001. After about six months of employment at a mid-size agency, I was let go and decided to strike out on my own.

At the time I was far less interested in promoting myself as a solo artist / designer and instead wanted to create an umbrella for my art, design and burgeoning visual work with musicians – a project-based, all purpose media animal.

While hastily deciding on a name, I remembered that as a teenager I had a favourite sticker on my car that read CANDY..something... in red circus font. “CANDY STATIONS” popped into my head. In actuality it was “CANDY SHOPPE” (I think at the time I thought it was pretty salacious), but CandyStations is much better. The contrast of sweet and serious, or “seriously sweet,” references my love of pop and whimsy with serious intent and almost militant execution. That’s my retrofitted reasoning, anyway.

How long have you been working with QC / visuals?

I’ve been working with live visuals since 2003, so around nine years. I started incorporating Quartz Composer in 2010.

Or at what age did you start?

I started performing visuals at the age of 26, using Nato.0+55+3d with Max/MSP. 

What got you into this line of work?

As an undergrad at the Maryland Institute College of Art, I worked with “site-specific” video installation. My growing aversion to traditional exhibition spaces led me to project onto building façades, such as the Baltimore Museum of Art, MICA’s Main Building, loft spaces, and so on. I was discovering how video could become part of a space and scenery – treating ephemeral images like material – not restricted to a screen. I was 21 years old, so, awww.

I was also clueing into sound and image relationships and thoroughly enjoying nonlinear video editing. Even though I didn’t make videos for music at the time, I played Run–D.M.C. in the editing suite to get an inherent rhythm going in my cuts.

Around this time I started hanging out with designers and going to DJ shows like Kid Koala, μ-Ziq, Amon Tobin, DJ Shadow, et al. They all had video projections, mixing imagery from live camera feeds, surreal animations, skateboarding footage, and so on. At the time I’d never seen footage of Pink Floyd live, I had no real clue about oil-projections, the “visual music” movement starting in the 1920s, Kandinsky, color organs, any of that. That all came way later. In 1999, experiencing a live music performance with visuals settled it. I wanted to make visuals for live music. 

What inspires your work?

I teach 4-Dimensional Design at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Exploring image and sound relationships with my students is endlessly awesome for me. I get visibly geeked out by synaethsetics and “visual music” artists like Mary Ellen Bute, Len Lye, Oskar Fischinger, Viking Eggeling, Hans Richter, John and James Whitney, to name a few. I’ve recently discovered the vast world of graphic notation; visual music scores by composers like John Cage, Iannis Xenakis and Cornelius Cardew. I’m having my students create their own graphic scores using Adobe InDesign, it’s a great way to introduce the visualization of sound.

Additionally: Shaker gift drawings, manuscripts, science fiction, mythology, theology, iconography, dance, movement, rhythmic structures, prisms, drumming, textiles, patterns in nature, textures, analog animation, editing, drawing and painting, listening to audiences react and respond to a performance.

How would you describe your style?

Healthy mix of hand-touched and digital-impossible. Tastefully psychedelic.

I love combining the analog and digital, exploring all the ways those disparate elements can complement each other, both conceptually and aesthetically. 

What tools/programs do you commonly use to assist you in creating your work?

The tools are defined by the particulars of the project, so it varies. I use many analog techniques, including hand-drawn animation, stop-motion, sequential image sequences, pigments, liquids and textural footage. 

I like to use these in combination with more impossible, generative animations made in either Director or Quartz Composer, depending on the desired aesthetic and/or need for real-time capability. I use After Effects / Photoshop / Illustrator for additional graphics and animation and Final Cut as a finishing tool for my pre-composed sequences.

As for performance playback, after my time with Nato which involved custom applications and real-time effects, I started using Modul8, focusing more on live cueing and compositing of pre-rendered animations and footage.

I now use VDMX when I am performing. It enables me to both cue and composite pre-rendered compositions while incorporating QC animations and real-time effects. Along with a MIDI controller, I often use audio-input to affect parameters and VDMX’s audio analysis is fantastic. All this allows me to keep an essential “live” element in my visuals while retaining a substantial amount of control and intention. This is important to me as a visual performer – especially when I am working with musicians.

Has there been any one person who has taught you skills or techniques that have stood by you in your work?

Yes, there have been many. Currently, my QC sensei is Anton Marini "Vade"  and my 3D programmer is Brian Chasalow – they work with CandyStations on a project-basis. Their willingness to push the boundaries of software is always inspiring. It compels me to be ever-curious and constantly challenge my skill set. Although we don’t work together on every project, I love it when we have cause to. 

autechre-drop by vade: below

Fortunately in New York there is a supportive community of projection designers, programmers and technicians who are generous and passionate about this relatively new field. We are beginning to share a greater knowledge-base and people across projects, so sharing what we learn from each experience really advances the art. 

Have you done many live public performances? Describe those occasions?

Yes, since 2003 I’ve been touring off and on with a number of bands, starting with Wilco for a ghost is born. I’ve gone on to design and perform visuals for musicians such as Sufjan Stevens, M. Ward, Calexico, Lambchop, and Chocolat & Akito.

MWard Sunset12

M.Ward A Wasteland Companion (above)

Each tour and venue offers a unique set of stunning challenges and triumphs. Obviously some shows are better than others, depending on any number of factors, not just to do with logistics, but also the energy of the performers and/or the audience. 

At the end of every tour there’s real, measurable growth which results in a holistic experience and a great feeling of achievement. I prefer this to a single performance with one chance to get it right. 

Immediately after a tour I get very post-tourmatic, swimming in a sea of memories of the best and worst moments while watching repeats of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the end, it’s all good.

Do you get nervous before a performance or competition?

Yes, total gut churn. To me live performance is like cheating death. The best way I’ve seen this feeling described is Jad Abumrad’s piece on Transom.org

The Terrors & Occasional Virtues of Not Knowing What You’re Doing

What is the furthest show/event from your home you have performed at?

The Sydney Music Festival in Sydney, Australia

What has been your favourite performance to date?

Sufjan Stevens’ second finale performance of Age of Adz at Prospect Park, Brooklyn. It rained the whole time and it was magical. Except for the load out. That was decidedly unmagical.

Sufjan Stevens, "The Vivian Girls Are Visited In The Night By Saint Dargarius And His Squadron Of Benevolent Butterflies"

byCandyStations

How do you like to spend your relaxation time away from work?

I like movies and riding my bike. Seeing live music / performance, once I’m there. Cooking while listening to Radiolab or This American Life. Earring shopping. Reading magazines and science fiction. Drawing. Drumming. Walking around New York. Getting out of the city if only for a weekend, especially if it involves driving at 60mph on a freeway and listening to music (a rare gift). If left unchecked I can binge on a good TV series (the last one was American Horror Story).

How has your work developed throughout the years?

When I started out my visuals were very footage-based. I liked cinematic imagery, tone, texture and pace. I worked with film archives to find obscure footage from the 1920s and 30s, compositing clips with my own footage to form new and layered visual narratives. I started combining footage with hand-drawn elements, graphics and animations made in Flash and/or After Effects, which eventually led me to generative animation. I was introduced to Director as a way to make generative animations that retained a pixilated look and movement – a deceptively analog feel. While exploring this technique I focused more on patterns and movement, light, color and design.

In 2010 I began working with filmmaker Braden King on the live performance version of his feature film HERE, entitled HERE [ THE STORY SLEEPS ]. A multitude of footage was shot on location in Armenia, so I was able to re-approach the film’s beautiful imagery from a performance perspective. Functioning as art director, editor, designer, and performer, I abstracted and re-imagined the narrative, presenting the footage in a cubist manner. I worked with multiple screens and a downstage scrim to introduce a layered, three-dimensional element. We designed a custom playback system that included a custom, real-time procedural distortion as a conceptual and aesthetic riff. The technical factors, not just creative ones, were carefully conceived and executed in the service of the narrative, making the software an intrinsic part of the art. The hope was that this level of customization would amplify a singular, multi-sensory experience. This project has had an enormous impact on my approach to visual performance design.

HERE71-940x624

When I designed the visuals for Sufjan Stevens’ the Age of Adz, Sufjan and I wanted parts of the show to feel very artificial and Tron-like, complementing the awkward, handmade brilliance of artist Royal Robertson and my own designs. I also wanted to be able to “play” visual instruments along with the band. I asked Anton Marini to help me with the Quartz Composer elements for the set. I stipulated the design, motion and provided the graphic elements while we worked together to program the comps. It got a little loopy at times. There’s something called “Rainbow Control” in one of the patches, for instance. 

"Age of Adz Tour Trailer"

During the Adz design I also started working with the 3D game engine Unity. Programmer Brian Chasalow helped me to bring Royal’s aliens, monsters, spaceships and planets into a three-dimensional universe. We treated it like an interactive 3D After Effects, which while torturous was very rewarding. Particle binding, scripted camera motion and the way I could distort the material of a 3D model was also a revelation.

Even with all this new technology, projects often bring me back to my roots – focusing more on cinematic imagery and analog techniques without much need for interactive 3D environments and real-time effects or generative animations. However, because of my experience with these new tools and unexpected ways to approach imagery, I’m confidently able to bring something new to the old, even in subtle ways.

Do you feel the economic downturn has had a huge impact on your line of work?

Hard to say. I imagine yes, to a degree. On one hand it seems folks are spending their money on experiences, i.e., concerts and live performances. On the other, the better home entertainment gets, the harder it is for live performance to compete. Projection design can go a long way in creating a singular, multi-sensory experience, otherwise not fully enjoyed in the comfort of a living room. 

Although projection can be cost-prohibitive, projectors and media servers are far less expensive, smaller and more powerful than even just a few years ago. As a result, a higher level of production is available to a wider range of artists, not limited to arena rock and pop-stars. 

There’s a growing spectrum of innovative production design and I love seeing how we projection artists are finding our way beyond the Da-Lite Fast Fold screens and into multi-surface sets, unexpected materials, projection mapping and so on. I believe our contribution adds intrinsic value to live performance and gives audiences yet another reason to go see them for real.

Which other artists work is your favourite (general content and/or specific piece)?

Philip Glass / Robert Wilson / Lucinda Childs’ Einstein on the Beach. Practical sets and lights evoking such beauty and emotion through repetitive movement, familiarity and love.

Also, Lucinda Childs’ Dance, her collaboration with Sol LeWitt. Why I fell in love with scrims.

What's the best thing about your line of work?

Collaboration

What do you think your “biggest break” or “greatest opportunity” has been so far in your career?

Probably given the chance to work with Wilco when I first started out. Beyond that I am eternally grateful to the musicians, booking agents and managers who have been longtime supporters and allowed me to grow, offering me some amazing opportunities over the years.

Where do you wish to go with your work/career? Any goals/aspirations?

I’m looking forward to working with a wider range of performers and artists such as string quartets, filmmakers, dancers and so on. I’d eventually like to do more video installation and participate in projection festivals. More VJ’ing, because playing is good. The big dream is to be a part of a multimedia performance from conception to execution.

What advice would you give someone starting off, aspiring to becoming a successful/recognised visual artist or VJ.

Play!

Do you have links where people can check out your work?

Candy Stations

Are there any other “behind the scenes” secrets, tips or additional information you would like to share with our readers? Especially with Quartz Composer.

Don’t use effects for effect’s sake. Consider the conceptual and design riffs you’re getting into. Try to design your effects and/or animations to be very specific and unique for the task. Considering coupling the QC elements with other imagery – like footage or pre-rendered animations. Does it need to be real-time? If not, get into Syphon and/or using it your comp as a FxFactory Pro plugin with After Effects. If you are using it for live performance, give yourself enough parameters use it on purpose, but not so many that you can’t keep up. If you make a mistake, make it again. Like jazz.

Are there any events / performances you have coming up you would like us to promote?

I’ll be performing with the string quartet ETHEL on December 2, 2012, at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, NY. The year 2013 has good stuff brewing, but that’s a stay tuned.

Any other comments?

Not right now, but thank you for all these thoughtful questions!

Published in Showcase
Friday, 14 September 2012 16:01

IBC 2012

A recent event in Amsterdamn that showcases the latest development in broadcasting, IBC 2012 has got us all excited about the arrival of two new cameras. The Black Magic Cinema Camera and the Canon C100.

Canon recently announced the EOS C100 the little brother to the C300, it is scheduled to be available in November. I think this camera will likely put a noticeable dent in the use of mid- to upper- range HDSLRs for video production such as the Canon 5D MKIII and Canon EOS 1DX given that the C100 meets a lot of the ergonomic needs of filmmakers that HDSLRS lack (EVF, LCD, Built in ND) and a superb sensor behind it that generates an extremely sharp, wide dynamic range, and low noise image at high ISOs,off of a super-35 size 16:9 sensor.

The Blackmagic Cinema Camera is a revolutionary digital cinema camera design that includes powerful features such as super wide 13 stops of dynamic range, high resolution 2.5K sensor, built in high bandwidth SSD recorder, open file format support, color correction with full version of DaVinci Resolve and a built in LCD with metadata entry, all in an attractive compact design for only £2,995.

Many current generation video cameras suffer from a "video look" due to a limited contrast range, a maximum HD resolution sensor, poor quality optics and lenses, the use of heavy video compression for file recording and poor integration with NLE software metadata management. With these limitations, they cannot be used for high end work or feature films.

The Blackmagic Cinema Camera has been designed to eliminate these problems so customers get a true feature film look, and at an affordable cost can shoot high end television commercials, episodic television programming and feature films.

One feature that is really interesting form a Quartz Composer point of view is the Thunderbolt port, this will allow instant access to the camera's output for live streams that can be filtered / effected or combined into a multiscreen display, exciting times ahead!

Check out some of the text footage from the BlackMagic here:

 

A hands on with C100

 

Published in Blogs
Tuesday, 11 September 2012 17:18

Final Cut Pro X review

At I Love QC, we use the super powers of Quartz Composer to add extra magic to the software you use everyday. With our 3D Supercharger Plugin for Final Cut Pro, Quartz Composer adds new transitions, titiles and lover thirds, to significantly speed up your workflow. With our plugin you can load in 3D models easily and quickly.

The versatility and simplicity of Final Cut Pro has made it the world leader in visual content editing. The new version Final Cut Pro X has changed from the excellent Final Cut 7 and may take some getting used too, but it still has amazing potential.

Final Cut Pro X is already tempting — especially because the price is considerably lower to around £200 compared to it's previous £1000. It’s the first Apple program that’s available only by download from the Mac App Store, not on a DVD. All of the programs formerly included in Final Cut Studio have been rolled into Final Cut Pro X except for Motion and Compressor, which are sold separately. Final Cut Express and DVD Studio Pro are gone.)

The new Final Cut Pro has been radically redesigned. In fact, it looks and works a lot like iMovie, all dark gray, with “skimming” available; you run your cursor over a clip without pressing the mouse button to play it.

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Once you’re past the shock of the new layout, the first thing you’ll notice is that Apple has left most of the old Final Cut’s greatest annoyances on the cutting-room floor.

First — and this is huge — there’s no more waiting to “render.” You no longer sit there, dead in the water, while the software computes the changes, locking up the program in the meantime, every time you add an effect or insert a piece of video that’s in a different format. Final Cut X renders in the background, so you can keep right on editing. You cannot, however, organize your files or delete clips during rendering.

Second, in the old Final Cut Pro, it was all too easy to drag the audio and video of a clip out of sync accidentally; little “-1” or “+10” indicators, showing how many frames off you were, were a chronic headache. But in the new Final Cut, “sync is holy,” as Apple puts it. Primary audio and video are always synced, and you can even lock other clips together so that they all move as one.

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In fact, an ingenious feature called Compound Clips lets you collapse a stack of audio and video clips into a single, merged filmstrip on the timeline. You can adjust it, move it and apply effects as if it were a single unit, and then un-merge it anytime you like. Compound Clips make it simple to manage with a complicated composition without going quietly insane.

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So in conclusion, it will take some getting used to, and there has been an uproar from certain film editors, but the new Final Cut Pro X is really powerful once you get your head around it and it will grow on you if you give it a chance.

Published in Blogs