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From analogue to digital projection.


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Hi One and all,


Please bear with me, I am making my first steps from analogue projection to digital.


I have for some years enjoyed creating psychedelic lightshows for small festivals and local bands. Think Hawkwind or Gong or Ozric Tentacles live, or the old San Fransisco dance halls of the 1960's.


I have recently decided that it is time to create filmed loops of oil effects and other images and combine them digitally. The huge Optikinetic 575 projectors weigh a tonne, are expensive to maintain and can be tempramental to say the least. So I want to make a large archive of film loops and images and leave the old guns at home.


I basically want to run 2 or 3 pre-prepared silent films of oil gels and the like at the same time, and then have the option of mixing between, or overlaying on each other, these prepared loops in a live enviroment. Also the option of running a mix of 2 or 3 loops into one and being able to play that.


I tried the movie maker that came with my pc, but that only allows slow fades over a course of time, and it looked pretty poor.


if the above makes any kind of sense at all, does anyone know of any software vision mixing programs that will suit my needs?


Peace and blessings to you all,



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Arkaos VJ


Have run the previous generation of the software for several years on Mac, great for videos, images and live camera with a large library of effects, transitions and text generators, it can all be run live via the computer keyboard or an external keyboard. We've also just bought the NuVJ wing to go with it, but that's really not necessary.


Edit: Might be overkill for 2 or 3 video loops but is a great product if you look to expand your video library.

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does anyone know of any software vision mixing programs that will suit my needs?


We have been using vMix (PC Based) since the around start of the year. It will let you mix different video files (cameras etc etc) and loop them etc. The 'Basic' (free) version may even do the job for you.

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I've used most of the VJ programmes over the years but Resolume is a favourite at the moment. Plug in a MIDI controller with a few faders and the whole process can be quite 'organic'. You'll be able to do other stuff such as change the speed, the direction of playback, the colour balance and endless other effects. You're going to love it.


We did a gig a year or so ago where we were trying to do something similar. I would have loved to play with some oil wheels and I considered getting creative with an OHP but in the end we went with video. It wasn't a true recreation but it was a nice result.


It would be worth having a play with Screen Monkey. It won't do everything you want but it is free.

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as an owner of several dozen opti projetors and someone with more than a little experience in digital video, id say that you cant directly replace the analogue lightshow with a digital one. A well executed lightshow is very organic and constantly evolving with a large amount of syncronisation to the music - "crystal pulse" anyone? You can however complement things with a bit of video and it can integrate well or you can do something slightly different, potentially just as good, only different. Its hard to replicate the multilayered effects, but any decent dj programme will let you do something close, I use old unsupported arkaos vj myself, but the current Vjs choice seems to be Resolume. Have a lurk on the VJ forums and it will become obvious whats the current best choice.


id also suggest that you opt for a little midi controller so you can easily manipulate the layers etc with ease, again ask the question on a vj forum, and you will get a few suggestions as to what works. Its a whole new setup and its also worth looking at a 2 or 3 projector setup from the start as you can join them together horizontally to form an extreme widescreen setup that suits the general wide but not tall stage. You then use either a matrox dual or triple head to go or similar to take the single output from the computer and send the left and right portions etc of the video to the right projector. Doing that you can stick 3 fairly cheap projectors on the front truss and fill the back of the stage with enough punch to cut it in large venues.


for comparison - a new solar 575 with new lamp produces about 4000lumens, a clean solar 250 about 1500 lumens. This level of brighness is easily achieved. I spend some time videoing a few solar effects and oils etc and projecting the results, but it just wasnt the same.


Its worth pointing out that the Joshua lightshow , and if anyone doesnt know who they are they should really google them, have a kickstarter project to film on Red and archive their works http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/joshualightshow/joshua-light-show-liquid-loops-ii if you are interested.

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