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Thread: FREE RELEASE* Beyond Abstract Show (Standby)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Bay Area, CA
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    88

    Default FREE RELEASE* Beyond Abstract Show (Standby)



    I made this show for SELEM and there's been some interest in it so I decided to release it.

    UPDATE:
    I now have two versions of the show. The original shown in the video is optimized for 50k. I also have a slightly simplified 30k version that keeps the refresh rate high without loosing too much content.

    The base release is free for personal use and unpaid events. Just don't use it to make money.

    If you would like to purchase the show and support me I would greatly appreciate it. If you purchase the show there are no restrictions on use. Feel free to use it at paid events or incorporate the content into other shows for said events. I will charge $50.

    If you would like the show PM me for the download link. Let me know which version you'd like.

    Audio can be found HERE

    Enjoy!
    Last edited by Glrock; 08-20-2019 at 17:22.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UCSB
    Posts
    681

    Default

    This really is an amazing show, thank you for releasing it!

    I also must say, your filming quality is superb - can you share a bit on your setup? Do you do any postprocessing to get the perfect blacks and color balance with absolutely no flicker? Playing your video on an OLED panel is practically like watching a live show!

    Also - have you considered adding reverse firing satellite projectors to your setup? They obviously wouldn't come across on youtube very well, but I have a soft spot for shows that can tie a good graphics/abstract show with a good beamshow in the traditional setup of one projector facing forward onto a screen and 2 projectors aimed back toward you with a bit of smoke for beams (I use about 100mw forward facing and a watt reverse facing for my living room sized setup)--the experience is so much more immersive than a single projector. It seems like you would have a knack for it

    Also - do you have a website or other way to get your other shows? I would love to get my hands on your Ignite video to watch on a projector.

    Keep up the good work

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Fort Mill, SC
    Posts
    520

    Default

    Man how did I miss this at SELEM. Wish I could have seen this in the auditorium. Thanks for the show. Keep up the good work.
    Watching Lasers Since 1981

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    242

    Default

    Very cool show. Sorry I missed it in the auditorium.
    Eric in New Orleans

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    88

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SaltyRobot View Post
    Man how did I miss this at SELEM. Wish I could have seen this in the auditorium. Thanks for the show. Keep up the good work.
    There are many things I missed at SELEM but I did enjoy watching some of your shows in the auditorium. They are really amazing. Keep up the great work.

    Iím sure I will be back next year with some new content. See you then!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by djeric68 View Post
    Very cool show. Sorry I missed it in the auditorium.

    Glad you enjoyed it. See you next year.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    88

    Default Filming Tips

    As per Krazer's request, here's some tips I've learned over time filming lasers.

    I have found that there are several important criteria that lead to good laser video. You will need a camera with at least basic manual video controls to get good results. I use a Nikon D610.

    Perhaps the most important thing is the refresh rate of your laser and how it relates to your camera's refresh rate. If you wan't smooth video (24-30 fps), you will need either a really well optimized show or high performance galvos. Ideally, you will want the laser refresh rate to meet or exceed the frame rate of your video. This is the most crucial aspect of getting good video. It's okay if small sections of the show fall below your frame rate but this should be avoided as much as possible.

    By matching refresh rates, the aim is to make sure that each frame of your video captures the entire path of the laser. If the refresh rate is too low or the shutter speed is too high, only parts of the image will be captured. This leads to flicker as you see different parts of the same image in each frame. When the refresh rate exceeds the frame rate you will get some over trace but this is usually not noticeable in normal playback. It's only truly noticeable when the rate is too low.

    You will want to make sure that you set the shutter speed in your camera as low as possible for the given frame rate you are shooting at. For example, when I shoot video at 30 fps, I always set the shutter speed to 30. This means that each exposure is 1/30th of a second, giving you the most time possible to capture the laser. It is not normal to use such a low speed outside of filming lasers as it leads to motion blur but this effect is actually desirable when using lasers. If your camera is always locked at a high shutter speed the refresh rate you need will be even higher and this effectively means you will never be able to remove the flicker completely.

    Once you have these basic parameters, there are other things you can do to further improve the quality of the video.

    You may need to significantly attenuate the amount of light getting into your camera. This can be done by turning down the brightness of your laser, increasing the image size, using dark screens, using a neutral density filter, or simply cranking down the ISO. Cameras are very sensitive to laser light and levels of brightness that look great in person are often far too high for the sensors in cameras. This leads to color clip that washes out the image. If the colors are lost to clip you will never be able to get it back in post. You will want to film at a brightness level where all of the color is preserved, even if the image seems really dim at first. Do your best to judge if the color is there on your camera's preview screen. It doesn't need to be perfect and if unsure, always undershoot. In post you will want to increase the gain to find a compromise where most of the color is preserved but the show is bright enough to look good on video.

    To get good blacks, I recommend using a dark screen. I painted a standard Amazon tripod screen black with spray paint and it does the trick. I originally did this to make my laser dimmer for home use only to discover that the improved contrast makes the colors appear more vivid and reduces apparent flicker. Some of these benefits also come across in video.

    Now that you have your raw video, you will want to make some tweaks in post.

    Firstly, I always over saturate my footage in the editing software because I find that the colors are more faded after export or when uploading to Youtube. I think this has something to do with the color spaces used across different formats and I encounter this issue when using both .mov and .mp4 export formats. There may be an actual fix somewhere but I'm too lazy to look for it. This works well enough in the mean time.

    You can also tweak the lows of your image to drag the black level down to the point where the only thing visible is the laser itself. This can also help to remove light spread around the lasers that can lead to compression artifacts later. You should be left with a black background and clean, bright laser lines.

    Finally, when exporting use a high bit rate to avoid unnecessary compression artifacts at export.

    If your looking for a video editing platform, I would recommend DaVinci Resolve. It's free and is capable of everything I mentioned above. It's also easy to use and you'll have your first video done in no time. There are also plenty of helpful tutorials on Youtube.

    One last thing. If all you have is a completely automatic camera or phone, shooting at 60 fps may give you a usable image. This is because the high frame rate generally captures more data and it's harder to tell if the whole image isn't there when the playback rate is doubled. Before I learned how to shoot at 30 fps I used 60 and some of the old videos still use this format. The main downside is that the end user must play back the footage at 60 fps as well or the video will be unusable, hence the warnings on my old YouTube videos. If you want to compare the two different methods check out the Standby show for 30 fps and the Ignite show for 60. Check out what happens when you set the playback rate to 30 fps on the Ignite video.

    Hope this helps,

    -Connor
    Last edited by Glrock; 08-21-2019 at 16:53.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    152

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    Thank you!

    And my future laser projector thanks you also

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