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Charles Belcher

LOR Partner
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Everything posted by Charles Belcher

  1. Here are two videos; one to show our video mapping concept and another to show the motorized props we built this year. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47lo7WPhxP8&t=53s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwVtCXUc7NQ Charles
  2. wbaker4, I used (4) pixcon16's this year without any hiccup at all. Disclaimer: I used identical 2812B strips everywhere and used 12V's without power injection everywhere. Although it makes sense from a bookkeeping standpoint to use the Pixcons "one universe per output, I did not do that. I started with strand one, universe one, channel one and sequentially assigned consecutive universes/channels. Regards, Charles
  3. EmmienLightFan, The show is one 20 minute long MP4 file with the movie and soundtrack in one file and the lighting in another file, both played back simultaneously. This is an actual show which was filmed with my Canon camera. Charles
  4. Here is the link to the abridged version of our 20 minute multimedia Christmas display entitled "Radio Holiday"; using both video projection mapping and lighting. I had to increase the light levels to properly capture the video portion and in doing so, the LED's are more saturated than I wanted, but it is hard to capture both in one video shoot. https://youtu.be/t8t-JGxhpwI Charles Belcher
  5. DevMike, I would say something clever here, but...I can't seem to talk with all the egg on my face. (☞ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)☞
  6. Everything is all good now. Bridges are built and there is traffic across them.
  7. DevMike, Here is a screenshot of my latest adventure. Charles
  8. Little_b, I don't think that they have implemented the 340 pixel ability yet. This was talk I heard at the Christmas Expo, but I could be wrong. It could be that you only get that with the new software upgrade to 4.1.2. You should send in a help desk request and post the results back here Charles
  9. Mike, If you are not the one answering my help desk messages today, let me fill you in on the latest. I can tell you that I started all over from the beginning. I did a factory reset with both buttons on the pixcon and got back to the default ip address of It is showing firmware 1.4.8 (even though it I did a reset and it was delivered with 1.4.6 firmware) I am connected from a stand-a-lone laptop with no wireless connected direct to the one and only pixcon. I then opened the comm port listener, then opened Network Config program, listed as v4.1.2Pro. I clicked Help Find Pixcon button and it found it, highlighted in RED, and shows, LOR PixCon16, Default Nickname -V1.4.8 and the MAC address. But when I click on it, I get an error message which says: "You can not configure this board because the program does not know how to deal with that version of firmware. You may need a software upgrade." Where do I go from here? Charles
  10. Yes, Dennis. Dev Mike knows. He wrote the manual for the pixcon. I have verified via status lights by moving the pins back and forth.
  11. Yes, my avatar doesn't show it correctly. I have the latest and greatest pro version of S4. I have done more testing. The CMB24 works correctly directly with a usb485 adapter and works correctly with a usb485 adapter/IDMX1000/special cable Really at a loss here and have turned in a "ticket".
  12. coming out of the DMX Out #1 of the Pixcon with the jumper block in the LOR position (in ESTA position the red light on the CMB24 blinks) to the RJ45 input on the CMB24--should be just that easy-right?
  13. Dennis, I ran both a sequence and went to the Pixel console in the hardware utility also. (Pixel console is what DevMike suggested before I did all that(
  14. I also just received 4 Pixcons and am tryin to test various functions today. If anyone has succesfully connected a Pixcon bridged DMX output to a CMB24, please let me know what you did to achieve it. This is what I have done so far. These are the steps I have taken: 1) Updated Pixcon firmware from 1.4.6 to 1.48 2)Connected a single Pixcon to the computer directly-no switch, no router, no hub 3) Used LORPixCon Utility and searched for units, found the one I had previously set up and identified as Static, Pixcon 51 (showing firmware to be V1.4.8) 4)Clicked on the Control Tab and selected Ethernet Protocol and set sACN to DMX512 Output #1 to Universe 1 and turned it on ( BTW, sACN t DMX512 Outputs 2,3 and 4 started at 0, I changed them to 1, then back to 0 but they will not stay at 0; they go back to 1 whether they are turned on or off--SO they are all 4 on 1, but only output 1 is turned on) 5) Clicked Advance tab and selected Output 1 to start at Universe 3, Start Channel 1, Output 2 to Universe 4, Start Channel 1 and so on... (so there would be no conflict with #4 above) 6)Clicked OK all the way out 7)Then connected the ethernet port on my computer to the ethernet port on Pixcon 51 (after moving the jumper pin from ESTA to LOR) 8)Then connected the bridged DMX output 1 on the Pixcon to the RJ45 on a CMB24 9) Connected a dumb pixel strip to channel 1 of the CMB24 10)At this point the green light on the Pixcon is solid, the red is flash blinking. The red light on the CMB24 is solid red 11)Closed the Pixcon utililty 12)Opened the Comm Listener 13)No usb adapter are installed ever throughout this test 14)Opened the Hardware Utility and selected Pixel console 15)Checked DMX Pixel (E1.31) and got the pop up dialog box telling me to Ensure Listener is Running-which it is so i check OK 16)Set the universe to 1 and click on Controller White On button at the bottom 17)Nothing happens and the red light on the Pixcon is still fast blinking red and the red light on the CMB24 is still solid red Shouldn't the dumb pixel strip in channel 1 of the CMB24 be on now and shouldn't I have connectivity? PS. I did the same test with a 1602 AC controller with the same results (status lights on 1602 solid, but no lights)
  15. ShaggySS, I have overlapped strips in situations where "seamless" was a priority. One strip covers the other and the only item left to "hide" is the cable going into the strip that you place on top of the other. Depending on the strip you are using you should have 1"-2" in between led's to route the cable. Charles
  16. Each output port is rated at 4amp. Each bank of 8 output ports is rated at 32 amps. The whole controller is rated at 64 amps. Whether or not you can hang 340 pixels off of any one output port will be decided, in part, by the voltage of the pixel strand you are using. The lower the voltage=the higher the amperage draw and thus the less pixels you can drive. I am sure those advertized counts are referring to 12v strands, but even going with 12v strands; power injection will be mandatory will high pixel count designs. There is another part in determining how many pixels that can be driven by any one output port and that is how LOR decides to enable the features which are inherent but not necessarily available on the controller. With the product now being released, we will soon see how this plays out. I have (4) Pixcon16's coming to me, so the testing will begin. ╰(°ㅂ°)╯╰(°ㅂ°)╯╰(°ㅂ°)╯╰(°ㅂ°)╯ Charles
  17. caniac, The pre-drilled glass blocks are found in the hobby retail market and cost too much. I bought them from Home Depot Online, along with the super strong vinyl C-Channel that is used to build glass block walls. The glass blocks have ridges on the sides and center, which leaves a channel into which you can simply lay a RGB weatherproof strip. I cut them to length, soldered them up and built them row by row. They looked really nice. I welded a frame out of steel 1/2" "L" bracket and siliconed the blocks to the frame. The frame sat on a 4' x 4' wood deck and the frame was screwed into the deck. It is really easy. Charles
  18. jkosek, My wife and I founded a sound, light and in later years video services production company in Dallas 30 years ago. Our two grown children own and manage it now. The company is www.onstagesystems.com We have a 30,000 square foot warehouse full of pro gear and we are fortunate to have the use of it for our home display. Every major city in the US will have several companies which rent projectors. Because projection mapping services are so expensive, those jobs do not come around very often. Creating content, editing content, post production are all expensive; and then the gear and labor involved in actually doing the show are very expensive. Most of our video work occurs in the corporate theater market and the EDM market. We do a lot of electronic dance music festivals which has moved from using hundreds of moving light heads to the use of video panels with a fewer amount of light heads. Just last week we did the production for "Lights All Night", a two night event at the Dallas Convention Center, in a space measuring 300' x 300' with two stages. Zedd, Armin Van Buuren and Skrillex were three of the headliners. I found YouTube videos shot by audience members from this event. You can get an idea of what we do. Charles
  19. Bscspy, I would buy a cheap one to use inside during your learning phase--BUT, I would buy one with the native resolution you will eventually want/need to fill the area you later want to project upon. The question you need to ask yourself is whether that area is closer to a 16:9 or a 4:3 aspect ratio. Charles
  20. Bcspy, I wasn't very clear on my first post. I meant for you to read the part about how I went about creating content and the process of projecting on my house. I wasn't trying to get you to read the ABC portion of that post. Charles
  21. Bcspy, See this thread http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/34646-finalist-in-2014-great-christmas-light-fight/?hl=finalist Charles
  22. Brian, We knew we would not have a display that would win going in to the contest, so I was not disappointed when we did not win. They like to see "stuff" and we could not have anything in the yard that would block view or any lighting hanging around on the front of the house. Thanks for the support. Charles
  23. Kevin, Yes, most of the commercial jobs we do (not Christmas), we end up using 4-8 20K projectors depending on the size of the building facade. I don't know Cinema 4D, so I didn't create digital facades like I wanted to. Ended up just using what I could find and creating "sets" myself. I did do some work in Sketchup, but ran out of time and didn't get to use it. One of our free lance techs has Cinema 4D, so I am going to some lessons and try to really put it to work. I watched the video on the Nashville drive through you did. Must have been fun! Great job as usual. Charles
  24. We used a 6k Sanyo during the building of the movie to check things out, then switched to a Sanyo 15K once our display started running in December. Even with the lights not directed at the mapped areas, the ambient lighting spill was still too much for the 6k. Charles
  25. This is long. The Belcher family was a participant in Episode 1 of ABC’s "The Great Christmas Light Fight" for 2014. We were included in the episode which aired December 8th. Mr. Weaver deservedly won the coveted light bulb trophy for his wonderful Disney castle and character creations in our episode. Our 2014 Christmas display was an experiment in visual arts in which we “projection mapped” the front and one side of our two story brick and wood home. Projection mapping is a fairly new art form which in it’s simplest form is the projection of content onto irregular shapes and surfaces and "mapping" the content to fit those shapes and surfaces. We created five videos from purchased content, free content and content which we created in Photoshop, Gimp and AfterEffects. We mostly used free content, as it took hundreds of images, gifs, png’s and .mov files to build a 15 minute show based around 5 song titles. Each song was also edited and included verses and chorus from at least 3 different artist as we tried to match the feel of the song to the video scene we wanted to create. Vickie, my wife, created and developed the four animated characters who narrate the story line “Welcome to my House Party”, the theme of this year’s display. The star of “Welcome to my House Party” was, of course, “House”, an animated character who follows the outline of our real house and is very much alive. This is the character ABC showed in our episode and the character that Sabrina, our judge, couldn’t stop laughing with or at. The video included with this post is not the video which aired on ABC, but rather an edited sample of the 5 song titles that comprise our show. After the movies for the song titles were made, the story line was developed and narrated by the characters. We then synchronized both the video and lights to the music track. The movie was built in CyberLink Power Director 11 and the audio in Audacity. The show file including the 15 minute show based around the 5 song titles and 15 minutes of break music all which timed out at exactly 30 minutes. We rendered it to an ".avi" file and played it back in LOR S3. The final file was 85GB which plays on the hour and half hour without hiccup into four networks at normal transfer speed. The lights were designed to take a back seat to the projection in two ways. The first is that we could not have lighting which unintentionally spilled onto the projection surfaces. Second we could not have yard decorations which interfered with audience sight lines. This made for a very minimal, clean, modern look; albeit, not necessarily the look the judges were looking for. We used rgb dumb strips on all windows, doors, soffits, eves, the chimney and a few vertical lines thrown in for balance;, LED nets and strands on the (3) 70’ high pecan trees; LED net lights on the front and garage bushes and we outfitted the two 40’ cedar trees with oversized C9 bulbs and homemade rope light candy canes. The only yard decoration we had were two 5’ x 5’ “trees” made from 8” x 8” glass block and lighted with rgb dumb strips, row by row. A glass block “footer” was also used in between the two trees which actually sat on top of the existing landscape blocks. Due to the many people I engage with in the capacity of being one of the original LOR Partners, I have been asked about the experience of being involved with the Great Christmas Light Fight. I will detail it here for all of you who wish for a shot at making it on the TV show. I taught a “projection mapping” class at the Christmas Expo in July 2014. ABC had a booth set up in the vendor room and were actively looking for contestants to participate in the 2014 series. A casting person and one of the executive producers for the Great Christmas Light Fight were there for 3 days. I spoke with both of them on day two of the Expo. At this point, we had not really even gotten past the “concept” stage of our 2014 display. In fact, we had not done a display at our home the last 3 years, so we were really working from square one. I had even sold all of my controllers and much of the lighting was outdated and/or unusable. We had a couple of minutes worth of content built to present to the class and this is what we showed ABC. The casting lady said they were looking for different types of displays to present to the producers in addition to the synchronized “lights to music” displays which are so commonplace now. They liked our idea and said they would call. This was July 18th. The first email from ABC came on July 24th. They ask me to make a “submission video” of the family. This was a simple video introducing each family member in the front yard and saying things like…”We are going to win the $50,000” and “Nobody has what we have”—regular reality TV stuff. We recorded it and emailed it to them. A few days later several documents from ABC arrived for us to read, sign and return. Before committing to any family, ABC will do background checks, and search all social media outlets in order to get an idea of what you are about. Our family went on vacation on July 27-Aug 2nd and while we were at the beach in Hilton Head, SC, we received a call from ABC asking us to be available for a interview via Skype in the next couple of days. It felt like a step up the ladder of selection. On Thursday of that week, we gathered around the kitchen island in the rented beach house wearing our red and green shirts to do the interview. They asked us very leading questions and even supplied the answers they were looking for to several questions. It was basically more reality TV type dialog. This was followed by another round of emailed attachments for each family member who was going to participate to read and sign. They have “helper” forms to be read and signed; they have “owner” forms to be read and signed; they have “minor” forms for the “under 14” kids parents to read and sign and all of them come with very tight time lines for return. Before the process was over, we probably had a stack of documents around 2”-3” high. We did read through all of them, asked questions, got clarifications and signed all of them indicating our agreement to their terms. They want to control everything pertaining to the show and they want to make sure that any family or anyone “helping” the family does not spill the beans before they are ready to advertise the show themselves. This is a huge deal to ABC. We got back to Dallas on August 4th and exchanged more emails with the ABC office in Hollywood for a couple of weeks. It was then that we progressed from the casting department to the production department of the show. Throughout the department exchange, we were still not told that we had “officially” been selected to be on the show, although we certainly had that idea from the language being used. Even at this stage, more paperwork was sent to us, much of it was redundant and my guess is that they needed to make absolutely certain that we understood the process and the rules. The official confirmation of our participation was given to us around August 10th. I haven’t found that email and don’t know for certain, but this is close. Because of the late date and the fact that we were creating this show from beginning to end, we decided to cut the show down from 15 minutes to 6 1/2 minutes and only do two song titles. We got to work on making the movie because it had to be finished before we could begin to program the lights in LOR. No pressure! On September 4th, we were asked to make time for a “Rules Call” with all 20 families on September 5th and around that date we received a small hand held camera which we used to make selfies as we prepped for the installation. We were given a code name by which we were referred to during the conference call. Around this time they set up the first filming date which was to be Sept 8th. At this session, the crew were to interview the family members and shoot some footage of the property before any decorations were installed. This was a one-day, all-day video shoot. The day before this scheduled shoot, they called to postpone the first shoot and re-scheduled for September 15th and scheduled the final 3-day shoot for October 2-4 with the 3rd being the judging day. The film crew showed up at 11:00am on September 15th. The crew included a producer, her assistant, a sound engineer, two camera operators and a technician who handled the technical set-up of all the gear. The producer and assistant were at all four film dates, but the other crew members changed. They showed up in three vans loaded with gear and used our garage as their staging area. All family members were mic-ed up the entire time. Included in the paperwork we signed was the requirement that no one could turn off their mic at any time during the filming. We made sure to tell them when we went to the bathroom. Everyone on the crew had ear pieces, producer, assistant, cameraman and sound man. They guided us through a routine that they had obviously done several times before and were extremely professional in both their work procedure and the handling of our family. I can’t say enough about how good they were. They were all free-lancers but a couple of them had been on Dancing with the Stars for several years and knew their stuff about the shots they wanted and how to go about getting them. At the end of the day, they installed two battery powered cameras in our front yard. These were set to take a photo every 5 minutes or so. That day ended at 10:00pm and we didn’t see them again until October 2nd at 10:00am. We were allowed to begin decorating at this point although they asked us to save something for the October session. The flow of paperwork probably ended around September 21st or so. With regard to the other competitors, you never know who you are competing against in your episode and you don’t even know the names of anyone in the other episodes. I heard one technician making flight arrangements for El Paso and figured it was the Loya family they were going to film, having previously seen his display myself. I didn’t ask because I knew they would not give me the answer. A larger crew came in on October 2nd. There were more camera operators and production assistants to help with the bigger project that day. The crew split up; one crew followed me around and another crew followed my son, Chris around. They even jumped into the 60’ man lift with my son and filmed as he wrapped branches at a height of 50'-60'. This day was all about the “final preparation day” before the judge came the following night. On October 3rd, Sabrina came at 8:00pm to judge. She pulled up in that same black SUV that you see on every episode. The crew came in at 2:00pm that day and stayed until after 1:00am. Sabrina stayed on site until around 11:00pm. After she does the reveal and the walk-through, she basically just hangs out and waits for her turn in front of the camera to give her impressions. Late that night, the show producers also filmed our family as we discussed Sabrina’s reaction to our display. Throughout all film days they do something they call "OTF" which means a non-scripted film capture "on the fly". When the field producer sees something she thinks will have TV value, she calls an audible and the crew jumps in. We had over 150 people at our reveal, who all stood in the street for at least two hours before seeing our display play. We had hired catering for our guests, compete with tables and chairs which we set up in our back yard. We also rented a bouncy house for the kids and a stilt walker who was more than happy to be in every shot they took. ABC does not pay for any of this. Our field producer took a back seat on this day to a “director” who was flown in. The director set up all the shots, talked to the audience via bullhorn, directed the Jib-Boom operator and basically ran the show that day. She left after Sabrina’s “final thoughts” moment was filmed and the normal crew stayed another couple of hours. The next day was reserved for “personal” shots. This was October 4th and a smaller crew came in at 1:00pm and stayed until around 10:00pm. This is when they really collect the personal shots of the family walking, talking and interacting. Our energy level was gone at this point after two long days of filming, but we did our best to be excited. So, there you have it. Was it fun? Yes. Would I recommend it to someone else? Yes. Was it a lot of work in a compressed amount of time? Yes. In the end, it was a good life experience for all of our family and just like a great Christmas display, the end result will be a lifelong memory. Here is the YouTube link: or you can watch it on our website: https://www.christmasinrowlett.com Charles Belcher
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