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MikeZ

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About MikeZ

  • Rank
    Member
  • Birthday 01/30/1964

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Sherman Oaks, CA
  • Occupation
    Video editor/producer

More About Me

  • How I learned about Light-O-Rama -
    Many years ago on Planet Christmas.
  • Favorite Decorating Holiday?
    Christmas

Recent Profile Visitors

176 profile views
  1. So Cal Mini Get together

    Looking forward to joining you all this evening!
  2. So Cal Mini Get together

    I'm really hoping I can attend, it's been awhile since I've been to a SoCal get together. I need to catch up on my programming this weekend so I can get away for a night next weekend.
  3. Programming Video Projection

    I use video in my display as well. I program my show with a audio file in LOR, and then swap it out at the very end with an MPEG4. Last year I finally bought a new computer to replace my 2003 show PC, so I was able to increase the quality of the video file. You may need to play with your video file bandwidth if your computer's not fast enough to deal with playing the video, and driving the lights all at the same time. I have a rear projection wreath that I project the image onto. The projector is located behind the wreath, shooting the image through a garage window. My show is always one continuous 10-13 min. presentation, so it's one video file that loops plays back as the show runs all night long. I edit my display soundtrack in Final Cut Pro, and then add my video track to the audio. Let me know if you have any questions.
  4. Super slow songs?

    I always include one slow song towards the end of my show, which averages about 12 min. in length. I edit all of my songs down to 1 - 1.5 minutes to keep the show moving along. I like to use a song that's very thought provoking. A synced video helps highlight the message of the song, whether it be uplifting imagery, or family photos and home movies. These really help the visitor relate to their own family and Christmas traditions. I then launch right into the show finale.
  5. Video Projection

    I edit my sequence with an WAV file, and then swap it out at the end with a MP4. There's no need for the video file until the sequence is totally finished. You'll want to control the bitrate and size of the video file, depending on the speed of your computer. I use an Optima 719 data projector that I bought 10 years ago, which is still working well. Choice of projector mainly depends on what you want to spend to get the best picture and brightness available. Here's a site that compares old and new projectors http://www.projectorcentral.com. I turn my on projector using an old Phillips Pronto touchscreen learning remote. It has a timer feature that switches the projector on a few minutes before the show. I hope this helps.
  6. video projection

    Craig, If it's a simple shape you want to project on like the triangle of a gable or like the circle of a wreath screen, you'll need to create a matte. You can usually do a simple matte in most editing programs, or create something a little more detailed in Photoshop. The matte will prevent the image from spilling over into the areas you don't want to illuminate, and then you resize and reposition your image to fit the matte shape. Any more complex than this, and you want to get into projection mapping like Dennis mentioned. Mike
  7. Multiple Screens

    One way of running multiple videos is to use a video playback system, such as this https://www.gilderfluke.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=16_76&products_id=343&zenid=k8mf7dov7ct02chisst60rv4s20ccbkt. As long as your program isn't too long, the video should remain in sync once triggered by DMX. It's a bit of pricey solution, but it solves the problem. There may be other less expensive options out there as well.
  8. Video taping your light show

    I shoot my video using a Nikon D800 DSLR in manual mode, and my lens is a 28-70mm 2.8. I think the aperture was wide open most of the time. I could see the ISO value constantly changing to adapt to the light levels. This year I gelled done my character spot lights to bring the levels down to balance them with the LED light strings. This way I didn't have to reprogram anything, it was a simple gel taped over my spots. The camera was always on a tripod and in manual focus mode. Focus is a bit tricky with a hi-def camera, so I use the feature most cameras have that allows you to digital zoom in on the image, check focus, and then zoom back out. It's usually a magnifying lens icon with a + and - on it. It's really tough to get the colors of the lights to be accurate if there's a lot of dark areas surrounding them in a wide shot. One of the reasons I started using wall washes years ago, was to even out the lighting, and decrease the contrast. A lot people suggest shooting before the sun goes down, but I shoot multiple passes that take me all night, so the lighting needs to remain consistent for hours. For the audio, I just shoot with the built in camera mic, recording the yard sound. I edit the video in Final Cut Pro, and sync it to the original track. Here's this year's video.
  9. Thank you! It's a great program that allows me to get smooth organic movements.
  10. I do use the Servo Dog to control all the servos, and the 12v LOR controller for the actuators. I program all the mouth movements in the sequence editor using the Tapper Wizard, and then I go back and tweak it by hand. I use Monkey Basic TrackSkull to do all the head movements. I have a short demo of the process here.
  11. I do use the Servo Dog to control all the servos, and the 12v LOR controller for the actuators. I program all the mouth movements in the sequence editor using the Tapper Wizard, and then I go back and tweak it by hand. I use Monkey Basic TrackSkull to do all the head movements. I have a short demo of the process here.
  12. Thank you! I'm glad she was able to catch it live!
  13. I actually don't work for Disney, I'm a freelance video editor. I work doing TV promo. I did work for them about 10 years ago as an editor for ABC Family. Thanks for the kind words. I'm not sure if my schedule would allow the time needed for the show, but it would be fun to do.
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