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Charles Belcher

2008 SHOW SAMPLER VIDEO

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If any of you saw our 2007 Evolution of Dance then you know that we do a mini-musical display every year rather than a collection of Christmas songs. The theme this year was "Up On The Housetop" and we actually built a 20' x 8' stage on the lower roof of our house where Mr.and Mrs. Santa Claus did a little comedy routine. The stage front was blacked out so the audience did not know it was even there until the Clauses took the stage.

Trying to capture video and maintain a true representation of the story line is hard to accomplish because of the length so this year I decided to put together a 2008 Show Sampler. I condensed the 17.5 minute show to 6.5 minutes which hopefully retains the elements of the musical yet still keep the viewers interest.

The video includes the following elements of the show:

All narration by the talking elves
Intro
Big splashy number
Body
Tease for main feature
Main feature
Finale'

In the video you will see the 3500 channels at work. The breakdown in channels is as follows:

3200 channels of DMX controlling fog, snow, laser (not in the video), automated lighting fixtures in weatherproof enclosures, a LED video grid and LED X-Curtain tube lights on the house eve and roof. There are around 60,000 lights. The video grid and tube lighting on the house eves and roof are LED's. All other lights including the big trees, the three mega trees and mini trees used regular incandescent lights.

I also included the video of the entire show song Toy Sack and the WIW video which includes daytime footage of the display components.

2008 SHOW SAMPLER: http://vimeo.com/2735546
2008 TOY SACK: http://vimeo.com/2740254
2008 WIW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JII0PPYSwgU

Charles and Vickie Belcher

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Absolutely WOW. I didn't do a show this year, sold some controllers because I needed the money, time to start building again I guess after seeing this. WOW

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AMAZING!!! And that is a understatement!!!! Awesome Job!!!!

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I loved the Mr.and Mrs. Santa Claus. I'd love to see the program that made them move. My kids loved watching it. You truely did a wonderful job.

Thank you.

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Charles,

The Mr and Mrs. Claus animatronic puppets were just so lifelike it was amazing.;)

Every year you guys go above and beyond. I'll add a couple more WOWs to all the others. You always have something that noone else is doing. I'd love to see it live someday.

Magnifico!!

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Brian Mitchell wrote:

Charles,

The Mr and Mrs. Claus animatronic puppets were just so lifelike it was amazing.;)

Every year you guys go above and beyond. I'll add a couple more WOWs to all the others. You always have something that noone else is doing. I'd love to see it live someday.

Magnifico!!

Brian,

The hardest part about the Santa puppets was hiding up in those trees and pulling the strings.:cool:

Charles

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Charles,

Please add my series of WOW's to your collection. I couldn't wait to show it to my mate: "See, dear, all we need is another 3360 or so channels and a flat spot on our roof for the puppets..." Amazingly life-like indeed...;)

George

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That looks like soo much fun... fun to watch and fun to "pull those strings". ;)

Excellent, EXCELLENT job!!! WOW!!!

-Jeff

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I guess it true! Everything is done bigger in Texas:). That display is totaly amazing. It gives me more inspiration for mine this year keep up the good work

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Wow, two comments out of nowhere in the middle of February! I was totally surprised when I found the notices in my email box.

Kevin and kzaas, thank you for the kind words.

Charles

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Glad the post got a 'bumb', because I missed it the first time - glad I didn't miss it altogether!

really great job - lots of effort.

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Fantastic job Charles. You should be very proud.

I have two questions.
Did you make the fireworks?
How did you weatherproof the light boxes on the roof?

Thanks.

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Robin wrote:

Fantastic job Charles. You should be very proud.

I have two questions.
Did you make the fireworks?
How did you weatherproof the light boxes on the roof?

Thanks.
Robin,

Thanks for the compliment.

I don't remember where I posted the "how to" on the fireworks, but here is what I did in short form.

The fireworks consist of three parts; the "shaft" of light, the "explosions" and the "fallout".

The shafts were 10' sticks of 1.5" PVC with four 100 ct. minis wrapped around each one. The explosions were the Storm I and Storm II outdoor versions from Action Lighting. The fallout were red and green strobes from Action as well. I found a pattern on the Storms that I thought would work for this effect and locked the pattern knob on the unit in place, then made sure the time duration on the software didn't allow the fixture to repeat that pattern. It just lit up in a circle from inside to outside one time only as if a shell were exploding. In normal mode the Storm cycles from one pattern to the next.

I had 3 groups of 4 sticks of fireworks shafts (12 total) for a total of 48 channels. I had 4 total Storm units on 1 channel and 16 or so red and green strobes on another channel.

The whole effect used 50 channels of control, which is a fairly expensive effect for a one or two second shot. I used it three times per show.

The four automated lighting fixtures in the video were enclosed in professional weatherproof enclosures designed to do just that. They have both fans and heating elements on board. As you and most others already know, automated fixtures with either moving heads or moving yokes are NOT weatherproof, so something must be done to protect them when used outdoor.

Contrary to popular belief programming a moving yoke or moving fixtures is not very hard. I did most of the programming in the "dark" after I mapped out where the beam was at the "home" or default position, and the 10%, 20%, 30% etc. for the pan and tilt.

Charles

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Charles,
Thanks. I realized the fireworks were from Action after I watched the video a second time. To think that three years ago they had a sale on those for $49.00 each really makes me kick myself. However, I think I have come up with a way to make my own and they seem to be working.

I thought the lights on the roof were the light bars and since I have not viewed them in a store was curious on how you weatherproofed them.

The moving yokes are very nice and you have the perfect setup for them. I on the other hand have a little issue with 400 wire frames and 100 mini trees and the coro on the house. I don't think it would look good.

Now if I had a wife that would dress like Mrs. Claus I would be dancing a jig too. Until then Santa just sets in the chair and has his picture taken with all the kids, young and old (few in between if you get my drift).

One more question. How did you mount everything above your roof? I have some ideas but always interested in others.

Thanks again.

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Robin wrote:

Charles,
Thanks. I realized the fireworks were from Action after I watched the video a second time. To think that three years ago they had a sale on those for $49.00 each really makes me kick myself. However, I think I have come up with a way to make my own and they seem to be working.

I thought the lights on the roof were the light bars and since I have not viewed them in a store was curious on how you weatherproofed them.

The moving yokes are very nice and you have the perfect setup for them. I on the other hand have a little issue with 400 wire frames and 100 mini trees and the coro on the house. I don't think it would look good.

Now if I had a wife that would dress like Mrs. Claus I would be dancing a jig too. Until then Santa just sets in the chair and has his picture taken with all the kids, young and old (few in between if you get my drift).

One more question. How did you mount everything above your roof? I have some ideas but always interested in others.

Thanks again.
Robin,

Random answers:

1) I made a PVC base for the shafts of firework lights that straddled the roof peak and was held in place with sandbags. The 1.5" PVC shafts slid into a 2" PVC base with nuts & bolts for added security.
2)The roof peak and house eves were all done with X-Curtain LED tube lights. They have an IP65 weather rating and don't have a problem with rain at all.
http://www.acclaimlighting.eu/index.php?id=38&L=1
3)I think I paid $100.00 for each Storm in early 2007 and I understand they didn't even ship any last year, but I don't know that for a fact.
4)Jig dancing is pretty cool. It really personalizes the display.

Charles

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Next another "How did they do that?" question:

How did you animate the LED video grid? The toy sack looked really good. Was it done using LOR? It seems like it would take much more effort than something like a mega tree.

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Steven wrote:

Next another "How did they do that?" question:

How did you animate the LED video grid? The toy sack looked really good. Was it done using LOR? It seems like it would take much more effort than something like a mega tree.
Steven,

The show timings were all done with LOR S2. The LED video grid consisted of 60 x 3' LED tubes with 10 pixels each of RGB. Each tube used 30 channels of DMX control.
The entire grid used 1800 channels.

The 60 tubes were pixel mapped with a Martin Maxedia media server system which is a pro piece of gear. Basically, pixel mapping is the process whereby all pixels in a defined system are marked to a virtual grid. Pictures, videos, text and live camera feeds are then entered onto the hard drive in the Maxedia and the system digitally assigns the pictures, video, text or live image across the grid. Vickie made most of the pictures and flash files up in Photoshop, then imported them into the Maxedia hard drive.

The system also has image editing capabilities as well; ie, text can be rotated, images can change color and shape, and there are 20 layers which can be stacked. So, you could have text across a flash file which moves and the flash file could have a wallpaper of your choice. These are just a few examples of the infinite ways you can manipulate the system.

Once your build a image or look, you assign it to a cue number which is callable in the Maxedia by DMX. It has Cue page A and Cue page B so you can fade or switch from one to the other. Finally, the Maxedia content can be recalled via 25 channels of DMX some of which are channel number, transition time from one cue to the next, dimming of cues, etc.

So while the grid required 1800 channels of DMX to program, it only requires 25 channels for playback.

The signal path from the computer through the system is as follows:

PLAYBACK
Computer to iDMX-1000 to Maxedia DMX input for playback.

RECORD
Computer to I/O box (part of Maxedia system) to
Maxedia DMX Ethernet output to a four universe DMX Manager which generates the 4 DMX universes required to map the grid. 512CH X 4 universes=2048 available channels for the 1800 required channels.

Charles

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I showed this video to my wife and she said, I will cut your b@)),$ off if you try something that big.

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