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What resolution of video?


Hank Hancock
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This year I plan to integrate video with my Christmas light show. My plan is to do a thematic show on "The Polar Express."

 

I'm using HD video which I've completed editing. The master video file is 9 gigabytes in size for an approximately 20 minute show.

Here's my questions:

1) The master video file is in HD 720p (16:9 aspect ratio) pro-rez 422 MOV format with a frame rate of 25 fps. I realize I'll need to convert it to MP4 or AVI. That's not an issue as I have the software to do it. What is the best file format, frame size, and frame rate to sequence in S3 and playback during the show?

 

2) I'm running the latest build of S3 on an XP based laptop to run the show. In my experience, XP was one of Microsoft's best performing operating systems. Is there any reason why I should upgrade to a later Windows operating system? If so, which is optimal for S3 and video playback?

 

Side comment… I realize that the laptop hardware may pose a limitation on the resolution of the video for smooth playing. I'll work around that if needed. What I'm more interested in knowing is what video specifications is S3 optimized to best work with?

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I'm going to think since the LOR Software uses the Windows Media Player for audio playback, it {I would think} would also use that same program for video playback.  

 

So in my best estimate, whatever the Windows Media Player video format uses is what the video would need to be in.  

 

I know it can play .MPG, .WMV, .and AVI formats.   I personally use the .WMV for the smallest file size for personal playback on my system, and use the .MPG for videos I will upload to Vimeo.

 

And I am also using Windows XP.  I think Microsoft made a big mistake in stopping support of this version of Windows,  It's the one I prefer over the others.   Although Windows 7 isn't too bad, but may require a few tweaks here and there at times.  As I have both and Win7 does work fairly decent.

Edited by Orville
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Thank you Orville. Realizing that S3 uses Windows Media Player, I'm thinking that AVI should work. I'll give that a try. If it doesn't work right then I'll give WMV a try.

This year's show will have video playing throughout the entire show. It will be one video file making up the entire show. It will be an interesting time putting this together and seeing it work. I plan to take good notes.

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Thank you Orville. Realizing that S3 uses Windows Media Player, I'm thinking that AVI should work. I'll give that a try. If it doesn't work right then I'll give WMV a try.

This year's show will have video playing throughout the entire show. It will be one video file making up the entire show. It will be an interesting time putting this together and seeing it work. I plan to take good notes.

No problem.   Looking forward to seeing your video of what you were able to come up with.

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I'm now working on the projection gear. Last night, I finished the 10' wide 16:9 aspect ratio (HD format) rear projection screen. It's made out of 1 1/2" black PVC pipe for the frame and white spandex cloth for the screen. There's a slight bow to the top crossmember which can be easily corrected.

The screen will be supported on commercial lighting stands with truss and guyed so it can stand up to wind. Lighting the screen will be a NEC home theater 720p capable projector. Anyway, I'm trying something new. I hope it all turns out as well as some of the other shows I've seen that incorporate video.

I'll post videos as I get things tested and working.

xLl794.jpg

 

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Not sure where to post this... Is there a how to video or any step by step how to available so I can learn how to incorporate video projection with my LOR set  up? This is the first year I really want to try it but dont know where to start...

 

Thanks in advance.

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Jcoffini, I'm in the same boat as you as I don't yet have video working. I haven't tried yet as I've been focused on building a rear projection screen and preparing the video portion. I have the video prepared and just about ready to start sequencing some channels and testing with my projector. As soon as I have the steps and workflow documented (I'm a good note taker), tested, and working, I'll post a quick "how to primer" on integrating video to S3.

In the meantime, here is a forum link that was helpful to me: Movie Sequence

 

All my best,

 

Hank

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Jcoffini, I'm in the same boat as you as I don't yet have video working. I haven't tried yet as I've been focused on building a rear projection screen and preparing the video portion. I have the video prepared and just about ready to start sequencing some channels and testing with my projector. As soon as I have the steps and workflow documented (I'm a good note taker), tested, and working, I'll post a quick "how to primer" on integrating video to S3.

In the meantime, here is a forum link that was helpful to me: Movie Sequence

 

All my best,

 

Hank

Not sure how far you are on building a rear projection screen, but check this out.  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carl-s-Rear-Projection-Film-16-9-5x9-FreeStanding-Projector-Screen-Kit-Gray-/231032077111?pt=US_Projection_Screens_Material&hash=item35ca95bb37

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I got my screen finished but the link you provided is the best price I've seen for a full setup. If I had seen it earlier, I likely would have gone that route.

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Guys/Gals,

 

How goes your video incorporation?

Definitely until LOR adds more methods "WMV" is where you need to be.

 

I would be happy to lend a hand with tips and advice.  You can contact me directly via email at roland.brian@gmail.com

 

I started with LOR last year and with my professional video background I quickly decided to incorporate a mixture of synchronized music and synchronized music videos into the show as well.  I used 2 different musical videos for christmas then created 3 more videos for halloween all synchronized with my Light-O-Rama system.  My videos are displayed across the entire front of my house using a single projector.

 

You can see some of my shows from last year by doing a YouTube search for "Roland and Divina" or click on this link: Roland and Divina's Synchronized Light Shows

 

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Great Light Show

 

Roland

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Hello Roland,

You've got a very nice setup and a great show. As much as I would love to do a front "screen" projection, my house is not oriented well for it. Thus, I've set up a rear screen projection system and angle the screen to work best with this year's show.

The video projection and synchronization to the video went well. I'm using a WMV file but all of my video editing is on a Mac using Final Cut Pro. I have several MOV to WMV converters but they all seem to produce a WMV file that, while it plays fine in the S3 sequence editor and the show player, they don't produce a waveform beyond one minute in the sequence editor. To work around that issue, I simply output the audio portion of the video to a MP3 audio file and sequence to it. If I want to see how the video will look in the visualizer, I reload the video file and play it in the sequence editor while watching the visualizer on a separate computer. That arrangement works nicely.

Curiously, I found that playback of the video is smoother at higher resolution (720p) than lower resolutions. At 720p it plays very smoothly with no glitches at all whereas, say, 480 or 320 resolution stutters every few seconds in both my VMWare virtual machine I use for sequencing and my dedicated Windows machine I use for the show. I'm sure that has more to do with the video cards, which are both optimized for HD and SD resolutions, than the LOR software or Windows Media Player. I have found them to be quirky with non-standard video resolutions in other venues as well.

Merry Christmas to you and the rest of the forum family!

Hank Hancock

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  • 5 months later...

Hello Roland,I stumbled onto your youtube video today and thought your house looked great. I searched for you on here and found this chat forum. I basically have done what the others here have stated using LOR and WMV files I built a rear projection screen (6'x9") and it looked great this year. I ran about 7 or 8 different videos during my show. I'd like to do a hwole house video myself but My house front is Dark Red Grick and I'm not sure how well it will show  up...

 

 Checked out the Projector your using and its certainly in the budget and much cheaper than I thought it would be. I'll send you a PM to pick your brain on your setup......

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