Category Archives: After Effects

If I was king, I would come to California (Shane’s Wish) :: Make-A-Wish Foundation

Shane Terry is remarkably a typical child despite having an extremely rare disease (FOP). When the Make-A-Wish Foundation asked him for what he’d wish for, his answer appears baffling to anyone without the rest of the story.

When Make-A-Wish reached out to me and told me of the story, I knew I had to do everything I could to make the story of Shane and his backup boys available for anyone to discover. It’s a very special and seemingly random story that just needed to be told, and I’m very honored to be able to tell it.

We began on production on October 14th. Within 7 days we produced this video, and premiered it in time for the 2011 Monterey Bay Gala fundraiser for the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Plankton Seemless Projector Video Wall :: Monterey Bay Aquarium

Plankton Wall Projection Wall

I was tasked with getting blending 6 projects seemlessly on a curved wall that had port holes cut into it. In addition, we needed to provide the 3D animator with the final resolution of the video and the location of the port holes as the animation was going to interact with them.

The first challenge was selecting the technology to handle the projector warping and blending. Because of the size of the room and our commitment to image quality, we wanted a server that could also handle the native resolution of the combined 6 projectors (6144 x 768). After days of researching and contacting various vendors, we finally selected the Pixel Warp server, provided by Pixel Wix. While their server at the time maxed out at 3 projectors, it was able to frame accurately sync with other servers. And with the price of the server, i was able to recommend a 3rd server as a backup and still come in under budget.

The next step was warping and blending the projectors in order to map out where the port holes where. Because the Pixel Warp server supported live video, we were able to run an HDMI output from After Effects into the servers, which allowed us to in real time draw masks and place markers on each individual projector, which was then combined into one image for the animator. When the animation was rendered out, I split the video into 2 files and finalized the edge blending.

Jellies Swarm Dome Video Server :: Monterey Bay Aquarium

Photo of Jellies Swarm Dome

With a half sphere dome spanning 8 feet in diameter, the total surface area when corrected for curvature is the equivalent to a 170 inch display. And with the quality standards the designers at the Aquarium have always prided themselves on, with a display of that size, a more realistic experience that comes from pixel density was absolutely important. They selected a projector with a native resolution that exceeded 2K standards of 2560×1600, and it was up to me to find a flawless playback solution that not only could handle they data rate of an uncompressed video at that resolution, but also could sync to a secondary video stream with bi-lingual captions of the narrated 3D animation.

I looked into how to best push that much video data and settled on a utilizing a custom presenter provided by Window’s Enhanced Video Renderer, and built the computer with a second video card to handle the status reporting. The final result is flawless playback that is without stuttering or image tearing.

UC Overview :: University of California, Office of the President

Produced, designed and edited by me. I hired a camera crew and traveled them to all  UC campuses, laboratories, medical centers and UC owned and managed farm land. This video was made to be an overview of the UC system. I also edited a much longer video that highlighted the successes of UC’s Risk Management department. The video from script to screen was produced in under 2 months and was completed on time and on budget.

 

Purdue Benefits Video :: Purdue University

Screenshot from the video

This is another project made from my XML driven synchronized content engine that I call Hybrid Video. Making videos that have a large amount of repetitive graphic elements like bullet boxes can be produced much faster using this engine and by keeping the video layered like this allows for a lot of slick dynamic content that can be added. Plus the “look” of the graphics comes from a separate file much like CSS, so the video can be completely re-skinned quickly.

And if you’d like to learn more about our Hybrid Video technology, click here.

MBARI: Mission to the Deep :: Monterey Bay Aquarium

Photo of the installation

The sister organization to the Monterey Bay Aquarium is the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, or MBARI. And when that connection was to be showcased in the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we stepped up to help in numerous ways. From programming the 3 video games visitors play that demonstrate various research MBARI projects to providing our own uncompressed HD video player software (UnPeg) and hardware for a 3 channel video wall and tied all of it together so the whole system together so it all was synchronized with the Aquarium’s show controller. The permanent exhibit has been open since 2007 and has only required one service visit from us (which had a response time of under 12 hours).