Author Archives: ian williamson

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.

Emily’s Wish :: Make a Wish Foundation

Emily’s wish was to record and perform her own song live to a packed audience. When the Make a Wish Foundation contacted me to see if I’d be interested in making another video for them, I offered to provide a live multicamera webcast of the performance. This would be the first time a wish was broadcasted live to the world.

note: The sound mix and quality was provided as is from the club, and there wasn’t anything more I could do about it.

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.

Press Kit & Media Management System :: Dolby Labs

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Public facing site

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Password protected dashboard

At its core, Dolby Laboratories is an intellectual property and licensing company. And in the rapidly changing marketplace of media technology, it’s important to be able to quickly and efficiently publish their market place victories to media outlets. With that need in mind, we created a custom media manage system that not only stores and encodes their media assets, but provides them an easy method to create, publish and maintain digital press kits that can be used by the media to help them spread Dolby news.

In addition to creating this system, we remain on to not only maintain it, but to provide round the clock support for Dolby and their partners to not only make sure the technology works, but to insure that the underlining vision of the system is successful.

While I handled the MySQL, AS3, dashboard design, some of the PHP and all of the project management, the graphic design of the front page and the development of the front page was done by vendors of mine.

Tyson CDI Tool :: Joe Khirallah

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With modern day computing power, for many, data is king. But organizing massive amounts of data to efficiently learn from it is a modern day challenge. For Tyson, the shear amount of data they collect quarterly is massively daunting, and being a skilled analyst doesn’t automatically make you gifted with database management. This is where I came in.

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I created a custom front end interface to a complex MySQL database that allows a team at Tyson to easily not only track existing trends but to discover new ones. By listening to our client, we were able to rapidly build a tool that Tyson relies on for reporting, sales and making strategic decisions. In addition I built in many fail safes to quickly address any data integrity issues that could arise while inputting new quarterly data.

Kassaundra’s Wish :: Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kassaundra’s Wish was to be a famous star for a day. I learned about the wish early in the morning when the Make a Wish Foundation put out a press release asking for volunteers to either be fans or reporters. I shot was I could, and was so moved by the day I stayed up that night to edit this video from the footage I had. I uploaded it to youTube and thought that was that.

Shorty afterwards, the Make a Wish foundation contacted me and asked for a copy of the video. Then the national chapter of the foundation contacted me asking for the same thing. It was an amazing wish and I’m so happy to have been a part of it.

Shot and edited by me.

2010 NCAA Women’s Final Four Championship Tease :: ESPN

Edited on a Avid DS in San Antonio, TX

Music bed was editing and remixed by me on my laptop the night before the edit. If you listen closely, you can here the results of playing with vocal cutting techniques (inverting one channel of stereo audio and mixing it the other to cancel the similar frequencies) or in this case, I mixed the full stereo version with the instrumental version to remove the music to result in only the lyrics.