HELP!! in dire need of technical know-how! at

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Old June 14th, 2004, 07:44 PM   #1
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
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HELP!! in dire need of technical know-how!

Hi there folks! although i am a newbie to this forum i was wondering if anyone here can help me with this particular issue which i find rather complex. Basically i have the opportunity to produce a video for a company out here and they want it to be done in a format which i've never explored before

a) they wish to have 10 tv monitors side by side and to have the footage on these monitors intermix with each other. For e.g a train going through one monitor would therefore go from monitor 1-monitor 10 seamlessly. This boggles the mind for me on how to accomplish this without some wacked out aspect ratio divided among 10 t.vs.

b) they wish this to be done on looping dvd's i.e have the dvd's loop continuously. Again, i have absolutely no idea. IF needed, they will supply 10 dvd players for the action on these monitors to happen simultaneosly.

c) I have FCP know how, have my own dual 8's G4, am very new to DVD studio pro and have access to an XL1. Would there be anything else i would need/require?

If anyone and i mean ANYONE here have the faintest idea on how these things could be accomplished PLEASE don't hesitate to respond or email me directly. I would REALLY appreciate it. I might even pitch in for a couple rounds of beer or something *grin* cheers!
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Old June 14th, 2004, 08:40 PM   #2
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for part a)
9X Media and DAV Productions do what I think you want. Google for "multi screen" and you'll get a bunch more.
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Old June 14th, 2004, 09:19 PM   #3
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Also do a search on Video Wall.
Jeff Donald
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Old June 14th, 2004, 09:40 PM   #4
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The program "Watchout" by Dataton is arguably the standard for driving multiple displays in multimedia productions. You can download a fully functioning free copy at their website; the software to drive the displays must be purchased though. It runs on both Macs and PC's. There are a number of companies which support this software that can provide you with expertise.
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Old June 15th, 2004, 06:56 AM   #5
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hmm thanks guys for your input... looks quite complicated .. i might not have the techi know how to do this... so everything can be run from one central laptop it seems.. but one would have to purchase the software from that Dataton place? shucks, thought there'd be a way for me to do this on my G4 :/

anyone else have any more helpful suggestions which doesn't include buying software etc? hehe
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Old June 15th, 2004, 07:37 PM   #6
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI
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We've tried to do this kind of thing here with mixed results.

I would expect that those asking for this 'service' are totally clueless
as to how difficult and expensive this kind of thing is to accomplish.

Unless they want to pony some very serious bucks (Like $10-$100K or more)
I would advise against it as it will take a bunch of gear and people to make it

First, there are no consumer DVD players that will lock together.
Even if "they" buy 10 brand new- all the same kind- dvd players
and you use 1 remote to control them, I will *guarantee* you that
they will not all start up together and be in sync. Each player
will take a different length of time to load and even go into play.
This can mean seconds, not frames.

Also, you have to create your own content. You can't get go and
buy a 10 DVD set that has a train moving from one screen to another.
Doesn't exist AFAIK.

The things we did on three screens (or TVs):
a) Bowling ball going down an alley
b) Archer shooting arrow into target
c) Diver on a 10M platform.

We used three GL2s and aligned them side by side at the same
height and the same distance from each other. You need to
frame them all the same (we zoomed all the way out) and then
measured the width of the first camera's image on the bowling alley.

We used a LONG (like 25') poster that had a checkerboard pattern on it.
With the poster we were able to pretty much keep overlap minimal
and lens distortion as close as we could to make it as correct as possible.
(Lens imaging is never even at the sides (barrel distortion) . . .
but you knew that right?)
We tried to match this same procedure with cams #2 and #3.

Actually, I gotta go and work on a dance rehearsal that's happening now
here in the studio.
If you still want to pursue this, let me know and i can try to help
later. The next issue then comes down to being able to sync multiple
output devices. Computer seems to be the way to go, but VERY EXPENSIVE
as in $10K plus. DVDs can work, but you gotta go pro. Pioneer makes some
that are $700 each and that does not include anyway to sync them to
a timecode source and controller. Plan on more thousands to solve that issue.
We used a windoze machine and Matrox triple output card. The CPU
was the fastest we could buy, and it still puked most of the time
as our 'single image' was over 2000 pixels wide.

If anyone else has got this all figured out, I would love to hear from you.

Our results were very good, but the total time of the three finished videos was
under 15 seconds!
Jacques Mersereau
University of Michigan-Video Studio Manager
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Old June 16th, 2004, 12:34 PM   #7
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Hmm thanks so much for your extensive reply Jacques, it certainly gave me a very clear idea about the vast undertaking such a project would entail. The company is now reconsidering it's stance on the proj. and we'll be seeing if we can offer an alternate, more creative solution to what they want. Thanks again Jacques, it certainly helped!
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