View Full Version : VJ performance, anyone?

bee (the hard worker)
04 April 2005, 10:40 AM
Hi guys,
I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but this is a CG forum so here it goes...

I'm in my final project in "Communication and Multimedia Design". Usually ppl that are in this course participate in webprojects. As I'm pretty much done with webthings I decided to engage in a different subject: a VJ performance. As I've never done this before I don't have a clue of where to start. (I did try, though. Just having too much doubts with every step I take)

I already worked out the full concept of the (live) performance:
It's about me losing my creativity and all the feelings that come with the frustration of not being yourself and knowing that you have to change but you can't. It's about being empty, being emotionless at first, then bettering and in the end turning your back (with a big "f--- you") to everything that made you feel the way you were feeling.

This project is basically based on refinding myself and my creativity. (There's a long story behind all this, but this is what the performance is going to be about)

The problem isn't telling the story because I know what I want to say. The thing is that I don't have a clue of how to visualize this story and let (repeating?) images tell it.

Can you guys give me some pointers of where I should look? Anyone with experience in this? (I'd like to combine video with animation. This is not going to be a big problem since I've done that before. Just wanted to point out that I'm not thinking 3D-visuals.)

Thanks in advance.

04 April 2005, 02:41 PM
bzz bee,
I am a vj using mostly combustion as my clip creating tool. I am a lot into animation and create and mix only digital images created or captured digitaly.

I am a bit confused on what advise your are looking for, technical help or what you can do with a compositing software as a vj, what? As of editing for vjing most people use a whole lot of clips and edit them on the spot. In theory you could mix and blend shots that make a story. There are various practical problems that make it very difficult.

As of vjing, the concept is adding a visual experience to an audio experience, think multimedia, what as a vj is usally asked is to play images while a dj or band performs on stage. That means unless you work with a band/dj or can know the tracklist it will be very difficult to "tell a story", a lot of discontinuity, beer and pretty girls don't make for a good audience. If you go for the vjing thing know that most of your audience attention will not be focused on your screen, so in this conditions it is almost impossible to have a continuous story and don't forget that vjing performance is often 4 to 5 hours of projection, that is a looong story.

Yeah creation and live performance are real bitches and very frustrating but oh so rewarding.

Whatever, you should look at ( very nice community and references.

Hope it helps in anyway

see ya

bee (the hard worker)
04 April 2005, 03:24 PM
Hey zit2n,
Thanks for your help. I was looking for more info on how to convert my story to visuals.
The thing is that my "performance" will be 20minutes. The sound (very experimental) will be done by 2EnginesMakingLove, exclusively for this performance. The whole will be not "just a backgroundpiece" to put it that way, but it will be kinda like a short film, only presented differently. :)

I will have 20minutes to explain the ppl whats been going on from beginning to end, so basically Im looking for info on how to "dose" the visuals Im showing the people. How can I tell a story by adding a loop over a loop.
I already developed a "plan" of the different scenes, but inside of these scenes I need to set up some kind of "scenario". The problem is that Ive never done that before. Im guessing its a fully different approach to storytelling, so thats where Im stuck at. How long should the different clips you were talking about be?
I already found info on programs like resolume and arkaos, and I guess that shouldnt be a problem anymore.


04 April 2005, 04:02 PM
Okay most of the clips length depends on what you want to show...obvious

imagine this: you have a shot with a someone's mouth using a toothbrush (that would be some of the start of the story) You could have a long ambient music as he is tired and slow the image speed and you slowly (but on the beat) blend with a bed or a alarmclock or what ever. Is your character a coke addict? speed up the image, maybe blend and mix ultra quick with an inverted (color/positon) of the image or have a lot of very short similar shots you can mix and blend.

Well yeah this is much more a mood thing than a story telling so I thing it is a good direction to go. Say this sequence is calm, well you can gather what represents calm to you and then each reference is a clip. Add you story elements and you have something to show but you have to make your mixing calm also.

Test all the possiblities you have and ideas should come (like oh I could mix this with that or add this effect and it will modify the toothbrushing to a pool of green !).

You could make a movie and on top of it have a layer of clips with color and mix it with your movie doing kind of live color correction. Editing is a very simple but powerfull way to tell a story mostly with due to the after image effect, you could make clips telling your story and just copy and color correct these clips and voil you have new material to mix with. Then at any time you can trigger one of the versions.

So this was some ideas on how to approach the problem. I think you will have to figure a good way to do it by yourself or give way more informations. But this is a way.

If you have access to music video clips have a look, most of the stories are visual (that is a key of course) and editing has to reflect the mood of the music.

Well good luck, keep us informed

P.S. Personnal recommendation is resolume but multi-display MUST work for you.

bee (the hard worker)
04 April 2005, 01:10 PM
I think that now I have enough info to really start shaping the whole. I know now that I need a main character that goes through certain stages (that character would be me). The rest of the whole experience will be about the mixing and the overall feeling of every single layer I add.

Resolume had my preference too at first, but unfortunately I only have a mac, here. Resolume is a pc program :( I'm not sure yet, tho... first I have to set up the different clips.

Thanks very much for your help so far,
WILL keep you informed ;-)


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