Pageant Wagons


Le ballet comique

Le ballet comique de la reine Louise. Performed in and around The Louvre in 1581.


In the first intermède three sirens and a triton appear, a sparkling wagon with a fountain with around it 12 naiads who later on perform a ballet. After that Mercury comes down on a cloud. In the second intermède we see 8 satyrs entering while making music, and after them again an amazing wagon with a forest on it in which we see 4 dryads sitting in a circle……

If you want to see something amazing check the internet about this spectacle….

Traveling Theatres

Hundreds of years ago there were theatre companies travelling from village to village to amaze people and earn a decent living with their grand scale performances. The most spectacular shows were performed from special wagons. Decors could collapse in the floor, while others could be moved out of other props.

It was a constant moving and changing décor. But since they travelled with more than one wagon the show also moved from one stage to another. The audience could remain seated, while the company simply rolled on the next thing on wheels.

 

They even had several wagons combined to form one giant stage that they even could turn around to create a new world. And the (paying) audience could sit on a scaffold that was brought along.

 

Pageant Wagons

These theatrical moving objects were called pageant wagons. They were moved through the streets while the audience stayed in one place – like parade floats. The term “pageant” is used to refer to the stage, the play itself, and the spectacle.

It was quite a spectacle by itself seeing them travel….

Plays were performed in sequence, so sometimes each play was performed several times at the same time. They simply moved to the next group of audience. The big parades that we see nowadays are basically the modern version of pagean wagon theatre plays.

 

Today you can see the principle of the pageant wagons in many of the Disney Parades.

And in parades like the biggest flower parade in the world, the dahlia corso in Zundert, Holland.

Several themepark still have shows based on parades. Most stuntshows are using this principle.

The Royne Theatre

What if you would go back to the garden of The Louvre? What if you just put a scaffold in your amusement park and let the show  simply move along. You could even use backdrops or a screen on the back. If you made a couple of large moving platforms or put all the decors and props on wheels, you could perform a show in the way of a parade. You could have ten, even twenty different parades at one day. No changing of your theatre. Just a new platform on wheels….


I thought a little bit about such a theatre and came up with this very simple 3D plan, only to give an idea of what I have in mind. The platforms can be stalled in the building that also forms the background of the place. The platforms can move forward through a large sliding door or rolled on from either side. You can have a roof over it. And also close the sides with sliding doors. If it’s a moving roof you can even do the most amazing pyrotechnics stuff.
When you have a relatively small amusement park this can be a perfect alternative for a complete theatre. You can have small shows with no platforms at all. For instance a kids show of clowns that bring  their own props. And up to a grand scale musical with 10 platforms, extra props, lighting and backgrounds on a large projection screen. All it takes is a creative mind to take it away….

Want to know more? Want to discuss this subject? evillusionist@gmail.com

Stagefloats


The history: entertainment on the water

Parades have not been strictly on land, there have been numerous parades on water. Floats have been really that: large objects floating on water.

 

Several operas have been performed on the water, with lots of gigantic moving props.

Large attraction companies like Disney have combined pageant wagons and waterfloats in some of their watershows like Mythica in their Tokyo Disney Sea park.

And now there are already water arenas where you can even watch sportsgames on floating fields while the tribunes for the audiences are on land.

Stagefloats

Stagefloats are the next generation of waterfloats. They are large platforms that can move around freely on the water. They have a large below waterlevel segment with movable platforms that can rise objects and scenery above the water level. This segment can be filled with water, or with heavy smoke, or with nothing because when not lit no one will even notice it in the dark of night.  They are like moving stages with a large downstage area from which everything can ascend and descend. Lighting can easily be attached to the float, just like all pyrotechnics and fountains. It gives totall freedom of what happens on the water, just like on a real stage. But these floats can move around freely, so that a scene begin on stage right and end stage left. The actors can walk from one float to another…. The options are endless. With stagefloats you don’t need any fixed waterstages, or stages that move around mechanically. No difficulties with lighting and special effects. This is the perfect solution for any watershow!

  

 

 

Contact Erik Visser via: evillusionist@gmail.com

The Township Model for future Themeparks


Development of Theme Park Real Estate and the future of theme park designing.

 EPCOT

Walt Disney had a dream. He wanted to contribute solutions to the problems that pressed the urban society of North America. He envisioned a perfect woth, with an atmosphere of a better life than the one lived in conventional suburban developments, but also better than that of similar developments of closed communities that have proliferated. Calm streets lined with trees, free of advertising hoardings, bicycles without padlocks, vast areas of open spaces in the form of parks, communal buildings, squares and Neighbourough Electric Vehicles to get around the neighbourhood.

This became His EPCOT: Epcot (Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow) was to be the materialization of this initiative: a community of some 20,000 people that was completely regulated, with infrastructures controlled by a central system and strict codes of conduct. In his last promotional film produced before his death, he described Epcot as ‘a new model of a city which could influence the shape of urban life in the future’.

Part of the technology that Disney would have required to materialize its plan was not yet available at the end of the 1960s or it was too expensive.

The death of Walt Disney meant that the plans for Epcot were totally reconsidered and that the project was carried out in the easiest way for the company: a theme park.

epcot-map

In the 1980s the company embarked on an important process of diversification and wished to take advantage if its experience in the design of spaces, the management of groups, transport and entertainment. It is in this context that the development projects for hotels, resorts, malls and office buildings on the property in Orlando multiplied, with the Disney Development Company being created specifically for this purpose.

As of the 1980s the Disney Company became committed to projects that were not directly linked to its existing parks and gained experience in the real world. It developed consultancy projects like the Johnson Space Center in Houston and the Gen Autry Western Heritage Museum in Los Angeles, and advised cities as Long Beach, Seattle and Anaheim. Disney offered knowledge and know-how on matters such as theming, merchandising, traffic and the management of the masses.

Celebration

In this context, Michael Eisner took up Disney’s idea of creating a community, though taking another look at its bases. This was Celebration: a city of 20,000 residents designed in 1988 in accordance with the principles of traditional urbanism.

A pedestrian town with a coherent structure of streets and squares with no fences. It is not a closed community like those that are distorting urban revitalization in the USA. There is no corporate police. There are, on the other hand, mixed uses of space and of buildings, for example apartments over the shops in Main Street.

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Celebration was the materialization of the aesthetic and ethical idea of what a city should be like according to Disney ideology.

The question is whether Celebration is a model for urban renovation schools such as New Urbanism would have it, or whethere it represents the failure of real urban America.

Celebration is a reanimation of the ideal American suburb in a form that never existed anywhere but strikes everybody as familiar.

Celebration aims to rediscover the civic life of 50 years ago. Thus, funcional activities such as garages are located behind houses. The fronts are meeting places, for riding a bicycle or for walking. Computerized systems make the homes ‘smart’. customized presence of technology, a certain type of atmosphere and specific formats of the houses.

CBhouse th (11) 545141480_40d9197209

For Disney a town is not just its structure and design, but also the relationships that are established among its citizens and with its institutions.

It is a completely controlled, private urban community, conceived on the basis of values like the family and enterprise with an absence of problems of ethnic and class differences.

But towns need the presence of indigent poor as well as of physically and mentally unfortunate citizens in order to sustain instincts of decent humanity in everyone else, and how does a city behave when such factors are not designed in?

414068118_4e652e1443 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Celebration-FL-800x600

The town worked while a lot of factors were kept out, but when the financial crises started to have an effect on Celebration as well, cracks appeared in the Disney bubble. More and more houses are not perfect maintained anymore. Lots of houses are empty, no one mowing the grasss every sunday…. Besides that the citizens want to have more value for what they can buy as well. Not only expensive shops and luxurious restaurants but also a place where you can eat fries and hamburgers. Slowly but steadily Celebration is recovering. But that is only because the people who life there make it work. They created projects for the less fortunate members of society and created shops and restaurants with more affordable products. The Disney society kept creating branded buildings and spaces that can be rent for high prices but the citizens just can’t or won’t pay the high prices that go with that for products that are a lot cheaper outside of town. So the Disney glamour has vanished and Celebration is now basically a town like any other, where people find their daily needs. But it still has the built in concepts of more communicating with neighbours and it is a more friendly city than most in the area. Plus it has some of the greatest theme parks nearby.

For Disney there were three reasons for the city:

1. The growing privatization of spaces which at the time were clearly in the public domain.

2. A growing watch over public spaces and controlled access in order to improve security.

3. The increasing use of designs that use simulations in theme park style and the rupture of connections with local history and geography.

The activities that used to take place in the public arena have shifted into private areas and have become a good for sale. Feasts, festivals, parades, ceremonies, sports and entertainment are better in private places than in that common cultural good, the public arena, an open space where people got together communicated and were committed in cultural matters.

Public space has changed from a meeting place, the heart of social life, into a highly regulated domain, where every individual demands safety and security.

Today it is private areas that put on sale the satisfaction of the private needs of leisure time. the places – squares and streets – have met a competitor; markets, malls, activity parks and theme parks.

You have to pay for the public life.

 Conclusions concerning the dynamics of privatization:

– It makes an officious urbanism policy possible.

– It facilitates political strategies of economic growth.

– It imposes development costs on the outside public.

– It reduces the capacity of the local public sector to plan growth.

– It causes contrary reactions when the problem of the management of growth becomes manifest.

– It gradually erodes power relations.

There are three characteristics that distinguish this new situation:

1. the disappearance of all stable relationships between things urban and the physical geography and local culture, the loss of specific links with the space.

2. The obsession with security and the proliferation of surveillance systems and segmentation.

3. the domination of simulations of the past as a replacement for the present and as a way of giving urban value to the new.

A nice example is Melaka in Malaysia. Since the 1980s the city was transformed from a political city to a new capital-intensive tourist destination. In the old days Melaka was known for its trade in mostly spices. Then government found the city and made it a policital capital. but after the politicians left the city went dead. This also threatened the historic heritage. so protection programmes were started and historic heritage went into museums. From the Malaysian state’s point of view the conservative status of historic landscapes limits their development potential and, in the era of mega development potential.

SP013 - Melaka River  images (17) BoatMelaka

And the development of theme park projects is also a strategy by which to engage in related property development schemes. Thus the largest-scale project, Baba Nonya Heritage Village, blends the leisure theme directly into a residential development and so blurs the distinction between home and tourism, substituting authentic landscapes of Melaka town with themed copies.

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The urbanism of parks generates new territorial identities. In spite of the lack of heritage, parks are concerned with proposing an identity via their narrative for the area they organize. They want to be spaces with content. Transferred to the rest of the area both in the creation of new places and as regards to the valorisation of pre-existing historical places.

In short, today’s practises of urban development and the preservation of heritage are applying the creative practise of the parks to the logic of the creation of places, because it is not just a question of the peripheral creation of malls or of resorts: it is also a question of the commercial reconversion of the historical centres.

The result is the creation of environments which, in spite of being supposedly real and having their identity, are scenographic inauthentic, though economically viable. There is a need to create identities that are adapted to the needs of visits.

Disney arrived in Seattle in order to advise as to the reconversion of the Seattle Center. This ageing civic and entertainment area had been built on the occasion of the 1962 universal exposition. Disney said they could help to reformulate the area. For this Disney designed a project which was to become its first and biggest incursion into town planning outside Disney property. Disney not only offered a proposal to redesign the landscape but also the development, financing and operations. Three years later, and following a promising start, Disney abandoned the project. There were two fundamental reasons:

– Disney’s inability to create designs for the Seattle Center that came into line with the residents’ wishes and needs.

– Disney’s apparent lack of willingness to remedy this situation by seeking the opinion, or taking it on board when offered, of local agents.

The Seattle Center was finally renovated without Disney. Its current configuration has incorporated the efforts of the numerous architects, planners, designer and other citizens the explicitly rejected the Disney project which did not manage to capture the local culture and suitably incorporated the ethnic diversity of the town’s social groups.

It seems distinctive of these dynamics that modernization, rather than constituting a straight path ahead, instead assumes a more complex form in which the global is tailored to the local and vice versa. In this way, rather than completely undermine and replace local cultures, identification is possible of a global trend towards staged and reconstructed authenticity, wherein traditional crafts, dances and etc. are artificially preserved and reconstructed.

While Southeast Asian theme parks may appear to be commercially viable and internationally appealing, and aking to the universal Disney product, they also communicate and respond to the various impulses of what is often construed as local.

The Township Model

China’s first theme park opened in the early 1990s, added to residential developments as a bonus — an extra attraction for the city’s new residents. “[Developers] had the idea of building a town, and decided to include a number of theme parks to anchor the development,” says Chris Yoshii, the global director of the consulting group AECOM. “That township model has caught on. It has been replicated in China and to some extent in South East Asia.”

The attraction of combining a residential and commercial development with a theme park, Yoshii says, has to do with the intensive capital requirements that come along with theme parks. Parks are attractive to local governments because they can attract tourism and encourage locals to spend their disposable income within the city. A successful park, however, requires infrastructure and a large initial investment. “A lot of the cities themselves don’t have money to invest themselves, but they do have land,” says Yoshii. To get their theme parks, cities will offer land to developers willing to include a theme park in their plan. This way, Yoshii says, “The city gets what they want without putting out much money. All they have to do is issue land approvals.”

In turn, a developer can include residential and commercial units in their theme park “township.” These aspects of the development offer a quicker return on investment. “They can use the residential element to pay for some of the infrastructure costs,” says Yoshii. “And at the end, you have a park that is generating a good return while some of the capital has already been paid back.”

While the majority of theme parks in China are built this way, the formula does not always produce stellar results. In some cases, developers have not delivered on their promise to develop a theme park and have focused instead on residential and commercial real estate alone. In others, the theme park is an afterthought –poorly put together, poorly maintained and poorly run.

“Surveys show that the majority of theme parks [in China] have been loss making,” points out Michel Brekelmans, the co-head of L.E.K. Consulting’s China operationsbased in Shanghai. Local governments will often offer land at a steep discount to developers who include a theme park in their plan. “Not surprisingly, many of these parks have been unsuccessful and leave visitors with a disappointing experience,” Brekelmans says.

China’s earliest parks were intended to present China to foreign tourists. These include the parks Splendid China and China Folk Cultural Village. Soon after, a park called Window of the World opened in Shenzhen, offering visitors a look at  theworld—the pyramids, the Eiffel Tower—on a small scale. China’s largest theme park chain, Happy Valley, opened its first park in the 1990s, offering a more Western-style format, introducing its own characters and dividing the park into different themed areas.

While Happy Valley has been successful and expanded, the majority of parks opening in China are either animal themed or loose adaptations of existing theme parks. According to Brekelmans, the majority of new parks will present visitors with an amalgamation of thrill rides, roller coasters and Ferris wheels. “More recently local operators are realizing that theming … is a key factor in marketing the park and creating the overall experience,” he says. “We’re seeing more attempts to come up with original concepts.”

Although Brekelmans believes the majority of new parks opening in China are still poorly planned and unlikely, in the long run, to succeed, he also sees changes in the market. With the arrival of Disney and other multinational projects, he says, more expertise and dedication is being shown across the board. “A wave of [joint ventures] with foreign players is entering the market, bringing with them the skills and concepts to succeed in China,” he says. “Slowly local players are learning lessons, and many smaller upstarts have exited the market.”

Magic Show Flow Chart


Flow

As you plan your act, one of the most important aspects has to be the flow, or how your act is paced from one trick to another. This especially holds true in an illusion act because often you are locked into pre-recorded music and you can’t speed up the pacing with your patter or presentation. So as you plan your illusion act, best you consider the flow first of all.

Remember, any successful show has peaks and valleys and they have to come at the right time. It took American illusionist, illusion designer and show designer Paul Osborne several years to work out pacing for park shows, but there is a formula for a good twenty minute illusion show. This formula is so successful that, season after season, he would substitute illusions, still keeping the same basic flow, and audiences around the world loved his shows.

To understand his illusion show formula remember what I said about peaks and valleys and begin to visualize it as if your show was a graph based on the high and low points. The highest points being the illusions or effects that get the most audience reaction on a fast paced, up tempo level. The medium and slow effects are still good mysteries, they just run at a slower pace to allow your audience to catch their breath as they are still being entertained.

Let’s use the same graph, but this time putting the effects in.

Te act would basically flow like this:

The magician is introduced, walks out to a fast paced music. Enter assistant with crystal casket base and framework, the magician spins unit as assistant brings in plexi panels to insert into framework. Cloth cover is brought out, casket covered, unit revolved, girl produced. Running time approximately 2 minutes, 30 seconds. Magician bows with female assistant. She exits, he begins blowing up balloon.Male assistant takes crystal casket off, brings on Dove to Duck. Female assistant enters with tray, balloon is attached – POP! A dove produced. Female assistant exits with tray (changes costume backstage for sawing.) Dove is put in Dove to Duck box – BANG! Sides fall down – a rabbit is in the dove’s place. Male assistant exits with the rabbit and the prop. (Running time, 1 minute). Magician bows, steps up to microphone, removes six cards from pocket, begins patter – to finale of trick (approximate running time, 2 minutes.) Magician introduces the Thin Sawing in Half Illusion. Curtain opens revealing the prop. Enter two assistants, the girl positioned in the box, the male assistant helps with blades, etc.. The illusion is performed to fast paced music to finale. Girl exits from box and curtains close. (Approximate running time, 2 minutes, 45 seconds.) Assistants exit, male returns to bring magician What’s Next effect as magician steps up to to the microphone to begin patter on What’s Next. (Backstage both assistants preset the Asrah Illusion, girl assistant changes costume.) Magician performs What’s Next to finale. (Approximate running time, 1 minute, 30 seconds.) Magician steps away from microphone as ethereal music begins. Curtains open, enter female assistant. Magician hypnotizes her, she falls back, caust by male assistant. She is placed on the couch and covered with the cloth. She floats up, male assistant wheels away table. (Backstage she exits, runs around to the back of the theatre.) The form floats up, dramatically the magician whips away the cloth and she has vanished! She screams from the back of the theatre and runs down the aisle to join the magician and the assistant for bows. (Approximate running time, 2 minutes, 30 seconds.) Curtains close as the magician steps forward and requests the assistant of two young audience members. The male assistant hands him the Linking Rings, the magician performs withthe aid of his young helpers as the assistants prepare the Substitution Trunk backstage. As the Linking Rings are completed and the two young helpers are assisted back to their seats, the magician begins to talk about Houdini and his fabulous escapes. (Approximate running time, 3 minutes.) The up-tempo music begins, the curtains open to reveal the trunk and the two assistants enter. The handcuffs and bag are displayed, the girl is cuffed and put in the bag. The bag is put in the trunk and tied off, the trunk is locked. The magician jumps on top of the trunk and pulls up the cloth cover. “One” (cover up, cover down), “two” (cover up, cover down), “three” (cover up, cover down) – it’s her! She drops the cover, all is reversed and the magician is found where she once was. (Approximate running time, 3 minutes.) The magician and assistants take their well deserved bows.

This is Osborne’s basic formula for his popular park shows. Season after season he would change the illusions out but never the formula. He changed the Sawing for Zig Zag, Cutting in Sixth and Mismade. The slot for the Crystal Casket was filled with the Costume Trunk, Doll House and Chef’s Nightmare. The hardest slot to fill was the final illusion. The Sub Trunk is a natural conclusion to an illusion show. The Assistant’s Revenge works nicely, the Zig Zag works okay and a costume switch works, but it has to be a special illusion to conclude your show. One of the most creative finale illusions he came up with was called the Chicago Fire. It was invented for a now defunct park called “Old Chicago” near Chicago, Illinois. Basically it was a small buildin (cabinet) elevated on a parson’s table. Steps were wheeled up, a young lady stepped up into the ‘building’, the steps were removed and the little building caught on fire. Flames billowed out the top as ‘firemen’ entered to put out the blaze. Instantly all four sides of the building collapsed. The firechief turned around and it was our missing girl! It was a creative, expensive solution to “what do we put in place in the Sub Trunk?” What can you come up with?

After years of trial and error, he found this formula works for a twenty minute, three person illusion show presented in parks, and it is still as strong now as it was then. As you plan your shows, print my graph, write out what you plan to do, visualize your performance and gauge your peaks and valleys. Don’t give your audience too much and don’t give too little. Put it all together right and, even if your illusions are not that good but your flow is correct, you will give your audience a memorable evening of magic.

http://www.osborneillusionsystems.com/

 

Special Effects


Below is a whole range of special, magical and visual effects. All used today over the globe in numerous productions. Most experts know everything about these effects. But when it comes to ‘when what to use and how’, many seem to fail. Rianfil has leading experts who can consult you in these effects, with the intended result in mind…

Lighting FX

Cobra Head.

Moving Head Domes for outdoor use.

 

Led Washers instead of Par lamps.

 

Moving heads with gobos for visual effects. Preferably moving gobos and if possible animation gobos that can visualise effects like fire and rain.

Smoke and Fire FX

Co2 projectors. Preferably with colours and moving.

Coloured CO2 can set the tone for an act.

 

It is possible to project images on CO2. This is perfect for hallucination-like effects.

Smoke in different colours. Smoke machines can contain up to 4 different colours beside white.

There are also moving heads with build in smoke effect.

Low smoke can be used as a waterfall effect; very amazing with projections of water.

Low smoke moves downwards and can be used to crawl over scenery.

Smoke projections are perfect to visualise massive scenes like a war. Combined with fire it creates a very astonishing effect.

The latest fire projectors can have colour packages installed for flames in different colours. Some can contain up to 4 different colours. Effects like moving and bursts are available.

Water Projections

Water projections can be used on fountains, sprays and waterfalls. It can be used prefectly for the visualisation of large scenery, and large objects and animals like a flying dragon.

Fluorescent Effects

With fluorescent lighting this paint lights up. Used a lot in Disney’s darkrides. In combination with normal paint it can create the effect that on a complete one coloured wall images light up.


Not to confuse with (remote controlled) led light suits…

Moving Head Scenery

Scenery as barrels and miniature houses can be used to hide lighting effects. As an extra this scenery can be used for its own effects. This scenery makes it possible to place lights without disturbing the scene.

Disney calls them lighthouses to hide the lighting effects.

Multiple Screen Animations

When led screens are installed, this is the perfect setting for multiple-screen animations. These animations can move all over the setup. Sharks can swim from one side to another, a dragon can fly around…. Heads of large people or animals can be seen….  The only extra needed ‘thing’ is the right software.

And what about flexible led-screens? Leds don’t have to be on a flat surface. You can have led-waves, even moving. So much options for leds…

Visualisers

Software like Martin’s Show Designer and ESP Vision enables you to build up or import a stage from programs as Autocad and then add lighting and special effects like fountains, fire and smoke. After this you can make it come to life and even make a movie to show everyone what it will look like.

 

Maslow and your product


Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology, proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation.Maslow subsequently extended the idea to include his observations of humans’ innate curiosity. His theories parallel many other theories of human developmental psychology, all of which focus on describing the stages of growth in humans. Some criticisms of Maslow’s pyramid as being ethnocentric may stem from the fact that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs neglects to illustrate and expand upon the difference between the social and intellectual needs of those raised in individualistic societies and those raised in collectivist societies. However there are things that to learn from his pyramid. It has some very good logic in it. And it can help you with getting more sales of your product(s).

Imagine walking though a large grocery store and they did whatever they could to make sure you buy… You smell, for instance, that delicous spaghetti that is prepared in the vegetable section, with fresh brocolli and tomatoes… Smells so great. Normally you would run over and taste it and be persuaded in buying all the ingredients that conviently are already packed for you in one bag at a special price…. However not this time. And that’s because you really, really, really have to go to the toilet. All that coffee that you had this morning has the need to go out of your body right here and now. But toilets are something weird in supermarkets here…. They did their best to hide them for you, and if you want to use it you have to pay 50 cents cash… No money no pee…… It’s like ‘we don’t want you to feel relaxed and happy so that you can spend more money, but we just want your money’…. From a business point of view that might be right. But please take a look at the other side for a change.

Or imagine being at a museum and they conveniently placed their restaurant at the entrance. In the whole museum there aren’t any more restaurants, just some vending machines. So you enter and you see the restaurant and you think…. ‘not yet, i just arrived’. You go into the museum. You get a bit thursty and then you see a vending machine. It’s not what you want but it sure as hell is better than walking all the way back to the restaurant. So you buy a coke from the machine. You continue and you end up again at the entrance. You saw the whole museum, and you already had your drinks so you don’t feel the need to go to that restaurant and you just leave. Imagine in that same museum there’s a souvenir shop halfway the exhibition. I have been to museums where that’s the case. But halfway through the exhibition you don’t have any need yet for souvenirs. Maybe you check inside but you will most likely decide to buy stuff later. Except there will not be a later because you will not return to this place in the museum, unless you deliberatly go back for that shop. Imagine that in this museum they would switch the shop and the restaurant. Halfway the exhibition you get your chance to buy a coffee and something to eat with it. And after you saw the whole exhibition you walk past that shop and you decide that it’s now or never so you get in and buy something to remember your visit. Most museums and exhibitions I have been have very deliberatly chosen to keep the exhibitions itself apart from the money part, the shops and restaurants. And most of the time these shops and restaurants are found on the most unlogical places, because the exhibition itself got all the best places for being the most important thing.

Maslow created the infamous Hierarchy of Needs, a pyramid depicting the levels of human needs, psychological and physical. When a human being ascends the steps of the pyramid he reaches self actualization. At the bottom of the pyramid are the “Basic needs or Physiological needs” of a human being, food and water and sex. The next level is “Safety Needs: Security, Order, and Stability.” These two steps are important to the physical survival of the person. Once individuals have basic nutrition, shelter and safety, they attempt to accomplish more. The third level of need is “Love and Belonging,” which are psychological needs; when individuals have taken care of themselves physically, they are ready to share themselves with others. The fourth level is achieved when individuals feel comfortable with what they have accomplished. This is the “Esteem” level, the level of success and status (from self and others). The top of the pyramid, “Need for Self-actualization,” occurs when individuals reach a state of harmony and understanding. (The Developing Person through the Life Span, (1983) pg. 44).Once a person has reached the self actualization state they focus on themselves and try to build their own image. They may look at this in terms of feelings such as self confidence or by accomplishing a set goal.

Ever thought about how it’s odd that in developed economies, typically less than 5% of GDP is represented by agriculture? This model explains that — how an economy segments its growth depends on where on the hierarchy the bulk of its populace lies. If everybody is well-fed and safe, and the local religion is taking care of love/belonging and esteem/respect relatively well, chances are, the next billion dollars of growth in the economy will be around things like education or lifestyle. Partly explains why Facebook was valued at more than Ford, doesn’t it? Now you know why apparently frivolous stuff like cosmetics can end up being bigger product markets than more “fundamental” things.

Of course, some products span the spectrum. A Big Mac is mostly a bottom-tier product, but a classy heirloom-tomato caprese salad at your local-and-organic neighborhood bistro is mostly selling self-actualization. Prostitution may have been the oldest profession, but pornography didn’t explode in market size until the Internet became available. So evolution along the Maslow hierarchy is not reflected precisely in market structure — technology determines when the market will properly reflect certain needs (i.e. when the market can actually deliver to that need).

When you buy a house, you will not do so in a reflex. It will take some days to arrange everything and sign all the papers. So in that case Maslow will not have that much influence. But what happens when you buy a house or a car? You get coffee, you are taken to a private (safe) place….. They help you fill up all the needs that are lower in the pyramid. Not that they always do that deliberatly, but it’s just how life is.  It also means that if you have something like a bookstore and there is not a place in your area selling drinks and some food, your profits of bookselling will increase a lot after you opened up a small corner where everyone can buy a drink. To go or to sip up in one of the chairs, with a view on all your best selling books….

But what if your product is a book? What if it is a book about cooking? Wouldn’t a grocery store be a much better place to sell than a bookstore? There are a zillion internet cafe’s. But I have yet to see one where you can print the pages you are visiting. Where you could gather information for your school project, gather it in a document, and have that printed for you. Where there’s pen and paper for you to grab when you have the need to make some notes. Maybe write down the name of a website….

You really can increase your sales when you sit down for a minute and think about what mindset people are in or have to be in, in order to buy your product…..

Want to know more? Want to discuss this subject? http://evillusion.org/contact/

Theatrical Effects


Below is a whole range of special, magical and visual effects. All used today over the globe in numerous productions. Most experts know everything about these effects. But when it comes to ‘when what to use and how’, many seem to fail. Rianfil has leading experts who can consult you in these effects, with the intended result in mind…

Kagemu

The Japanese performance artist Kagemu combines CG and live action into an impressive performance. After seeing a performance of him you completely understand how useful it is to have a non-static background in your theatre. It can be done via projectors or via a large led screen.

This can also reduce costs for plays: you don’t need to have and to carry around dozens of backdrops but just a single usb stick with the backgrounds in high quality or a harddisk for video backgrounds like Kagemu’s.

Video mapping

With video mapping you can distort your video projection in such a way that it’s projection seems to be completely okay on a non-flat survice. Basically you just need one projector and a program transforms the image so that it fits perfectly on the objects.

This is basically the same as what Kagemu does. Only he uses a flat background. With video mapping you can project everything on anything.

Kingdom of Dreams

In India, in the center of the Bollywood scene, you can find this state of the art theatre that took imagery to the next level, as colourful and spectaculair as the extravagant scenes in their movies.

And because all the technology is already there, it became the best place for large tv-events as well. It’s not as simple as clicking a few buttons, but all you need is a group of creative artists to change the sceneries. No backdrops, no extra costs for backgrounds…. They have it or can make it in their computers…. Isn’t that cool? Isn’t that what every theatre should need? This is what get’s your theatre booked….

Peter Pan 360

If you decide to perform a grand musical in a circus then, then why not use the tent as much as you can for imagery and mindsetting…?

Three times the screensize of an Imax cinema……! And listen to the end: 2.7 million pounds in totall!!!

Any circus could easily install this with just some minor adjustments. Get things moving…..

Lightconverse

LightConverse software offers real-time, photo-realistic 3D visualization of any type of show. Features include realistic-looking fixtures, photometric rays and gobo visualization, fixture constructor, video inputs, animated objects, animated fog, customizable 3D libraries. Software updates are free of charge for life. The realism and speed are the best in the industry.

Once you edit the whole show, with all the special effects in this one program, you can translate it to also one program that does it all for you. Not several people on several computers during the show… Just one program that arranges everything from lights to fire and mechanical movement.

Any theatre could use such a system. Create your own stage in it with all the standard lights. With just a few clicks you can help upcoming performing bands or school performances with state of the art effects. With just one click you can add a cool lightset to any performance.

Hatsune Miku

Hatsune Miku (初音ミク?) is a non existing female singer coming to live with a series of futuristic programs. During live shows her dancing is done live on the spot with the use of kinect technology, and her singing is created live with sounds from a keyboard using vocaloid.

Hatsune’s voice was created by taking vocal samples from the voice actress Saki Fujita at a controlled pitch and tone. These different samples all contained a single Japanese phonic which when strung together would create full words and eventually phrases. The pitch of the samples was to be altered by the synthesizer engine itself and was constructed into a keyboard style instrument within the Vocaloid 2 program.

But those lucky Asians can already buy all the techniques to create their own virtual live performances at home.

With a keyboard they can create songs. Sounds are song in by famous singers and can be bought on dvd’s. You can use these sounds to create words, and therefore songs, on the keyboard, or just add and edit them in the program. Then you can add music, also being able to do that on the keyboard as well. When your song is done you can create a virtual stage and your virtual singers. Connect you kinect to it and you can have your performers react on what you are doing. Virtual singers and dancers in a virtual world singing a virtual song…

 

Vocaloid (ボーカロイド Bōkaroido) is a singing synthesizer. Its signal processing part was developed through a joint research project led by Kenmochi Hideki at the Pompeu Fabra University in Spain in 2000 and originally was not intended to be a full commercial project. Backed by the Yamaha Corporation it developed the software into the commercial product “Vocaloid”. The software enables users to synthesize singing by typing in lyrics and melody. It uses synthesizing technology with specially recorded vocals of voice actors or singers. To create a song, the user must input the melody and lyrics. A piano roll type interface is used to input the melody and the lyrics can be entered on each note. The software can change the stress of the pronunciations, add effects such as vibrato, or change the dynamics and tone of the voice. Each Vocaloid is sold as “a singer in a box” designed to act as a replacement for an actual singer.

Kinect is a motion sensing input device by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 video game console and Windows PCs. Based around a webcam-style add-on peripheral for the Xbox 360 console, it enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 without the need to touch a game controller, through a natural user interface using gestures and spoken commands. The project is aimed at broadening the Xbox 360’s audience beyond its typical gamer base. Kinect competes with the Wii Remote Plus and PlayStation Move with PlayStation Eye motion controllers for the Wii and PlayStation 3 home consoles, respectively. A version for Windows was released on February 1, 2012.

Kinect was launched in North America on November 4, 2010,[3] in Europe on November 10, 2010, in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore on November 18, 2010, and in Japan on November 20, 2010. Purchase options for the sensor peripheral include a bundle with the game Kinect Adventures and console bundles with either a 4 GB or 250 GB Xbox 360 console and Kinect Adventures.

After selling a total of 8 million units in its first 60 days, the Kinect holds the Guinness World Record of being the “fastest selling consumer electronics device”. More than18 million units of the Kinect sensor had been shipped as of January 2012.

Augmented Reality theatre seats

theatre seats are already being equiped with sound, but where are the screens??

 

With touchscreens in every seat everyone can get aditional information during any show from those screens. You could choose from different close-ups, or extra info on the characters. It needs special lighting but further than that the technology is already there. theatres can add a virtual shop where people can see what drinks are available and with info about upcoming shows. Maybe even being able to book tickets right there and then in your theatre seat..

Kinect for science and entertainment


The joke that got it all started….

Not only the average gamer is hyper and greedy of the possibilities that the Xbox Kinect offers. Researchers are welcome to Microsoft’s piece of ingenuity. Today’s new ‘webcam’ is making advances in science, and the possibilities seem endless.

Overtaken by your own 1 april joke – it happened to Google in 2011. Google employees launched Google Motion, a program that helps you operate your e-mail by waving your hands in front of the webcam. Licking an imaginary stamp and paste it on an equally imaginary letter; and the program opened a new e-mail. Hilarious of course, but it was much funnier when some hobbyists got it together to make it reality. And even thanks to technology of Google’s biggest rival: Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect.

For those who don’t know about Kinect: the Kinect is an expansion pack for the popular game console Xbox 360. It looks like an elongated webcam with three eyes, but under that sleek exterior lies an arsenal of advanced technology. The thing records sound, movement and depth, allowing you to play games with your body instead of a controller. The Kinect was Microsoft’s answer to the competition, especially on the motion controllers that rival Nintendo introduced the Wii. The device was an instant hit: in the first ten days it was a million times (!) Over the counter, good for a Guinness world record in the category ‘fastest selling piece of consumer electronics ever.

Fun for gamers so, but soon discovered even people outside the game world the value of the Kinect. Additional encouragement came from do-it-yourself electronics manufacturer Adafruit Industries, which offered a sum of $ 1000.- for the first hacker who got the Kinects combination of a camera, depth sensor and a pair of microphones to work on a PC. Because once that was done, the possibilities were endless – and not only for hackers with too much free time. Scientists can now use Kinect in applications that require registration of movement and depth: from robotic eyes glaciers equipment to mapping!

Kinect is a device that literally changes our future! In June 2011 Microsoft released a Windows 7-compatible test version of the software behind the successful Kinect ‘motion-sensing game device, hoping that developers will develop a variety of “hands-free” features for standard PC’s.

Motion

Motion can easily be transformed to machines and robots. It opens possibillities to send, for example, a diving robot to an oil leak and have someone perhaps even on the other side of the planet controll it’s movements!

Virtual Motion

Hatsune Miku and friends are among the most famous singers ever in Asia. And yet they are animations. Their concerts in the largest arena’s and concert halls are sold out in minutes….

The music is done live. The singing comes live from a keyboard in which all the voice sounds are programmed. Hatsune herself is live thanks to Kinect…

The dancer can react live on the music and singing. Hatsune can interact with the audience but also with props and background video.

Imagine being able to have Justin Bieber sing in 5 arena’s at the same time. He himself in front of a Kinect device in his own bedroom, and without even having to leave his home he can perform everywhere over the world. The band can be in a studio on the other side of the planet, and all Bieber has to do is get his bed to the side and start dancing and singing….

In earlier blogs I wrote about the opportunities for holograms: it’s the start of a whole new virtual world, a new generation…

Fast Forward

Remember those very expensive cars that are programmed to drive all by themselve? It takes teams years and millions of dollars to develop such a car.

Chaotic Moon Labs’ “Board of Awesomeness” is intended as a technology teaser to show how perceptive computing can turn around the way we look at user experiences. The project utilizes a Microsoft Kinect device, Samsung Windows 8 tablet, a motorized longboard, and some standard and custom hardware to create a longboard that watches the user to determine what to do rather than have the operator use a wired or wireless controller. The project uses video recognition, speech recognition, localization data, accelerometer data, and other factors to determine what the user wants to do and allows the board to follow the operators commands without additional aid.

Soon the first cars will appear that have a Kinect on all sides and just a simple laptop that controlls the whole driving…

Helping the blind

Two computer science students from the University of Pennsylvania, Eric Berdinis and Jeff Kiske, have hacked together a very impressive tactile feedback system for the visually impaired using a Microsoft Kinect device and a number of vibration actuators. The Kinecthesia is a belt worn camera system that detects the location and depth of objects in front of the wearer using depth information detected by the Kinect sensor. This information is processed on a BeagleBoard open computer platform and then used to drive six vibration motors located to the left, center and right of the user. The video below shows a demo of the system in use and gives a quick explanation of its operation.

Hospital Use

A team at Sunnybrook has come up with a novel new medical use for the Xbox Kinect. The following video shows how doctors at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Canada are using the Kinect to solve the “touching dirty things” problem. Since they can just gesture in the air, they can control the computer and adjust images without ever having to sacrifice the sterile field.

Watch the video. It’s amazing, and shows where medicine might go with a little help from Kinect. Welcome Kinect, the newest member of the surgical team.

Virtual shopping

Kinect can also help you when shopping. Women can find out if the dress looks good on them without even trying it on. It could speed shopping up a little bit. Or not because now they can check all the dresses in the shop…

With more high tech options the possibillities are endless….. Watch this and be amazed!

Kinect Radar

While the millitairy is spending billions and billions on the most advanced radar systems and software to fly their unmanned vehicles, some geeks achieved the same result with the little piece of equipment called Kinect.

Lights data transport

And now it’s already getting spooky. Thanks to Kinect we know that data can travel via light. It means that you can point the camera of your phone or tablet to a lightsource, and the very fast flickering of that light (thanks to leds) can provide your phone with data with a speed of 800 megabits per second!

The Kinect

So what can this Kinect device do?

Kinect is smarter than your average webcam. First, it has excellent sight thanks to its secret trick: spotlighting the room with invisible infrared light. The camera sees you wonderfully thanks to this infrared. And, coupled with some advanced software that will run on the 360, it can track 48 points of your body in realtime for up to two players simultaneously.

Kinect is equipped with a microphone so you can talk to the 360. Also, it doesn’t just see you in IR; it can also film you in full RGB color, recognizing your face to automatically sign you in. And its tilt? Fully motorized to track you!

Kinect is truly impressive in our early hands-ons, no doubt. It can track your full body as you spike a volleyball, or it can just watch your hands as you mime a steering wheel. But there’s a perpetual, slight lag. And frame rates in even the somewhat simple games can suffer—most probably because Kinect requires the Xbox 360 to process all of its data—there’s no internal processor in their final build of the device.

The Kinect Kit for scientists, commercial and entertainment use

The SDK includes Windows 7 compatible PC drivers for Kinect device. It provides Kinect capabilities to developers to build their own applications and includes following features:

  1. Raw sensor streams: Access to low-level streams from the depth sensor, color camera sensor, and four-element microphone array.
  2. Skeletal tracking: The capability to track the skeleton image of one or two people moving within the Kinect field of view for gesture-driven applications.
  3. Advanced audio capabilities: Audio processing capabilities include sophisticated accoustic noise suppression and echo cancellation, beam formation to identify the current sound source, and integration with the Windows Speech Recognition API.
  4. Sample code and Documentation.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/kinectforwindows/

There is a lot of open source software available already. Like on this site: http://openkinect.org/wiki/Main_Page