Stage Visuals



What is ‘Stage Visuals’?

Everyone remembers the film Jurassic Park. Dinosaurs really seemed to be alive in the film. A T-Rex ran behind a car, while it was never present at the set. It was later added digitally to the movie by computer to the footage that was filmed on the set. During live TV shows, there is also very much possible. What the people at home get to see does not necessarily need to be that what is being filmed in the studio. Those images created in the studio can be supplemented with all sorts of information and images. It is even possible to add animations  such as the T-Rex in Jurassic Park walking through the studio while a band is playing. That is also possible with Stage Visuals, with a live audience. What happens on stage does not need  to be what the live audience sees. Even those images can be complemented, supplemented with additional visual information. Everything is possible like in the movies, but even a lot more, because all filmed images are filmed right there on the spot and can be changed and combined to make a whole new experience. The combined images are displayed on (plasma) screens across the theatre. But all screens can be operated independently so that all screens can display separate images. Stage Visuals is the concept that puts all visual effects together to create new images. And that’s a whole new experience.

Combining the elements

Like a game

This is an idea I took from the gaming industry. In some games you can choose your own car or weapon or even your player. You can choose beteween them in a menu where you can see rotating images of them.

For example this machine gun:

Whenever in the show you have a special apparatus that is used you can show that on the screens. Rotating and with info about that thing being used on stage. It can be juggle devices, or an illusion, clothing….

Also you can show inserts on the screen during an act. With, for example, close-ups of the things being used in that scene.

You can show all the costumes and items of the show during an act with extra info about them. Like the extra’s on a movie-dvd you can show the concept drawings and photo’s of the costumes being worn on stage.

You can make acts interactive by showing extra information during the act.
When it’s a musical you could use the screens as karaoke devices by showing the songtext.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is a field of computer research which deals with the combination of real-world and computer-generated data. At present, most AR research is concerned with the use of live video imagery which is digitally processed and “augmented” by the addition of computer-generated graphics. Advanced research includes the use of motion-tracking data, fiducial marker recognition using machine vision, and the construction of controlled environments containing any number of sensors and actuators.
•    combines real and virtual,
•    is interactive in real-time,
•    is registered in three dimensions.
Augmented Reality realy exists. These videos below show live footage combined with animations that react to their environment. There are many movies on Youtube that show Augmented Reality in action.

Imagine a juggler throwing his balls in the air and on the screens you can see hundreds of balls floating around him. Or acrobats performing in a digital street with animated people passing by.

Marco Tempest is probably the best artist today working with digital magic.

You can make spirits fly out of bodies. Ghosts fly around and  assist the artists with their act. Tables move electronicaly but on the screen they are pushed around by friendly ghosts. People and things can be added to the acts. Things can pop up out of books and boxes. Imagine someone reading a neswpaper and on the screens you can see what he is reading about because items are floating out of and around the newspaper. You could also take an augmented thing like a car and change it electronicaly in a real one. That’s the next level of magic.

Visualisation

On stage you see a person fighting with nothing…

On the screens you see a monster fighting back. This creates some sort of Matrix-World in the theatres.

If you think it sounds like something from the future, please watch the videos below. The technology exists today.

It is also used in the latest game consoles.

And do you remember that illusion of David Copperfield in which he transports himself and a member of the audience to a tropical island? That is also done with the help of Augmentation.

There are also floors that react on movement…

In a Dutch amusementpark you can walk over digital water. The water wrinkels and makes waves when you run. Fish swim away from you. Everything reacts on your movement.

Multiple screens

In an amusementpark in France there is a new attraction that uses flatscreen televisons as windows on a ship. Other ships pass by the ‘windows’. Birds fly by. It is attacked by a giant octopus when it is turned upside down. It even has flatscreens on the roof so you can see clouds above you.

They take a snapshot of your face and use it as the face for one of the romain soldiers. Very cool!

The Disney-attraction ‘Muppetvision’ (a 3-D movie) has a pre-show with a line of tv screens. For example you see a muppet juggle on all the screens. One them drops his balls, the muppet next to him falls over a ball. It is great comedy. They constantly walk from one screen to the other and many times there are different things happening on the screens.

Set ups

Basic

This is a very basic set-up of Stage Visual Screens. Everywhere in the theatre there are flatscreens standing or hanging. They don’t form a line up.

Advanced

This is a more advanced set-up. It has a row of flatscreens below and a large projection screen above these screens. With this you can do whatever you want.

You can show clouds on all the screens.

Birds fly from one screen to another.
A plane passes over the large screen.

You can place a performer on that screen. As if flying in the air and doing his act of defying gravity.

How far can you go?

Let us show you some examples of what you can do with Stage Visuals.

A basic stage with a greenscreen area on the ground, or an augmentation screen and a large projection screen at the back.

There are 2 actors on stage. Filmed by a camera.

We project a house on the background, and the greenscreen is filled in with grass.

We augmentate 2 more people who can only be seen on the screens, because they are not really on the stage. The could be vampires getting vaporised in a spectaculair blast with pyrotechnics on stage combined with the augmentated person falling to dust…

And we augmentate some props.

The footage filmed by the camera is completed and shown on the screens. What the audience sees is like a movie, but only two people are real.

Another example on the same stage.

We place some artists on green blocks.

The background shows clouds with birds passing by etc.

Also on the greenscreen you see clouds and the bloks are filled in like bricks. Buildings in the clouds. You could also augmentate this on a black stage, so the stage does not have to be green. You can also project the clouds on the stage and have the blocks already looking like buildings. Or the ground is a large screen with build in augmentation.

You can augmentate things like a helicopter.

You can combine this with the series of flatscreens.  Show this movie in the middle of three screens and have two movies of cloud cities on either side with the helicopter flying from one screen to another.

A Matrix world

Like in the movie ‘The Matrix’ you can create some amazing effects.
When you place a circle of digital photocamera’s above the stage you can create your own matrix stunts.

A row of digital camera’s. Used in the Matrix series.

A rig with camera’s that can be hanged above a stage.

With this kind of bullet rig you can make snapshots of artists. On the screens you can show the endresult: a 3d image of acrobats flying through the air shown from all sides. Even combined and completed with augmentated objects. That is a whole new experience for audiences. Bullet rigs are allready used in live televison. For example in a sportprogramme of half-pipe skating, showing the skaters doing their tricks from all sides like in a videogame.

I am convinced that Stage Visuals can be used in every show, and every theatre. Not only can the screens create a whole new world for the audience. They can also show trailers of other shows, remind you of all the drinks you can get at the bar and tell you what else there is to see in the area. Imagine a show in Las Vegas with a theatre filled with screens. On the background, on the sides, between the audience, above the audience…. And they show a completely different world of acrobats in a way never seen before…. The combination of all these effects can create images that go way beyond everything else seen today. It uses all the latest technology and will become the theatre of the future.

More information?
Interested?

I’m right here for any questions or any discussions….