Einstein VideoPlayer

Einstein VideoPlayer is a project that I initiated during a dance performance entitled “Einstein Dreams” created by Rui Horta. All this took place at Göteborg Opera in Sweden, September of 2010.

Einstein is not just a tool to play videos, it allows anyone to play a list of videos, cross fading between them, with the possibility to adjust the video output to many kinds of surfaces.

“Content is king”, I believe that this tool can be an ice breaker to anyone that intends to playback videos in thousands of different manners.

This is the first public release, however this will always be a work in progress project, and being open source we intend that you use, modify, hack and share this tool.

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Link to Artica’s Github

DIRECT DOWNLOAD EINSTEIN v1

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EINSTEIN VideoPlayer
CLICK THE IMAGE TO SEE IN FULL RESOLUTION

List of features available ATM:
– playlist with file names;
– parametric crossfade between videos;
– parametric fade in and out to black and/or white;
– keystone / corner-pin adjustment;
– record and load custom presets.

Future versions will include:

– mask overlay with a PNG with transparency;
– independent multiplayer system (optional);
– one player as Master and the other player as Slave (optional);
– customization for several outputs;
– edge-blend;
– subtitle overlay;
– Improve modularity for fast prototyping and custom projects;
– Improve performance;
– Create the same GUI paradigm to control audio and light;
– Cue list to control everything;
– MIDI, DMX and OSC protocol to control Einstein, and to be controlled by Einstein.

Being a visual artist, I mainly create visual contents and environments for dance, theatre, music and opera performances. Sometimes this contents are supposed to fill non-regular surfaces, and having a tool that could output videos and reshape this videos was a must to have.

I didn’t found any software that allows me to do all this on an easy fashion, and the solutions I found were all very expensive. During two months, I was all alone in a swedish apartment and spent almost all my time creating visual environments for the show, on the spare time I developed this software for video performance.

To work with video, MAX Jitter proved to be the best tool ever since, and because I am not a sophisticated programmer I could never achieve such a thing in c++ or any similar language. And Jitter proved to be very robust for this tasks and I proudly say that it never, NEVER crashed.

During the Einstein Dreams rehearses I needed to have a multi videoplayer system with the following features:
– playlist with file names;
– parametric crossfade between videos;
– parametric fade in and out to black and/or white;
– play a video forward and backward;
– extreme keystone adjustment;
– mask overlay with a PNG with transparency;
– one player as Master and the other player as Slave (optional);
– modularity for customization in future projects.

I decided to call it Einstein Videoplayer, in a tribute to this amazing season in Sweden.

Because I could achieve almost all this by searching on the internet, talking with amazing people at the cycling74 forums, reusing and hacking examples I found, now I want to return to the community what I was able to achieve with it’s help and contribution!

I have been using Einstein Videoplayer on many projects, and since I founded Artica with André Almeida, this software evolved a lot, more features were added like edge-blend, subtitle overlay, dmx512 protocol, OSC protocol, performance improved, cuelist system, physical sensors and Arduino inputs, and much more features are on the pipeline to be added.


“Flowering Tree”, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 2010


“Flowering Tree”, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 2010


“Paint Me”, Fundação Culturgest, 2010


“É como diz o outro”, Casino Lisboa, 2011


“O Tempo”, de Adriana Queiroz, 2011

Pedro e Inês

Artica was invited by the very popular theater company Teatro O Bando, to create visual scenes to the performance “Pedro e Inês”.

It’s a play about a forbidden love during the Portuguese monarchy in the 14th century, and to better portray certain scenes during the perfomance we were asked to create peculiar visual stuff: fire, deers, rain and other realms to transport the viewer to the peace..it was a “wow” experience! What else could I ask for!?

One of the big challenge’s was the screen, wich wasn’t the conventional white screen, it was a translucent screen, a grid, and due to its reflective nature it turns out to be spectacular for our projections.

Once again we used our “Einstein Video Player” (the same we used in Paint Me) with a couple of enhancements and optimizations:
Performance;
Keystone and VideoPlane manipulation;
Control the application via TouchOSC.

We will talk more about this very soon for sure!!

“Pedro e Inês” is traveling around Portugal, you can check the dates here.

And finally here’s a quick sneak peek to behind the scenes:

Flowering Tree (from sketch to the real world)

This all started with Rui Horta’s idea of having a physical tree on stage that would support my visual projections. Rui Horta came up with a drawing and I quickly put it to 3D and sent to the great artist and set designer João Paulo Araújo who made this great master piece!

Flowering Tree - from a sketch to the real world

Flowering Tree - the tree

After the tree was finally built, I’ve made the first projection test, for this I created a program in Jitter, where I have a video running on the background, and on the foreground a .png transparent mask with the tree silhouette.

Flowering Tree - tree projection program

Flowering Tree - tree projection program

Flowering Tree - tree projection program

Flowering Tree - tree projection program

Everything fitted perfectly! We were astonished!!

For the subtitles I’ve created another program in Jitter that could run videos on the background and on the foreground the subtitles could be displayed and crossfaded one next to each another. Another cool feature of this program is the ability to run videos at different speedrates, this was very useful because most of the videos were created in sync with the music, was a bit tricky to sync the video with the orchester and chorus but not impossible. Another great help came from the composer João Godinho who was by my side telling me when to swap to the next subtitle.

Flowering Tree - subtitles and video player program

Flowering Tree - subtitles and video player program

Flowering Tree - subtitles and video player program

Flowering Tree - subtitles and video player program

Flowering Tree - subtitles and video player program

Finally after one month of crazy hard-working days, and with a final week of non-stop working, troubleshooting, finetunning and problem solving everything worked so smoothed on the premiere, we were all thrilled and excited!!

Big thanks to André Almeira, André Sier and Sérgio Ferreira who are great tech advisors and always gave positive inputs.

I must also mention that the Gulbenkian crew was absolutely fantastic, without their help this epic task wouldn’t been achievable!

Click here if you want to see more photos.