The Speed of a Motion Affects Your Visual Impact: Multi-Screen Tips

By July 19, 2011Updates & News

I wrote a series of blogs a while back (doesn’t exist anymore) about content and multi-screen projection setups. I have had a lot of people ask me to write about it again. Since teaching seminars and breakouts about this technology I decided to repost them over the next few days and weeks. Hope you enjoy them.

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I have put together 4 key tips for choosing triple wide and multi-screen video graphics. You need to know that you can’t just take your High Definition clips and click play; expecting them to look good. You must be intentional about what you’re looking for and how you are going to use media.

A great multi-screen visual contains 4 great things… This is the first Tip.

Tip #1: Motion / Speed.

You’ve got a space that is conducive to multi-screen environments… and you’re ready to start putting visuals on them. As you browse the various websites (including this one) there are a few things to keep in mind. First, take into account the motion and speed of visual you are using. How fast do the elements move? Is there a lot or very little energy expressed? Does the motion have very quick flashes, strobes or color changes? Or does the motion have really subtle elements?

These are all questions you must begin to ponder as you look for media. The worst thing you can do when you begin growing your library of content is to have ALL really fast or really slow content. Lets remember that when you are using media in various multi-screen and/or environmental projection spaces, you’re media will be much larger than on your computer screen.

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What may seem to move from left to right on your 15″ MacBook Pro may actually move 100-200 feet over that exact same space and time. What was a simple particle moving a couple of inches is now a race car moving around the track at 200 Miles per hour. We must keep this in mind when we’re using visuals. They will always seem faster on larger displays and spaces.

Lets take a setup our team at Orange Thread Media did a few years ago for a church in Nashville. The setup contained a 13′ x 24′ vertical screen and two 9′ x 12′ horizontal screens on either side. All-in-all the video wall was 24 feet tall and almost 40 feet wide! That is a LOT of video.

Or, lets take the setup below. Environmental projection for a space that had a width of almost 300 feet! That’s incredible distance for your motions to be moving.

In both of these setup’s, we weren’t able to use every piece of content in our library because some of it just moves TOO fast! It would easily become distracting or out of place unless we drastically slowed down our content library. The elements are now moving 20x faster on this setup than on my laptop. Therefore we used content that seemed slow on our computer screens to avoid having to modify every clip. The fit perfectly because their subtly was no longer subtle…

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Everything that seems Fast on your computer speed will be LIGHTSPEED on a multi-screen setup. Everything that seems moderate on your computer will be Ultra Fast on a multi-screen setup. Everything that is slow on your computer screen may seem to be a moderate speed when used on a multi-screen setup, and everything that seems like it barely moves may become the perfect motions.

In Short: you’re better off using slower video clips in multi-screen setups.

Luke McElroy

Author Luke McElroy

Luke McElroy is the founder of Orange Thread Media, the parent company to TripleWide Media, SALT Conferences and Orange Thread LIVE. He is the author of The Wide Guide: Blueprint for the Multiscreen Movement. Hailed as one of the “top innovators for worship” by Worship Leader Magazine in 2013, Luke’s leadership has helped create powerful worship environments for thousands of Church communities throughout the entire world. He currently lives in Nashville, TN and regularly writes about creativity, leadership and faith at LukeMcElroy.com 

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