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Video Glass Realtime Rendering

Want to freshen up the look with a simple tweak? I dug something out of my old bag of tricks and reinvented an old visual effect in VizRT Package.

I have done video-glass compositing for years. A decade or two ago, this kind of look required serious rendering time. Before that, multiple passes on linear video tape were required. Few tools process the layers of bevel and edge distortions quickly enough for Live. Today, most of the realtime rendering products have some sort of Shading and Material tools to achieve this look.

Earlier this year when the 11 AM show expanded to an hour, the new Midday Live show received some color palette expansion. The glassy visual effect is an object shader. Several reflection options provide the proper reflection for curved or linear surfaces.

When the package initially deployed, a similar look was achieved as a rendered clip. I've written up a trick here for providing the best display results.. This earlier post discussed the best practice for large displays fed by clips.

The difference with render on the fly involves rendering the distortions in the proper size for the display. The Video is "reflected" onto the geometry. While not Ray Traced, the refraction interestingly provides controllable refraction adjustments that makes this feel real. A secondary set of functions provide controls to introduce/remove color.

2016 vintage Viz RT Engines handle texture mapping from live sources very well. A single Engine produces four 16x9 display outputs; bundled together into two 32:9 pairs. For best rendering performance, I prefer keeping the slowest scene frame rate, above 90 fps, using a live HD input. The scene's simple geometry produces this glass, or refracted visual effect, at 200 fps. This provides plenty of processing overhead for multiple layers or more complex scenes.

Testing text refracted version, not used... provided proof of performance.

So the angled design elements and blades were added and LIVE text was removed. The package has a graphic angle elements in bright color, so the refraction material with some ambience and color settings dialed up provides a color wash of the Video input, wrapping the blade shape.

Design colaboration: Katie Nestor

The other half of the Engine output includes the dual display in the desk. A simple design of sliding panel loop is processing in the scene along with the live feed. We have been very pleased with the performance of the Engine and the number of months that go by between any failures.


The next image is a very broad view of the Viz Multi-Play interface demonstrating the flexibility of screen deployment. The numbered boxes in the image below defines the scene target. The number designations below are the target positions for scenes. We have sent the live scene sent to Box "1" and the desk title scene is sent to box "2". Many tools and options in this interface. This is a quick demonstration of scene size projection to the LED-tile-wall. The scene can be scaled to fit infinite display sizes. Viz Multi-play, is very useful when standardizing scene design while accommodating custom studio displays.

A quick look at an old trick re-visited in a new technology. And a bit of inspiration from Liberace; "They love the sparkles, ya gotta give them a show".

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