ZONES Opening Video and Motion Graphics

Zones Inc., a global tech company located in the Seattle area wanted to communicate new developments at their yearly Partner Summit.  They approached Mind Opera with a special opportunity to develop rich and dynamic visuals to the theme of “Amplify”.    We produced media that took advantage of the venues many screens, like a looping walk-in segments, a powerful opening video, speaker intros and multiple motion graphics pieces that conveyed the excitement and energy of the event.   With the use of WATCHOUT as a video delivery tool, we were able to control the video across the multiple screens and deliver a seamless experience for the audience.   Our client Zones was happy with the impact and their audience was “Amplified” about the message.

Zones Opener from Mind Opera on Vimeo.

Shot taken at Zones Partner Summit
Shot taken at Zones Partner Summit

SEGD is coming to Seattle in 2016

We created this video for our friends at SEGD – The Society for Experiential Graphic Design. They are a global, multidisciplinary community of professionals who plan, design, and build experiences that connect people to place.

They needed a snappy video to promote the energy and activities of their next National Conference in Seattle, June 2016.  We found a piece of music that represents the fast pace that Seattle summer has along with a bit of our grunge roots and melded it together with time lapse and video from around the city.   The challenge is to show just enough of the city to get members excited about attending the next conference and keep the video short and easy to watch.  We think we nailed it.

SEGD Seattle 2016 Promo Video from Mind Opera on Vimeo.


Miracast technology is great for presentations


Recently I have been testing and playing with small, inexpensive and off the shelf devices. I wanted to find out if these devices can be used effectively in the experiences we create in our custom work.  While testing a device called a NETGEAR Push2TV (PTV3000), which retails for about $60.   we discovered a small device that is very useful as a presentation tool.


Connecting the Surface to the Push2TV

My example uses a Surface Pro2 as the mirror device, a projector and the Push2TV. Once the Push2TV was connected and powered, all I had to do was discover it through Devices/Project on the Surface, key in the code given on screen from the Push2TV and it started projecting my Surface screen.  After the first connection it will just connect without entering the code.    The beauty of this product is that it does not need a WiFi connection to work, it is creating it’s own connection.  The Push2TV can also connect to other devices like Android phones, Amazon Fire and Windows 8 computers.  The device must support Intel WiDi and Wi-Fi Miracast to work.


The Surface is now connected to the projector and mirrors it’s screen, or it can also extend the screen

I always think of entering a conference room to give a presentation and fumbling around to find the right connector, now I bring a Push2TV, plug it in, connect the Surface (I’ve also used my android phone) to it and start my presentation.  If I am using PowerPoint on the Surface device, PowerPoint will go into presenter mode and will extend the screen.   What I see is the presenter screen, what the audience sees is the presentation.   It’s a very slick device and will only get better as time goes on.


PowerPoint is shown in the presenter mode as an extended screen

There are more and more devices like these coming out and I would assume that the technology will be embedded in more and more devices like monitors and projectors.  I like when technology is simple and useful.

Anaglyphic 3D adds fun to awards

One of our larger clients asked us to create something different and fun for a typical awards ceremony across an wide screen installation.  We decided to try some Anaglyph 3D effects, which is where you use the two color (Red/Cyan) glasses to view the video.  Everything in this video was created using a combination of Cinema 4d, After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator.  The best part was to see 2000 attendees eagerly put those goofy glasses on and enjoy the experience.  We are looking forward to going to the next level of 3D using stereoscopic 3D.

This video shows one of the sections and each section can be controlled to stay and loop (like the rings and background or go to the next section on our command.

Simple projection mapping adds wow!

Projection mapping has become a hot word in Audio Visual industry.  Whether it is a permanent installation or a live event, it is exciting to watch a building or an object come to life and can elicit some wow moments.  Mind Opera has been using the technique to add visual interest to more and more projects.  It adds a lot of texture and visual interest without skyrocketing the cost of adding multiple projectors.  Even on a simple projection mapping project (seen photos below) we spend time preparing graphics and video to fit closely to the multiple screens, while still allowing wiggle room for on-site adjustments as the actual installation will never be perfect.  The next step is to adjust the projection to fit the screen sets, then using some vibrant green we begin to perfectly fit the projection to the smaller screens.  It took about 5 hours to complete these screens, but the results are more interesting than a standard screen and adds a wow factor to the overall look.

Adjusting the projection map

Finish projection

A screen as large as a football field

This Winter Mind Opera worked with PSAV to bring to life a Starwood Hotels event on one of the largest screens we have worked on to date.  With a massive pixel canvas of 17400 x 1080, the screen stretched 274 feet across the ballroom with slight curves at the ends.  When we work on screens of this size our experience has taught us that sweating the little things is always a big deal, because at nearly a football field across, every detail matters and shows.   We even go as far as prototyping a smaller version at our office just to make sure we get it right.  That’s why we our fanatics about our process and the continued success it brings to our clients. What ever size the screen or project we pay the same attention to detail on every aspect without fail. 


Almost as wide as a football field

Almost as wide as a football field

Backstage WATCHOUT setup

Backstage WATCHOUT setup

I’m Killing Myself Sitting All Day

I’ve had this feeling that sitting at my desk and staring at a computer (hour after hour) cannot be good for my health. Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic confirmed this and proved the benefits of walking while you work.

To start the new year, I took a bold move and purchased a treadmill desk like Dr. Levine’s. I was nervous that the desk would make me less productive and that I couldn’t do many of the tasks that require a steady hand, but I jumped in anyway. The desk took me only 20 minutes to set up on my own, although I would recommend doing this with help. Once my computer was on board, I was ready to start. After the first 20 minutes, I forgot I was walking and proceeded to walk through the last two hours of my work day. One mile an hour for two hours equals 2 miles, 15 email responses and 2 articles read. Not bad for the first day.

I’m still getting use to walking and working, but I am surprised at how easy it is and how much I can accomplish without sitting. If you have thought about doing this or are curious to know what it’s like, please come by and give it a try. My bookkeeper is a convert after one walking session while closing my books for the year. I hope this is a start of a standard for our industry. And yes, this was written while I walked.


“Seattle Is My Home” wins three Telly awards

 I know they’re just chunks of pretty metal, but to be quite frank the Port of Seattle video was so much fun for us to create and we enjoyed showing off our amazing city in full summer swing that winning these prestigious awards just feels right. Here are the categories we won, Visual Effects, Live Events and Motivational.Come by our office some time and we can drink from the challis of victory and discuss your next project.

MO Completes Two Microsoft Projects at CES

2012 is off to a good start after completing two CES projects for Microsoft.  Using the presentation software WATCHOUT, Mind Opera worked with Seattle creative agency PBJS to create Steve Balmer’s keynote presentation along with a 60 foot video wall in their Experience Pavillion at the CES trade show.   Everyone we worked with on these projects were talented, professional, and courteous all the way across the board.  It was a pleasure to work with such good people. Read more about the projects on the Dataton website.

Mini Wall at Mind Opera’s Studio
CES multi screen video wall  test set up at Mind Opera office
Full wall at CES 2012

Mind Opera multi-screen, wide screen wall for MIcrosoft at CES

AAPA Conference video for the Port of Seattle

Mind Opera created this video, “Seattle is my home” for the Port of Seattle, which was the host city for the Annual AAPA convention. Our plan for the video was to tip our hat to the Port’s 100th birthday at the beginning then slingshot the audience into modern day Seattle showing them the heart and soul of the city over one Seattle summer. This video only scratches the surface of our beautiful city and the people that live here, so there is still much to discover. If you haven’t been to Seattle, perhaps this will act as inspiration to make the trip.

There was a lot of great footage left on the cutting room floor and some of the time lapse is not on screen long enough to see the interesting patterns form. I intend to rectify that in the coming weeks by adding just the time lapse and tilt shift footage separately along with some more comments about my experience using the Canon 5D II.

I want to thank everyone who participated in creating this video.