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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Projecting Live Close-Up (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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James Warren
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There have been some posts about this in the past, but I haven't found anything very recent, and technology changes constantly and quickly. Does anyone have recent experience purchasing and using a combination Handycam and LCD projector for displaying close up card magic to an audience of maybe 100 to 500 people? I'm wondering what equipment and set ups are working well for you.
Ray Pierce
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Everything is a variable. From the projection side: How big of a screen do you need? Is it a darkened room or fully lit? What is the throw from the projector to the screen? These will determine the power and lensing of the projector needed. Is it a small consumer projector or dual Christie 35k's?

From the camera side: Where will you be shooting from (Close Front? Overhead?) How far will you have to zoom in to get the shot you need? (This will govern the quality and capability of the lens) What is the camera output and will it be going through a switcher? etc.

At the easiest you just have a small consumer video camera (or I have even used decent grade security cameras if the shooting position is close enough) with the output going directly to your projector. You can have the projector already on and running and just have a dowser in front of the lens (Piece of black cardboard or similar) until you need it. At the upper range you could have a fully controllable PTZ remote head camera running to a switcher that allows your feed to be inserted into the other pre-existing program material.

Be aware that if you use the output from a consumer camcorder, it will frequently cut off if you aren't actually recording.

There are unlimited options and associated costs. Get the best you can afford!
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
James Warren
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Thanks for that great response, Ray. The piece about the consumer camera is very important and alarming. If that is true, then I will not be able to use my Sony Handycam because I certainly cannot have it cut off in the middle of a routine. My intention is to project a wild card type routine to a screen. We're talking small theaters here, so the screen might be, say, 5 feet, and we're talking about having the camera focused on either the table top, or at a board on an easel where the cards rest on little "shelves." My thought was to have the projector already on but covered until the routine. The routine itself is about 3 minutes. What type of camera must I have to insure it will operate continuously and not cut off during the routine?
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On May 29, 2016, James Warren wrote:
Thanks for that great response, Ray. The piece about the consumer camera is very important and alarming. If that is true, then I will not be able to use my Sony Handycam because I certainly cannot have it cut off in the middle of a routine. My intention is to project a wild card type routine to a screen. We're talking small theaters here, so the screen might be, say, 5 feet, and we're talking about having the camera focused on either the table top, or at a board on an easel where the cards rest on little "shelves." My thought was to have the projector already on but covered until the routine. The routine itself is about 3 minutes. What type of camera must I have to insure it will operate continuously and not cut off during the routine?


3 Minutes isn't that long so it might stay on but the way to make sure is to just make sure the camera is recording each time you use it. Of course that might take pushing a few buttons which can sometimes be a little inconvenient during a show. Some HD security cameras might be a safer option and not as expensive. This is an example of a very small low profile camera that has a single cable carrying power and the video signal into a BNC that should go right into the projector. (http://www.frys.com/product/7818799?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG) As they have a fixed lens you might haver to play with it to find the perfect mounting position but that's about all there is to it.
Ray Pierce
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James Warren
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Thanks Ray!
arthur stead
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The person to ask is Shawn Farquhar, who did the best live projected close-up card routine I've ever seen.

Arthur Stead
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Ray Pierce
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Arthur, Shawn is a wonderful magician and this is a beautifully constructed routine. I think the question was more about the technical aspects of getting a video image onto the screen ("I-mag" is the standard production term from Image Magnification). I'm not sure if he was looking for help on the actual routine although Shawn is great!

From a purely technical standpoint it looked like Shawn was using a fairly standard video camera probably on a tripod being operated by a camera person that knew the routine. It wasn't particularly well lit but was certainly enough to see the cards. David Copperfield was known for his well shot close up effects in live shows where he had dedicated cameramen with onboard ring lighting just to make sure he looked great no matter where he was in the audience. That might be a better study for actual production work.
Ray Pierce
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charliecheckers
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Ray- thanks for offering great advice!

It is possible that Shawn is not intimately aware of the technical work and details that went into his production. Even if he was, as Ray pointed out there are variables that change what would be optimal for production requirements that differ from Shawns, cost being one for sure.
arthur stead
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Hey guys, the video I posted was probably filmed by someone else. I just posted it to show what's possible.

But I also saw Shawn do this in person, onstage at a magic convention. Prior to his performance, he himself set up the camera and checked the angles to make sure the overhead projection would be perfect. The camera remained stationary for the performance. That's why I thought his input (if he decides to share it) might be helpful.
Arthur Stead
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charliecheckers
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Thanks for sharing Arthur. I agree that Shawn could add to the discussion.
Ray Pierce
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It's always helpful to get input from all professionals. I have done a T&R Signed Card many times in my big show with video assist. In addition to doing magic, I've also designed video installations around the country including being the video director for the Magic Castle for several decades. It's an odd speciality but one that seemed to fit in here.
Ray Pierce
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James Warren
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Ray, yes, I remember you now from the Castle! In fact, I think you video taped me one year in the Close-Up Gallery.

Thanks for the discussion guys.

James
James Warren
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Actually, the close-up gallery had a video camera permanently installed for a while, I believe, without an operator. I got a terrible quality tape. But you might have video taped me in the Parlour, Ray. Anyway, you did an amazing job over the years with the Castle's video needs and archives.
Ray Pierce
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That's funny! Yes, I shot hundreds of performers over the years there. It was hard in the close up room as we had to lose a few seats to shoot in there so I think they put in a fixed camera after I left but it's not the same as having someone that knows magic actually shooting it. Good luck on this project!
Ray Pierce
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John Gerard
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Just as an option to explore, look up "elmo presenter". In situations where you perform without technical support this may work for you for the camera component. The cheapest model is reasonably priced imo.
Shawn Farquhar
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Hi everyone,

Ray Pierce knows his stuff! Each venue and effect has it's own requirements. It took me years to get to the three packages I own for the majority of the situations I may encounter.

My favorite package is:
Cannon XA-10 HD camcorder as it's good in most lighting conditions and is fairly inexpensive.
Adding an external and adjustable led light helps when I can't focus stage lights.
BenQ MP512-ST 2200 Lumens projector as it's profile is really small but it make a huge image!
The screen or surface where it is projected is just as important. I used a a variety of Fast Fold screens.

Oh and on a side note the video that was posted early in this thread was shot probably in 2001 or 2002. Things sure have improved and advanced in the past decade or so... ;-)

Hope my input might help in some way.

-shawn
Stevethomas
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Ever considered a device called an "Elmo"? Nothing like the furry Muppet character. It's almost like a digital overhead projector (camera) that you can hook to any digital source to show or project. If that would interest you, let me know. I have one, never opened, still in the original box.

Steve
Ray Pierce
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Elmo's are really nice cameras. Elmo is simply a brand name for a camera system frequently used in classrooms and courtrooms. They are typically considered a "document" camera which is used to capture a flat document on a desktop. It would be good if you are wanting a "top view" of a close up or card routine. It would have to be kept fairly compact as they are usually used for standard size documents so think of staying in that rough space. They can be tilted to be used for a front shot of sorts if you have room on the table for the camera base. Here is an example of an MO-1

https://www.schooloutfitters.com/catalog......64529777
Ray Pierce
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makulit974
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I would like to know if any of you have ever tried the MIracast technology? It mirrors your android screen onto a projector though wi-fi. But I am not should whether there is a lag or not.
Also I found the new range of projectors from Philipps called screeneo to have a great potential for what I need because we can walk in front of the screen without casting a shadow. It has to be about 40cm away from the wall!!!
http://www.philips.co.uk/c-p/HDP1590TV_U......rojector

Also this projector already has the Miracast technology built in, so potentially, one could have his show filmed with a good quality android phone and have it broadcast live on the projector wirelessly. Then again, I am not sure about the quality of image on screen nor am I sure of any lags.
Anybody familiar with this?

Thanks
Patrick
iluzjonista
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What should be minimal dimension of the screen for the audience up to 300 peoples? I would like to use projector to present close up like cards and coins at the table. Could you please suggest any particular model of the screen which is easy to transport, quick to setup and enough big for such show?
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