LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for ARSCLIST Archives


ARSCLIST Archives

ARSCLIST Archives


ARSCLIST@LISTSERV.LOC.GOV


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

ARSCLIST Home

ARSCLIST Home

ARSCLIST  August 2012

ARSCLIST August 2012

Subject:

Re: archiving slide-tape shows (was voca-film technology)

From:

John Schroth <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 6 Aug 2012 11:59:00 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (224 lines)

I majored in Multi-image slide presentation at RIT over 25 years ago. 
They had a core-curriculum in Multi-Image slide production, the only one 
like it in country at the time. I have produced many of these programs 
while at the college and at a production company where I worked for 
quite a few years after graduating.

There were three different manufacturers of multi-image slide 
programming equipment. AVL (on the west coast), Clearlight (on the east 
coast) and Multivision (I believe they were based in the mid-west - they 
were very short lived). AVL used "Procall" programming language, 
Clearlight used "Superstar", Multivision used "Show Pro"

All three used a computer with a proprietary programing code that fed 
data to dissolve units which controlled a projector's lamp and slide 
advance/reverse. As Richard points out below, they could also activate 
remote relays to turn on/off other items. The dissolve units were 
capable of anything from making the projector hard-cut the image on/off, 
to a slow 20 second dissolve or more. They could also freeze the 
dissolve at any point in time. Shows were usually aligned so that all 
the projectors in the same nest or "bank" were aligned perfectly onto 
the screen (most shows used animated sequences and graphics that were 
created using pin-registered computerized cameras such as a 
Marron-Carroll, Sickle (sp?) or Forox cameras). There could be as many 
as three individual banks in the case of a seamless widescreen show 
(called a "two screen butt-center overlap" - using slides that were 
masked at the appropriate edges to give a seamless look). I've seen as 
many as sixty projectors used for a widescreen show.

Slide projectors were most commonly mounted in special racks that held 
up to four projectors in a vertical rack known as a "stack". Chief was 
the most well known manufacturer of these special racks. Each projector 
in the rack had roll, tilt and yawl control so that all projectors in a 
stack could be perfectly aligned over the top of each other. Nests of 
multiple racks would then be positioned as close to each other as 
possible, sometimes using PC (perspective control) lenses to help with 
the alignment of many projectors that all needed to be positioned 
together in the same bank.

The most common reel to reel tape deck used would have been a 1/4" deck 
having four tracks/channels. Two tracks make up a stereo soundtrack, a 
third track would be a clock or timing track to link stereo audio track 
from the tape deck to the computer which controlled the projectors, and 
sometimes a fourth track that allowed for running the show without the 
computer (after you were done "programming" the show you could record 
the computer's output commands that would normally go to the dissolve 
units on the forth track so that you could leave the computer behind 
when traveling with the show). When listening to the programming track, 
it is clearly different to the clock or timing track. One is 
steady/cyclical whereas the other is totally random with many different 
frequency notes or tones.

The recreation of a multi-image slide presentation in digital format 
would be very tedious indeed. I am not currently aware of any slide 
scanning equipment which is pin registered - almost a must-have if you 
are looking to recreate a multi-image shows without having to re-align 
the slide images by hand in an NLE after they have been scanned. Most 
multi-image slide presentations used Wess brand three pin registered 
glass mounts. Because of the glass mounts, the images would have to be 
removed prior to scanning and removing each image from a Wess mount so 
it could be scanned would preclude any automated/batch slide scanner. 
Also, many multi-image programs had heavy use and travel. They got very 
dirty. Each slide would most likely need hand cleaning prior to 
scanning. Also many presentation had slides with Kodalith or similar 
gradation and holdback masks sandwiched with the image, further 
complicating the scanning process.

Outside of this is, is the faithful reproduction on the cadence and 
overlapping of the slides as they dissolved from one to the next on the 
screen. Multi-image shows were graceful and beautiful. Many programmers 
of these shows took great pride in how they programmed one dissolve to 
the next or an animated sequence of slides. I know, I used to program in 
all three computer languages and this was my main job at the production 
house where I worked. Without running the actual show and knowing the 
look that the person programming the show wanted to achieve, it would be 
little more than a guess as to what it really did look like, in all it's 
beauty and timing.

The companies that made both the computer programs and hardware for 
these programs have since long gone out of business. I still know of 
producers who have mothballed some of the old equipment to run them 
(both the computers/programming software and the dissolve units), but 
they have not run for quite some time and getting together everything 
needed to get a show up and running would be a real reach.

I have quite a few multi-image shows recorded to tape, including one 
that was produced by AVL to promote its programming software and 
hardware. If anyone is interested in seeing some examples of these 
shows, I'm happy to post some to Vimeo later in the week.

As a side note, all multi-image shows were a nail biting hand wringing 
experience when running the programs in pressure situations in front 
large audiences. There were tray jams, bulb burnouts, and equipment 
failures galore. Dove dissolve units and other equipment, that were 
promoted by AVL to be very reliable weren't always so. The Dove dissolve 
units for example had volatile RAM memory. A simple static charge could 
freeze up a dissolve unit into not knowing what it was or what it had to 
do. Such was the case when I was staging a 21 projector show in a 
ballroom at Bally's in Vegas. The static charge from the carpet kept 
wiping out the Dove dissolve's memory and we never able to get the show 
running. It was budgeted at $350.000 and we were trying to run in front 
of a crowd of 1200 employees for a new product release. The client was 
fit to be tied. A terrible night. In the instructions for clearing a 
Dove's RAM memory - one of the solutions in the manual was to pick the 
unit 3-4 inches off the table and drop it back on the table!

Regards,

John Schroth
Media Transfer Service, LLC



On 8/5/2012 12:49 PM, Richard L. Hess wrote:
> Hi, Randy and Michael,
>
> I guess 6K is enough resolution, but the TIFs I have of each 35 mm 
> slide are approx 36 MB each. 3000 x 4500 (minus some cropping) pixels 
> @ 3000 ppi. You can't put too many of those into FCP, can you? They 
> certainly crashed Premiere a while ago.
>
> Also, as a side note, top-quality Kodachrome and Fuji Velvia 35 mm 
> slides are more faithfully captured at 4000 x 6000 pixels, 16 
> bits/colour, making approximately 144 MB TIF files per image. Frankly, 
> very few of the images I'm scanning can truly benefit from this 
> increased scan detail, but some can. It seems that audio-visual 
> materials are held in sound archives. I have transferred a few 
> cassette tapes with simple "beep" tones on track 4.
>
> The issue with resolution is that if each slide can benefit from 3000 
> x 4500 pixel scans, and you've got a 4x4 grid you need 6000 x 9000 so 
> as to not lose resolution, or in the 3-wide display, 3000 x 13,500 and 
> that does not take into account vertical images.
>
> I realize we did not achieve that resolution with typical Kodak 
> Carousel zoom lenses, even with autofocus.
>
> Ingesting the elements is not a challenge, but having attempted it at 
> high resolution a while ago, assembly IS a challenge. Retaining the 
> IMPACT of the original show is the challenge. Reference copies are not 
> a challenge (though still tedious).
>
> As to Mike Biel's point, the cue tracks that he describe were, I 
> believe, proprietary formats per manufacturer. AVL was the name that 
> came to mind, but they are now gone. At one point, their controllers 
> would record all the cues on the audio tape. The later units, 
> described here from
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_Computer , merely had a time code 
> track on the tape.
>
> <quote>
>
> The first Eagle computers were produced by Audio Visual Labs (AVL 
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVL>), a company founded by Chuck 
> Kappenman in New Jersey in the early 1970s to produce proprietary 
> large-formatmulti-image 
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multimedia#History_of_the_term>equipment. Kappenman 
> introduced the world's first microprocessor-controlled multi-image 
> programming computers, the ShowPro III and V, which were dedicated 
> controllers. In 1980, AVL introduced the first non-dedicated 
> controller, the Eagle. This first Eagle computer utilized a 16 kHz 
> processor and had a 5-inch disk drive for online storage.
>
> The Eagle ran PROCALL 
> (/PRO/grammable/C/omputer/A/udio-visual/L/anguage/L/ibrary) software 
> for writing cues to control up to 30Ektagraphic projectors 
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carousel_slide_projector>, five16 mm 
> film <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/16_mm_film>projectors and 20 
> auxiliary control points. Digital control data was sourced via anRCA 
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RCA>orXLR 
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XLR>-type audio connector at the rear of 
> the unit. AVL's proprietary "ClockTrak" (a biphase digitaltimecode 
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timecode>similar to, but incompatible 
> withSMPTE <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMPTE>timecode) was sourced 
> from the control channel of amultitrack 
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multitrack_recording>analog audio tape 
> deck. The timed list of events in the Eagle was synchronized to the 
> ClockTrak. Later versions of PROCALL included the option of using 
> SMPTE timecode. Most programmers abandoned ClockTrak for SMPTE, as 
> more multi-image programs began to incorporatevideo 
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video>.^[1] 
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_Computer#cite_note-0>
>
> Two separate digital data streams were output from the Eagle, also via 
> RCA or XLR-type audio connectors. These telemetry streams, called 
> "PosiTrak", each controlled up to five external slide projector 
> control devices also manufactured by AVL, known as "Doves". The Dove 
> units received biphase data from the Eagle via audio cables, and 
> interpreted the Eagle's data streams to control as many as threeKodak 
> Ektagraphic projectors 
> <http://slideprojector.kodak.com/ektagraphic/a.shtml>(for large 
> screens, compatibleXenon 
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenon_arc_lamp>-lamped projectors) and 
> two dry-closure contacts per Dove unit. AVL also made the Raven, a 
> device similar to the Dove, for comprehensive control of a single 16 
> mm film projector, as well as numerous other external control devices 
> for lighting, sound, video projectors and sources, etc.
>
> AVL Eagles and associated products, when properly setup and powered, 
> were extremely reliable. During the 1970s through the early 1990s, 
> when the products of its competitors were not as reliable nor readily 
> available, AVL became the industry standard for multi-image control 
> equipment. However, the development of large-screen electronic media 
> andHDTV <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDTV>ushered out the era of 
> film-based multi-image productions.^[2] 
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_Computer#cite_note-1>
>
>
> </quote>
>
> The first footnoted link is:
>
> http://www.honda600coupe.com/random/AVL/index.html
>
> The second one is 404 gone, like the technology, but the text (but 
> sadly not the images) is available here
>
> http://web.archive.org/web/20100113083108/http://www.avsquad.com/page8/page8.html 
>
>
> Cheers,
>
> Richard
>

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTSERV.LOC.GOV

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager