The Energy Transfer Partners is trying to build an oil pipe through North Dakota over a river just north of a Native American reservation. The pipeline was originally planned to cross the river north of Bismark, ND, however it was moved south because residents felt it threatened their water supply. It now threatens the natives' reservation water supply.
Various tribes around the country have joined in the protested at North Dakota Access Pipeline. Martha's Vineyard's natives, the Wampanoag planned a benefit at the Chilmark Community Center to raise money in support of the protesters.
I was asked to help with projections. Although I believe the request was more so in the vein of technical assistance, they wanted to show various online videos of protesters in actions, I thought it to be a request to show some live video composites. Upon sharing my work with the people organizing the event they agreed that the imagery would appropriately compliment the music. I set about creating imagry that was appropriate to the event and didn't detract from the music.
The composites consist of 3 layers.
From back to front:
- Timelapses for the sky
- Still-frame landscapes for the environment
- 3D model as the object or subject
The background, in this case a time-lapse video of the sky is in a constant state of motion and represents the passage of time. Those videos were assembled using a "Shell script" on a server. The script is pretty simple. Every sunset and sunrise, a time of dynamic lighting, the script saves whatever the live image is from a public webcam every 5 seconds. I take those images and string them together to create a video.
[gif of timelapse]
The midground, the setting of the scene is defined by a landscape image. There's a few iPhone photos I took that I cleaned up in Photoshop in order to get an even and clean outline of the sky. I also used a few photos that've been through an instgram filer. Because of the filter theses are a little more abstract.
[image of instagram sky with grid background]
The foreground, the object or subject of the scene is the tipi. Although the Wamanoag houses were wetu I chose to use the tipi as a refrence to the Sioux indians of the northern midwest. The virtual tipis on Martha's Vineyard land represents the compression of space.These are 3D models built in a free program called "Blender." Within the program I create a virtual projections of a videos onto the tipis. These videos were downloaded from Youtube and are of various scenes from the protest.
Each layer can be swapped out for various versions of the same type of video, timelaspses from different days, landscape photos from different locations, and different angels of tipis to suit the scene with various videos projected on them.
[triptic of various versions]
I use a program called Max and Jitter to composite each layer. Max and Jitter is a program that allows you to manipulate various types of information or media in a very wide variety of ways. It has a steep learning curve but it's an extraordinarily flexible program, and it's at the core of this particular project.
[screenshot of program]
The result is that each video is a unique never seen before work composited on the fly to compliment the individual artist's sound and tempo. nbsp;