Compositing & Editing
PHOTON uses a very familiar editing and compositing interface that will be instantly recognized by users of popular editing and compositing systems. Here, however, everything happens in real-time on uncompressed media.
It also includes professional-grade colour grading, a highly flexible effects tree including 3D particles, and many other tools to respond to almost any kind of onsite creative request.
Photon offers real-time 3D scene rendering featuring projection coverage, a projector illumination heat map and simulation, precise shading and real-time shadow visualisation.
Creative directors and content designers can import 3D assets and preview the scene or stage before it’s even built, giving them the chance to design and experience their future show at no rendering cost.
Photon’s playback, based around VYV’s Codec Interface (VCI) file format, allows for consistent playback with zero spatial or temporal compression at extremely large resolutions. Different frame rates can be mixed with ease, and automatic frame blending allows for smooth slowdowns.
VCI also allows for partial frame reads, enabling ultra-high resolutions beyond even the extremely large bandwidth delivered by PHOTON servers. Frame-accurate network synchronisation keeps full installations in sync and audio playback is assured via professional audio interface support.
“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”
VYV’s ten years of research and development have resulted in Photon having a true 3D understanding of the stage. It is aware of any moving or static object that video needs information about — from the projectors, to the screens, to the cameras and to the performers; and because tracking is an integral part of the system, tracking information can also be used in the effects graph or to affect other parts of Photon.
The projection surfaces need not be rigid: cloth, flags and giant inflatables can now be projected on. VYV’s R&D also yielded the industry’s most efficient calibration process, requiring merely the press of a button to instantly calibrate cameras. No wanding necessary.
One of the primary goals with Photon was to provide total flexibility and efficiency, using as many projectors as desired on a given surface with total precision.
This implies automatic blending (soft-edge) calculations, fully automatic 3D calibration using VYV Constellation requiring only the press of a button to calibrate entire installations, and real-time re-alignment that allows for moving projectors to instantly recompute the calibration if a projector is bumped, or if being moved intentionally on a yoke.
LED & Flat Surfaces
In Photon, content is authored per surface and is treated independently from how outputs are driven. How an LED processor expects images to be laid out doesn’t need to dictate how your content should be authored.
You also don’t need to worry about which machine needs which content. PHOTON’s integrated LED mapper allows for any number of quads to map between scene objects and processors, and Virtual Projectors allows for LED surfaces to receive content based on their position in space.
Even keystones are made easy in PHOTON and can be made simply, across several projectors, with a single camera.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
A Photon-driven projection setup can handle large numbers of projectors and involves multiple PHOTON servers. But to the user, it feels like a single machine.
That’s because the intricacies of synchronizing every aspect of the show across the network are all taken care of in the background – even importing media is done as simply as if only a single machine was involved, and PHOTON takes care of efficiently distributing content through its own peer to peer protocol.
Photon has the built-in ability to control, and be controlled, by a whole eco-system of devices that are typically found in shows, through either MIDI, ArtNet, TCP or UDP.
This allows for impressive flexibility in how such communication is made and what actions are triggered. An easy to use cue system allows for the recording of macro actions that can then be included on the timeline or associated to any button on any ArtNet device, MIDI device and more.
The Photon architecture is used around the world on permanent shows and tours alike.
Its ruggedness and reliability are second to none, and the Photon 4-HD/Photon 8-HD models output setup, combined with Photon’s flexible approach to live backups, make for cost-efficient live redundancy.
“When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.”