post-production tecniques in max/MSP #1

for my post-production project i have chosen to work in different platform than after effects. after effects, final cut pro, adobe premiere are considered standard editing suites in film and video industries. post-production is a series of processes of editing footage after it has been filmed to bring in additional complements to the final footage which will be shown to the audience. there are many things which we can do with the footage and editing suites are specially built for that. just to mention few: colour correction, chromakeying, bringing in additional elements on separate layers and blending it with original footage, etc. the reason why i have chosen to work with different software and, respectively, with max/MSP is because it allows me to perform post-production techniques on the fly.
i have been doing vjing for couple of years and i am very familiar with video editing in real-time. i am more fond of applying spontaneous effects on footage and directing it in totally unknown grounds than sitting nailed ass down on chair and following scripted editing process which has to provide desired outcome. i am more adventurous person than systematic task performer and that’s why i want to challenge the traditional approach of editing footage. one might ask how vjing differs from real-time post-production. vjing is not as much post-production in its essence. on contrary, vjing is a field of working with video on real-time basis by observing running video and adding to it on the fly. vj has a library of clips and amount of effects it can apply to the footage, it can mix several layers of videos and toggle the speed and opacity. i think vjing is a constant flow of the very moment, it is never repeating itself and never giving an account of what has been made, the main aspect is experiencing the flow and experiencing “now”. if i look at the post-production,  i am aware of certain set of processes i can apply to my video footage but it can be viewed with a reference and analysis whereas vj set is just an entertainment and flux. i find max/MSP an application to achieve and present my real-time post editing. max/MSP provides such actions as chromakeying, colouration, adjusting brightness, contrast, mixing different layers, working with 3-d environments and many more and that all can be run and altered real-time. what after effects doesn’t have is the access to real-time rendering. rendering in after effects can’t be manipulated in real-time, the values only can be set and executed by program, there is no access to the tools of program in order to manipulate its process. i was researching in possibilities to use a midi controller with after effects and adjust real-time the opacity of effects or other editing processes. as i said, it is not possible. max/MSP is not used for preparing footage for broadcast or film industries, max/MSP is an environment allowing me to create a personal “editing-suite” simple and basic, but more unfolded in interaction with data and editing processes.

to make my idea more clear here is the video (made in after effects) which reflects my concept.

my concept can be only described in real-time performance which i will show at the crit. the main reason why i chose not to work in after effects is to create a rendered product which in my point of view is a dead piece of information. of course, over the period of film history there have been amazing film pieces created which can be watched over generations and never lose its magnificence, but that doesn’t justify rest forms of information which is more likely to pollute the mind. that sort of produce has been spreading in the ocean of information which people constantly revisit again and again. the idea of momentary and real-time (which can be recorded, of course, but i will not do it) is that there is not so much pressure  and responsibility applied to deal with the consequences. if the material is bad or so so, nobody will ever refer to it at all because of no record, or on the other side, if the real-time footage they witnessed was good and impressive, that will burn in persons memory as a special moment. it is same like with life, everything happens real-time and there is no preparation to what will come next. we remember good and bad things, everything in between is just a grey mass which will transcend in nothingness. i am not saying that records are bad, records which gather useful information about people on this planet and ways of life are good. there are many good things which we should conserve in terms of information and pass on to next generations. but nevertheless good stuff there is also lots and lots of useless forms of information which has taken up public and private spaces. it is publishing, tv and online advertising, youtube, many shit ads which find you even in most intimate space as a closet. there is chunks of unwanted and deliberately enforced information. why do people spend time, money and energy on producing all of this crap while there are so many other fields need attention?
back to my project, people have invented technologies which allow them to play with things in real-time and experience creations which every time can be shown differently. that’s why i prefer real-time over something set boundaries to it (again, not if that is a good masterpiece i like to watch over and over again – [like sunrise]).
this video above shows a chromakeyed footage shot against greenscreen along with some 3-d elements. if you observe more attentively, the rotation of cubes around body doesnt look natural. the reason for this is the process i created this video. i used 3 layers in total, each of them were chromakeyed so that just elements were seen. i layered body in between cube layers which i had to render out in maya separately. this is bit complicated way of thinking how to integrate 3-d elements around 2-d plane in aftereffects  but that is not of importance. my aim was to get across the main idea and represent what exactly i want to make max/MSP do.
this is very rough breakdown of processes shown in this video which will be translated into max/MSP.
1–i will have a real-time video feed of someone in front of greenscreen. max/MSP will do real-time chromakeying and i will end up with just a person standing in the void.
2–i will have another elements made in 3-d which i will incorporate into the scene.
3–i will track the movement of the person and use those values to manipulate 3-d elements.
at the beginning i wanted to have a footage shot against greenscreen and different additional elements 2-d and 3-d which could be manipulated across the scene real-time using midi pad. but then Jason suggested me this amazing interactive approach in turning actual person standing in between those elements into a trigger of how they will move around. in normal sort of post-production editor would try different positions and actions with elements within the scene till total satisfaction and then he will render out the final piece. there would be no interactivity between viewer and video piece. viewer is subjected to perceive already made footage unable to interact or direct anything in the scene. my installation is more towards to interactivity and integrating actor and editor in one person. i want to make this piece fun and showing my growth in skills using max/MSP.


2 Responses to “post-production tecniques in max/MSP #1”

  1. Nathalie Says:

    Hi there…

    researching the net for some some similar projects in MAX MSP I found your site, and your project, which has a very similar, if not almost same idea to one project I’ve been thinking of doing. I think you have done a great job. I’m new to Max Msp and I would love to learn more about using chromakey in Max. Do you think that you could share your patch with me and also explain what sensors you were using. I believe you were using motion sensor and maybe distance sensor? If you don’t mind and have some time, please email me about your answer to my questions. Thanks a lot. And I hope you read this message soon, because I don’t see any recent activity of yours in this site. 😦


    • kavi999 Says:

      hi, this is my last years blog, i am currently writing here
      i will need to look into my files and find this patch but i am quiet happy to share it with you.
      can you please send me ur e-maiL?
      my e-mail is:
      i am checking this mail every day so there is bigger chance for communication.))
      talk soon,

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