“That moment you realized that your virtual self could be just a little bit like your previous self!” – #Futurist Jim Carroll
An image from about 3 months ago – I’m down in the studio, and my son has just brought in a wide angle zoom lens for a new 35mm camera I had just brought into the studio. I fired up my virtual software, grabbed a futuristic scene, and found I had a floor! An actual floor I could virtually walk on!
The actual video has me doing a little dance of celebration!
Today, the ‘final’ piece of my virtual home studio puzzle comes to the implementation stage as a new high-end iMac arrives. I’ll take some time to configure it, and then plan a bit of a special ‘show’ later this afternoon to push it to its limits and see what it can do.
I started this virtual voyage just about 6 months ago – knowing I would not appear on a stage for a long, long time, I set out to build a new ‘stage’ in my basement.
At first, I used an old 2013 MacBook Pro I had laying about, and a couple of low-resolution webcams. The video I managed to generate was blurry, the ‘staging’ rather limited, the ‘virtualness’ of the virtual project barely non-existent. Looking back at some of my original videos, I cringe. But it was a necessary process!
Over time, I’ve upgraded bits of the studio here and there – at one time, using two Sony video cameras from 2008 and 2011, which gave a bit of a better image, but not quite enough. Some new lights, more Mac computers that I had laying around, sophisticated software configuration and setups, a few HDMI-to-USB camera link devices, lots of experimentation with and purchasing of various new microphone configurations.
I was trying all of this out, live and online. Mistakes were evident, quality issues rampant, video at times was marginal. But I never gave up.
And then one week, I purchased a new Canon DSLR – that would up the image quality to a huge degree! My older son, a freelance photographer in his spare time, brought his camera bag and with it, the wide angle lens!
I fired up the virtual program, walked onto my new ‘green floor,’ and had an actual virtual floor!
A floor! A floor! I had a floor! I danced! I was overjoyed!
Things kicked into high gear after that. Another DSLR for a second angle shot. A few more lights. Technical explorations – I learned how to send a Keynote slideshow file from a second computer to relieve the burden on the first. At various points, I tried other Macs as my main production machine – my regular work laptop and my main desktop both subbed in for a time, and had the necessary power, almost, to go where I wanted to go. Almost, but not quite enough.
And I started finding and downloading various virtual stage sets. It became my new obsession – and remains to this day.
And so here we are!
Today, the next stage in this voyage begins. Stay tuned!
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