For those of you who don’t know me I spent a few months working at Green Hippo as their software tester, testing the new flexres codec, timelines, timecode…Earlier this month I was contacted by Green Hippo to write a piece for their HippoWire Magazine testing out the Hippotizer Chipmunk a 2-layer, one output Hippotizer designed for installations, clubs and museums and most recently voted Live Design Projection Product of the year! I decided to create a club setup and give it a test, to find out how I did this…
My idea was to create a ‘nightclub’ design that could be used to pump up the DJ. In my experience smaller venues do not always have the budget for LED panels and fancy movers, so I created a design that uses kit easily available to most; a 3000 lumen office style projector and a few generic intensity fixtures.
Day One, Prep
The first half-day was spent rigging and testing the setup of the Chipmunk. In the process I taught my fantastic assistants, Gregory Jordan and Katrin Padel, the basic principles of Hippotizer and we scanned through the comp
onents that we were using to create my design. Gregory and Katrin were new users to Hippotizer, so it was a good test to see how easy the Chipmunk interface was to use.
I’m guessing people reading this have some experience of Hippotizer, if not there are some great tutorials on the Green Hippo YouTube site that explain in depth how each component works.
Here’s a quick run through of the components I used on this set-up:
1. On layer 1 I used PixelMapper with LiveMask shapes to control the lights.
2. I used layer 2 in a standard way to play media.
3. On the master layer I used RegionMapper to map the projection onto the strips of screen.
Beatbridge analysed the audio live, while Beatbridge Presets allowed us to quickly change the settings syncing the audio to the speed of the clips and the pulsing of the PixelMap.
To control the layers brightness, level, speed and FX1 level, I set up a Behringer BCF2000 with the Midi2 component. A slider gives greater feel, control and is far more efficient than using a mouse.
Instead of using the level intensity to control the visibility of layer 2, we used the brightness, otherwise the PixelMapper LiveMasks on layer 1 would show through onto the master, resulting in odd shapes appearing on the strips of screen.
When using different mix modes on layer 2 we had to temporarily disable the PixelMap and LiveMask on layer 1. We could then reload the PixelMap to use the lights as before. In a live scenario this is easily achieved by assigning the disable pin and load pin to the Midi controller.
On day two we chose a beasty track and created some new layer and master presets. Chipmunk has had a facelift in the bank and clip department with some flashy new HD stock media so I thought we should try them out with this setup.
My assistants were eager to get back on the Hippotizer, so they sat at the controls as we setup a new timeline and dropped the presets in. A couple of hours later we pressed play and hit record on the camera and that is what you get to see in the video!
In just two days Gregory and Katrin were up to speed, which shows just how fast you can get to grips with Hippotizer and create a sound interactive video installation that would look great in any nightclub.
The Chipmunk ran without a hiccup and the flexibility of the software gave more options than we were able to test in the time we had. The toolkit of components, generators, FX and great stock clips gives you limitless options. Two layers sounds like it might be limiting, but in a nightclub set-up you can easily get some expensive looking effects.
Thanks to the Lighting Department at Rose Bruford College for the use of their lab.