Monthly Archives:

July 2010

A New Projection Screen

Recently we have been looking for some kind of material to use as a screen to project ‘double sided’ images. We experimented in the studio with various types of sheeting and mesh net but finding a cloth that is both transparent enough to give a bright image on both sides of the screen but not so transparent that there is glare or a ‘hot spot’ from the beam in the middle of the side opposite the projector (the ‘back’ of the screen) proved not an easy task. A couple of weeks ago in a handicrafts shop we bought a few meters of a textile called ‘Netkana’. It has a mat white surface, is waterproof, doesn’t sag or stretch and has just the right amount of transparency to give a bright image on both sides of the fabric. Best of all – it was not very expensive! We hung up this material in the middle of the studio and these pairs of images are from our first test session.

Next week we plan to do some ‘double sided’ outdoor Tagtool projections, so the next step was to use this material to make up a proper portable screen. I made an edging of black Gaffa tape and put in metal eyelets (from the same handicrafts shop) all round.To make the supporting frame Dima used lengths of narrow gauge plastic drainpipe with right angle connectors (from the local D.I.Y. store). Then the material can be held in place by looping strong plastic string through the eyelets. We haven’t tried to use it outside yet………
We have made two of these screens and yesterday I made this box (from some old cardboard covered with Gaffa tape) so that they will be easy to transport and store.

A Tagtool summer weekend

A crate of beer, a barbecue in the garden, live music and Tagtool in the studio – the perfect recipe for a great summer weekend with friends!

Markus. Malu, Jan and David arrived on Saturday afternoon and once they had unpacked their laptops, instruments, projector and Tagtool, the jamming and partying began immediately. As usual I was too busy partying to take many photos……. but here is a compilation of the shots I took of Jan, David and Dima having a ‘warm up’ session in the studio.Dima took these shots of our big Sunday night Tagtool jam session.Here I am drawing with Markus.Jan and David provided the music (which was a really inspiring accompaniment for our drawing!) I’m so sorry that we didn’t think to make a video or a recording of this set – next time we must be more organised! However, Dima did take quite a lot of photos and I hope the selection that follows at least gives some idea of the development of our drawing.As usual our jam session ended on a rather dark and sombre note!

Tagtool in 3D

If you have a pair of these glasses at home – now is the time to get ready to put them on!

And if you don’t have these glasses and/or would like to see the ‘mono’ version – here it is.

The music is by Samka, the St Petersburg-based band that we think are producing some interesting work and have been listening to a lot lately when we have been drawing in the studio.

For this experiment Dima asked me to do a set of three Tagtool drawings. In the first session I was to draw only the background. Then, against a green screen ‘background’ I drew only what was to appear in the middle ground. (I found this quite difficult, trying to remember my previous drawing so that I could make the middle ground look convincing when the three sessions were put together). In the third session, again against the green background, I drew only the foreground elements of the composition.I took these screenshots from Dima’s post production work.The top two are from his first trial render and the second two from the final edit. Both trials produced an uncanny and surreal 3D effect but in the final edit the narrower ‘overlap’ produced a more subtle stereo quality and this is the one that appears in the video above.

Two new experimental drawing sessions

Here are the videos from our latest drawing sessions. I am posting them together like this to enable comparison between working in 3×4 format and widescreen ‘letterbox’.


In both of these sessions I used Dima’s very powerful tower computer (the first time he has let it leave his office!!) instead of my own laptop. For the first black and white video I drew continuously without releasing my drawing for forty minutes – and this time there was no ‘drifting’ of the line. So, it seems that this ‘drifting’ problem has everything to do with the powerfulness of the graphic card in the computer…… The second session was slightly shorter (about half an hour) and again there was no ‘drifting’ but this one has a lot more transparent drawing and, before when I have drawn in this way using my laptop, the problem with the line seemed to occur much sooner than when I was using opaque drawing.
The widescreen video is in full high definition and Dima used frame blending in his post production so the lines are markedly sharper and the transitions more fluid than in the first black and white video. (He also made a frame blended version of this drawing but we decided that both the drawing and music did not lend itself to this treatment.)

The music for both of these videos comes from our newest and most exciting ‘discovery’ – a band from St Petersburg called Samka.

Wassergasse studio session

After the weekend partying (and the football!) – we had a Tagtool session in the studio at Wassergasse. These screen shots are from the set of drawings I did at the beginning of the session. These were recorded as a test piece for Maki, to demonstrate the length of time it takes for the Tagtool star to start ‘drifting’ when I draw continuously without releasing my drawing. This is a problem I encounter with the current version of the nodekit when I am doing very fast drawing in order to make dense multi-layered single images. (The only way we have found to avoid this happening is to switch off the antialiasing – which means that I am unable to achieve smooth lines and edges in my drawing.) Dima had thought this might be because I use a PC but in this session when I tried the Mac the result was the same.

Then we had a jam session – using two Tagtools and projectors.I drew first with Maki. We haven’t had an opportunity to jam together like this for quite a while – so this was great fun!This still is from my session with Jan.I took these two photos of our computer screens to show our ‘division of labour’ in this session. (The black and white drawing is by Jan and Maki and I did the blue background.)

This little clip is a record of Dima’s special contribution to the evening – his ‘Instant Stereo’. This D.I.Y. effect he achieved by asking me to take some ‘still’ video footage while he jumped up and down on the floorboards in the studio, shaking the tripod on which one of the projectors was mounted!

As usual – lots of fun with the Tagtool! Now I am really looking forward to the crew’s visit to our place. (It’s next weekend! So I hope to have lots more stuff to post soon.)

Weekend at Wassergasse

The Danube was blue, the weather was warm and sunny – perfect conditions for a relaxing weekend at the ‘home’ of the Tagtool (despite the mosquitos!)Partying started early on Saturday afternoon with preparations for a barbecue in the garden and by evening a large crowd had gathered in the courtyard and the bar in the cellar. Once it was really dark Matthias switched on the projector and the Tagtool jamming began, projecting on to the beautiful old textured wall behind the washing line that you can see in the photo above. I took lots of photos but it was so dark, most were not very goodWhen my turn came to draw I gave my camera to Dima and (as usual!) his photos turned out much better than mine – so here are a few of his shots of my drawings.