Who is ArcoJedi? A life-journeying Christian, ecstatic husband, proud father of four, web guru, all-around geek and Star Wars fanatic. Read these thoughts that he felt were worthwhile. Then wonder why he thought that way.

2013/09/20

Common Connection, Thalimene and Animated Backgrounds for Stage Projectors at Concerts

I struggled to come up with a good title for this one, but there's just no generic description that fits. Read on.

There's a couple of cool things to talk about going on lately and I'll try and touch on a few of them. First off, I'm becoming more involved with the youth praise band at our church, called Common Connection. Both Reese and I have been getting more regularly involved with the sound system and praise band for regular weekly worship. And as that has developed further, I started to bring my trombone to join in with the musicians too. I could go on and on about how proud I am of these young men and women, but it will get all gushy and who really needs that? Suffice it to say that I enjoy myself whether I'm playing along on trombone or driving the sound board.

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Common Connection has been hosting a monthly music worship night at our church, taking full advantage of the sound system. More recently, they've also hosted an after-party where a different local Christian musician or band is invited to come and play after. So far, there was one night with a heavy metal band called Thalimene, and a different night where there was a solo artist singer/songwriter named Benjamin Sommers.

This past Saturday, the thunderous Thalimene returned in full force and they had their regular drummer with them and were much better practiced and polished than their first time a few months back. Back in July, it was clear they had some serious talent. But this more recent show, they had really improved and the confidence showed.

For the worship music portion with Common Connection, they prepared the lyrics for the projector system and this allowed the crowd to sing along where appropriate. However, Thalimene did not have anything for the screen and there'd be no point in singing (screaming) along anyhow. I happened to be hanging out in the sound and projection booth during their rehearsal and got a tiny bit inspired. What could I come up with on short notice to put up on the screen that would heighten the performance, but not distract from it? I wanted an animated colorful background that was subtle and rhythmic.

I'll admit that my search and what I found is really what inspired this post in the first place, although the "backstory" is stuff I'd been meaning to share for a while now. I'm really having fun with all my music outlets at this point, and feel strongly that I contribute well to the music ministry at church. But enough about that for the moment, let's load up the visual aids.

Animated Backgrounds

The loose criteria I came up with was that the display had to work in full screen, be colorful and random but not too obnoxious and preferably have no sound. It also had to be confirmed appropriate for church setting with all ages attending. I also didn't want to go overboard with flashiness, as there's the concern for triggering someone's seizures. You might think there'd be a ton of these kinds of sites or videos or something I could use, but I came up empty a lot. I mean, how do you even phrase a search for something like this? By showtime, I'd only really found two and I alternated between them. But I am posting a much larger list now.

That night I actually muted the computer so that removed any surprise audio issues. I warn you that SOME of these do have audio, so if you are testing them out be sure to mute your stuff. Start with this one, then click one of the other links below.

falling falling .com | into time .org | future is uncertain .com | if no yes .com | if yes no .com | inner doubts .com | from the dark past .com

Stage with Wall of Light [YouTube] | Spaceship Dark Tunnel [YouTube] | Meteor Floating [YouTube] | Smooth Clean Lens Flares Background [YouTube]

I hope that's enough for now. I keep finding more of these but this should be enough to get started. My goal is to make this page useful for someone in the same boat as me. If you need some animated backgrounds to project behind the bands on stage, you should be able to find a few you like here. Just open any of the links in a new window and you should be good to go. At the end of that first night, I asked the boys from Thalimene if they minded the animation and they certainly appreciated it. "It gives folks something else to look at besides us." Well, perhaps so.

Full credit for creating most of these websites goes to Rafaël Rozendaal. I first discovered Rozendaal and the other sites via The Useless Web.

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