Video Tutorial: Panning an Audio Cue in QLab 3

To create a realistic sound design, audio panning is a must. This video describes the process of panning an audio cue from the left channel to the right within QLab 3, thereby creating a “doppler effect” of a police siren passing by.

This is one of the instructional videos from the supplemental website included with my textbook “QLab 3 Show Control: Projects for Live Performances & Installations.” To find out more about the book, click here http://www.amazon.com/QLab-Show-Control-Performances-Installations/dp/0415857570.

Projection Mapping

Projection mapping is the projection of imagery onto 3-dimensional surfaces (often irregularly shaped) and manipulating the image output in such a way to make this surface appear to be a flat one. This process is complex, costly, and time-consuming technology. Of course, this means that everyone wants it for their project and it is now quickly becoming ubiquitous. This video has made its way around a lot of different circles, and for good reason. Not only does it beautifully illustrate projection mapping, but shows a new possibility of incorporating projection mapping with robotics to create moving mapped imagery. The results speak for themselves. Enjoy!

Tutorial: Creating a Video Fade-In with QLab 3

The video link above is one of the instructional videos included with my textbook “QLab Show Control: Projects for Live Performances & Installations.” It walks you through the process of creating a Fade-In for a Video Cue. The book releases on November 11th, 2013. From now until that date, I will be offering up promotional goodies on this blog. Subscribe to keep in the loop! Additionally, you can pre-order from Amazon right now at a discounted rate http://www.amazon.com/QLab-Show-Control-Performances-Installations/dp/0415857570.

Crafting Worlds: Theatrical Design

This is a great video created by the American Theatre Wing featuring some amazing designers in Scenery, Sound, Costumes, and Lighting. I have had the pleasure to work with David Gallo and participate in his Broadway Scenic Design Master Class and can say that he has some great thoughts on approaching a design. A wonderful watch for anyone interested in design and A MUST for theatrical design students.

Why a Design Degree isn’t the Career Death Sentence your Parents Suspected

This is back to school week for me. It’s always exciting to meet a new crop of students. Every year I get to see parents send their kids off into the wild on their own. Frequently, I am posed with questions from these parents to ease their fears about their child pursuing a degree in the arts.

I get it. Really, I do. I am hoping that my own 3-year-old sticks with her game plan of becoming a doctor (I’m not exactly as comfortable with her plan of her Mom being the nurse and myself serving as the receptionist, though she assures me that the medical school she attends will have classes for the two of us, as well).

The fact is, a life in the arts has never been a golden ticket to wealth and leisure. It is, in fact, a career filled with hard work, long hours, and (at times) less than glamorous work conditions. The entertainment industry is particularly challenging in that your job happens when other people want to relax. Nights, weekends, and holidays are your work week. Monday is your weekend. If you freelance, there is the added pressure of working to secure the next job (or jobs) while working on another. Believe it or not, this is the beginning of my pitch to those parents mentioned above. It’s the follow-up that’s so important.

If your son or daughter is committed to learning, works hard and proves to be a good collaborator, they are going to get a job after graduation. How can I make such a claim? It’s pretty simple, really…

Supply and Demand

Statistics say that those in our field looking for work stand a much better chance than most other fields. In this economy, we all know jobs have been hard to come by. People have gone back to school in record numbers to learn new skills and the market is now flooded with graduates. At the undergraduate level, recent polls show the greatest majority of undergraduates majored in business (358,000 majors). On the other hand, all of the Visual and Performing Arts combined together numbered less than 100,000 majors. In short, while other professions are being flooded with graduates, the arts have less people competing for the jobs.

What about the jobs, though? Are there enough of them? Well, that is where we see some other good news. It seems that when times are hard, people still want to be entertained. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation industry is predicted to grow 15% by 2015. This is second only to the Healthcare and Social Assistance industry! In other words, not only are there jobs available, but there are jobs being created.


The other reason for future job security with design and technology graduates is the versatility of their training. Designers are not trained to only do one thing – they are trained to solve problems within given constraints of time, budget, and resources. This is why we see major business schools increasingly creating partnerships with design programs so that tomorrows CEOs can be trained to think like a designer. Designers are problem-solvers, and problem-solvers are always in demand.

That’s why I feel good about what I do. Let’s be honest, a college education isn’t the the panacea it was made out to be for so many years, but if you can can find a program that gives life skills and helps prepare students for the realistic demands of today’s world, then it is still worth it. Just remember, though, even the best education is only worth what you put into it.


A Short Film About Design in Britain Since 1959

Design is one of the most powerful of human inclinations as it gracefully combines together two concepts: teamwork, and serving others. No designer ever truly works alone, and the purpose of design is to serve a function for the end-user. Whether designing a product, an image, or an idea, the designer’s role is problem solving through creativity. By its very nature, design transforms creativity into a tangible outcome – linking thought with action. This video covers a wide array of British designers who shaped the world through their designs and received the Prince Philip Designer’s Prize for their work. Enjoy!