Mixing video for old school effects

For all the high production values Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premier have released upon the world, there’s still a cinematographic aesthetic only possible with analog video, linear editing, and video feedback. [gijs] just sent in a video mixer he’s been working on to allow crossfading between two video signals and introducing some very cool analog video distortion effects.

[gijs]’ mixer uses the LM1881 video sync separator also found in the Arduino video experimenter shield. Because two different video feeds are unlikely to send their sync signal at exactly the same time, the selected video will stay still on the screen while the second video feed will slowly scroll horizontally across the screen.

This isn’t the first analog video hack [gijs] has come up with; last year he released an Arduino video sampler capable of recording about a second of video and playing it back forward, reverse, looped, or inverted.

We’re sure combing both the video mixer and sampler would produce an aesthetic similar to the experimentation seen on 80s-era public access or our time in AV club. Either way, a very cool build that just can’t be done digitally.

Video of the mixer after the break.

19 thoughts on “Mixing video for old school effects

  1. Does anyone know of any chip or small device capable of taking two composite video signals from cameras, compressing their width by 50% and combining them into a single picture, to create a 3D side-by-side image which the Zeis Cinemizer video glasses needs for 3D video display?

    1. how small? There are tons of pieces of video editing software and video editing cards that should be capable of moderately real-time conversion, but that would require a small computer (with a pci slot).

      Another idea to consider might be a single high def camera with a set of prisms and mirrors to split the display in two with an appropriate distance between the views. This gives you a single feed that has both on it (since the cinemizer probably uses a single LCD anyway)

      1. Small enough to be placed on an RC car so I can drive it remotely in stereoscopic vision instead of just with one camera.

        One day I might find the solution, but with everything going HD it’ll probably involve a whole load of new equipment (and selling a kidney to pay for it…)

      1. After looking at that link, no, it couldn’t, I’m wrong, sorry. But something to store 2 frames of video, then output 1, is what you’re basically after. You could reduce it to just storing 1 line of video, if the sources were synced. But it’d be easier to do it a frame at a time, since memory is so cheap.

      2. Hm, maybe a Raspi with 2 composite -> USB converters? Have they got Linux up properly on it yet? Cos it wouldn’t be too complicated if they have, with possibly a bit of shell script. And now to stop posting for a bit!

    2. You could (though it’s more expensive) still use a small computer. You would just use two video transmitters on the RC car, and combine the signals on the receiving end instead.

      1. You could also do this with an FPGA. It could easily do this (especially if it’s all standard def 480i). You might need some external RAM though.

  2. I used to do this in the 90’s with a camcorder and tape deck. I’d feed the camera into the TV and sit the camera in from of the TV and let the feedback take it’s course. I also experimented with feeding audio directly into the vertical and horizontal sync of the TV. Fun stuff

  3. Get a Panasonic MX 50 and put one of the outputs into any of the four inputs – then switch the effects on for one of the buses – select negative – strobe – adjust the strobe time – circle fade and let the good times roll!!!

  4. I used to experiment with the SCART connector’s blanking line originally meant to blend in text, it was handy that it had that and enabled all kinds of effects. Fewer and fewer TV’s have SCART ports with that line working though I’m told, of TV’s that even have SCART that is.

  5. ummmmm

    any effect that can be done via analog, can be done digitally.

    It’s just a matter of someone coding it, since every digital effect comes down to pixel manipulation.

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