Video Wall in Motion with a Replicator

I recently posted a tutorial on how to make a photo wall with the Replicator. I got some questions on how to do it with video, and figured this out. It’s a very similar process, so I won’t go into as much detail on this one.

Assembling the source video

  1. Make a new DV project in Final Cut Pro, and import the clips you’ll want to use. (You can assemble this in Motion too, but I like doing it in FCP better.) I’m going to be using 16 clips, so I can make a 4×4 video wall.
  2. Detach the audio source buttons in the timeline so you’ll only edit in the video.

  3. Find the 10 seconds of each clip you want to use, and edit only the video into the timeline sequentially. The first clip will go in the upper left corner, the second into the second from the left on the top, etc. If you don’t know how to do a 3 point edit, now is the time to learn. You should come up with a sequence that is exactly 2 minutes and 40 seconds. If not, make sure each clip is exactly 10 seconds, and that there are no gaps.
  4. Export a Quicktime Movie. You only need to include the video. Make it self-contained.
  5. You can quit Final Cut now.

On to Motion

  1. Open Motion. Create a new project using the NTSC DV default.
  2. Import the video you exported into the project.
  3. With the video layer selected, hit “L” to replicate. Bring up the Replicator tab under inspector, and set the following parameters: Width: 486. Height: 360. Columns: 4. Rows: 4. Origin: Upper Left. Build Style: By Row.
  4. Some more parameters to set: Scale: 25%. (And here’s the important one!) Source Frame Offset: 300. This makes each sequential cell start playing video when the next clip starts. If you weren’t careful with making each clip exactly 10 seconds, then you’ll notice it here.
  5. Here’s what it should look like. Remember that it will probably be slow playback, as there are 16 streams of video being played. To compound that, it’s all coming from the same video file. You’ll likely need to hit Cmd-R to render for playback.

For more ideas on how this can be used and animated, check out the tutorial on making a photo wall.

Here are some ideas to make this better:

  • Downrez the videos before taking them into Motion. This will improve playback.
  • I would love to see a Brady Bunch or Hollywood Squares type of thing, with people maybe even interacting.

As always, have fun, and let me know how you like the tutorial, and if you use it, drop me a line with what you did. web @ jamesnweber.com

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