Experimental Fiber Braiding

I’ve wanted to execute this experimental procedural braiding / weaving effect for years now, and finally stumbled upon the skills to do so after taking a simple math in Houdini course. Here are the results:

Now let’s get into the weeds.

Inspired by the Nike Biomorph ad that came out a while back, we were allowed to alpha test Redshift on an eGPU and we were quite impressed with the relative speed and quality of the renders over our traditional CPU based rendering pipeline.

Extreme Depth of Field

Rendering with baked-in motion blur and depth of field tends to be a scary process for a number of reasons, which is why we usually handle it in compositing. Alhough the compositing technique yields a less-accurate result, it’s perfectly acceptable in most cases. But for this project, we wanted to really stress-test the renderer with extreme depth of field that would be impossible to believably fake with a depth pass in post. The speed of the GPU renderer allowed us to confidently animate more optically correct focus-pulls at insane f-stops of 0.06 and lower before kicking off the final output.

Thanks for watching and we’ll hopefully see you soon with more experiments!

Look at what it took to make this audio book

It might seem like “Video” would be alone in the spotlight when your company has a name like “Video Wisconsin.” But since our early days, center-stage with moving pictures at Video Wisconsin has been high-quality audio. Our commitment to audio production has served not only to support our film and video projects, but also for audio projects which stand on their own. Those projects traditionally included radio spots and multimedia sound. Recently, there’s a been a new player on our production stage: audio books.

“Over the course of the past three years the highest growing segment of publishing are audio books. The global audio book industry is currently evaluated at $3.5 billion dollars and the United States is currently the largest singular market with $1.8 billion dollars in audio sales in 2016 and this was a 31% increase from 2015″. (Michael Kozlowski, 2017)

Video Wisconsin had an opportunity to record motivational speaker, Derek Deprey whose new book is entitled Shift.  In his book, Deprey states:  “Now is the time for you to SHIFT from, “I’m so busy and stressed,” to, “I’m living my ideal life right now.” And it doesn’t even have to be complicated.” (Derek Deprey, 2017)



It’s a good read. Er, a good listen!We can see why he is always on tour as a speaker.

So these days, when high-quality audio recording is no further away than the smartphone most people carry in their pocket, you might wonder why anybody would hire an outside company to produce an audio book. Why not just do it at home?

The answer is, not only quality, but consistent quality. Listening to an audio book may seem no more difficult than pressing play, but reality, you’re asking a lot of your listener. The quality, tone and ambience of the final recording will combine in subtle ways to create a listening experience that will not fatigue or annoy your listener, but rather encourage her or him to the one that matters most:

Keep listening!  According to Global Audiobook Trends & Statistics for 201, “They expect that in 2017 the total listening hours will surpass over 10 million”.

Considering some of the production values being incorporated into some of the most popular podcasts, it’s not too difficult to imagine why you might need the tools and expertise of a professional audio suite to produce an audio book. The expectations of your audience are always growing. Video Wisconsin can help you keep up!

Global Audiobook Trends and Statistics for 2017:

Michael Kozlowski – http://goodereader.com/blog/digital-publishing/audiobook-trends-and-statistics-for-2017

Derek Deprey:


How do you fold a box in mid-air?

First, you hire a master puppeteer to engineer a very complicated apparatus of pulleys and fishing wire suspended from an upside down Lazy Susan. Next, you teach a bunch of production interns how to tug on a web of strings in perfectly choreographed succession, and roll the cameras. Read More

Stories In There

In the 2008 documentary It Might Get Loud, U2 guitarist The Edge talks about the experience of buying his first serious guitar. It wasn’t specs or branding that made him walk out of the music store with the Gibson Explorer with which he would create U2’s signature sound. It was, instead, something he could only describe by saying-

“There are stories in here.” Read More


Within These Milwaukee Video Production Soundstage’s Walls…

Being back at Video Wisconsin with its wide ranging history has been so much fun. Especially, if you consider all the projects and interesting things that have happened over the years, most of it on the sound stage. The best part about a sound stage is that once the doors closed lots of creative energy and stories begin to unfold. So, I thought I’d start off a blog sharing a brief trip down memory lane with … if these walls could talk.

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Video Production

Video Editing in the ’80s – Guest Blogger John Willman

Style and All that Jazz had a secret weapon to bring it from paper to a dynamic video.  The secret weapon, John Willman.  In the very early days of Video Wisconsin, John was the editor that everyone in town wanted to work with…a lot of agencies and big corporations came here to drop $400/hour in post production. It was a time if one wanted to get into the video editing business, one needed a million dollars to get a facility up and running (times sure have changed).  Then, it needed a crafts person to know how to use these tools.  There were no schools to teach editing.  I think the phrase “we’ll fix it in post” was coined by the production crew at Video Wisconsin as we knew John could make those editing decks do anything.  I asked John, who is now living in Florida,  to write up a sequel to my Kohler project….take it away, John.

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Video Production

’80s Video Production – Guest Blogger Scott Brader

In 1987 when I worked at Video Wisconsin (the first round), I had the opportunity to project lead an exciting project called Style and All that Jazz, produced for the Kohler Company.  It was a big budget video with a four week turn-around time right in the middle of winter and the holidays.  Back in “those days” creativity was somewhat limited by the technology and simple things took forever.  There were a lot of great memories from that project, mostly from working with the talent of individuals who have since moved on to other business endeavors.  I thought you’d like to hear from some of them and see what it took to put together an award winning video with only six key people involved.  First up is Scott Brader.  Scott was part of a three person production crew of which I was one and Ralph Metzner was the other.

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