The future of VJing. Trends, comments, conclusions. Longread.
A couple of days ago, in several VJ groups on Facebook, I wrote a question: What is the future of the VJ industry?. I got great feedback from VJs, both from the oldies and pensioners, and from some new cadets … I’d like to share my conclusions with you and give my forecast on how I personally, as well as our LIME ART GROUP team, see the future of VJing.
AI WILL KILL EVERYONE
And so, the first thing that catches your eye in the comments about the future of VJing is that most people write that VJing is waiting for transformation by means of artificial intelligence, suggesting the use of such services as Dalle, Midjourney etc. It seems to me that artists in this sense confuse the concepts of VJING (process, video performance, live performance, real-time video content mix) with content production, and the resulting content for video shows created by AI.
Today’s AI technologies for creating content involve simple text input and the generation of a static image. Indeed, in the future (I think in 2-3 years) we will get a high-quality analog of Dally for video, which will be able to generate 3D animation and video footage with 4K resolution, which it won’t be a shame to show to grandchildren…, but this is only content. The result of work of the neural network.
VJing is not about that.
What is the value of a VJ in this sense? To open a laptop, pay a $49 subscription and write a text, for example:
Horse Bass guitarist performs in cyber-punk style.
Or: Blockchain network in Arabic ornament.
What is the value of a VJ? What about live performances? Real-time video mixing, audience and musical accompaniment, synchronization with lighting designers and tequila with a director? How about the presence of a VJ in the area of a musical or cultural event?
What about content change in real time depending on the change in a script of a program, who will do it? So when you say the future of VJing is after AI, what does that mean? Can a neural network replace a real person in a disco with thousands of people? Who will drink tequila with a director of a show?)
Also, many artists, VJs write that the future of VJing is giong to have even closer integration with a DJ or music at an event. It is assumed that you need to prepare a special audio-reactive show, or presets of visual programs that react to the audio. But my dear, this is not the future but the past. At the beginning of 2001, a very cool visualizer was created for Winamp, which even by today’s standards can be compared with many VJ clips and loops from producers of our time.
Of course, as a part of a large program, audio reactive content, a preset, should be in your arsenal, but its sole dominance as the main trend for VJing in the future, in my opinion, is impossible.
Again, we can connect the input audio channel to our media server or computer, split it into tracks or sound frequencies, synchronize with animation of our content. But this is not about VJing and mixing video content. In this case, you won’t be a VJ, but a kind of an audio-visual developer of an audio reactive video show. Which in fact will lead to 100% autopilot. First, we create a show in the office or at home, then we simply synchronize it at the event, press one button and go dancing … Well, for some, this option may seem attractive.
There have been many comments that show VJing will become more and more interactive. What does it mean? This involves direct interaction with a viewer, where the viewer will be able to influence and change the visual content broadcast by the VJ. But here, it seems to me, there is also a little confusion. An installation can be interactive, in a gallery, in a mall or in your private garden. That is, video art, video projection, or led installation can respond to your movement, voice, touch, etc. But the question is how to make such an interactive when there are from 500 to 1000 people in front of you in the concert hall? What if there are 10,000 people?
How to make video content or video projection or led installation interactive for each person at the same time? There are no such technologies yet. In the last paragraph, we wrote about audio reactive content – this is also a kind of interaction. Only not with the audience, but with the music, from artists. But we are interested in how to combine VJing and interactive in the future.
Theoretically, there is a solution. For example Kinect + Unreal Engine + Resolume. In this case, a VJ must first create a special interactive application, and not just one, connect it to Kinect or by other means to record movements from a person, and then simply mix and broadcast his channels on led screens or video projection. But again, this is only possible with a small number of viewers.
If you have 100-500 people at a festival or club at the same time, it is not yet possible to create an interactive installation or VJing that could interact with all the spectators at the same time. That is, the viewer should not just watch, but directly interact with the video stream broadcasted by the VJ, and also change it. But there is one solution that can change our perception completely…
Indeed, there is now a lot of software that can generate content in real time and that can be interactive. But today, integration can only be with the artist on stage, and not with every spectator at the same time. In addition, interactive content may not be appropriate everywhere. In most cases, today, interactive is used to generate visual content with an artist, for example, for dancers, where a generated video double is synchronously duplicated on led screens. And also, on TV broadcasts, where, for example, post-distortion or radiance effects are superimposed on members of a rock group …
AR – Augmented Reality
In the case of using mobile and light glasses to broadcast animated elements there with space tracking, this can completely change the entire industry, not only VJing, but in general the entire creative and marketing industry. Imagine that each participant of your festival has augmented reality glasses. In fact, this means the highest level of personalization, since the visual channel accounts for more than 70% of all the information we absorb, and everyone has his own glasses.
It turns out that each has his own REALITY. And that means more choices. If we exaggerate too much, then an organizer of a festival will be able to invite as many VJs to participate as there are spectators at the festival. And the viewer himself will be able to change his reality, and the visible video stream in glasses, just as yesterday we changed radio stations on the radio receiver…
But here, even through AR glasses or mobile phones, there is also no direct interaction with the video stream broadcasted by the VJ. In any case, in order to simultaneously use augmented reality glasses with maximum tracking and integration, we need at least a 6G network to transfer this amount of data…
There are also options and solutions to set up interactive applications through mobile applications in phones in order to control the VJ software. But how will it look on stage? Even if each viewer downloads an application to their phone, connected to VJ software, how will control be exercised? One will turn the red color, another one – blue, one will raise the fader by 50% and another one by 10%. – It will turn out to be a real mess..
Such interaction is also not yet feasible in the context of interactive for each viewer of the event at the same time. Unless, everyone will have their own control and their own look. But in this format, then your friend will not see your interactive, he will have his own, and you will have yours.
The most realistic and predictable additional future for VJing is integration into virtual shows and online streaming. The so-called remote VJing. I already wrote about this a year ago in my article – How can VJs survive in a crisis?.
The corona and pandemic restrictions have shown a very high demand for virtual shows. And it will only grow in the future. In that respect, this niche is just a big gold mine for a VJ. You still need Resolume, you still need video footage and VJ Loops, you also need to understand the laws of composition, but with high-speed Internet, you can broadcast your beautiful VJ mixes remotely to any event in this world. In fact, any artist or event anywhere in the world can become your client.
What is the most interesting is that even more money can be paid for work, and you will spend less time, since you will not physically need to go anywhere. You can do all this in your master bedroom wearing pajamas.
And another big plus is that your VJ set can be broadcasted simultaneously on several platforms, which entails a large number of direct and indirect benefits and bonuses…
Not only the entertainment industry is developing to the fullest. I think that in the future we will get even more efficient, functional equipment with a minimum of unnecessary cables. Video signal transmission without lengthy cables, higher resolution and color reproduction on led screens and projectors, as well as more versatile and beautiful video content.
CONCLUSION AND PERSONAL OPINION
Today, asking my colleagues about the future of VJing, it is clear that the boundaries are becoming more and more blurred and a VJ today is not only a person who mixes video in real time, taking into account music, light, stage shape, and also a viewer.
I think that VJing is based on a key concept that can be combined with one beautiful word – MIX. I think that you need to apply this property not only in relation to video content, but to all the technologies and opportunities that you have and the era of Aquarius brought to us.
- Beautiful and thematic video content, video footages and backgrounds.
- Pre-programmed audio reactive presets.
- Real-time generated video content.
- In the future, AI-generated content with integration into video shows.
- Efficient integration with light, lasers.
- Better understanding of a form and space.
- VJ’s personal brand, charisma
- Recognizable VJ’s visual style.
Moreover, it seems to me that if you are more focused on the industry of gallery, museum art or retail, then it makes a lot of sense to reorient your video art into the form of interactive content and interactive installations. Since there is possible interactive engaging in turn with each viewer.
And if you work more at festivals and discos, in clubs and with DJs, then content is still a king here, and having a library of video footage, vj loops is just a must for every VJ.
And here I am writing about this not as a producer of creative video content, but more specifically as a VJ. Today there are many companies on the market, indeed LIME ART GROUP is one of the market leaders, but still there are many other talented producers. The use of video footage is good because it saves more time, but on the other hand, as we saw above, it is still impossible to make interactive content that can interact with all participants, viewers of the performance at the same time.
Another major part of the future of VJing and growth is personal branding and style as an artist. How many world famous VJs can you name? Do you have your own personal style? Do you create a performance in which the festival organizer wants to put you on the central stage, and write your name on the poster not just VISUAL SHOW IN PROGRAM – but your name in capital letters? Who are you – just a contractor? Or a VJ with his own name? I think this is an important question to ask every VJ today, for a higher realization in the future..
Be a VJ. All technologies and solutions are good. Use whatever you have, mix it up. Don’t be afraid of AI and remember what it means to be human. And remember, you don’t have to run after future. The future does not need to be caught or attempted to be built. If everything is done well today, then a good future will come by itself. Hugs to everyone.
Best wishes from Vienna,
Thanks for your attention, faithfully yours,
Alexander Kuiava – Founder & CEO LIME ART GROUP