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DMX Ambient Lighting Video Drives the Lights!

Extract Dominant Colors From Your Video

Ever wanted to automatically sync your lights with the dominant colors of your video, in real time? Maybe you've heard of a technology named Ambilight by Philips, extending your TV screen with LEDs all around the frame that are synced with the video content. Lightjams allows you to achieve the same kind of effects using your DMX lighting fixtures.

A broad range of video sources can be used, from your very own computer's monitor to every DirectX/DirectShow compatible cameras and video capture cards - in other words, about any hardware out there.


1. Global Configuration

You can use multiple video input devices at the same time (maximum 64). Go in the media manager (Ctrl-U) to configure them. To add a webcam, a video capture card or any DirectX compatible devices, just select the capture device in the drop down box. You can also use a network video stream in the MJPEG and JPEG format.

The video input configuration panel

1.1 Capturing Your Monitor Output

In this very common situation, you want to play your video from the same computer running Lightjams and capture the video output directly. You can look for "DirectShow screen capture filter" on the web, but to make it easy for you, here's my list of filters.

Screen Capture Recorder by Roger

Totally free and open source source capture filter. You can download it here.

Unreal Media Server Screen Capture

x86 package (32 bits)

x64 package (64 bits)

Completely watermark free but it blocks any clipboard operations and the standard file open/save dialogs. So while working on your project, you may want to disable the video analysis and only re-enable it afterward.

The configuration is done through the Windows Registry. You can modify this registry file to specify the region and the monitor number to capture. The documentation is in the text file along with the installer. You need to restart the video analyser (by selecting none in the device list) each time you change the configuration.

1.2 Webcam Tip

For better result and higher framerate, disable any auto light parameter. Instead, manually adjust the exposure time and gain to best fit your setup.

2. Link to any slider

Select any slider and click on the video icon. Then you'll be able to play with all video settings.

Select the video input mode

3. Play

Colors are analyzed in the HSL model - in Lightjams, the L has been renamed I for intensity instead of lightness. You can use any parameter individually. For example, you may want to only use the hue and set a fixed saturation value to compensate for the webcam capture quality loss.

Overall: This is the primary color from the whole video stream.

9 Zones: These zones correspond to actual regions of the video stream. They are like a real-time low res representation of your video. For each zone, you see the detected color.

For each color, you can click on the H, S or I buttons to select it.

To help you getting started, look at the Ambient lighting project in the sample projects.

See video colors in realtime

Idea box

Create a very integrated experience in your restaurants, bars and lobbies by projecting a video and automatically having the lights match the dominant colors. Real quick? Use a webcam to capture your video. Create a color palette with the 9 hues from the 9 zones and apply it to your moving lights. Trigger lighting effect when certain colors are detected. Use the video color intensity to dim your lighting intensity and avoid interference.

What's next? Try Lightjams for free!

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