How to Create a Dynamic Visual Show: Video Specific Notes

How to Create a Dynamic Visual Show: Video Specific Notes

As a DIY independent artist, there are many resources for free open source software which can ease up the headache of paying for expensive software. Here is a list.

Video Editing:

Video Special Effects:

3D Rendering:


Licensed Software:

Industry Standard.

Ableton Link enabled, Midi Mapping, Show Kontrol, DMX Control, Community Forums, Customer Service

One time license. Comes with 1-year of updates. Black Friday is ½ off, or ½ off if you are a student.

Enabled access to over 20+ apps to cover most projects.

Most of the time creating content to 1920 x 1080 resolution is fine.

Most LED Walls don’t have a perfect 1920 x 1080 resolution, so ask the production manager for LED Wall resolution before heading to a show. 

If you have a projector, that’s perfect. If you can afford a short-throw or laser projector, even better.

(just don't point it at anyone’s eyes)

Learn what the correct video codecs mean for example DXV vs. mp4

If you have no VJ to operate visuals for your performance here’s a solution:

  1. Acquire a projector.
  2. Create some clips for your show about 10-30 seconds in length.
  3. Download VLC. 
  4. Drag the clips into its playlist, set to loop forever.
  5. Disable the ‘show media title’ on playback in the settings>video
  6. You now have a loop that will play for your entire show uninterrupted.

Important questions to ask yourself when conceptualizing the videos or experience:

  • What kind of experience do you want to create?
  • Do you want your visuals to depict a narrative, something obscure, something more chaotic?
  • How can you get to that experience, or a version of it, give your resources and time?

When designing visual concepts and themes we need to consider what kind of experience we want our audience to have. Do we want subtlety, extravagance, when and where do we do either? What kind of colors do you like and think translate well into an audience? How do those colors make an audience feel?

One of my favorite use of color, or lack thereof, is with G Jones current (2023-2024) live show.

Their use of only a rich black and a slightly off-white contrasts so perfectly. He uses an LED video wall to showcase symmetrical shapes, relies heavily on symbols, strobes, and white moving lights. 

From my perspective, the show has an element of chaos, as does his music, but the use of only black & white truly organizes the chaotic environment and adds to the production as a whole.

One of the concepts I picked up on this week at the Scenario 2024 Music Conference, is that as an independent or DIY artist, if you want to get to a point where music pays your bills, you must treat it like a small business, and you are the owner, operator, producer, etc. You wear every hat imaginable. 

Considering this, it is beneficial to operate it with the intention to make a profit on your operation or break even.

When considering adding a VJ to your tour, there are expenses to consider in pre-production and budgeting.

A typical medium to large visual production could look like this.




Per Diem




Software Licensing



Software Use



Compatibility Checking





Set Up

Visual Check

Compatibility Check


Test Media Playback




Quality Control Hardware

Assess Damages

Store Equipment



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