Example: Stylizing logotype with Visual Cortex System

This topic presents a process for stylizing logotype with a video synthesizer. This example builds on Example: Processing footage with Visual Cortex System. Stills are brought into the Memory Palace, and the system is used in conjunction with a rescanning camera to complete multiple processing passes. This example uses logotype to aid in visual identification of concepts.


  • I am not interested in logotype, should I read this?

Logotype is used as a cipher for any signal that could benefit from collage or catalogue. If collage is of no interest, this example demonstrates a prolific process for repurposing video.

  • What is your sync setup?

I am generating house sync with AJA GEN10 and distributing it to two AJA KiPros. I synchronize my system via VC front panel with either the KiPros, or a Canon XF105 genlocked to KiPro Ref. I do not think my sync is resolved or should be modeled.


  • A folder of stills is prepared for Memory Palace. Each still accounts for 1 of 36 alphanumeric monospaced characters.

  • Memory Palace is configured to access storage via front panel USB, files are transferred, and Memory Palace is power cycled.

  • Memory Palace displays stills via Media Loader in paint mode. Note settings in frame and along indicated axis. A visual indicator such as nonpermanent marker, tape, or monitor guides can assist in framing.

  • Memory Palace settings are auditioned to confirm transitions between stills. A still is analyzed from audition capture. This still is used as a crop guide.


ffmpeg -i test.mov -filter:v "crop=480:480:128:0" test-crop.mov
ffmpeg -i test-crop.mov -filter_complex "[0:v] fps=29,scale=iw:ih,split [a][b];[a] palettegen [p];[b][p] paletteuse" test.gif

*Note 40px added to measured horizontal offset.

  • Memory Palace settings audition presented below as .gif.


  • A reel is made by advancing each still by hand at a rate of 1 still every 10s. This capture presented below as time lapse contact sheet.
ffmpeg -i reel.mov -filter:v "crop=480:480:128:0" reel-crop.mov
ffmpeg -i reel-crop.mov -vf fps=1/10 -q:v 1 reel%03d.png
montage *.png -geometry 480x480 sheet-reel-review.png

  • reel.mov is output to preview monitor and rescanned by a camera, Canon XF105. As above, a visual indicator assists in framing.

  • A key is established and the focus ring on the camera is articulated, configuration presented below followed by .gif.
ffmpeg -i defocus.mov -filter:v "crop=480:480:128:0" defocus-crop.mov
ffmpeg -i defocus-crop.mov -filter_complex "[0:v] fps=29,scale=iw:ih,split [a][b];[a] palettegen [p];[b][p] paletteuse" defocus.gif


  • Skew is achieved by changing camera placement and the key is clarified through threshold adjustment.


  • A texture is applied to key foreground and a first pass is completed by rescanning reel.mov with Canon XF105. Canon XF105 outputs to the system. The system output is captured and presented below as sheet comparison. (reel.mov vs. first-pass.mov)

  • first-pass.mov is output to one half of the system, the rescan camera outputs to the second half for keying and spatial processing.

  • This key is used as VC Channel A input. The decoded luma from first-pass.mov is used as VC composite input and confirmed by colorization, presented below.

  • Similar to previous presentation of defocus, stroke behavior can be appreciated by manual adjustment of focus ring, below as .gif.


  • With stroke established footage is auditioned at 2x speed in brief.



  • A second-pass is completed and processed for comparison.

  • second-pass.mov is output to the system. The decoded luma is sent to Topogram and appreciated here as source, then as source through Topogram’s fifteen outputs.

  • Two slices from Topogram output to VC Ch. A, Topogram Thru to VC Composite input. Ch. B Mix switch ON to colorize.

Topogram, Colorization, and DVE

  • Topogram \5 out to staircase provides edge highlight and drop shadow while recovering dynamic range.

  • A ramp is output to the buffer for spatial processing and then filtered. This DVE is output to the blue color channel of VC Ch. B. Configuration below, followed by Memory Palace output, then DVE as composited in VC Ch. B.



  • A final pass is captured and processed for comparison.
ffmpeg -i final-pass.mov -filter:v "crop=480:480:128:0" final-pass-crop.mov
ffmpeg -i final-pass-crop.mov -vf fps=1/10 -q:v 1 final-pass%03d.png
montage *.png -geometry 480x480 sheet-final-pass-review.png

  • An increase in -vf fps provides alternative takes for each character.
ffmpeg -i final-pass.mov -filter:v "crop=480:480:128:0" final-pass-3every10-crop.mov
ffmpeg -i final-pass-3every10-crop.mov -vf fps=3/10 -q:v 1 final-pass-3every10%03d.png
montage *.png -geometry 480x480 sheet-final-pass-3every10.png

  • A frame from final-pass.mov is analyzed as a crop guide, a kerning alternative for the purpose of simplifying mock ups.


ffmpeg -i final-pass.mov -filter:v "crop=220:480:258:0" final-kern-crop.mov
ffmpeg -i final-kern-crop.mov -vf fps=3/10 -q:v 1 final-kern0%03d.png
montage *.png -geometry 480x480 sheet-final-kern.png

*Note 40px added to measured horizontal offset.


  • As such, video frames provide design assets for further development.


  • The video synthesizer provides an economized manner of working when video frames can simplify repetitive design tasks.


I just want to say how amazing this post is. Process/workflow planning is an integral part of any pro video project and seeing detailed examples of how to integrate the LZX tools into those processes is no doubt going to be very educational for many.


Regardless of overarching artistic goals, challenging system output to solve a design problem helps refine and expedite future problem solving with the instrument.