Teaching Piano to My Pupils

Discuss methods, books, lessons, and websites you use to learn.
No explicit, hateful, or hurtful language. Nothing illegal.
Post Reply
AndyLewis
Posts: 4

Post by AndyLewis » 12-29-14 5:48 am

Hi, I just discovered this great software as I was watching a piano tutorial site called http://www.hdpiano.com - I think it's great what the guy has achieved and wondered how it could be done using Synthesia software to teach my pupils.

I see he uses his hands to activate the keys and they illuminate - This would be a great method to show my pupils - Some of whom I give piano lessons over Skype to.

Does anybody know how to achieve this video of the piano hands underneath Synthesia?

Nicholas
Posts: 11892

Post by Nicholas » 12-29-14 6:43 am

I remember talking to Sean just after he started HDPiano.com. The way they do it takes some technical savvy.

First, they record the video of the hands from an overhead camera, while at the same time using the MIDI output from that keyboard to record a MIDI file in some MIDI editor. Next, they run that MIDI file back through Synthesia and record the resulting screen footage. In that way, the two separate video clips are working with exactly the same musical data, so they're perfectly in-sync.

After that, it's just a little extra work in a video editor to stitch the two together and overlay them.

That was how they did it initially. That was before they had the key-highlighting effect. I haven't asked about that specifically. I wonder if they didn't create some custom software to do that part...

AndyLewis
Posts: 4

Post by AndyLewis » 12-29-14 4:37 pm

Hi Nicholas

Thanks for your comments.

Whatever he has done - it is absolute genius! It's amazing what other people can come up with and work out ways in which the software is unable to do. I think you're right - there must be some clever programming involved.

Andy

User avatar
jimhenry
Posts: 1751
Location: Southern California

Post by jimhenry » 12-29-14 6:45 pm

I think Sean might have painted a keyboard with the green color used to drop out backgrounds.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.VirtualOrgan.com/

AndyLewis
Posts: 4

Post by AndyLewis » 12-30-14 3:31 pm

Hi Jim

Not quite sure what you mean! :roll:

raynebc
Posts: 38

Post by raynebc » 12-30-14 3:47 pm

I think he's referring to green screen style effects.

User avatar
jimhenry
Posts: 1751
Location: Southern California

Post by jimhenry » 12-30-14 5:15 pm

Hi Andy,

Sorry I wasn't more clear. Raynebc is right. My guess is that Sean plays on a keyboard that is painted green so that he can replace the real keyboard he is playing with the graphics from Synthesia. It is sort of like the way they put weather maps behind the weatherman on the TV news but Sean would actually be playing a keyboard to generate the graphics, not just pantomiming over a graphic background.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.VirtualOrgan.com/

AndyLewis
Posts: 4

Post by AndyLewis » 12-30-14 6:38 pm

Hi guys

Thanks for the explanations! So, he paints his keyboard green then removes the green keyboard within a video editor by removing the color? Then repositions his hands over the synthesia keyboard? But, if he was to reposition his hands - how come the orange is on top of his hands when the notes play? Otherwise, if you put the hands underneath the virtual keyboard they would dissapear under the keyboard!

User avatar
jimhenry
Posts: 1751
Location: Southern California

Post by jimhenry » 12-30-14 10:12 pm

Hi Andy,

I took a closer look. It isn't a green screen effect because, as you pointed out, the colors go over his fingers as seen in panel 1 below. I now think Sean wrote software to generate the keyboard colors. His workflow might be something like this:

He takes an overhead video of his performance to get the lower part of panel 2 and records the MIDI of his playing

He plays back the MIDI in Synthesia to capture video of the falling note display to get the upper part of panel 2

He plays back the MIDI in his custom software to capture video of the keyboard notes on a white background to get the lower part of panel 3

He assembles the 3 video streams with panel 3 as a darken only layer over the video of his performance

He might play back the MIDI in his custom software to capture video of the keyboard sharps on a black background to get another video layer for the sharps that he overlays as a lighten only layer. If he does this then only the naturals would be recorded on the white background. He could do all this in one pass with the black and white overlays as upper and lower halves of one video.
HDpiano.png
HDpiano.png (151.89 KiB) Viewed 8421 times
Regardless of how it is done, it takes a lot of careful work to create the videos for HDpiano. Nice work Sean! :D
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.VirtualOrgan.com/

Post Reply