VLOG: behind the scenes at the Liberation Festival

On 5 May, Liberation Day in the Netherlands, our VJs traditionally work on the Amsterdam edition of the celebrations, a festival organized by ‘Het Vrije Westen’.  VJs Frouke and Elcke participated in the show on the main stage, Our colleagues of Vision Impossible made the end show video. Lars and Dominic filmed and edited the official after movie.

But here … is the unofficial after movie!

Our reporter Florien Kalac visited our Veejays and film crew behind the scenes. We see them at work in this casual vlog impression.

(Thanks to the above-mentioned artists for their input)

(This video is spoken in Dutch)

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Next level VJing with game software – masterclass Unreal

For extra awesome VJ shows, 3D visuals are a popular approach: beauties and beasts,  fairytale forests and space trips: everything is possible! For series, movies and games the impact of 3D animation is even bigger and these three worlds seem to be converging. So, not a surprise that Vjs are experimenting intensively with game software such as Unreal. A prominent upcoming specialist is our own 3D maverick and VJ Henk Nijman aka Shurly. Recently, he shared his knowledge in a masterclass Unreal for all Veejays.com members.

A game engine, what is it?

Unreal by Epic Games is one of the world’s most widely used so-called game engines. It’s used for major games such as Fortnite, Robo Recall and Battle Breakers, but also smaller indie games. A game engine is a cloud-based programming environment for creating game characters, game worlds and interactive games, and then publishing it in all major platforms (PC, iOS, Android, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, OSX, and Switch) Unreal Engine 4 is free for download, you contribute a part of your profit if your product is released and successful.

What does a VJ do with Unreal?

Henk uses Unreal to create 3D sequences when making promotional teasers, video clips, and to design the building blocks (loops) of his live shows.

Why use a game engine?

Like many other Vjs, until Recently Henk made his 3D video designs mainly with programs like Cinema 4D or 3DS max. But bigger screens and wilder ideas have been leading to a more and more time consuming calculation process (‘ rendering ‘). This can amount to days of computing time for only a few minutes of video. Games are by definition fantastic at realtime visual fireworks. Running through a forest with 10,000 trees? Not a problem. Game technology makes rendering largely a thing of the past – in theory. Saving a lot of time and making even more advanced visuals possible.

Time for a Demonstration!

In his workshop, Henk guided us through the extensive interface (good news: each feature has built-in tutorials). He prefers to prepare the 3D models for his objects in Cinema 4D, adding the textures in Unreal. Transforming, multiplying, grouping: also Unreal. You can play endlessly with camera positions and lighting settings and you can play out all kinds of scenarios with the objects in the video.  Much is managed using a ‘node-based’ system, defining the logical relations between and within events and effects. It’s also used to generate detailed complex landscapes using simpler building blocks.

Speaking of building blocks, a multitude of landscapes, objects and materials as well as movements are available at free or paid websites including Unreal Engine Marketplace, Turbosquid, CGTrader and Quixel. The finishing

touch for a project often is done in After Effects. During the demonstration by Henk, he plays around with a kind of King Kong thundering through a hellscape, creates flamingos chilling between giant pineapples and takes us on a flight through a world filled with 40,000 bright coloured doughnuts. Pretty unreal huh?

Which engine to choose?

There are two main alternatives for Unreal for VJs: the game engine Unity and the video programme Notch. Notch is specifically developed for live video productions and therefore in some ways closer to the VJ workflow. But as far as we know has fewer possibilities for content creation. An advantage of using true game engines is the great wealth of ready-to-use material from the game world. Unreal needs pretty heavy hardware and excels in i.a. landscapes. Unity, on the other hand, is more oriented towards coding and smart plugin use. Recently we organized with VJ Fader a 3 day master class Unity. He’s a good starting point if you want to know more about this engine.

The future

Gaming, cinema and live shows are converging in intersting ways, giving rise to exciting new interactive experiences. In the slipstream of the booming gaming industry, makers such as Vjs, gain access to a great wealth of libraries full of landscapes, characters, ‘ textures ‘ etc etc. Another exciting development: projecting the visuals directly via the game platform:  so no prerendered videos, but free live improvisation with digital characters and objects. This gives much more flexibility, and allows for working at ever higher resolutions. A nice recent example is the dome project by Childish Gambino. This concept could also be made interactive: e.g., one can put on a ‘motion capture’ suit that lets the DJ, dancers or audience directly control the visuals. Last but not least: game engines are already ideally suited for creating VR and AR experiences. So one day we may visit concerts or festivals wearing special glasses or contact lenses and party in a magic mixed reality. That’s about as unreal as it gets!

Video: Unreal project from Henk

Henk Nijman, (stage name Shurly), has been working for years as a 3D artist, graphic designer and VJ. His focus: abstract art and 3D visuals, preferably for live concerts (Drum and Bass!). He works as a tour VJ for Killerhertz, also often performing together with well-known Vjs as Ank1 and Bikkel, for example, Strafwerk and Klub Kompass in Ghent and is resident VJ at Korsakov and WTF. Join his almost thirty thousand Instagram followers to further discover his work.

Text: Florien Kalac / Veejays.com

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VJ students find enlightenment at Milkyway/ De Melkweg

Sorry! This article was published in Dutch only. See video below.


Brief summary

Light shows are created with a pleithora of lamp types and effects. They are operated using a light table. It’s a high tech game that’s evolving fast. Ideally the light technician and VJ work together creatively to find the best visual boost to the music. Live, or in large preproduced shows. This was a lecture for VjAcademy.


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PXL – a Wonderland of Light and Beats

Paradiso hosts the first video art rave in an official partnership of Amsterdam Light Festival

In the cosy twighlight winter days, Amsterdam’s music temple Paradiso Amsterdam will be transformed to an altar of light! To the beats of Japanese techno legend @Ken Ishii and many other hot DJs , and as many as 20 VJs and video artists will rock the place with their best visuals – until daylight takes over…

PXL is official partner of the Amsterdam Light Festival and is organised by Paradiso Amsterdam, us Veejays.com and Vision Impossible. Also in collaboration with Club1036 events & bookings, Kanpai and Creative Club!

PXL is (just like Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum) an Official Partner of Amsterdam Light Festival and is organised by Paradiso and us,  Veejays.com and Vision Impossible.



Main room hosted by Veejays.com

  • Ken Ishii
  • Vision Impossible
  • Carlos Valdes
  • VJ Frouke ten Velden
  • VJ Sjush
  • Hanna Black & VJ Syneasthesik
  • VJ Fader
  • VJ 3DJL / VJ for Life

Second room hosted by Creative Club 1036

  • Boris Werner
  • VJ’s Eigengeis
  • VjAcademy Class of 2018
  • VJ Spinsekt (LuzYAmor)
  • Wesley Roberts b2b Aprope Dragu
  • DJ SENC b2b Andrea Bertoli
  • Gideon Fierman b2b Rockson music

Basement hosted by Kanpai

  • Camtrao
  • Patrick Ebu-Mordi
  • VJ & DJ Jayo Tony
  • VJ Flirt
  • VJ Glitterende Eenhoorn & Lae

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Workshop: Learn how to VJ using the Unity platform

Proudly presenting: the great Chinese / American / German VJ Fader is coming to the Netherlands this autumn! In collaboration with our VjAcademy, he will give his successful 4 day intensive training Unity for Artists. You’ll learn in detail how to build VJ shows with this powerful open source game engine. Date: 22 to 25 November, prices: from 350 euros, in Amsterdam. We only have 12 places for this unique workshop, which was previously held in, among other places, Cape Town and Berlin.

Discover VJ Fader at www.vjfader.com and check his demoreel below.


Keywords: Processing, Touch Designer, open frameworks, Quartz Composer, VJ, Interactive media, Multimedia, Installation, mobile apps, VR, audio visual arts. digital art.

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Maxavision Revisited – discover the origins of VJ-ing

Peter RubinDiscover the amazing origins of VJ-ing and have a party at the same time! Saturday 17 February our VJs Frouke ten Velden and Lisa Derksen Castillo (VJ VISH) will give a lecture and performance on the Legendary Peter Rubin at the EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam. There performance: Maxavision Revisited is the closing act for the Research Labs Festival.


About Peter Rubin
Peter (1941-2015), originally a New Yorker, was the absolute pioneer in live video art as early as the nineteen-seventies. He received wide acclaim as a performer and artist because of his work at many major film festivals. With ‘Maxavision’ he became a landmark of the early heydays of house music, e.g. at Chromapark, Berlin, Mayday, and legendary Love Parades. In Amsterdam, where he lived a large part of his live, he was one of the artists that made Mazzo such a legendary place.

Rubin returns to Amsterdam
Rubin at workLater on, Rubin was a guest lecturer at VjAcademy. After he passed away VjAcademy (part of Veejays.com) has worked with the great staff of the EYE national film archive to preserve is work. Now for the first time, Frouke and Lisa will perform with his video material, using the original equipment – something unseen for about 25 years! After an introduction and demonstration, the VJs will perform at the closing party of the event.

The team
Frouke and Lisa are creating this showcase in collaboration with VjAcademy co-founder Daan Nolen (Sense Studios) and researchers of the EYE Archive. Mazzo veteran DJ Cellie will be the DJ , and also VJ Jayo Tony , (Veejays.com). This performance is made possible by the kind permission of the family of Peter Rubin and the generous lending of historic equipment by BeamSystems and BAKKER MEDIA .

Further reading:

Post script: The aftermovie is here! (thank you, Lars, Lisa):

Eye candy or art? | Veejays.com in XPO

Dutch artmagazine XPO interviewed Veejays.com businessleader Hidde Kross and Frouke ten Velden (VJ F) about VJing, and the question en de vraag of het meer is dan alleen eye candy.

Read the complete interview here.

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VLOG: Visiting VeeMee Visuals

VJ VeeMee (Michelle van Mil) Michelle van Milof VeeMee Visuals is besides VJ at Veejays.com, also board member! VeeMee is allround VJ and designer since 2010, with a background in animation and illustration (AKV St. Joost 2010).

Sudevi (junior marketer) visited her to hear the ins and outs at VeeMee Visuals.


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VLOG: Visiting VJ Nienke Mink

Nienke Mink (1990) Nienke Mink graduated at the VjAcademy in 2017. She loves to mix different media techniques, which makes her a true allrounder. In 2013, Nienke graduated as Motion Designer at the HKU, Image and Media Technology.

The day after Nienke’s exam at the VjAcademy, Sudevi (junior marketer) visited her.

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