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National Gallery Captions ‘Arcimboldo’

A small button (inset) turns captions on/off for the film.
WASHINGTON — When visitors to the National Gallery of Art’s new installation of Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s bizarre portraits that blend vegetables, animals and objects watch the accompanying film, they will have the option to activate closed captioning thanks to a CPC MacCaption Player system.

by T. Carter Ross

MacCaption Player is a Mac-based video player running off a MacPro tower; it feeds closed captioning titles to the National Gallery’s DLP theatre projector. A button at the entrance to the auditorium where the film is projected connects to a custom-made USB device at the MacPro tower.

“Pressing this button will make the text appear on top of the HD video seamlessly. … This makes it possible for any deaf or hard of hearing patron to have access to the narration of the video presentation,” said Giovanni Galvez, the CPC technician who developed the captioning solution for the National Gallery.

The captions persist until the button is pressed a second time, or until the video reaches the point in the replay at which the button was originally pressed.

For “Arcimboldo, 1526–1593: Nature and Fantasy,” the MacCaption Player features Apple ProRes HD QuickTime video quality. The system can playback any QuickTime-compatible video, which makes it easy for a video team to prepare captioning for HD video for public viewing, Galvez said. It also allows for changes to the captions to be made quickly simply by loading a .MOV file. In contrast, a Blu-ray disc requires compression, authoring and disc burning.




National Gallery of Art