Homeless: Animating São Paulo's Darker Corners with a Handmade Love Story

Abstraction and geometry have their expressive qualities, but architectural projection as a medium need not always go that route. VJ Sauve’s work “Homeless” is poignant, warm, and personal, crafted from hand-drawn and hand-painted media, transformed into digital animation, then projection-mapped in a way that seems to bring São Paulo’s alleyways and streets alive. Characters dance and run across the urban landscape, with a convincing blend of simulated movement and real, moving projection. It really is cinema, fusing a story with the projection-mapped setting. The making-of video, below, is an artwork in itself; bringing in the story of how the piece …

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Homeless: Animating São Paulo’s Darker Corners with a Handmade Love Story

Abstraction and geometry have their expressive qualities, but architectural projection as a medium need not always go that route. VJ Sauve’s work “Homeless” is poignant, warm, and personal, crafted from hand-drawn and hand-painted media, transformed into digital animation, then projection-mapped in a way that seems to bring São Paulo’s alleyways and streets alive. Characters dance and run across the urban landscape, with a convincing blend of simulated movement and real, moving projection. It really is cinema, fusing a story with the projection-mapped setting. The making-of video, below, is an artwork in itself; bringing in the story of how the piece …

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Way Too Many Moogerfoogers: 18 Moog Pedals Become a “Modular,” Shout Out4 in the Studio

Steve Reich had his Music for 18 Musicians. Here’s a modular made of 18 Moogerfoogers. And for those of you who complain that modulars can become large, expensive, hard to carry, and unwieldy… This absolutely, positively … doesn’t help with that at all. (Happily, new desktop modular tools do, but… this is… also possible.) And to those of you who say this seems impractical or silly, well, maybe you have five friends, and each of you has three Moogerfoogers, and you’ve wondered if you could ever form a band. Yes. Yes, you can. This is the creation of Shout Out …

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King Britt, in the Studio: Fhloston Paradigm and Making Music Like It’s 1983 [Video]

We’ve heard the new Fhloston Paradigm; here’s an up-close look at the studio setup on which it was made. Making music can be about collecting the best, not just the newest, finding what’s inspiring to build your own tradition. Perhaps that’s why so many artists increasingly turn to vintage analog gear not just because they idolize the sound, but because it opens up working techniques that move their music forward. After all, digital emulations get better by the day at copying sounds, but it may be less a matter of old and new and more unlocking some personal creativity. In …

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Making Digital One-of-a-Kind: Inside Icarus’ Generative Album in 1000 Variations

Even the artwork changes. This is my personal copy – #148. Digital: disposable, identical, infinitely reproducible. Recordings: static, unchanging. Or … are they? Icarus’ Fake Fish Distribution (FFD), a self-described “album in 1000 variations,” generates a one-of-a-kind download for each purchaser. Generative, parametric software takes the composition, by London-based musicians-slash-software engineers Ollie Bown and Sam Britton, and tailors the output so that each file is distinct. If you’re the 437th purchaser of the limited-run of 1000, in other words, you get a composition that is different from 436 before you and 438 after you. The process breaks two commonly-understood notions …

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United Arab Emirates Architecture Brought to Life with Light; Behind-the-Scenes Details

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Projections from Obscura Digital on Vimeo. Illuminating the facades of United Arab Emirates mosque and historical architecture with extraordinary imagery, Obscura Digital transformed these structures with visuals both decorative and cultural. It’s a visually-rich celebration of Arabic and Emirati culture, and one of the developers – absurdly-prolific artist and geek virtuoso Barry Threw – walks us through some of the details of how it was produced, all using TouchDesigner software. The mosque, top: In celebration of UAE National Day 2011 Projection and design by Obscura Digital 44 projectors with a combined brightness of 840,000 lumens were …

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Pugs Luv Beats Marries Music, Gaming on iOS: How it Was Made, How Free libpd Music Tool Helped

The iPad becomes a canvas for a game with an atypically-musical, interactive sound score. All images courtesy the developers. Photos by whatkristensaw. Truly generative musical scores in games have been few and far between, and “music games” has traditionally meant arcade-style rhythm games in which you repeat phrases or whole songs as accurately as possible. Pugs Luv Beats breaks those molds. Part of a vanguard of new gaming creations that generate dynamic music on the fly, it marries grid-based sequencing and resource-gathering gaming, as music making and gameplay blur together. The interactively-produced music could itself become a new way of …

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Dimensions, iOS App Powered by Pd and Hans Zimmer, is Sound-Augmented Reality Game: Behind the Scenes

Graphics are good. Graphics are shiny. But when it comes to reality-bending, emotionally-immersive, perception-shifting power, look to sound and music. At least that’s the feeling you could get after playing Dimensions. Following their reactive music tools and Inception dream states for iOS, RjDj have turned their mind-altering sonics to gameplay. As with previous releases, these tools are powered by the open source visual development environment Pure Data. Pd engineering wizardry here meetings the compositional and sound design prowess of Hans Zimmer. You can see a bit of how the musical world works in the teaser video above, and the music …

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PreenFM, Open Source Hardware Synth: Behind the Scenes with the Creator

First revealed last month, PreenFM is an open source hardware synth. As the name implies, it’s an FM synth, with some very serious specs: up to six-operator FM synthesis with some nine algorithms, up to 4-voice polyphony (depending on algorithm), glide, selectable LFOs, modulation matrix, and preset banks with SysEx support. It’s all usable via a display and MIDI support. It’s also fully open source hardware; whereas early efforts often had commercial restrictions attached, PreenFM is free for use under the GPLv3 and Creative Commons. And it’s got a unique platform under the hood: the open source LeafLabs 32-bit development …

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360-Degree Wall, 4000 LEDs, Made with Cardboard, Paper, and Needles, in Action

Big pixels, enormous screen: watching the latest LED wall spring to life from basic materials, with a lot of effort, is a sheer delight. Reader Konstantin Leonenko sends in this work, by technical producers YBCOZ, for the Dutch artist Giny Vos’ cinematic installation. The sheer quantity of LEDs aside, it’s the ability of that cinematic quality to shine through in Vos’ work that ultimately makes the technical achievement more valuable. The construction, which took a full month of work, is here collapsed into four minutes. During those minutes, what you’re seeing is some 360 degrees, 4,000 LEDs for 4,000 individual …

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