Digital Video Compression: Understanding Color Sampling

DVXUser has a concise, easy to understand explanation of colour sampling methods in digital video, with diagrams! You’ve seen the numbers: 4:2:0, 4:4:4, 3:1:1, 3:1.5:1.5, 4:1:1, 4:2:2… What does it all mean? And how does it affect your video? What’s better, what’s worse, and when does it matter? What those numbers are referring to is a technique in digital video commonly called “color sampling.” The concept can be a bit confusing to those not used to working with video in the digital domain. In video, it’s common practice to not actually record all the color in an image, but rather …

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Must-have Free Windows Utility: ColorPic

Working with visuals means working with color, and if you spend a lot of time coding visuals in tools like Flash/ActionScript and Processing, keeping track of color and different color codes becomes even more vital. One of the first tools Mac users miss on Windows is the color palette. But I’ve become addicted to a tool that’s so handy, I miss it when I’m on my Macs: Iconico ColorPic ColorPic provides all the basic color picker options, with different available color mixers, HSV/RGB value readouts, and numeric and hex values. Where it excels, though, is in a powerful color picker …

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@AES: “Subversive” Hipno Plug-ins Use Color, Game Pads, Webcams

Cycling ’74 has released a new collection of plug-ins I’ve been eagerly anticipating, developed by a team from Electrotap. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill audio effects and virtual instrument: think spectral and granular sound, wild filter/delay stuff, morphing color-palette interfaces, and input from gamepads and webcams: Cycling ’74 Hipno “Subversive” Plug-in Collection US$199 for a whole mess of plug-ins; works with everything. (Mac RTAS/VST/AU, Windows RTAS/VST.) More after the jump.

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Music From Flashlights: RGB

Could that Maxlite at your side be a musical instrument in disguise? With up to 9 audience participants, viewers of the RGB project can control sound and visuals using colored flashlights, in a performance installation by Tomas Dvorak (CZ), Alessandro Capozzo (IT) and Matous Godik (CZ). The team used the free PC-only software EyesWeb, passing data to Macs running Max/MSP for sound and Processing for visuals. If you wanted to do something like this, EyesWeb would be a good place to start; it can track the movement of specified color(s) through a live video signal. There are other options, too; …

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SpinCycle: Color-Tracking Turntable

Spencer Kiser, another whiz kid from NYU’s ITP program, gives CDM our first look at his SpinCycle. It’s a new take on the turntable: instead of tracking grooves on a disc, the device reads colors and produces sounds (and hypnotic colors). Check out Spencer’s flickr gallery for pics for now, but he promises more documentation and video soon. Another reason I’m jealous of Spencer: he made the Vancouver conference on new musical instrument interfaces. Check out what looks like an interactive washboard-computer interface! More on all this soon . . .

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