Push Pixels Harder: Open Hap Video Codec Now on Windows and Mac

So, you’ve got a laptop and you want to play multiple video streams. And maybe it’s not a super-fast laptop – maybe it’s just a kind-of normal laptop that you’ve upgraded to an SSD. Or, wait — you’ve actually just gotten the dream job media art gig you always wanted. And they’ve assembled 52 projectors in the budget, and want 26 layers of video. And you need to deliver that efficiently. And they didn’t budget for some high-end media server. Either way, Hap is for you. It’s an open-source, GPU-accelerated video codec. The idea: go easy on your CPU by …

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The Dazzling, Futuristic Lighting of Licht.Pfad, Transforming Clubs and Beyond

Light Installations Show Reel 2013-2014 from Licht.Pfad Studio on Vimeo. Seeing the future of light in performance, installation, and clubs doesn’t necessarily mean waiting around for some fantastic, new kind of lighting instrument. That requires big manufacturers making mass-market products, and their priorities don’t always align with artists. Instead, what we’re seeing is often traditional lighting technologies, choreographed in spectacular new ways. With elaborate computer control, the lights themselves form architectural patterns, dance, and come alive. Licht.Pfad have actually been behind a number of projects covered on this site. Using the visual development tool TouchDesigner, they’ve built their own tool …

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Rouge: The Power of TouchDesigner, Made Ready and Reusable for Live Performance [Free]

The beauty of open-ended, modular environments is the ability to create exactly what you need from the ground up, each time. The problem with open-ended, modular environments is the need to create exactly what you need from the ground up, each time. And that has left some readers of this site utterly baffled when opening the graphical environment TouchDesigner we mention so often. Media artist Mary Franck got tired of creating new modules and mappings for each performance, and wanted to produce a framework that allowed her to create custom shows without having to reinvent the wheel. What she has …

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Fusing Sound and Visuals with TouchDesigner and Ableton: One Behind-the-Scenes Video

As artists continue to seek out new, richer connections between audio and image, the marriage of Ableton Live and TouchDesigner becomes increasingly popular. Here’s a detailed look at how that connection can work, courtesy a detailed technical video revealing the process for one audiovisual collaboration. Description: A behind the scenes look at the collaboration between Elburz and nVoid Art-Tech Limited for Elburz’s “Escape” live audio-visual show that premiered at Om Festival 2012. A narrated walkthrough of how Ableton Live 8, Derivative TouchDesigner 077, and Cycling 74’s Max 6, all come together to create a fully interactive live audio-visual show. Elburz …

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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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New TouchDesigner Goes Gold, with Free Sharing, Ableton Live Sync, More

From top: TouchDesigner powering the Plastikman show, Steve Mason’s Chapichapo. If you’ve been watching big-league visuals lately, things that made your eyeballs roll out into the crowd, odds are TouchDesigner might have been some of the software in use. The tool, established in years of use but perhaps little known outside a few select circles, has been making waves lately in some very nice shows. Even its interface is dazzling (and, indeed, figures directly in shows by the likes of Berlin label Raster Noton), flying through endlessly-zoomable graphical patching interfaces. One obstacle has stood in TouchDesigner’s way: accessibility. That Hollywood-sexy …

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Plastikman Visuals, Condensed to 60 Seconds

Pacing live visuals over the course of a performance can be a key to its success, so it makes this 60-second timelapse of the Plastikman (Richie Hawtin) show all the more compelling to watch. You have a sense in this condensed version of how color and imagery are mapped to the flow of the performance, and the amount of constraint required to make that consistent. (Style differs – I’ve seen plenty of visual performers get more hectic than this in 60 real-time seconds. It works for some, not as much for others.) Ali Demirel & Jarrett Smith of Canada-based Derivative …

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Digital Video Fragments, Flowing as if Liquid: A Chat with Robert Seidel

In Robert Seidel‘s “motion painting” Meander, digital video is fragmented into atomic textures, as sound and visuals alike crackle through streams and clouds. Don’t mention the word “glitch” or “datamosh”: it’s really more like digital action painting. Working with the visual development environment TouchDesigner, Robert collaborates with sonic artist Heiko Tippelt, as seen here in the excerpts from a recent performance in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Materials are fractured and reconstructed, in granular fashion. I got to talk to Robert a bit about his work. meander // live performance | Robert Seidel & Heiko Tippelt | ROJO NOVA @ MIS Brazil …

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Locative iPhone for Audience Interaction, with Plastikman’s SYNK App

There’s the music player, the device in your home or your pocket on which you listen to the album. And there’s the concert experience, where you have a couple of longnecks and get sweaty and dance with your friends to live musicians. But wait a minute – now the musicians are using computers and music players to perform. What if that music player became part of the interaction at a live gig? Richie Hawtin is going live with a new show via his Plastikman persona – great news to those of us who love his original work. Part of the …

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