Flocking Forms of Strings, in New Visual Performance Set to Ligeti's Music

Partituira – Ligeti – {Excerpts} from Abstract Birds on Vimeo. In the visual etude “Partitura-Ligeti,” dense constructions of abstract three-dimensional shapes fold in on one another, as if the lines of the score’s staff have become living muscular tissue, materializing into an architecture of musical form that quivers and bends. Shapes and particles flock like birds, taut and angular in the way that Ligeti’s intense string writing is. It’s the latest audiovisual masterpiece from Abstract Birds and Quayola. And the technology needed to realize their vision is worth mentioning, too – DirectX 11 optimizations for the latest GPU routines recently …

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Flocking Forms of Strings, in New Visual Performance Set to Ligeti’s Music

Partituira – Ligeti – {Excerpts} from Abstract Birds on Vimeo. In the visual etude “Partitura-Ligeti,” dense constructions of abstract three-dimensional shapes fold in on one another, as if the lines of the score’s staff have become living muscular tissue, materializing into an architecture of musical form that quivers and bends. Shapes and particles flock like birds, taut and angular in the way that Ligeti’s intense string writing is. It’s the latest audiovisual masterpiece from Abstract Birds and Quayola. And the technology needed to realize their vision is worth mentioning, too – DirectX 11 optimizations for the latest GPU routines recently …

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With New vvvv Beta, Texture Sharing on Windows; Syphon Envy, No More?

You’ve got something on the screen from one program – an animation, 3D generative eye candy, video whatever. You want to have that texture working somewhere else, so you could, say, mix it with some video clips in your VJ app. Intuitively, you want to just be able to “pipe” the texture from one place to the other, on the graphics card, without performance overhead. Macs, thanks to the brilliant open source Syphon framework, can do this, via the OpenGL graphics framework. It’s something we talk about on this site a lot. But Windows machines, using a mix of OpenGL …

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ArKaos Video Mapping is Coming to Mac and Windows; Exclusive Hands-on Video, Images

It’s not just projection mapping on buildings as a cool gimmick any more. Live visuals increasingly means adapting to spaces, using multiple outputs and multiple projectors, tailoring your visuals to irregular surfaces and integrating them with environments. It’s projection, but it’s also dealing with LED walls. And flexible output isn’t just something expected of high-end shows and media servers: it’s something that increasingly is becoming something the lowly, laptop-in-a-backpack VJ does, too. It’s making your visual imagination look as good as possible when others see it. All of this means it’s great news to see ArKaos, a long-time name in …

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Black Friday: Free Synths+Effects from Cakewalk, Plus Steep Discounts

Take my synth, please! Grab this instrument, the sample playback plug-in SFZ+, free for Windows. “Black Friday” has become a traditional date for talking discounts, but one price you can’t beat is free. Cakewalk is giving away some of their older effects and synth plug-ins. These aren’t just hand-me-downs – Cakewalk forum members lamented that a couple of these didn’t receive greater development attention. They’re eminently usable on Windows systems now. Available free: SFZ+: The real highlight here, rgc:audio’s excellent SoundFont sampler player, with built-in effects, various performance options, and an all-in-one interface Square I: A very lovely analog subtractive …

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Google O3D: Mind-Blowing Open-Source 3D API in the Browser with JavaScript + OpenGL, DirectX

Wish granted! Think 3D in the browser will never catch on? Think again. The folks at Google Labs have built an incredible-looking 3D API called O3D. It does just about everything you want, and then some: It’s multi-platform: Mac + Windows + Linux. It can render to both OpenGL and DirectX render pipelines. You can write your own vertex and pixel shaders. You have to use O3D’s own language for doing this, but that actually enhances compatibility, as frustrated shader coders may already know. (See the FAQ) It’s a scene graph, so managing complex 3D scenes isn’t a chore. It …

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Full-screen Vista + Processing 0156 + Java 6u10 Fix

Running Vista? Running Processing? This is important: you’ll want to apply this fix if working with fullscreen apps (as you would be as a live visualist). The short version: there’s a property to set if you’re working in an IDE (Eclipse / NetBeans. If you’re just working in Processing, the easiest thing to do is to download Processing 0156 with Java included rather than the “expert” version. But if you’re interested in knowing the gory details, here goes:

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Neon VJ App Goes Open Source, Gets New Lease on Life, Makes Demo Mayhem

Neon is among the best of a breed of obscure, indie VJ software gems around the world. The creation of mac/xplsv.com and later shine/xplsv.com, it’s made a mark not only as a VJ performance app but as a creator of real-time motion demos. It can event manipulate 3D Studio Max 7 scenes in real-time. All of this goodness could simply die as the developer moves on, but instead shine has decided to open source the code. That gives this Windows-only software a shot at a port to Mac and/or Linux, and turns it into a playground for would-be visual programmers, …

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New vvvv Beta Lets You Make Your Own Visual Plug-in Objects

The free (for non-commercial use), Windows-only, insanely-powerful visual/multimedia patching environment vvvv just got a killer feature: the ability to make your own "nodes" (what are called objects in some other modular tools). It’s actually pretty easy to build, too, and the developers have some templates for you. This is way up the list on my summer projects. You can do matrix transforms, as well, so 3D / GPU-based video processing gets very interesting, along with simpler manipulations of color, string, and number values: The latest vvvv version offers developers an interface to write their own nodes for vvvv. A plugin …

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Adobe Director Lives: Director 11 Does Physics, DirectX

When Adobe acquired Macromedia, a lot of people thought that’d be the end of Director. After all, Director and Flash have had increasingly overlapping capabilities for some time, and Director seemed like something people used years ago. Think again: talk to people doing interactive design, and Director — for better or worse — lives on. With the Director 11 update announced this week, that’s unlikely to change any time soon. New in this release: Vista support on Windows, Intel support on Mac Bitmap filters (a la the bitmap API in Flash 8/9, I’m assuming) Full JavaScript support and Code Snippets …

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