Color and Light: Vezer Timeline Software Gets Savvy with Lighting

Who says a projector has to be the output? For decades now, average musicians have easily controlled instruments via MIDI, from drum machines to pianos. Now, software makes it easier than ever for users to do the same with color and lights. The latest entry is the excellent visual timeline app Vezér. As of 1.3, it adds some very powerful new tricks: Control lights over Ethernet. Via Art-Net, you can connect to DMX-compatible lights. What you need to know: that includes robot lamps, moving heads, and LED strips. See below. Light control. To make that support work, Vezér now includes …

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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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MadMapper, In New Release and Beta, Manipulating Mapping and Lights Alike [DMX, Quartz Composer]

A thousand points of light! Okay, really, just a whole bunch of “Fixtures,” which allow DMX/ArtNET integration of lighting goodness with your MadMapper mapping rig. Image courtesy GarageCUBE. The future of mapping as technique is doing more than just mapping as a technique. And so, having seen how ArKaos targeted LED lighting, here’s the popular MadMapper working with a wide array of lighting, via DMX. Aptly-dubbed “MadLight,” lighting is the banner feature of MadMapper 1.3. With the use of the ArtNET protocol – in turn converted to DMX – you can mix mapping with lighting and stage rigs. The implementation …

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Carrot HD Video Mixer + Controller, in Edirol V4-Style Layout, Coming Soon [Exclusive Prototype Details]

HD Rabbit – Introduction from carrotvideo on Vimeo. I keep waiting to write this headline and talk about something that’s shipping. But it might at last happen. We might finally be able to cover an HD mixer that lets you easily plug in two computers and mix as easily as you have done for years with analog inputs. It’s called the HD Rabbit, from upstart Carrot Video, designed by VJs for VJs – and yes, you might even be able to afford it. You know what you want. You’ve known for a long time. You want a mixer that works …

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In Black Droplets, the Monochrome LCD Transformed Into Medium

If previous generations worked in paint, now we can work in monochrome LCDs. That’s the message of a beautiful work entitled IRIS, making use of lowly LCD displays to produce a mirror made of dots. The description: IRIS is a unique media canvas with matrix of conventional information display technology – a monochrome LCD. Through the phased opening and closing of circular-segmented black Liquid Crystal, IRIS can create various patterns and control the amount (size) of passing lights. IRIS is an interactive medium for visual simplicity which uses the passage of ambient light, not emission of light itself. Interactive mirrors …

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You Are the Lazor Music Controller: Kinect + LASERS + Ableton + Max/MSP

Matt Davis [namethemachine] is seen here with Microsoft’s Kinect computer vision / 3D camera controller, plus – stealing the show – lasers. The lasers in question are a rig by Henry Strange, which allows computer control of laser direction using the DMX protocol. (DMX is a protocol similar to MIDI – though actually a bit simpler, if you can believe that – generally associated with lighting and show control.) I could say more, but I’ll let you watch the video and ponder. The ingredients: OpenNI, the “natural interface” not-for-profit standards body and organization that allows drivers across multiple hardware (Kinect …

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MadMapper, New Mapping Tool, Released with DMX-Made Cocktails; Video Examples

From top: a 2010 example of the mapping techniques at work, a workshop that launched the new software tool. More than a gimmick, projection mapping – calibrating visuals to various projection surfaces in 3D – has become an essential technique in live performance visuals. That means visualists will inevitably be looking for tools that help them project on things other than flat rectangles. At Switzerland’s Mapping Festival this month, one such tool made its official public debut. MadMapper comes from the creators of Modul8, a tool that already has some mapping features in it. A demo version is available for …

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Luz: Live Motion Graphics, Controlled by Anything, Free on Linux and Now with DMX

Luz is a promising, surprisingly-powerful tool with a clean UI that lets you connect a huge range of inputs and generate visuals. It’s fully free and open source on Linux – possibly reason to try a Linux dual-boot for experimentation, even if you’re not a regular user. And now, a new release adds DMX support. Working with actors and dynamic parameters, it looks extraordinarily easy to create quick visual effects. And it’s especially nice to see a tool that focuses on generative modules rather than emphasizing video. For input, connect MIDI (notes and controls), gamepads, joysticks, Wii remotes, Wacom tablets, …

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Kinect in Teaching: Playful Puppets, Terrains, Lighting, and More Breakthroughs

Teaching has its moments of reward and frustration in equal measure, but I’m of the belief that there are no limits to the new ideas that can grow out of groups of engaged students. In fact, it’s often in the first draft, the first experiment, the first time a student has tried something that I feel like I see the greatest spark of new ideas. Freed of concerns about whether something has been done before (looking at you, jaded artists and comment trolls alike), liberated by the bone-crunching stress of deadlines (ahem, yes, they do have a motivating impact), students …

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Kinect Hacking Gets Sophisticated: Skeletons, Open Source Game, Objects, More

Kinect Skeleton Test from CADET on Vimeo. Kinect hacking, worldwide, continues unabated, taking the tool from proof-of-concept depth tests to something that could actually prove the basis of real media. The killer app, it seems, will be interactive art, as Kinect’s ability to interact with someone in space is ideal for the kinds of interactions designers need – perhaps, ironically, more so than in games. Most promising of all, Robert Praxmarer writes to share his team’s work on skeletal tracking, top. This is really the magic of Kinect: beyond just tracking depth, once you have a notion of a human …

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