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Isadora 2.5, new chapter for creativity server, 3D shaders

In the landscape of live visual tools, Isadora is something special. Despite being known mostly in certain circles – its name itself is a nod to the world of dance (Isadora Duncan) – it’s uniquely adept in those worlds. When it comes to mixing live visuals and interactivity with modern dance and theater, for instance, Isadora (now on both Mac and Windows) is essential. Why Isadora I always had special admiration for Isadora, and its creator, Mark Coniglio. In fact, his was one of the first computer performance tools I ever saw – his original project, called Interactor. I was …

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wwdc

5 Tidbits of Good News from WWDC for Musicians and Visualists

Apple’s WWDC keynote this year is an mix of mostly consumer-focused, end-user features and the occasional nerdier developer-centric discussion, plus a healthy heaping of hyperbolae. (The App Store, compared to the invention of the telescope and the discovery of electricity – did I hear that right?) But, if you’re paying close attention, there are some tidbits of good news for people using Apple’s platforms for creative work – or making the tools those people use. Before we talk about Apple Music, let’s look at the OS news. 1. Metal in OS X will open up new visual possibilities. Metal is …

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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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MWM is 3D Savvy, Next-Generation Mapping Tool; Here’s Why It’s Big News

If your computer can visualize massive three-dimensional worlds inside your computer, why can’t it be just as savvy in multiple dimensions on output? That’s the question asked by MWM. Like other mapping software, the idea is to get beyond just a single rectangle as output, supporting multiple outputs and 3D surfaces and warping. What’s unique about MWM is that it sets out to be more fluid with surfaces and outputs, all running “purely” on your computer’s GPU. And the workflow becomes completely different. Rather than crudely mapping some video textures to cubes, MWM lets you bring in entire 3D models …

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MWM is 3D Savvy, Next-Generation Mapping Tool; Here's Why It's Big News

If your computer can visualize massive three-dimensional worlds inside your computer, why can’t it be just as savvy in multiple dimensions on output? That’s the question asked by MWM. Like other mapping software, the idea is to get beyond just a single rectangle as output, supporting multiple outputs and 3D surfaces and warping. What’s unique about MWM is that it sets out to be more fluid with surfaces and outputs, all running “purely” on your computer’s GPU. And the workflow becomes completely different. Rather than crudely mapping some video textures to cubes, MWM lets you bring in entire 3D models …

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VDMX Adds Wondrous Shader Features – And a Spec For Adding Them to Visual Tools

They’re a recent addition to popular OS X live visual app VDMX. But now is the perfect time to talk about the magic of shaders, generally. Standard “fragment shaders” are capable of performing feats of visual wonder as both generators and effects, using geometry and pixels. Written in GLSL, they are portable to any OpenGL-compliant graphics card, which now includes a range of modern hardware on both mobile and desktop devices. And since they run on the GPU, they do all of this magic on optimized hardware – without straining your CPU. Despite Apple’s reputation for being proprietary, they’ve been …

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Serato Video 1.1 Adds Media and Effect Handling, Delay Compensation Features [Videos]

Serato Video seems poised to be a leader in introducing visuals to the DJ world. It’s maturing fast, and while there are a lot of options for these kind of visuals, few could boast this sort of friendly, minimal, familiar Serato-style interface. It’s also eminently controllable for turntablists and controllerists – at least if they’re in the Serato ecosystem – with support for Serato Control Vinyl, Control CDs, and the ITCH Controller. And that’s all you need – while it’d be nice to see some non-ITCH hardware support (uh, please), you don’t need special Rane mixers for this rig as …

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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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Free as in Freedom to Break S***: Blender Makes Things Shatter Real Pretty [Video]

I’ve had a lot of conversations lately that run something like this: free and open source tools shouldn’t just be shown for the sake of it. They should be better – demonstrably so. Here’s the funny thing: free software advocates are often the people nodding in agreement. And in some cases, they can blow your socks off. Witness what happens with 3D modeling tool Blender as it breaks things, gorgeously. I’ll leave this to the YouTube description:

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In Video, GLSL Studio for iPad: The Touchable, Programmable Display

Slim, but packed with 3D power, the iPad is now capable of being a sketchpad for 3D shaders and graphics programmability. We saw as much when we saw this tool last month (it’s destined for other platforms, too, in case you’re jealous): More Coding Fun on iPad, Android, Beyond: Play with GLSL’s Magical OpenGL Goodness Well, that tool keeps getting more functionality. American Developer Ben Hopkins, aka kode80, tells us this new release adds some much-desired new functionality: think 3D model importing and code completion. (Only an independent developer would call significant additions like that “1.02,” but we love it!) …

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