Unreal Engine 3, Now Free for Non-Commercial Use: Go 3D Eye Candy!

Unreal Engine 3, by way of the Unreal Development Kit, is now available free for non-commercial use. That means that not only are its capabilities for games accessible, but all sorts of other possibilities for art, visualization, and, yes, live visuals. Unreal is scriptable, customizable, and powerful, making this pretty massive news. The feature list is deep as you might expect. Among the highlights: Video support Programmable shaders, particle effects, and many other goodies Physics support, via PhysX A UI for managing and editing assets and content Animation and cinematic features for making it easier to add motion Artificial intelligence …

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Immersive Music: Revo:oveR Installation, Lightbent Synth, Max + Unity

As an addendum to the last story, Ivica Ico Bukvic sends along an example of the [myu] Max/MSP + Unity game engine combination in action. Here’s the surprise: Unity isn’t generating visuals. Instead, Unity simulates ripples created by movement in the space, and builds physical models that are sonified and spatialized by Max/MSP. Speaking of work involving art museums and the combination of Max and Unity, VJ Anomolee notes in comments his own work with the pairing. Lightbent Synth is an in-progress piece with alternative controllers and sensors that produces sound with a novel visual representation (sound’s very quiet in …

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ofxMSAPhysics: Open Source C++ 3D Physics Library for OpenFrameWorks, Java Choices?

ofxMSAPhysics v2 from Memo Akten on Vimeo. In a word: yummy. Or maybe that’s “bouncy.” Memo Akten’s brilliant ofxMSAPhysics brings open-source physics programming to the C++-based OpenFrameWorks environment, an artist-friendly combination with an elegant API. Coding physics doesn’t require an advanced degree. See today’s post on the beautiful My Secret Heart to watch this library in eye-popping action. particles springs attractions (+ve or -ve) collision replay saving and load from disk (temporarily disabled in current alpha release) custom particles (extend ofxMSAParticle and add to the system) custom constraints (extend ofxMSAConstraint and add to the system) custom force fields (extend ofxMSAParticleUpdater …

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My Secret Heart: Mira Calix's Music, Wrapped in a Tank of Digital Tendrils by Flat-e, Memo Akten

Perhaps it’s the church setting for the installation, or the strains of 17th-Century choral composition by Allegri. But Streetwise Opera’s My Secret Heart, binding together reactive visuals and post-Minimalist musical strains, has the feeling of a 21st Century passion play, a digital devotional piece. My Secret Heart is a commission by Streetwise Opera, which develops work in the UK’s homeless centers, featuring performers from those shelters as stars, then transposing them to venues like Westminster Abbey. This work is a collaboration between electronic composer Mira Calix (Warp) with sound designer Dave Sheppard, and directed by video artists Flat-e with custom …

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My Secret Heart: Mira Calix’s Music, Wrapped in a Tank of Digital Tendrils by Flat-e, Memo Akten

Perhaps it’s the church setting for the installation, or the strains of 17th-Century choral composition by Allegri. But Streetwise Opera’s My Secret Heart, binding together reactive visuals and post-Minimalist musical strains, has the feeling of a 21st Century passion play, a digital devotional piece. My Secret Heart is a commission by Streetwise Opera, which develops work in the UK’s homeless centers, featuring performers from those shelters as stars, then transposing them to venues like Westminster Abbey. This work is a collaboration between electronic composer Mira Calix (Warp) with sound designer Dave Sheppard, and directed by video artists Flat-e with custom …

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Making Music with Fractals

Photo: Lara Sobel plays with naturally-synthesized fractals by burning into wood via high voltage. Fractals, those wacky self-similar, rough geometries that resemble so many patterns in nature, were once all the rage. Ravers and digital artists embraced them, only to get bored with them, apparently. To billions of years of evolution and natural phenomena, they’re still cool. And to me, there’s still plenty to talk about when it comes to thinking how fractals might be all the rage. Composer Terran Olson, a musician with a long resume that includes work with the Ives Quartet and Quartet San Francisco, takes on …

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NVIDIA Sets Notebook Graphics Drivers Free, Makes GPGPU, PhysX Mobile; ATI, Your Move

Finally, NVIDIA extends a welcome mat. Photo by Anna Irsch. For graphics cards, drivers are everything: it’s just not possible to be on top of stability, performance, and functionality without access to new, stable drivers. But for Windows notebooks, unlike desktops, traditionally you had to turn to OEM PC vendors to get your NVIDIA graphics drivers. That would be fine, if PC vendors kept pace, but my near-universal experience has been that vendors are awful about drivers. Just finding drivers on many sites is a Herculean task, let alone getting something up-to-date. That had meant that, for GPU gurus, the …

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Tiction: Animated, Nodal Generative Music App in Progress, in Processing

Electronic music is filled with grids and repeating loops. But get off that grid, and you can quickly wind up, well, floating in space. The challenge of marrying music that’s pre-sequenced with music that can generate itself, between self-evolving music and music that you can control live, is the challenge a lot of people are exploring right now. Hans Kuder has been sharing a promising-looking project on the CDM forums, built in the code-sketching tool Processing (site | CDMu | CDMo). The idea: explore nodes live and let your sequences float free on the screen. Hans writes: tiction – early …

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Behind the Scenes: Cute Generative Animated Characters with Squishy, Open Source Code

The making of: Nokia Friends, generative characters from postspectacular on Vimeo. Karsten Schmidt sends us a behind-the-scenes mini-movie that reveals how he created pudgy, bouncy animated characters using generative code in Processing. It’s fun to watch these cute creatures evolve through a process of iteration, from bare-bone physics to the finished product. The results are now in flagship Nokia stores worldwide as well as in a big installation at England’s Heathrow Airport in Terminal 5.

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Happy Floating Generative Peoples at Heathrow, Verlet Physics, And Global Felt-Tip Animation

Nokia / Friends / Heathrow Terminal 5 from Universal Everything on Vimeo. The insanely wonderful crew at Sheffield, UK’s Universal Everything send along a lovely new project – just in time to help ease any unpleasant thoughts about air travel. As part of an installation for Nokia, Universal Everything created a series of projected animations. My favorite is this generative visual of people of different shapes and sizes being whisked along by a people mover (click through to Vimeo for the full HD versions): Universal Everything / Nokia / Heathrow Terminal 5 / 2008 from Universal Everything on Vimeo.   …

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