“Ghost Box”: Imagine Anything, Realized with 3D Printing, Projection, Interaction, Illusion [Interview]

It looks like an arcade cabinet. But inside, 16th-century illusion meets 21st-century projection and fabrication techniques to produce a booth that can let users imagine new products. It’s the power to transform special effect into real creation. Chicago-based creative studio Leviathan, teaming up with music foundry Waveplant, produced the project. Moving from an early art experiment to a commercial application, they combined a number of ingredients into a box for dreaming up custom designs. The elements: Projection mapping with a moving object (a technique we’ve seen with growing frequency) The “Pepper’s Ghost” effect – sometimes dubbed a “hologram” by folks …

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"Ghost Box": Imagine Anything, Realized with 3D Printing, Projection, Interaction, Illusion [Interview]

It looks like an arcade cabinet. But inside, 16th-century illusion meets 21st-century projection and fabrication techniques to produce a booth that can let users imagine new products. It’s the power to transform special effect into real creation. Chicago-based creative studio Leviathan, teaming up with music foundry Waveplant, produced the project. Moving from an early art experiment to a commercial application, they combined a number of ingredients into a box for dreaming up custom designs. The elements: Projection mapping with a moving object (a technique we’ve seen with growing frequency) The “Pepper’s Ghost” effect – sometimes dubbed a “hologram” by folks …

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Those snap-tight blocks have a clear appeal for prototypers. Oh, and they're fun to play with. Photo (CC-BY) slackpics.

A Synth Finds a LEGO-Brick Home; Do You LEGO Your Projects?

Snap, snap… LEGO bricks are at some point irresistible for making a synth housing. Our friends at DE:BUG point to a LEGO-built, circuit-bending synth. And the imaginary toy world of LEGO find their way into this instrumental housing. Creator freeformdelusion writes: ClearTone Synth with LFO inside a nice lego project box with a house, dog, flowers, LEDs and a female figure drinking away to the synths excellent sound! Cheers to that, yes! But, with LEGO bricks here and there for the holidays (you know, for kids), I wondered: who out there is prototyping synths and the like with LEGO? Found …

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Make it Tangible: Create Physical-to-Visual Interfaces with vvvv; Book Soon

The explosion of physical interfaces for computers continues. But it’s not so much the novelty of the idea as its evolution toward really being able to express ideas physically. Connecting visual expression to hands-on control, the creators of a new book entitled Prototyping Interfaces “sketch” in both the physical/electronic and digital/on-screen realms simultaneously. Color from an object can impact color onscreen, or a wooden knob can give a parameter physical form. Several things are significant about their effort versus the many other similar projects. First, they have beautiful documentation. (Yes, folks, if you’re scratching your heads wondering why you’re not …

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Terrific Tablet Wireframes in Adobe Proto, as Adobe Touch Picture Comes Together on iOS, Android

Wireframe tools are all the rage, but you have to take particular note of the design work done by Adobe Proto – partly because they’re an industry heavyweight, but also because the app itself is generally cool. (Why Adobe then insists on dry presentations of cool apps, I have no idea. Anyone want to do some spec marketing on this for them to show them how it’s done?) The big draw: export to HTML, CSS and JavaScript. And those languages could increasingly become a lingua franca for creative visual development just as they have for sending things to the Web. …

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Virtual Synths: Modeling Gear, as Imagined by Communities and Engineers

Do Androids Dream of Electric Synths? Imagining an instrument from a clean sheet of paper is an essential part of the design process. It can remind us of the extent of possibilities – and, sometimes, why compromise is necessary. The German site Amazona.de this week unveiled mock-ups of an instrument conceived by their community. The design looks terrific, and the specs (below) do read like the sorts of things synthesists would want. My only concern is that the results could be very cost prohibitive; the obvious remedy it seems would be to use digital oscillators in place of the eight-voice …

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Getting Started with Processing for Android

Photo (CC-BY) Kristian D.. Pick up a pen and draw a sketch. There, that was easy – however crude, you can get out an idea. Sketching with paper is still the fastest way for most of us to imagine something. But between that immediacy and the end result, you need prototypes. The Processing language has long been one of the easiest ways to sketch an idea in code – best after you’ve first put pen to paper, but as an immediate next step (and for ideas you just can’t draw). Built in Java, the creation of Ben Fry and Casey …

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DIY monome Case from LEGOs, Live Performance in a Bathroom

At the risk of becoming Create Digital Monomes, here are two things that make me very happy. For anyone who thinks it’s too hard to get hold of a genuine monome, or any of those of you who got the kit and haven’t built a proper case for it, this is for you. FYXDESIGN has posted a terrific tutorial enclosing the monome 40h kit (8×8 grid) inside a custom case made from LEGO bricks. The project comes out of a group at New York University’s ITP digital tech school who saved money, beat the monome’s scarcity, and made lots of …

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GDC: Nintendo’s Iwata on Iterative Prototypes, Teaching Programmers Rhythm

A real highlight for me at the Game Developer Conference was getting to hear Satoru Iwata deliver the keynote. Aside from being CEO of Nintendo as they have launched their most successful console ever, Iwata-san has left a sizable development legacy as a veteran of HAL Laboratory (Balloon Fight, Kirby). In the game community, I think the reception to his keynote was mixed – mostly, it introduced long-overdue storage solutions for Wiiware titles, along with some relatively minor game titles. But as a person interested in design and development – and what innovative interfaces could do for music and not …

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DIY Hardware and Controller Enclosures: MachineCollective Progressing Towards September Launch

It’s been a couple of months since Peter mentioned MachineCollective – the open, DIY modular controller enclosure system – on CDMu, and they haven’t been sitting on their hands during that time. MachineCollective.org has been updated with lots of new pictures and information, and they’ve even dropped a potential price point: €25-35. Despite a couple of visualist-specific controllers – Ohm, VMX VJ, NuVJ – we generally have to make our controller choices from the gear designed for electronic musicians. We see a lot of inventive combinations of hardware and software solutions for VJing, but we also need some good, accessible, …

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