unrender: Celebrating Visual Expression as Something Live; Online and in Berlin Friday

There’s not a word yet for visuals as event. We know it when we see it. And we know it in other media. With music, there’s no question when something becomes performative, when the human element is something you can’t subtract. But in electronic visuals, in light and image, the awareness of what is emerging in the medium seems latent. The narrow view of VJing and club visuals is dated. And disconnecting those media from generative and interactive work misses an explosive and dynamic new craft. Whether it’s clever work with optical analog and overhead projectors, or a delicately-constructed piece …

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Learn VDMX in Your Skivvies: Online Tutorial on Powerful OS X VJ Tool

There’s nothing like the comfort of your own home. The comfy feel of underwear instead of annoying … clothes. The absence of … other people in the same room. Yes, if you’ve ever dreamt of learning the lovely semi-modular, powerful VJ tool VDMX, now you don’t need to wait until experts in the tool come to your part of the world. You don’t even need clothes. (Though, maybe you’re chilly. You can totally wear clothes, too.) Vidvox’s own David Lublin will be presenting a workshop for video artists ready to get deep into VDMX. You can hear from this core …

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Video Inside DJ Software: Mixvibes Cross 3 Adds Visual Features, Samples and Syncs Video

We’ve seen plenty of dedicated VJ products or third-party add-ons. But when it comes to mixing and management, most DJ software still focuses exclusively on music libraries. The lone exception has been the Video-SL add-on in Serato. Cross 3 from Mixvibes goes further to integrate video natively than any DJ tool previously. The new release of the software adds an extensive set of video features. And the aim remains appealing to DJs, particularly those who want Pioneer hardware integration or who come from the club scene. Mixvibes isn’t just a random developer – it’s the same company that developer rekordbox …

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Watch The Retro-Fabulous, Colorful Real-time Freakouts of Robotkid

Robotkid, aka Josh Randall, is the veteran former Creative Director at Harmonix who regularly infused VJ and real-time visual aesthetics into the company’s games (Beatles Rock Band, VibRibbon, etc.). Now, he’s gone to LA, where his passion for the most fantastically colorful trips of the past is feeding new visual fancies. And they’re too good not to share. Where better to start than with a full-on freak-out on Disneyland’s Space Mountain, here seeming more futuristic than ever:

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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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2 V-P Makes Performing Live with Quartz Composer Effortless, Powerful

Apple’s Quartz Composer has long enabled beautiful, intricate generative and responsive visuals, often even with simple patches. But assembling its compositions into something with which you can perform is more of a chore. 2 V-P isn’t the first attempt to wrap Quartz’s interactive visualizations into a performance tool. But it might be the most practical. The work of Ali Demirel, with developer Pascal Lesport, it embodies a lot of Ali’s approach to thoughtfully-morphing imagery. It’s been torture-tested in the real world of performance, particularly in Ali’s ongoing collaboration with Richie Hawtin. What’s promising about 2 V-P is that it centersentirely …

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UMIDI are Custom-Designed DJ Controllers, Built to Order [Gallery, Video]

umidi – The World’s First Custom & Visual DJ Controller from umidi on Vimeo. DJs, laptop musicians, and VJs may never agree on what layout is optimal for controlling their apps. With UMIDI, they might not have to. The Kickstarter-funded project has an ambitious goal: building whatever control you want, to order. Use a graphical Web interface to select a layout, and the producer will custom-machine a case out of aluminum, etching it with your own design, and adding the controls you want. The resulting hardware is USB class-compliant and works with any software, they say, and weighs under 3 …

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Pocket VJ: Raspberry Pi Gets Super Pikix Pi – Free, Dedicated Visual App

Those silver machines with the fruit on them sure are great. And for now, PCs (whether Apple or Windows or Linux) are unparalleled in performance. But cheaper, dedicated hardware with the same flexibility of computers could grow in appeal. The Steambox promises to the gaming community that a dedicated box running Linux can best desktops and consoles alike. And in visuals, we could see something similar. Why wait? With a $25, tiny pocket-sized computer and a free VJ app, you can start now. Sure, it won’t exactly match that mini-tower you’re lugging around running TouchDesigner. But if you need to …

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Vezer, Envelope and Time Tool, Adds Elegant Music, Audio, Sync Connections

MIDI Clock Sync Vezér to Ableton Live from luma beamerz on Vimeo. Vezér is not a tool for making visuals on its own, but instead uses powerful envelope tools to let you shape ideas in time. And being as it is focused on time, more connections to sync and audio were understandably a big feature request. Now, Vezér looks like an elegant bridge between music sources and visual apps, ideal for both live visual shows and tightly-orchestrated music videos. So even though the software is barely more than two months old, the developer says he has spent sleepless nights making …

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For 120 fps Slow Motion Alone, iPhone 5S Became the Visualist Phone of Choice

iPhone 5s Test Footage – 120 fps from Rishi Kaneria on Vimeo. Three words for VJs and visualists: shoot more footage. You’ll find plenty of reviews of the new iPhone 5S for photography applications, but perhaps most compelling is its impressive 120-fps slow motion, which is stunning for something that’s included in a mobile phone. Overnight, the 5S has become the visualist phone of choice – that is, if you’re investing in a new phone. And I have to say, generally, while other rivals (notably Samsung and Nokia) ship phones with good optics, Apple seems to have the edge in …

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