We know what visualists like, we know want visualists want. Whatever holiday you celebrate in December, you’ll be really happy if it involves you getting cash to buy this stuff. But it’s not all a material world — much joy can be had from free inspiration, free software, and free learning — really.

Some readers on this site — wisely, perhaps — cautioned last year against doing a second "Create Digital …" site for interactive visuals, live visuals, and VJing. But to us, the connection between musical performance and technology and visual performance and technology is really essential. I’m pleased to announce that now, following a two-week sojourn on the Australian content, we’re finally kicking into high gear and lining up what we want the mature site to be. If you haven’t been reading lately, here’s a bit of what you’ve missed:

  • Video scratching with Serato: At long last, one of the leaders in digital control vinyl has added video scratching as well as audio via a new plug-in called VIDEO-SL, now in beta; we’re planning our own test but already have one hands-on.
  • We’ve got a big list of video and visual goodies we like. Is it a practical holiday shopping guide? Erm … bits of it are. It’s all drool-worthy, at least. And you’ll really want vintage, gigantic planetarium projections. Lay out some cots, and play that four hour ambient electronic set you’ve been working up.
  • Want to learn this stuff yourself? vade has some nice online workshops and tutorials for working with visuals in Pure Data (Pd) and Processing. Both also work well for music, so if you want to dabble in custom-programmed audiovisuals (I swear, anyone can do it with some dedication!) this could be a good place to start. We’ve also got tips for inexpensive high-speed photography and not one but two CDMo tutorials on the free Quartz Composer tool in OS X Tiger and Leopard. See Keith’s report on what’s new in the Leopard release of Quartz Composer, plus a beginner-friendly tutorial for driving 3D cubes with audio courtesy VJ Kung Fu’s momo the monster. The latter should be ideal for whipping up some quick sound-driven visuals for your band; you can even host those visuals in the live music host Rax. Incidentally, our CDMo New Years’ Resolution: make more work, post more tutorials.
  • Open jamming for visualists: Just as with music, the best way to practice your chops and share your work is to get out of your bedroom/studio and out to an open jam. We’ve got a full report on the Perth, Australia Plug and Play, an ideal example of how such an event could work, as part of their Byte Me! Festival I attended earlier this month. See the video below, and watch for more video soon – Jaymis and I are editing hours of video footage now.

Plug N Play – ByteMe Festival – Perth from Create Digital Media on Vimeo.

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We’re also posting weekend inspiration each week, back next weekend post-holiday break.

From the whole CDM team, very happy holidays. (Yep, New Year’s Eve is among them — we’ll be cracking on 2007-in-review!)