Motion graphics / Web designer by day, VJ by night? Flash artist, looking for some way to put those coding skills into something that you can actually use in a live set? Or just trying to find a way to escape all those endlessly-looping videos to do something more connected with the music? The possibilities of adding interactive Flash to your set are really limitless. (It’s a cliche, but in this case, it’s absolutely true.) GrandVJ, the new-generation visual app for Windows and Mac from VJ software vets arKaos, has added full-blown ActionScript support that really works, meaning you can make some serious interactive animations. Clarification: GrandVJ supports Flash up to ActionScript 3.0, but ActionScript 2.0 timeline animation is recommended. Well worth reading is VJ Ecin’s discussion of the advantages of Flash VJing.

Ben Guerette aka VJ Ecin ( kicks of a series of tutorials on the topic with an excellent getting started video. It’ll work with GrandVJ as well as NuVJ and the higher-end media server MediaMaster, though GrandVJ would definitely be my first choice. Ben writes on the arKaos blog:

In this tutorial I’ll explain how to tap into the EQ data to create some simple audio-reactive animations. We’ll be using some basic ActionScript 2.0 for the inexperienced Flash programmer. I won’t go into much detail on the how the code works but it should be enough of an introduction to allow some experimentation in creating new content for your VJ arsenal.

It’s delicious stuff, but it can’t help but amplify my longing for a tool that can do this with Processing sketches. That’s not to compare Processing to Flash: they’re actually quite different tools, despite some overlapping capabilities and syntax. But because of that difference, there are things I’m doing in Processing I’d love to be able to drop into a set. Developers, I’m curious if you have any smart ideas (realizing that getting render pipelines to coexist is a non-trivial problem).

  • Beebles

    PilgrimPro3D could produce similar results 5-6 years ago with video, still images, and/or 3d models… it could also do it to several layers of content simultaneously… with shaders and effects… while projection mapping… while making brocoli taste good and fixing broken families…

    RIP Pilgrim!


    Rabid Pilgrim Fan

  • Peter Kirn

    Well, generally speaking, none of this is new. I will say, to GrandVJ's credit, the foundation there is extremely robust. And oddly, I'd say in general in terms of both commercial and open source software, the real goal now is to build better foundations – not necessarily to do *new* things, but to do old things so well, perform so reliably, that the artist can take these basic techniques and go wild.

  • SKY(nard) RON(stein)

    Kudos, Ben! it's awesome that you've given us just a few lines of code that totally cracks open the VJ/Flash world! I've been using Flash in NuVJ for months, but this little bit of code is transformative and inspirational! – - thanks so much!!

  • SKY(nard) RON(stein)

    (and post script: I got into NuVJ because it was cheap and fast and dirty. It doesn't do everything, and it's not the Stradavarius of VJ rigs, but it's pretty good, and I invite you all to read the 'When Pretty Good is Awesome' article in Wired this month . . . ) (probably not the exact title of the article)

  • Retinafunk

    Neat.. but just want to point out that the example in Video is Actionscript 2 and not 3 .
    Maybe GrandVJ offers AS3 .. but thats not shown in the video . AS3 is much more powerfull and fatser
    The only VJ soft I know of which supports AS3 is Resulume Avenue…but I might be worng

  • Peter Kirn

    @Retinafunk: Good point. Actually, here's the explanation:

    "Additionally, it no longer relies on the Flash 5 player and ActionScript 2.0 can now be utilized. GrandVJ works best with timeline based scripting so the class based system of ActionScript 3.0 isn’t recommended."

  • Peter Kirn

    I'm not clear, actually, on why that is; I'll have to look into it. I think it may just be that AS2 is *easier* to deal with…

  • Jose Fotografia is an excellent free tool to create motion graphics. You can upload your videos to youtube