So, you’ve got a laptop and you want to play multiple video streams. And maybe it’s not a super-fast laptop – maybe it’s just a kind-of normal laptop that you’ve upgraded to an SSD.
Or, wait — you’ve actually just gotten the dream job media art gig you always wanted. And they’ve assembled 52 projectors in the budget, and want 26 layers of video. And you need to deliver that efficiently. And they didn’t budget for some high-end media server.
Either way, Hap is for you. It’s an open-source, GPU-accelerated video codec. The idea: go easy on your CPU by off-loading decoding to the GPU, and make a reasonable tradeoff in quality and file size that can nonetheless pump out lots of HD video at once. Initially, the codec was the work of the folks at Vidvox (makers of VDMX), along with Tom Butterworth. But by making their work free software, they invited others to collaborate, and bring the tool to other platforms.
And that’s exactly what’s happened. Hap is now in loads of places – including, for the first time, on Windows.
Yes, if you’re running Windows, you’ve now got options. You can use Hap with:
OpenFrameworks (with ofxHapPlayer (also on Mac)
Jitter (jit.gl.hap (also on Mac)
DirectShow (opening up support for the apps that use that API, including a QuickTime plug-in for Unity)
D3 Media Servers and Isadora are coming soon
On the Mac, you also get Unity Game Engine (that alone is huge, I think), OpenFrameworks, Cinder, Jitter, Modul8, Millumin, CoGe, lots of VJ apps, and (soon) Isadora.
It’s opening up some amazing projects already. Witness Renaissance, an enormous, 52-projector / 26-layer video installation celebrating art history in Kiev. See their TouchDesigner patch below.
Mmmm. That’s a lot of slices.
Probably don’t try this with another codec. Virtual art gallery…
To get started, check out the main Hap page (based on the blog post from earlier this year, with loads of Q+A):
Presenting Hap, a family of open-source GPU accelerated video codecs
Good news if you’re a PC:
The Hap Video Codecs, Now Available For Windows!
And go fork them:
Ah, so it turns out that demoscene animations don’t all have to feature bad trance music. (Sorry, had to be said.)
Srdce is simply exquisite, fluid animations of blades of grass, waveform vibrations, geometric tangles, and the exploding fragments of a beating heart set to a touching song. It came in second at the Outline 2014 demoparty.
Trans-cultural bonus: you get a (Slovak or Czech?) rendition of Emily Dickinson. “Srdce” means heart in Czech; the team originates from Slovakia.
With beautiful instrumentation (banjo!), it’s a lovely way to spend two minutes. And all of this fits in 8MB of Windows executable, a great chunk of which is just the audio.
More demoscene moments to come, but let’s start with this one.
Details, and a bit of poetry (back in the original English):
Srdce by Satori + Tu v dome
Zden – image, code, design
Maali – 3d models help
released at Outline 2014
Music: Ladislav Durko
Lyrics: Emily Dickinson
(translated by Milan Richter)
Tu v dome:
Ladislav Durko – piano
Ali Kobzova – voice, violin
Bronka Schragge – cello
Ozo Guttler – drums
Martin Sutovec – banjo
The Heart asks Pleasure – first -
And then – Excuse from Pain -
And then – those little Anodyness
That deaden suffering –
And then – to go to sleep –
And then – if it should be
The will of its Inquisitor
The privilege to die –
Emily Dickinson 1830 — 1886
Via the excellent Tumblr prosthetic knowledge
Drøp feat. Fax @ UNRENDER / LEHRTER SIEBZEHN / BERLIN from CDM on Vimeo.
Crackling and vibrating, Drøp featuring Fax is an intense bath of sound and light, webs of lines materializing and dissolving in Fax’s visuals like microscopic alien thunderstorms. The duo played live at our first unrender session, and captivated our crowd with improvised abstract etudes.
But while it may look generative, this is all done with clever manipulation of video clips – mixing disguised as algorithmic geometries.
The collaboration was so tightly-knit that I was keen to hear more about how it came together. Fax presented not only at our Unrender series, but also for our friends at Scope Sessions – an international lecture series based in Berlin that acts as a hub for the visualist community based here and traveling through here. Here, we get to talk to Fax, aka Andrea Familari – also one of the organizers behind the epic Live Performers Meeting (LPM) gathering – about his work, his technique, and collaboration.
Continue reading »
Still from Creatures audiovisual, by Jem the Misfit and André Uhl. Preview premieres Friday in Berlin.
Electronic and digital visuals are expanding in their expressive potential, as live and real-time instruments, performances, and interactive installations. But the venues and contexts for that work remain understood in terms of narrow, older categories: the gallery and video art, the club and “VJing” – and now, increasingly, via commercial patrons (search engines, trade shows).
What happens when clubland and art-land, the design world and the music scene can encounter one another in open spaces?
unrender is one humble way we get to try to answer that. Hosted and co-curated as a collaboration of CDM with Lehrter Siebzehn, we work with their temporary open project space in Berlin to show a range of what’s happening and what’s possible.
And, you know – it’s a party. It’s free and open to artists and visitors alike, to hope we get to know each other better and discover new people and work.
Here’s what the first installment looked like, through the eyes of a GoPro camera (shot, nicely enough, unsolicited!):
We’ll join each other again in person on this Friday, the 30th of May, in Berlin near Hauptbahnhof. Event info:
Resident Advisor event
And we’ll also continue this narrative for everyone here online. First, a preview of what’s in store. Continue reading »
Everything old is new again, again. You see, those pocket-able supercomputer phones with the very-decent optics and imaging can bring back a love of photography, and photography can bring back a love of cel animation. Thank the smartphone’s portability and convenience, perfectly-suited to repetitive tasks like capturing impromptu cels on the go. And that can open itself to a sort of creativity that returns people to some of the simple pleasures of animating.
Hombre McSteez does some wonderful stuff with this in the film at top. (Follow him on Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter.) The iPhone becomes a sort of animation sketchbook, capturing ideas in the real world as cels and photos mix. These are to me first sketches rather than fully-developed ideas, but the ability to improvise with animation is something special. Seems someone will do an app for animating directly on the screen, too.
In the meanwhile, I was reminded of this Sesame Street clip from when I was growing up. (Teeny Little Super Guy seemed fitting both for the phone and the animation likely to inspire would-be iPhone users.) Thanks to my generation, of course, this humble short has its own Wikipedia article. Continue reading »
The lighthouse’s white beam of light seems a perfect fit for a Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto to music fans) makeover.
α (alpha) pulse is a new audiovisual creation from Nicolai, commissioned by Art Basel for Hong Kong. And in a megapolis that does scale in a big way, the minimalist content gets a grand implementation in Hong Kong Harbor.
The entire facade of the giant International Commerce Centre (ICC) – all 490 meters (1600 ft) of it – is illuminated. For fifty minutes, synchronized pulses of light and sound will beam across the harbor, connected and synchronized to mobile apps. The apps, for Android and iOS, make the sound and respond to the light.
From the press release: Continue reading »