G8 LABS’ CL:OC is a lighting installation shown recently in Köln, Germany. It’s a kind of moving sculpture, choreographing tubes of light as they form and dissolve the digits of the titular clock. It’s a beautifully-elegant, minimal piece, the sort that demonstrates how much can be done with simple lighting fixtures simply by treating them themselves as part of the image.
Livid Instruments is now best known as a “music” controller maker, but the DNA of the company comes from live visuals. Accordingly, the OhmRGB looks a bit like a visual controller – banks of faders on the left and right of a grid, crossfader, and groups of parameter controls all give you a hint that you might use this for two-channel visuals.
The makers of Vdmx have a terrific, detailed tutorial on mapping OhmRGB to their popular semi-modular Mac visual software.
That’s what happens when a Novation Launchpad meets a screen meets some mashed-up remixes meets Ableton meets audiovisual triggering. Okay, I have no idea how to describe this, but it does reveal some of the possibilities as conventional AV slice-up technique is applied in a new way, a TV screen merging with the performance interface. And it is very cool. (I was skeptical when I saw Daft Punk and Skrillex in my inbox, but this sober bearded gentleman, looking almost melancholy as he oversees the action, is in some serious business. Quite a lot of his own production there, as well.)
Finally, laptop music need no longer be lit by some bad club lights and the glow of your MacBook display.
Things are getting really interesting. Just ask Jonathan Thompson, a student who hacked Max for Live into an LED wall and got a blindingly-bright display grooving with the music. He writes:
I absolutely love your site, and I have always wanted to contribute, but never have felt I had anything good enough to share with others. Well, I finally created something that I think others would enjoy.
I am a college student, and created all of the software being used for this video in Ableton/Max4Live, including reverse engineering the LED wall protocol. This particular video was a test of some new lighting tools I built for the Glowing Room Initiative, an electronic music collaborative kickstarted by an art grant. I’m planning on filming a detailed walk through and explanation
of how the systems work at some point, but I’m not sure when that will happen since finals are quickly approaching.
Yeah, I think we’re all feeling that spring pressure on – but you can bet we’ll be eager to document what he’s done. And continue the good fight against boring visuals. Represent.
When photography meets generative visuals, where real-for-real techniques come together with digital imagery, some special things can happen. Take the surprisingly-effective technique of 3D light painting.
If you don’t closely follow our sister music site, you may have missed NI’s Monark synth. But the teaser for it is worth revisiting for its technique. Combining the iPad as a convenient portable screen with generative visuals and an open source 3D and Arduino control rig, it produces a rich, subtle effect that could be worth adding to your arsenal.
Motion artist Mickael Le Goff shares his work with CDM. I’m just going to quote him in his entirety, as this whole recipe is delicious.
The work is stunning and organic-looking, and the technique looks like a hell of a lot of fun. Continue reading »
Among superstar VJs, one favorite is Bogotá, Colombia-based Laura Ramirez, aka Optika VJ. We’ve seen her monumental Space Invader mapping; here, she’s back with a wrap of a variety of projects.
I don’t want to project (ahem) too much on the scene, but I have to note a tendency in South American artists that contrasts with the scene in Europe. There does seem to be a different approach to color and pattern that comes out of the environment, whereas – if in programming if nothing else – Europe and Germany in particular tend to a more austere minimalism. These visuals feel more free and improvisatory, splashes of color and texture less restrained. (Well, as I write this, I look out at a Prussian sky that’s certainly embracing a minimalist aesthetic and low color saturation; that could have something to do with it!)
Whether that’s fair or not about the scenes in general, it can certainly be said about Laura’s work: uptempo, mixing contrasting patterns, dynamic, and full of bold colors. And as such, such an injection of energy might be welcome anywhere around the world, as Laura does just that, spreading her work on tour beyond Colombia to venues international.
In the world of technology, as improbable moves to real, concocting an April Fools joke is suddenly a new challenge. But maybe imagining the absurd, or even imagining a joke, is a good creative exercise.
Whatever the deeper reason, I have to say looking at Resolume’s hardware video controller, made in jest, the first reaction that springs to my mind is, why don’t we actually build this?
Okay, as realized, this is fairly silly. The video simply maps motion-tracked projection maps video images onto a Korg padKONTROL. (For added measure, the blog post refers to Akai, not Korg – though some commenters are still fooled.) Making a full video image show up behind a pad would be a very difficult task, indeed: you’d need the image to be bright enough to show through the pads, and you’d have the problem of the pad mechanism getting in the way of the image. Update: the “fake” is sort of real, after a fashion. They mapped projected images onto the pads.
But why not have a better dedicated controller for VJ apps? Oddly, to date, not one VJ developer has shipped an iPad controller, which is a bit of a mystery. There’s no reason you couldn’t stream some low-framecount videos to iPad thumbnails like this, though. Alternatively, for fans of dedicated hardware controls, while full screens would be tricky, you could use RGB LEDs to get the dominant color of a video clip onto a grid of pads. In fact, you could build this right now – albeit at a 1×1-resolution video preview on the LEDs – on any RGB grid controller.
Controller builder Livid actually comes from a video performance background first; their Base would be a logical choice. And I do wonder if embedded screens aren’t a possibility, streaming low-res video over USB.
Food for thought. What’s your controller of choice at the moment, dear readers? And are you longing for more creative video instrument controls, too?
This isn’t possible, but something like it might be. Image courtesy Resolume.