It’s been a long time since I’ve not posted anything. Since a few people asked me, I give here the ArKaos plugin (working with NuVJ, GrandVJ and MediaMaster, not tested on PC) to do light painting, as well as a standalone application based on Quartz Composer (Mac only) that gives better results than when used in ArKaos softwares (at least when using an interlaced DV streaming device). It may have changed in latest version of ArKaos because if I’m not wrong they improved deinterlacing algorithm. Should be asked arKaos forum though.
Here are the files for those interrested. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that work and I don’t have more time to spend explaining, but feel free to contact me if you have questions.
LED display is becoming more and more popular, good (energy saving) and bad (manufacturing of led is very polluting and life time is generally bad). Anyway, I’ve be suggested to work on a 3D LED Display project. The LEDs are generally used for 2D displays, like a video screeb, but LED tubes or transparent LED screens makes it easy to go for 3D. We can find good examples over the web:
G-Lec Led displays with content rendered specially for this display, as a 2D video made of 10 sub pictures that would be mapped to each 2D plan:
This one is minimalist, not really video but a good example:
The best I found is the one from Visual Drugstore also using GLec Leds. In this setup there are two different ways to feed the system. In both case, the end result is one 2D picture composed of one sub-picture for each 2D plan.
Case 1: the picture has be preproduced with a 3D software, rendering one 2D video for each plan and recomposing it in a wide 2D picture
Case 2: a vj software is producing a 2D picture that makes the first sub-pictures, a time-slice effect will feed the other pictures. It works fine. But from what I know, the setup of this was a bit heavy compared to what I could do in a few hours coding an effect for arKaos, or even a FreeFrame effect (FFGL or standard FF) which would work with various softwares.
Here it is:
So, driving a 3D display is not new,but it’s rare, so there are many things that have not been done yet. I’ve been thinking of two things: making an effect for arKaos softs to create the time-slice effect, and create a flash library to display 3D objects in a set of 2D sub-pictures on a wide picture. This could lead in an easy way to create animations, and audio-reactive animations of 3D objects in the scene and seding it to the screen through the LED Output of arKaos MediaMaster.
So I investigated both ideas and get it working. To see it working I made a setup on my laptop with WYSIWYG (cast-lighting visualization software) and arKaos MediaMaster, connected through ArtNet DMX protocol (DMX through ethernet). In WYSIWYG I made a setup of 12x12x12 leds.
Demo I did using the time-slice effect (sorry it’s not that visible…):
I’ll post more if the project goes on…
GrandVJ 1.2 is in version beta4 (link here). It now supports Quartz Composer (on Mac, 10.5 advised) as sources and visuals (partly documented here)
I had already heard tons of god things about QC (Quartz Composer), but a few weeks ago, I made an application (yes, using QuartzBuilder you can convert a Quartz Composition into an application with many options) and discovered how easy it was to develop multimedia applications and how powerful it was (most of the work is done in the graphic card. It is really a multimedia graphic programming environment that make it very fast to realize funky applications, visual effects and visual content (interactive or not).
I’ve been looking at many stuffs people did and many websites and got inspired to create some effects for arKaos applications and more. Well part of my work was adapting other people composition to make it effects for GrandVJ. Unfortunately it doesn’t work in Modul8 because Modul8 supports only Quart Composition in “safe mode” which is a reduced set of QC features. For security reasons, a Quartz file running in a browser must be safe: no file access, no camera access, no audio input etc. But why Modul8 is limited to safe patches ? Anyway GrandVJ is not
First this effect is really incredible: http://002.vade.info/?page_id=19. So I adapted it to make it a GrandVJ effect. Download below. Thanks to Bill Etra for sharing the code ! And congrats. I like it. Creating 3D from a 2D picture is generally of bad taste (int general 3D is but this effect is really not.
Here is the result:
Later on I found this great effect too: http://memo.tv/amoeba_dance_caliper_remote
I enjoyed it and I’m trying to see what can be done from there. Well it’s not as good as amoeba one for the moment, but I’ll work more on that:
Well, I forgot I also did a picture folder player with Quartz Composer. It could use the “text” variable of a GrandVJ layer to receive the folder path, the the movie speed to define how fast it should go from a picture to the next one.
I post the RuttEtra effect here. Thanks again to Bill Etra for this one.
I’ve been developping some Flash animations for using in GrandVJ, but it is compatible with NuVJ and MediaMaster as well. It’s not using ActionScript3. I did some experiments with AS3 and it works much better and allows you to avoid using some tricks to force Flash to redraw each time arKaos soft requests a new frame I’ll post some later on.
These animations are using the beat and audio variables (EQ, audio level etc.) transmitted by arKaos to the flash. These variables are used in the ActionScript code to animate various elements. Possibilities are endless. While I hate Adobe Flash user interface and I don’t like some behaviors in Flash ActionScript with variable types etc, I enjoy the possibilities it offers.
Here is a demo with VU meters and some EQs:
And here are lots of different animations. Some are not very exciting like this but nice when compositing with other visuals.
A production company contacted me to develop a Light Painting solution. The idea is to “draw” with lights captured with a Camera. As an ex-arKaos developer my first idea was to create an effect with shaders because it’s an environement I know well and shaders can be added easiely in arKaos GrandVJ / NuVJ or MediaMaster which makes the solution for many shows.
Also shaders code is executed by the graphic card in the arKaos engine resolution, which can be HD, and with the input stream from the camera that can be HD also in arKaos, so that makes a high quality setup.
The idea behind this is to set a treshold value that defines which part of the camera picture can be considered as desired lighting elements (neon, juggle balls etc). Pixels considered as part of a lighting element will be conserved along the time, eventually with a slow fade to black.
Result with the MacBook Pro internal webcam is:
I was really satisfied with this result but it didn’t seem so good when I was using a DV Cam. When moving my light source fastly, I could see dark spaces on the light way, like this:
So I tried to make the same effect in Quartz Composer. It was the first time I used it. I could get a result quite fastly and noticed the DV camera was responding better in QC. I suppose the deinterlacing in arKaos skips odd or even frames while QC has a more complex deinterlacing algorithm… So I finalized the QC and made an application with it. This tool is very efficient, intuitive and stable, which is not the case of most modular softwares… That’s a very good news that arKaos will now support Quartz Composer as sources and effects !
I’ll post another Light Painting movie when I found a good environement for that.
For a party at ArKaos, an automatic installation, automatically synchronized on music BPM with ArKaos VJ DMX + LED Mapper. With Media Master or GrandVJ the interaction with audio input could be much more advanced developping audio reactive Flash Animations or using Generators:
I developped a software to control a camera from DMX or MIDI. The Sony EVI D100 Camera is one of the ones supported but about any EVI-D serie camera from Sony would be supported. This camera provide a very high precision (14 bits = 16536 values) rotation / zoom & focus control (auto-focus available). The moving speed can also be controlled.
The image quality is also very good, even in dark environement, and the optical zoom is very strong and powerful. When programming a position with high zoom, storing, tweaking all parameters and recalling the position, it really goes exactly where it was where you stored.
The setup is simple: a computer running DMX2Camera gets the DMX from the lighting desk through Enttec USB-DMX Pro or through ArtNet, and converts it to serial RS232 protocol that can be sent over a RS232 port or over a USB-RS232 widget that should cost about 20€. All the camera parameters are controlled in 16 bits DMX channels, the fixture (head or personality) of the camera is simple: pan/tilt/zoom/focus/speed.
You can control 3 EVI-D with one RS232 cable. And you can control more using more USB-RS232 widgets and running more instances of the software.
This is an exciting setup for nigh clubs, concerts, theatres, conferences etc.
I have a master degree in multimedia programming (Image 2D & 3D / Video compression / Sound). I have been programming since young and started playing music with MIDI instruments and computer softwares. From there I found the idea of controlling pictures from MIDI sequencers interresting. That’s where I started with ArKaos (www.arkaos.net)
I have been working for 6 years as a developper for ArKaos, working on ArKaos VJ MIDI / DMX, ArKaos LED Mapper, ArKaos NuVJ, ArKaos GrandVJ and ArKaos Media Master. I’ve been invested in many sides of the software which leads me to be an expert in real-time video diffusion, in a live environement. Also invested in DMX compatibility, I’ve been working with a lot of lighting desk brands and involved in many projects including lighting desks, MIDI controllers, LED Screens, Mac & PC computers running ArKaos softwares, creating video content etc.
I have been in close relations with important partners where I had to find them solutions for specific cases, solving hardware or software problems, simply assisting them in getting a working setup for a professional show or installation.
Today I am freelance and providing service in this industry, principally as a specialist in VJ and Media Server Software. Get the smoother and high quality video, get the right video content, the best professional setup, affordable thanks to reliable software, and custom software for specific needs. You need a motorized camera controlled from a lighting desk ? You need a simpler control interface ? An interactive installation ? I am available to help you finding the right solution or develop a software piece if needed !
Check my CV here
- Development of custom software for specific purposes (ie: simplified control interface for video, control of a motorized camera from MIDI or DMX, get football match results to be displayed on top of you video screen content)
- Creation of video content dedicated to your setup. In most places I know, people use content downloaded or packaged with their video solutions, most of the time there would be much more interresting stuffs to do, for instance in LED installations the content can be adapted to the number of pixels, you can use Flash animations that reacts to the audio, there are lot of affordable things to do to get the best of your expasive installation !
- Getting into trouble with your software or hardware & you’re not too far from brussels ?? Not satisfied with the playback quality ? Get in touch !
- Need a training to get the best of your media server from your lighting controller ?
- Much more !