A great start to the new year
I couldn’t have imagined a better start of the year when it comes to software and hardware. So many good things has been announced and released already. Let’s have a look at some stuff that relates to us visualists:
I’ve always said that it’s wrong for VJ software makers to focus on creating timelines. VJ-ing is supposed to be non-linear and if we for some reason need a timeline, use other software. So I was pretty stoked to receive the news about Duration, a free timeline app. The site states “Create live performances, interactive installations, and music visualizations by synchronously composing servos, lighting, and projection”. The program does not output any visuals itself but you can feed it a WAV music file and create curves in the timeline that gets converted to OSC messages and broadcasted to your VJ software of choice.
Tamas Nagy, the man behind CoGe, recently posted that he is also working on a timeline project called Vezér. This is a commercial project, but knowing CoGe´s modest pricing, I don’t think this software will drain your wallet. Vezér means “boss” in Hungarian. It comes from “Vezérlő” which means “controller”.
Syphon over network & Syphoner
You always here me nagging about Syphon and of course there are some Syphon news as well. I remember that Bangnoise hinted a few months back that he was working on Syphon over network but nothing has been released by the Syphon crew yet. Since Syphon is available for Max MSP, the tools are there to create a network solution and I’ve been a bit surprised that we haven’t seen anything done in that direction. Until recently, when Kid Kadian released his $10 Syphon2Network app. Shortly thereafter a free Syphon network app called Jitnet+Syphon was released on the Cycling74 site.
I asked Bangnoise if they weren’t going to release the official Syphon network app soon but he replied that it will be released when it’s ready and he was way too busy to work on non profit projects at the moment.
Syhoner is a great screen capture app, by the Swiss group Sigmasix, that lets you filter and crop windows and send them via Syphon to any Syphon abled software. It’s free to try (with watermark) and costs ab0ut $30 to buy.
The Hap codec
Little did we know that one of the important project Bangnoise was working on was the Open Source GPU accelerated video codec “Hap”. It has been created in co-operation with Vidvox, the makers of VDMX. Hap comes in three flavors:
- Hap – offers the lowest data rates for playing back the most clips a time.
- Hap Alpha – Similar to Hap but with support for transparency
- Hap Q – Offers improved image quality at a higher data rate.
Programs that supports Quicktime should play all Hap files but programs that supports Hap will use the GPU and get the speed advantages. Hap is said to even outperform Resolume’s DXV codec. Any software is free to include Hap support. I just got the announcement that CoGe has Hap support in the latest 1.4.2 beta. Millumin also added Hap in the latest update.
I always wondered if there was something like Syphon for Windows. Apparently there is something called Wyphon that seem to have sprung out of the VVVV community. It’s in an early stage of development but there are files to test. If it turns out well, other software vendors would be able to add it too. We will keep our fingers crossed.
VVVV for OSX and Linux
Speaking of VVVV. There were some CRAZY news from the Node 13 conference in Frankfurt that VVVV is being ported to OSX and Linux. It’s in an early stage and we might not see the final product in a year or two but it’s really exciting news non the less.
Mapping Toolkit (for VVVV)
The AntiVJ collective has been on top of the video mapping scene since day one. I think it’s really cool that they share a lot of information about their projects and how they are done. It like it doesn’t matter if they share all their trade secrets, no one will catch up anyway. Joanie Lemercier has released the Mapping Toolkit for VVVV as a free download from the VVVV forum.
The software that is said might replace Quartz Composer in the near future, is getting closer to a public beta. Support Vuo (with $$$) to get early beta access. I’m really excited to see if it will excite key developers to a point that they will support Vuo in their VJ Softwares.
There has been some news on the hardware front as well. The first few Leap Motion controllers has been shipped to some key developers and artists. I’ve heard mixed reviews. As I understand it’s supposed to be a replacement for touch screens. By placing the little Leap Motion box under a screen you will make it read your hand gestures. But it’s not to be confused with devices like the Kinect. The Leap Motion controller only tracks your hands and with limited reach. Someone said it was impossible to use it as mouse and in the other side of the spectrum I’ve seen artists make beautiful examples of art.
The last thing on my list is a motion controller called MYO. It’s basically a wrist band that tracks motion and muscle tension. I’m really interested in trying the MYO with dancers.