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Sweet, sweet eye candy 11 August, 2008 at 2:37 am

From the What’s Cooking? department…

I’ve been to a couple of VJ events this week: the vjlondon.org meetup on Wednesday at T-Bar, and Immersion (a live experimental electronic music + visuals gig) on Thursday in The Flea Pit. I’ll mention that it’s great now living in Shoreditch, as both these venues are only a short walk away from my flat! :o)

Back to the story… it has occurred to me on more than one occasion that I will probably want (need?) to get into 3D at some point, and at these two events I saw some nice interactive 3D animation by pixelpusher (Evan Raskob), an earlier version of which can be seen in the video from the previous post (London VJ Meeting, Wed 9 July at T-Bar). I’m talking about the kinetic squiggles (which are input as gestures via his digital tablet) which zoom around. Evan had been working on this simple idea since last meetup, upgrading it from 2D only to 2D and 3D (combined), allowing multiple gestures to be loaded up as a set before “launching” (these are my own terms, I don’t know what Evan calls them!). I’ll have to clear some space on my Laptop (or get hold of another external drive – the one I brought with me from Sydney is out of reach at a friend’s house while they are at the Boom! festival in Portugal!) to upload the video I took at the event, and until then all I can say is that it looked quite amazing. That particular visual is produced in Processing from processing.org. I haven’t had much of a play with it just yet, but it looks promising! From the home page:

Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and interactions. It is used by students, artists, designers, researchers, and hobbyists for learning, prototyping, and production. It is created to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context and to serve as a software sketchbook and professional production tool. Processing is an alternative to proprietary software tools in the same domain.

I’ve also had a word in my ear from Dr Mo about XNA the last couple of times we’ve met. I’d had the idea that I might use DirectX to build my own visuals engine at some point, and Mo’s feedback is that XNA is nice to work with, especially as the coding is done in C#.

I found myself installing the XNA Game Studio last night and discovered there is a free 3D modeling package: Truespace 7(.6) from Caligari. Upon further investigation I see that Caligari (or at least this product) is now owned by Microsoft, hence the plug from XNA. I remember the name “Caligari 4D”, and think it may have even been one of the packages available back in the day of the Amiga.

In any case, this eventually ends up in looking at videos of 3D animations, and this excellent example appears in Vimeo Staff’s Choice Picks:


Interstellar Sugar – Suryummy from Suryummy on Vimeo.

It reminds me of stuff done by the demoscene crew Farbrausch. If you like Suryummy’s video, you should check out the stuff that Farbrausch pump out in real-time!

Of course this video was created with software other than TrueSpace. Suryummy lists in a comment: maya, adobe*3, particular, live, reactor, absynth.

There is talk on the London Electronic Music Meetup (EMM) group about an Ableton Live DJ Workshop on a Saturday some time soon. I saw Live being used at Funckarma’s Dubstoned ep launch in London, but it wasn’t a “live” set, it was a DJ set, using Live. I want to know more… about using Live generally, but also because I know it has some sort of capability for triggering visuals. I have a project to work on with a DJ here in London, Unity Selekta, to produce visuals for his gigs, and I think I’m going to need some sort of sequencer. Live may be that sequencer.

-G.

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