Inspiring Videos 2015

Hi All,

Not blogged as much as usual. Work has been busy and so has my personal life. Been enjoying the great outdoors a litlte more; hiking, riding, camping, etc and preparing to be a dad early next year. I have still collected a few videos over the last few months that I knew I wanted to share. So here they are in no particular order:

XYZ tracking, before the kinect.

Shameless I know but this is one of my early experiments I had forgotten about. I remember wanting to track something in a 3D space; I could do the X and Y in Isadora and basically used scale to control the Z. The bigger something is t the camera the closer it is right? And vice-versa. Watching this made me think that often the basics are the best.

Interactive timeline/projection mapping for Education.

I love this. Simple playful and fun.

Listening to colour – Neil Harbisson.

I love this type of stuff. I am secret futurist at heart. I’d love to become a cyborg actually. This guy, in my eyes, is almost a cyborg because of his experiments. If you want to freak yourself out, check this out. If that’s not crazy enough then google Stelarc and Kevin Warwick

Watch all the videos at the end of this link. Amazing VFX!

David Gumbs – artist.

I have known of, but never me, David for a long time now. A polite, talented and friendly guy who is doing some incredible things with Isadora, motion tracking and more. He has inspire me recently in the video below. Working with children and interactive paintings. What is more rewarding than that? You should defiantly check out his work here:

I re-edited some of the dead links (sorry about that!) David also sent me to some more links on vimeo, etc.(see above).

Joe Hunt – projection using isadora for a piece called:’The Only Jealousy of Emer’

Great work here Joe. The video speaks for itself. Give it a watch.

Old and New. 

One of my favourite songs is Energy 52 – Cafe Del Mar. It’s an ibiza dance/trance classic. You will probably have heard it. I have always known that many classic trance/dance (and more) music takes chords, progressions and melodies from older classic music and the like. But this one really struck a chord when I hard the ‘original’ by Wim Mertnes. I just wanted to share this with you. Listen to the original and then the ‘remix’

One for the DJ’s! STEMS.

“This morning Native Instruments is launching the Traktor 2.9 update, which is the first software on the market to use their new Stems audio file format.”

I am very excited about this!

Modulations. A full feature film about the evolution of Electronica music as one of the most profound artistic developments of the 20th century!

That’s it for now. Comments welcome below.


Isadora 2.0 – My thoughts.

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So I have waited a while before I blogged about Isadora 2.0. I did do a short blog not so long ago talking about the mapper and my work at Glastonbury.

But this post isn’t about me. It’s about Isadora 2, a new breed of Isadora. A stronger, more powerful Isadora. So much though, discussion and time has gone into it. Hundreds of emails, screenshots, skype sessions and more.

Isadora isn’t just an upgrade. It’s a radical new platform.

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I am not going to just copy and paste all the new specs, you can read them [here] instead I wanted to talk openly about why I love it so much. I love it because Isadora 2 still is the Isadora we all know and have supported for many years. It still has the same workflow, sense of direction and module approach. Isadora still does everything you’d expect. In fact, apart from the new blue splash screen and the modern dark grey theme, it looks just about the same. But I like that. Why fix something that isn’t broke? There is no need too – so Mark didn’t.

But what was broke, or breaking (dying?) is Apples quicktime support for video playback. It was clear that it was becoming increasingly unstable and just not fit for purpose. I know that Mark spent lots of time playing around with old and newer Quicktime libraries but it was inevitable that a change was needed. It’s no secret that other similar softwares are now running on AV foundation or other libraries. Not Quicktime. So it wasn’t Isadora’s fault crashes and movie playback was starting to show a weakness. She was doing her best to play the files but the Quicktime *stuff* was failing and there was nothing she (Mark) could do. But now that has changed. She has a new pair of shoes and is ready to run! But it isn’t *that* simple.

Mark decided to keep some of the Quicktime coding that was useful, useful for specific codecs. So a movie player in Isadora now switches its coding depending on the file type you load in. You will see this in the “PB Engine” (Play Back Engine) output of the movie player for reference. It switches between Quicktime and Av Foundation, it does this seamlessly so you never have to worry about it. It’s a big step forwarded and results should become clear, especially with the added bonus of being able to play multiple HD videos…. I won’t spoil the fun. I will let you try it 🙂

I also really like the IzzyMap. I’ve been using this for quote a long time, but each time it has evolved more and more. It’s now at an amazing standard and it’s superb. I am not going to ramble on about it, it does EVERYTHING! and more… the more but I will talk about. You can basically do all your mapping and then publish the mapping points. These then show as inputs in your projector actor. This means everything you do is editable – live. So if you have a moving stage, scenery or some crazy animatronic DJ booth ( – do they even exist?) then you can automate, or move it in real time and have the mapping follow it. It’s a pretty crazy tool to have. Obviously stage automation is not new. But to do it in a <$500 software and have such flexibility is new!

What else; javascript actor, Spout for Windows and other interface tools, a few updated actors and of course the lovely new interface. What else could you want right now?

A few pics…

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Bazik & Isadora via Syphon.

I recently stumbled across this amazing audio responsive software called Bazik.*

I have been after an audio visualisation tool for a while to incorporate into my Isadora VJ patches. And wow this one really hits the nail on the head.

I also love that “You can add Quartz animations or Shader GLSL” effects!

Here is a short demo on how I set it up.


*NOTE: this was limited to 100 downloads for the beta stage – very sorry!



Working with FeinSinn

On the 11th October 2013 I received an email via my website asking me for some help and guidance with an interactive dance performance in Vienna. I presumed one or two Skype sessions to help them with a bit of motion tracking (commonly most of my Sundays are spent helping people on Skype 🙂 ) I had no idea that I was going to become friends with two lovely people.

I enjoy ALL of my sessions online but Alexander Nantschev popped up on screen with the biggest smile on his face saying Hello! Shortly followed by his partner Elke Pichler and they made me smile right away; very down to earth, happy and interesting people. After the initial adjustment to internet lag, accepting my weird Liverpudlian (Liverpool, UK) accent we discussed their performances and the problems that lay in front of them. I will be honest and admit I was a little skeptical when I heard that Alexander had very little knowledge of Isadora and said from the get go – keep it simple (but effective). It is always difficult to get the balance between “Yes that is a great idea – we/you can do this” and “but – it’s very difficult and took me 5/6 years to learn… you have 6/8 months…”. 

Saying this, I could tell the duo would be hard-workers and I could see the passion in the eyes via the slightly pixelated webcam interface. I was excited after the first talk and knew this was something a little different. The idea of ‘Aura’ was one that I looked at during my MA Degree so it resonated with some memories of mine – which was nice.

We spent nearly every Sunday talking for an hour a time. An almost daily flurry of emails back and forth with ideas, links, isadora patches and similar. Alexandra met my wife, my teacup chihuahua  all via Skype (or FaceTime) and we genuinely  started to talk as friends – one highlight was hearing a strange machine which turned out to be an iRobot…. an automated self driving hoover! I was very impressed . It was also devastating to hear their tales of thefts, people not doing work for them despite being paid and a few of the technical problems they had. Equally they both asked about my wife who in between all this has been in and out of hospital for operations on her lower back.

The pair conquered some amazing technological problems. From arduino based triggers, advanced mapping, online audience tool – the “Choreomixer”, clever syncing of multiple machines and even (very wisely) implemented a back up system, to name just a few.

I really felt I was helping and I was kindly sent small snippets of video from rehearsals to show how Elke was creating visuals or interacting with live feed video, etc. It was really cool. The piece was very well thought out and the theme (aura) seemed from my point of view, despite never seeing the final piece,  well portrayed. The feedback from critiques was great and the images I have seen looked stunning. Due to work commitments I could not attend the piece which was sad but I hope they both understood.

Alexander is now a well established Isadora user, he is now very active on the forum and regarded highly in the Isadora community. Elke – although I did not talk to you as much online it is clear you did amazing and the pictures look brilliant.

I have to admit… I miss our Sunday afternoon talks. I hope they hurry up and plan another performance soon! 🙂

A quote from Alexander about my input:

„Graham Thorne hat in unglaublich sympathisch und geduldiger Art und Weise uns in die „harte“ Welt der interaktiven Medien eingewiesen. Seine nette und zuverlässige Hilfe war eine unentbehrliche Hilfe zur Realisierung unseres größenwahnsinnigen Projektes. Mit Beständigkeit hat er uns motiviert, unterstütz und Mut gemacht unsere Ideen zu verwirklichen.”
Google translate:
“Graham Thorne has sent to incredibly sympathetic and patient manner us in the “hard (I think Jamie [Griffiths] said with a smile: its tough interactive world outside)” world of interactive media. His nice and dependable assistance was an essential aid to the realization of our megalomaniac project. With passion he has motivated us, supported us and given us courage (in order to) make ​​us realize our ideas.”

(images above from:

More pictures here: