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!

 

 

Eye-Fi card, WIFI, Isadora and a USB dilemma!


It’s not that often that my 9-5 day job crosses paths with my interest and passion for Isadora. But this mini project did and I am happy to share it all with you today.

At work at York Museums Trust I work as a Digital Creator. One of my new tasks has been to train up as a collection photographer. I’ve had a lot to learn and lots more still to come! Anyway, I have been researching lots of software because in my head it made sense to feather my funky new Nikon D300s to my mac and watch all the pictures magically appear on my laptop. I managed to do this using a few demos and found that:

1) USB cables are a bit of a pain – especially around priceless museum pieces.

2) You need a long cable one moment, the next a short one, then an extension, blah blah – again a real pain.

3) No matter what price the USB cable – they are easy to come out, a slight tug and it’s all over, even a wiggle can name it go crazy. I know some are *bit* better but they are not lockable. And no I am not sticking tape on my work mac! No way – this is not a tacky windows machine….

4) Similarly; the mini USB, or Micro USB, tiny mini small USB or whatever type of USB it is, really isn’t located in the best of places on the camera. I can’t complain at this really – it wasn’t designed to be used at the same time as me taking pictures was it? (Or was it? In which case – what stupid place to put it, smacking me in the cheek, getting stuck under my elbow… )I’m sure given half a chance it would try and attack some priceless pot and throw it on the floor. These cables do have a life of their own I’m telling you! If you are smiling or laughing at this right now then you know EXACTLY what I am on about. Anyway….

5) Some tethering software is good, some bad, some glitchy and some are £2000+ for stuff I don’t need. All I wanted (for now) was the last picture I took nice and big on my screen close by… so I know it looks good, needs adjusting, checking for shadows, contrast, etc. I figure if I have a super sexy Mac Book pro retina scree why not use it?

6) So, USB is also fairly slow. This can’t be helped.

7) Did I mention the USB cable was always getting in the way….?

So… I found out about these things called Eye-Fi cards. Not cheap but less than £100. So we ordered one. I created a closed network on my Mac, jigged around with the card – by jigged I mean set-up without reading the instructions. This was problem 1 out of 2 solved. No more cable, no more tripping up, no more USB extensions, silly connections and hazards.

So the full screen software? Well this is where Isadora came in. If you have not heard of Isadora then you can read my blog or visit the website.

So here is how I linked it all together.

– WIFI card is connected to my mac via WIFI (or adhoc network)

– Images are dropped into a folder.

– Using this action script kindly shared by Jamie Griffiths then isadora automatically imports the picture into a folder.

– My Isadora patch ‘watches’ the folder and indexes the pictures.

– Every time a new picture is added and then imported it tells a counter to show that image full screen.

– If I want to go back and forth then Z and X keys on my keyboard can be used to do this for me.

 


Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 14.50.45

SIMPLE!

I do have plans to develop it but for me, this is all I need.

So here is my patch, it’s free! (But donations welcome…)

[DOWNLOAD HERE]

Interview: Michel Weber


Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born in South Africa and lived there for the first 10 years. Then we moved back to Switzerland to my parent’s hometown.

I bought my first computer when I was 21 and only then started to explore the digital world.
In 1998 I started as a lighting technician at the opera house in Zurich (Switzerland). But the light of a single pixel was more fascinating to me than the one of a light bulb. So I started to work more and more with video.

My first contact with Isadora was in 2004 when I had to find a solution for our theatre. After evaluating different software, Isadora played the trump card with a smooth and easy learning curve, but didn’t lack of complex functionalities for the advanced user.

I’m head of the video department at the theatre of the arts that belongs to the Zurich University of the Arts. Since 2011 I am also responsible for the video technic at the “Theater Spektakel” festival (it takes place every summer for 3 weeks in Zurich). Next to that I participate on various projects as a freelancer.

Would you class yourself as a performer, technician, director or other?
First I would class myself as a technician, because that’s how I started and that’s the reason why I am where I am now and then video-/interaction designer.

What projects have you been working on lately?
Last year (2013) I was asked to do the video design for Goethe’s Faust that played in a church in St. Gallen (Switzerland), I supported and trained a group doing video content for a dance peace and did all the video tech stuff for them and I did an interactive dance game for the Tanzhaus Media Lab in Zurich using Kinect and Isadora.

What has been the highlight of career?
Participating Amitesh Grover’s work “strange lines” at NSD (National School of Drama) in Delhi. He is a wonderful director with great ideas and it’s really satisfying to work with him.

How would you describe your artistic style?
Simplify as much as possible.

What technology do you use most often?
Software: Isadora, Motion, Photoshop, Quartz Composer etc.
Hardware: Kinect, Wiimote, TrippleHead, Cameras, Piezos, Arduino (low level) etc.

How has the Troika Tronix Isadora software helped you with your work?
Without Isadora I would probably do something totally different.

Do you have a website:
www.filmprojekt.ch

If you want people to contact you, you can also provide an email address here:
People can contact me via contact form on my website:
http://www.filmprojekt.ch/

Inspiring Videos.


Every now and again I like to post some video that I’ve seen. Here they are;

A music video/live performance all done using Z-Vector; VJ Julius Tuomisto and his Z Vector software from Delicode. I love this type of live, real time visuals.

Lots of people have been talking about this video. Chances are you have already seen it. But hey, if you haven’t its amazing an well worth a watch! Read more about it here also: http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/video-exclusive-bot–dollys-the-box-unpacks-a-radically-new-design-concept

Isadora user ‘Lanz’ posted this on the forum. A very fun, vibrant and interesting piece. Lovely digital scenery! [More info here]

“Taking inspiration from fairy tales, In A Deep Dark Wood is a fun and interactive show about a little girl who bravely ventures into a dark and mysterious wood. Encountering tempting trees to climb and beguiling creatures, the tale unfolds as the young audience help to create a magical world using shadow and light to guide the little girl through her bewitching adventure.”

Last but not least check out ‘The zero hour’ by Imitating the Dog.

http://www.imitatingthedog.co.uk/projects/the-zero-hour/

“Taking as its starting point the final moments of the Second World War in Berlin, The Zero Hour follows the stories of three couples living through three very different versions of the same historical events”

If you have any cool videos to share then add them to the comments below.

Leap Motion


I like my gadgets. I am admittedly a bit of a gadget freak… but I don’t often actually buy them. Normally because they are expensive and I know deep down I won’t use them as much as my mind believes I will. But the Leap Motion is different.

The Leap Motion is a USB powered hand/finger tracking device. Think of it as an xbox kinect for the hands perhaps? It’s made for Mac and Windows too which is great.

The into video explains the basics very well…

I have bought one (second hand off eBay for £40 I might add) to use at work and at home. I have a few ideas for it and if nothing else will be a handy (pun-intended) gadget on my office desk – it’s already plugged in actually. It’s small sleak and sits flush to my MacBook Pro. It’s a shame it’s not wireless as it takes up a USB plug but I have a powered hub on my desk.

How am I going to use it? To be honest I have no concrete ideas. There are a few Isadora users who have made a few OSC/MIDI related actors to control Isadora scenes which I am going to look at and I am sure I can find a few uses in that area. I also like the idea of using it for generate/live painting in a VJ context. Will I look an idiot waving my hand around at a gig to make stuff appear on the screen? – probably! Do I care?…. probably! But we shall see.

I also want to see if it can be used in a commercial sense. At the museum and art gallery where I work we have interactives for visitors but people, for some reason, LOVE to hack, break, pull, snap, spill drinks, etc, etc on keyboards, mouses, touch screens, etc. Now this can’t be helped all the time of course, but there is a tiny percentage who do it on purpose, I’ve seen them! Maybe a Leap Motion placed under some perspex (military grade?) could replace the keyboard and mouse idea? Problem is the learning curve! How will people know how to move their hands or even to put their hands above the device? Similar to the Kinect sensor it’s not a recognised Human Input Device (HID)

So – I will keep you posted. Minority report… Yeah! Let’s do it!

Do you own one? Let me know how you are using it. I wanna know… Let’s talk!