I decided I did not have a nice wallpaper for Isadora. So I made one, it’s nothing fancy but I wanted to share it anyway. Free download as .PNG file 1902*1080, 150dpi.
I decided I did not have a nice wallpaper for Isadora. So I made one, it’s nothing fancy but I wanted to share it anyway. Free download as .PNG file 1902*1080, 150dpi.
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.
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!
A few pics…
Written by Mark Coniglio:
Artists, designers, makers, and tinkerers around the world have leveraged the power of 3D cameras like the XBox Kinect and XTion Live to create innumerable interactive installations, performances and other compelling works of art. The OpenNI SDK is a key technology behind many commercial and open-source software programs that have empowered this artistic expression. So, we were surprised and shocked when we saw the notification on the OpenNI site that said the web site would close on April 23rd.
Apple, you bought Prime Sense, and now you want to kill this critically important technology. We’re respectfully asking you: don’t do it.
Many of us in this community remember a time when Apple was our champion. You provided us with a truly innovative operating system that offered unforeseen ways to interactively control and present media. This in turn led to the development of of thousands of applications that empowered tens of thousands of artists to inspire and entertain audiences around the globe. (And, by the way, help you sell millions of computers.)
Mr. Cook, your action to take away OpenNI runs counter to that history. We know your priorities have changed. We know that it’s all about mobile devices these days. We understand that you likely have your own plans for 3D imagining technology.
But, empowering personal expression through technology was one of the core values that made Apple the great company it is. We are asking you to remember that part of your history today, and to support us by changing course. Keep OpenNI open and available to us.
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION! WE NEED THIS TO STAY!
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.
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…)
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 28,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
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.
“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.
If you came to my World Stage Design talk in Cardiff a few weeks ago then you will recall me offering to share the demo patch I used on the day….
Well here it is. This is just a template. I highly suggest you watch Mark Coniglio’s tutorials here to refresh your memory.
I have added the ‘tracker.mov’ video which replicates a person for motion tracking.
[DOWNLOAD HERE] It’s in a .zip file and is 618kbs.
You can download the demo of Isadora here for free:
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!
Matthew Haber has yet again blessed us with another cool isadora/projection tool called the Projection Documentation Tool or ‘PDbase’ for use in your shows. It has a lot to offer – just read the key features below!
I have shamelessly (with permission!) taken this from his website as it explains it all perfectly well. Thanks Matthew!
PDbase-Production is the only publicly available database application for data and workflow management for live performance projection and video designers. PDbase keeps track of nearly 400 different pieces of information for a given project, supports complex multi-user access, and can generate and share over 30 different types of paperwork based on this information. PDbase is vastly more powerful than any other known database solution and is the result of nearly 18 months of development and testing. PDbase is uniquely just as suited for the record keeping needs of a single freelance designer working alone as it is for a large studio with numerous designers, editors, and other collaborators who all need data access. PDbase can also provide other departments on a production such as stage management and lighting with the information they need when they need it via a secure webpage, saving you and your team the time spent issuing daily paperwork updates. Ultimately PDbase is far too comprehensive to explain in a single page so I recommend you download the fully functional free version and try it out on a show after reading through the knowledge base.
Documents vital information for cues, still and moving content, media and font assets, editing workflows and software plugins, render queues and render nodes, production contact information, video shoots, work notes, and individual task lists for team members.
Generates a diverse range of paperwork and keeps track of changes made so you and your collaborators don’t have to.
Comprehensive access controls and versatile multi-user workflows insuring the biggest of teams have access to all of the information they need while maintaining data privacy and security.
Hundreds of separate procedures that invisibly validate your data to insure any errors are caught before they become a problem.
Handles the biggest of shows with support for hundreds of thousands of records.
Built in web interface allows anyone you authorize to access important information whenever they need it.
Powerful tools to help keep track of licensing and rights management for the media assets you use in your design.
Cues, content, etc are all closely interlinked just like they are in the real world.
All data can be imported from and exported to standard formats such as comma separated, tab separated, XML, Excel, etc.
PDbase streamlines communication between designers, assistants, editors, asset wranglers, researchers, and other production departments insuring that everyone knows what they need to know and does what they need to do.
PDbase can be run locally on a personal computer or hosted on a local or off-site server.
PDbase is being constantly updated with new and improved functionality.
PDbase-Production is built on FileMaker Pro 12. This permits massive flexibility in terms of easily adding new and custom functionality. This also takes advantage of FileMaker’s built in powerful and reliable Server functionality.
PDbase-Studio, a companion application for comprehensive record keeping at a business level (invoicing, CRM, time-tracking, etc) is under development and will integrate seamlessly with PDbase-Production once it is available.
PDbase-Rental, a companion application for rental shop and general equipment and resource tracking (asset scheduling, packing and shipping management, etc) is under development and will integrate seamlessly with PDbase-Production and PDbase-Studio once it is available.
There are many custom actors written for Isadora if you search the forum.
They are pretty handy and increasingly becoming more popular (you clever people!) I myself can’t code so I do not have any of my own. These are NOT to be confused with user actors. These are actual actors programmed from the ground up using source code and SDK files.
Don’t let this put you off! If you are on Mac then this is how you can install them on your machine….
And for those who wonder how to install the compiled plugin under Windows : just copy the .dll file into ‘IsadoraInstallationFolder\Isadora Plugins’, e.g. C:\Program Files\Isadora\Isadora Plugins. Don’t forget to restart Isadora. The plugin should then show up in the list! (Thanks djinoui)