Preview of interface to drive a network of players

I am toying with the idea of a network of players synchronized to a central coordinator since a few months and I have already shared those movies:

New synch experiments at WWDC

Exploring an idea about distributing content on a network of players…

Our goal at ArKaos is to build a new range of products based on such architecture but we want to move forward step by steps and the first public step will be a simple interface to drive a limited pool of players connected to the same network.

Here you can preview what will look like the interface. This application is not even alpha code but I am happy to share it with those of you that are curious.

I used the opportunity when working on this project to experiment with the cocoa tools of Mac OS X. I am a big fan of cross platform programming and I worked with wxWidgets since a few years. Unfortunately because Apple did obsolete carbon we are now looking for new ways of creating our interfaces. I am happy that just within a few days I was able to create this already complex interface without writing too much code. In the end it’s true, interface builder rules and cocoa is a great idea!

Ok now to my prototype, the application is still useless but it demonstrate how to write a simple cue player. You can create list of events (cues) and assign them to computer keys. Then the idea is that when you will press those computer keys those players listening to the network events will start playing those video loops.

So at this time what can be done here is:
– importing static pictures to the cells on the left by drag and dropping from the finder.
– playing with the + / – buttons of the cue editor to add and remove steps of a cue.
– drag and drop visuals from the left cells to the cells of a cue.
– you can edit the layer position, start time and duration of a cue step. You need at this time to use the enter key to validate a new time or duration.

Here is a simple picture to show the interface in action:



Just drag and drop a few pictures on the left cells, create a few cues steps with the + and – buttons. The final prototype will be able to play movie loops across 3 zones of maximum 6 projectors. It will be possible to stack 4 layers of visuals on each zones. This is why by example the popup says z1l1, it means zone 1 layer 1.

I made a quick build if you want to play with this preview app, for Mas OS X only at the moment, download it here:

2009_08_CocoaCoordinator.dmg (208 KB)

The Optical Theremin

Matt Finke from LoopLight sent me this video using ArKaos software in a very creative way. In their toolkit you find NuVJ for standard VJ work and MediaMaster controlled from a GrandMA console.

The Optical Theremin

The Optical Theremin

Here is the video:

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Philipp from LoopLight also sent me this information:

“I used Arkaos MediaMaster, Arkaos NuVJ and grandMA ultralight in one network session. The headlights were Jarag-5 in a matrix with par30 and 52 Movinglights with CMY. I made a pixelpatch in MediaMaster for Jarag and put the CMY of the movinglights in the same pixelpatch. A camera, the first input to MediaMaster, indicated towards a plexiglass disk, which i had divided in two areas. Left side for Jarag and the right side for the CMY. The NuVJ was the second input to MediaMaster for SD Clips. I set different fx like edge detect, greyscale and contrast in MediaMaster. Then I scaled my live input on pixelpatch, only the left area of plexiglass. Finally I moved my hand vertically and horizontal on the left area during playing SD Clips from NuVJ. For CMY I made four large Colourwheels in different bright colours. I moved one of the Colourwheels in the right area to change all CMY in the movinglights.”

As you can see it’s a cool example of creative processing with lighting!

Biosphere (2009) – Wireless – Live At The Arnolfini, Bristol

I am a long fan of Biosphere since Microgravity in 92 and even when he was playing with Bel Canto

Biosphere (2009) - Wireless - Live At The Arnolfini, Bristol

Biosphere (2009) - Wireless - Live At The Arnolfini, Bristol

I like the cool flow created in this album, I already saw him in concert in Brussels and I find back the memories. For some this music maybe too minimal ambient but for me it is perfect. This album is also using subtile field recordings that add a layer to the music, particularly in the track I visualized.

Because it’s the first live album he released it’s highly recommended if you are a fan and never saw it live. It’s hard to believe he waited so long because he is doing a lot of concerts.

I found it while I was staying in Ireland in July 2009 and I did listen to it during my week while shooting video loops of landscapes and sea sides. Naturally when I came back home I made an editing of what I did shoot on one of the tracks of the cd.

Here is my visual remix, I played a lot with the speed of the loops and adding motion blur to enhance some movements, it contrast nicely with the music: