Kling-Net Test, pushing 50 MB/sec of pixels over ethernet

Here we have 2 computers testing the capacity of Kling-Net.

Kling-Net can make use of gigabit ethernet and in this test we reach close to 50 MB/sec.

To do that we have one computer acting as a media server. For testing facility the software just grab the computer screen and then send it to the Kling-Net devices mapped.

The other computer is acting as 30 virtual LED panels, each panel has 128 by 128 pixels and receive pixels in 24 bits of resolution, 8 bits of each component red, green blue.

Kling-Net 2 MacBook test

Kling-Net 2 MacBook test

Here you see the screenshot of the MacBook acting as the server. The server application is called “Cocoa Server” you can see it just uses a few Mb of memory and 34% of cpu time. It feed the 30 LED tiles of 128 by 128 pixels at 30 FPS. The bandwidth is very stable at around 44.2 MB/sec.

Kling-Net at 44 MB/sec

Kling-Net at 44 MB/sec

The Kling-Net protocol has no restriction regarding output FPS or bandwidth other than the hardware limitation and so it has the capacity to saturate even gigabit ethernet.

Here is a quick video showing the desktop of the server being streamed to the 30 virtual tiles of 128 by 128 pixels:

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Video made with an Android phone, the focus is not good when you are too close of the subject.

Here is another test where we drive a lot of devices. In this case there are 1500 Kling-Net devices, the set-up is the same than in the first test: one laptop is the server and the other one is simulating 1500 devices. So in this test the server is opening and holding 1500 TCP streaming sockets. Faster server will hold much more connections. The devices are low resolution 8 by 8 pixels but we still need around 30 MB/sec on the gigabit link.

Here we see the activity monitor of Mac OS X showing the network bandwidth:

Kling-Net 1500 Devices 30 MB/sec

Kling-Net 1500 Devices 30 MB/sec

The high number of packets per seconds (~44.500) is due to the fact that we feed 1500 devices 30 times per seconds in this test.

Here our simulator shows the 1500 devices running without streaming errors:

Kling-Net 1500 Devices without errors

Kling-Net 1500 Devices without errors

Here you see the bandwidth on the simulator end, it’s a little bit lower because with 1500 connections opened there are some networking overheads:

Kling-Net 1500 Devices 26 MB/sec

Kling-Net 1500 Devices 26 MB/sec

Here is the video from where the pictures are extracted:

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From Manchester, the land of Joy Division and New Order, a new sparkle of genious is born : LoneLady.

Julie Campbell is the whole band herself, mainly playing guitar and using rhythm machines, here and there she uses some touches of synths and there is no bass used in the tracks. The music is minimal and cold but never boring. Indeed she is a wonderful guitar player, in each track the guitar riffs are stacking to creating nice nervous patterns.

Her sound is very unique, the way she is shaping the guitar riffs is very creative and personal. In some tracks such as “Nerve Up” she is building layers of sound in a minimal way, other tracks are much more Punk oriented such as “Army”, one of my favorite of the album.

Here is a track from her first album hosted on youtube:

As for most of the mp3 I download lately I bought my copy at eMusic

And here is her web site, minimal also lonelady.co.uk

She has been signed to Warp Records and I wish her the best, can’t wait her next move!

Neuronium – In Aliens I Trust

One of the very cool consequences of being a visualist coder is that you come in contact with a lot of inspiring peoples. Sometimes you even get to meet people that you knew before starting your project and company. This is what happened with Michel Huygen, the soul of Neuronium.

I have always been attracted by electronic music that has it’s roots in the Berlin culture at the time when the city was a closed place. Neuronium music is following the heritage of this movement but with a unique touch that give the music his unique cosmic feeling.

I know Michel Huygen since a long time because he was an early user of ArKaos software many years ago. Not every musician has like him such visual sensibility.

Another inspiring person I got the chance to meet is Eric Wenger, the creator of many cool applications such as MetaSynth, ArtMatic, ArtMatic Voyager and many years ago the original creator of Bryce, the first 3D landscaping application.

ArtMatic is a software based on mathematical graphs defining textures or height maps that are then used by ArtMatic Voyager for the generation of landscapes. I was listening some Neuronium tracks a few months ago when I realized that the music matched very well with some of the ArtMatic worlds. At the same time I received a message of Michel Huygen informing me that he will come to Brussels to present some of his graphic works. and his latest cd’s I used that opportunity to start rendering a few loops and presented that to him during our meeting. Michel was very enthusiastic about this idea so I did push it to the end and here is the result.

You can see here the final version of the track “In Aliens I Trust” I decided to visualize, if you go to YouTube you can see it in 720p:

If you are curious to see the inner details of the landscape here is the height field of the landscape opened in ArtMatic:

ArtMatic Bio City 3B Interface

ArtMatic Bio City 3B Interface

The rendering of each movie segment is then done in ArtMatic Voyager where you can define the camera movements and launch the renderings:

ArtMatic Voyager Bio City

ArtMatic Voyager Bio City

All the segments took one month to render, for this work I used a MacMini that I have a home. I then assembled everything in Final Cut Express.

Hope you enjoyed the ride, the music is fantastic and the capacity of ArtMatic Voyager is just endless!

MediaMaster from the ArKaos VJ DMX perspective…

Every company has its own culture and ArKaos defined itself during his evolution. We had the chance to start early doing real time video software and this gave us the opportunity to have many users. At this early time we also saw the new generation coming and the opportunity to help it by providing the needed tools. Basically computers were allowing to replace more expansive hardware video players and were doing it with so much more flexibility.

The pricing is an important thing. While ArKaos VJ integrate perfectly with DMX it was first created to be synchronized from MIDI and it’s original price of around 300$ was adapted to the music business. When we introduced ArKaos VJ DMX used the advantage of having a large installed user base and so we priced it at around 700$. At first the lighting market was very careful and indeed that price originally was more a problem than an advantage. But now after having sold many DMX licenses we know that we were right.

After 5 years of distributing ArKaos VJ DMX we now see that we enabled something for the lighting industry. If you are a light designer that need to remote control some video content and if you don’t need complex programming like changing simultaneously 10 parameters of a video loops you will feel just right with the Simple Mode interface that was created first by ArKaos. You don’t need an expansive server, bellow 1000 $ you can get a decent software that will replace it. We also wanted to make sure that a laptop can run our software and use the architecture at the full extend, this allowed us to fight against the idea that you need a big physical hardware player to display some video content. This is an important decision when you develop software because it’s always tempting to reduce your target to just one configuration, while most of our competitors decided to do that we always refused to go for this facility, this in the end defines our culture of designing video software.

After 10 years of developing ArKaos VJ (it started in 1996) we had to decide to make a big step forward and redesign the whole application. In 1996 there was no GPU, no multiple cores CPU, no open source toolkits to develop cross platform software faster and easier. And so we started from scratch the development of MediaMaster for Mac and Windows but with full multi core support and with a very flexible GPU interface that will run on laptops and fly on high end graphical cards. The first version 1.x was purely dedicated to fixture control for modern DMX controllers but we knew that in order to replace ArKaos VJ DMX we also needed a simple mode interface that is introduced now in MediaMaster 2.0.

We will now continue expanding MediaMaster by making sure it works the best way under Direct X 11 on Windows Seven and use the latest Quartz Composer effects of Mac OS X Snow Leopard. While doing that we want users that bought ArKaos VJ DMX to keep on track with the latest development we are doing, this is why we offer a way for them to get a MediaMaster Express license at a reduced price. Switching to MediaMaster offers support of multi cores CPU allowing to play more loops in the same time, a flexible library interface to manage your content, frame blending that will allow you to slow down your videos while avoiding a jerky appearance, a whole new range of modern effects and finally a redesigned interface allowing to preview all running layers in the same time.

ArKaos MediaMaster – what about creating the best video swiss knife for the show business ?

ArKaos MediaMaster is the latest incarnation of now a long list of video software created by ArKaos. All evolutions have always be triggered by request of users, ideas we wanted to experiment, goals we wanted to reach in term of performances.

When we decide a few years ago to rewrite our core engine we wanted to get the best out of current and future computer architecture. So we designed an engine made to allow playing multiple layers of HD video loops and balancing the usage of CPU having multiple cores and GPU allowing very creative layer blending.

This is what we released with MediaMaster 1.0 and evolved to the 1.2 by adding a very cool frame blending and audio support.

While we were focussing on pushing fluidity and making sure the pixel flow was optimal we did not spend too much time working on the front interface. This does not mean we did not care about that but we were just too busy having our hands dirty with pixel processing.

However during the last year we spent a lot of time talking with users, looking how they were working, watching how they used ArKaos VJ DMX. In January this year we finalized a round of meetings and design sessions were we came with the idea of bringing back the simple mode of ArKaos VJ DMX but in a modernized way.

The basic idea is that a typical light designer needs a video swiss knife. Some days you need to just do a little bit of MIDI triggering, other days you may want to use a few DMX sliders to automate a small theater play and once is a while you are on a big tour with some heavy automation done by a big lighting console. You may even have from time to time a small corporate event where video loops can be triggered from your computer keyboard.

This is what we will release with MediaMaster 2.0. MediaMaster will come in 2 versions, the Express that will be something like a 8 blades swiss knife and the Pro that will be more like a 12 blades swiss knife.

The simple mode implementation we added to MediaMaster will be very efficient to use because it will be based on presets. If you are doing LED mapping over your video output you can by example create a preset for the position of your LED wall and have it recalled very easily for many cells. You can also edit this preset and see the modification be applied instantly to all cells using it.

So the advantage of this new simple mode over what we did on the past is that:
– it make use of the media management of MediaMaster
– it benefit from the performance of the new video engine (frame blending, audio…)
– the preset system make it very quick to use
– it allows to mix DMX, MIDI and computer keyboard triggering
– you can break your performance in up to 64 patches of 64 cells
– all information in concentrated into the Media folder (content, patch information, show setup) and so it’s very easy to move your files between computers

Here is a video showing the main interface of MediaMaster express that was demonstrated at Frankfurt Prolight and Show last month. We trigger video loops with a LSC DMX desk and with a small Korg MIDI controller. Since then we made some minor evolution to the interface but it will give you a good idea of what it will looks like:

We are now close to the final release and we expect to start some public beta testing before the end of this month. We will also make public soon the pricing and upgrade policy but we can already announce that all MediaMaster 1.x users will have a free upgrade to MediaMaster Pro 2.x