Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Video: Behind The Scenes of Flying Lotus’ “Layer 3″ Visuals

Video: Behind The Scenes of Flying Lotus’ “Layer 3″ Visuals:
We're always fascinated by new concepts for onstage DJ and live performance booths, and after taking an office field trip last week to see Flying Lotus in Oakland, we were excited to see this new video crop up from Red Bull Music Academy. The... Read more

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mapping, Beyond Projectors: ArKaos Adds Serious Plug-and-Play Pixel, LED Features

Mapping, Beyond Projectors: ArKaos Adds Serious Plug-and-Play Pixel, LED Features:re-blog from CreateDigitalMotion

ArKaos promises to make output to LED surfaces easier. Marco from ArKaos explains what we see here: “[This is the] Kling-Net mapper working with MediaMaster in Simple mode. In simple mode each layer can be sent to the video mapper or the Kling-Net mapper. In this screen shot layer 1 goes to Kling-Net and layer 2 goes to the video surface.”
It sounds like the computer system on a Bird of Prey on Star Trek, but Kling-Net is at the heart of where VJ and media server maker ArKaos – and a lot of the live visual world – is headed. Forget the phrase “projection mapping,” and think “video mapping” and “pixel mapping.” Yes, projectors will still be a big part of live visuals. But they’ll be just one outlet for visual performance, alongside increasingly-sophisticated LED lighting. And LED lighting is increasingly looking like a major choice in installations.
Let me put that in less technical terms: more bright shiny, shiny from the LEDs.
So, LED is amazing technology for visualization. But it can also be amazingly hard to set up. The race now becomes about how to make that technology easier to access. ArKaos’ play is doing just that with Kling-Net. (Kahplah! Sorry, I’ll stop that now.)
It’s not rocket science to do cool stuff like this with pricey media servers sold for expensive applications. But what about the independent visual artists, the experimental creators pushing the envelope? The good news is, ArKaos is bringing the same media server tech back to GrandVJ, an app that’s far more affordable.
Marco Hinic is engine architect and CEO of ArKaos and creator of Kling-Net. (I love that, in this business, the engineers typically run the show.) Marco tells CDM about what their goals are for the tech:
Kling-Net has been designed to create plug and play LED devices and we are converting more and more manufacturers to work with us. There is nothing else like that on the market and we hope it will enable a new level of integration for many users.
The good news is that we will also support Kling-Net in GrandVJ. Indeed this why we are late with releasing GrandVJ, while working on the video mapper in MediaMaster we added the functionality where a layer can be sent to a mapping surface and / or to Kling-Net – ArtNet. To support that in GrandVJ we need to rework it’s core engine and that’s what we are doing now… We are now looking forward to present that at NAMM with ADJ. Ed.: NAMM is the music trade show in California held in January. Mark your calendars. -PK
The other side of the equation, apart from ArKaos’ software, is the lighting fixtures. Recently, ArKaos announced Chauvet is bringing Kling-Net support to their lighting, which you can see in the video and image below.

Chauvet’s EPIX strip product, as seen in a permanent club installation at Ft. Lauderdale, Florida’s club Off the Hookah.
Kling-Net is a complex technology, so I’ll do two things. First, I’ll direct you to ArKaos’ site that explains how this works:

Kling-Net @ ArKaos
Second, I ask you to tell us what your experience is with these kinds of applications, and what you’d like to know. We’re fortunate enough to get to talk directly to Marco about the technology he engineered, so, seriously, ask anything. I look forward to your questions.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Solar System Kaleidoscope, As Monokle “Swan” Video Explores Mystical Night Sky

Solar System Kaleidoscope, As Monokle “Swan” Video Explores Mystical Night Sky:

Monokle (aka Vlad, of St. Petersburg) gets a mesmerizing new video for his track “Swan.” It’s the work of Bucharest-born, 23-year-old artist Alina Anca, spinning the glitchy goodness of Monokle’s music into a magical study of pattern and outer space.
Anca’s own work delves into the esoteric and surreal, never without some youthful fancy – the kind of spirit that sets work apart from the mundane. She’s a nice foil to the album artist for this release, Argentinian Carolina Nino.
In fact, with a growing number of young artists exploding into these sorts of releases, I’m eager to see what musical-visual collaborations may emerge, particularly as these same creatives grow.
The music is out this week on Ki-Records.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Nature-Graphique gets triangle fever

Nature-Graphique gets triangle fever:re-blog from Madmapper

The collective cook up an immersive, triangle filled, mapping extravaganza for Scopitone Festival 2012 in Nantes, France. Extra interesting are the brief screenshots of the planning phases. I also spy an interesting layout of what appears to be a Lemur for iPad layout that possesses a highly ergonomic, function oriented layout. In a brief communication with Orl, he notes that the iPad was used to control the multiple computers that were part of setup:
- 2 Mac Pros

- 4 Matrox TripleHead2go

- 12 projectors
Oddly enough, my first impression of this video was that the lighting setup somewhat complimented the structures, given that for the main stage the lamps were considerately positioned at each of the line segments of the triangles. However Orl states that they had little control over and that there was too much light.
Unfortunately this is still a very common problem. I have seen productions that could have been immensely improved by a tasteful and relatively simple balancing and placement of lighting. It always appears to me that lighting is somehow arranged in a sort of battle formation that disregards any kind of overall stage composition. This type of scenario usually emerges when the producers of the event are primarily concerned with getting the job done without much of a fuss.
While the technology at our disposal is getting better, with more integration between video and lighting, such as the upcoming release of MadMapper with its MadLight feature, we will likely always have to set our own standards and convince others in order to achieve our visions.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Carrot HD Video Mixer + Controller, in Edirol V4-Style Layout, Coming Soon [Exclusive Prototype Details]

Carrot HD Video Mixer + Controller, in Edirol V4-Style Layout, Coming Soon [Exclusive Prototype Details]:re-blog from Create Digital Motion

HD Rabbit – Introduction from carrotvideo on Vimeo.
I keep waiting to write this headline and talk about something that’s shipping. But it might at last happen. We might finally be able to cover an HD mixer that lets you easily plug in two computers and mix as easily as you have done for years with analog inputs. It’s called the HD Rabbit, from upstart Carrot Video, designed by VJs for VJs – and yes, you might even be able to afford it.
You know what you want. You’ve known for a long time. You want a mixer that works in HD, one that handles multiple digital resolutions and multiple outputs, and lets you switch and mix at will. And you want it to work with computer inputs, and control computer software. Basically, you want to have the feeling you had when you used analog, standard-def mixers like Edirol’s classic V4, in something that works with computers running at modern resolutions.
Also, you want it to be something you can actually afford.
Carrot Video today gives us the first look at an HD mixer that might have you pinching yourself to see if you’re dreaming. First, let’s get the bad news out of the way first: this is a prototype, not a complete product, and Carrot tell CDM that they don’t want to suggest that they’re ready for mass production. They’re working on a small test batch. (I’m afraid I just unleashed a lot of requests from our readers to get into that batch. Sorry, guys. Well, you’ll have some good choices.)
But, then there’s the good news. It’s clear from the moment you see the design, with V4-style t-bar, a simple, VJ-friendly layout, and switching features. And then it just gets better from there:
  • A mixer/scaler, a switcher, and a controller for your software.
  • Built on the TvOne 1t-C2-750 scaler, it means you’re ready to handle any output resolution – even a strange one – at a moment’s notice, up to 2048×2048.
  • Use LED walls, multiple projectors (via Triplehead2go, etc.), whatever.
  • Mix (including “battle” mixing), key, color correct, add effects.
  • Create custom controller “skins” for controlling software.
  • Output OSC (OpenSoundControl, over UTP, and Artnet), DMX, and MIDI, plus RS-232.
  • Input DMX and OSC.
  • Freely-assignable control layout with 15 buttons, 3 knobs. (three user skins/presets, editable from your desktop computer)
  • 2x DVI-I inputs, with RGBHV, RGBS, RGsB, and YPbPr support.
  • Per-pixel or percentage scaling control, variable image zoom and shrink, dual picture-in-picture.
  • Chromakey, lumakey.
Updated, based on reader feedback: It’s important to explain what it is and isn’t. You might think of the Carrot as a very elegant proof of concept, demonstrating that all-in-one mixing and control for video is possible. What it isn’t is a from-the-bottom-up mixer. It still uses a scaler inside – in fact, it’s closely related to the SPARK D-FUSER we covered in August. (Toby SPARK, creator of that hardware, just doesn’t sell you the scaler in the same box, and this includes an Edirol-style body and controller layout that the D-FUSE lacks.) You could, in fact, build your own MIDI controller and choose the layout and controls you want.
On the other hand, I think the effort to make something integrated is itself admirable, even if the results may not satisfy everyone. It also suggests the technology is ready for mass-marketed, all-in-one products, with this as an excellent prototype of what they might look like.
(We’ll look at DIY options later this week, and explain some of the underlying technology. And I’m sure Carrot will read your feedback.)

*$#&*, yes. A conventional mixer body, with HD brains. Images courtesy Carrot Video.

Weight: 2.5 kg, fit into a compact 28 cm by 23 cm by 9 cm aluminum metal frame.
What will it cost?
Pricing is not yet announced, but Carrot Video tells CDM readers should look at the pricing of the Edirol V-8. That means we’re somewhere in the viscinity of 2000 USD / EUR. It’s a magical price point that in the past allowed VJs and independent artists, not just big institutions, to first invest in mixing. If Carrot can hit their price target and ship in greater volumes, the design could start that revolution all over again for HD mixing.
What do you get?
Early production information seen by CDM shows the mixer including the scaler – so you don’t have to buy extra hardware. The all-in-one box includes, as well, an RS232 patch cable, and cable/adapters for DVI, VGA, and HDMI.
Who’s behind it?
It’ll come as little surprise that VJs designed this thing. And you may already know the VJs: visualists Merijn Meijers (KBK), Karl Klomp (Molta), and Joris de Jong (Hybrid Visuals) are founders and developers, with Marc Snip (Embed Engineering) doing the hardware work.
Official information (though we’ve already got extra details here exclusive on CDM you won’t find there, with more to come):
Got questions for the creators? Don’t be shy about asking them here, as we’ll be following up. And yes, we hope to test this in person as soon as possible.
But congrats to this team for getting to this prototype phase. We can’t wait to use the finished tool.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Crave (2012): re-blog from Art of Title


“His imagination is a dangerous place to be.”

The main-on-end titles for Charles de Lauzirika’s psychological noir Crave take what is at root a basic child’s toy to grim extremes. Wind-driven, humanoid whirligigs are torn apart and re-purposed into disturbing wooden mechanisms acting out vigilante fantasies from the film – images from a nightmare. The angular type stands out from the grit and grain as the camera transitions from grisly scene to grisly scene, each segment part of a larger, interconnected machine which could only be stopped by its own friction.
Director CHARLES DE LAUZIRIKA and main title designer RALEIGH STEWART discuss the creation of the sequence with us.
Can you give us a little background on yourselves?
CL: I was born and raised in LA and I was obsessed with cinema. I went to USC Film School, where I met a lot of great, talented friends, and landed a series of internships and low-level jobs at production companies which got me in the door. The most important relationship to emerge was with Ridley and Tony Scott and their company Scott Free. I started as an intern, became a script reader,...

RSS & Email Subscribers: Check out the full Crave article at Art of the Title.

Weekend Animation Break: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Weekend Animation Break: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12:re-blog from Create Digital Motion

Behold the power of sound and image. With people of a certain generation, you can stand in a room, and shout, “One, two, three, four, five…” and likely have them finish your countdown with the song from this animation. It has its own Wikipedia entry. It has music from The Pointer Sisters. It’s been covered by … a lot of people. The segment was the work of San Francisco director Jeff Hale, a psychedelic journey through a wonderland of numbers in the style of pop art-style album covers. (See the full sequence re-edited, since Children’s Television Workshop – now Sesame Workshop – didn’t include it.)
What you may not have seen was the 2010 remake, produced by the Italian animation studio Florence Animation, with music by Beirut’s Perrin Cloutier. It’s a pitch-perfect homage, and demonstrates how, in place of traditional animation techniques, we now have access both to low-fidelity techniques (stop motion, aided by computers and vastly cheaper photography equipment) and new digital motion graphics. Sure, the groovy 70s Sesame Street is gone, but we have all the tools to keep the spirit alive.
Read up on a whole history of this animation – and, perhaps, find other Muppet inspiration for your motion work. Hope you’re having a fine weekend, indeed.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pedestrians, Re-Sequenced: Walking Becomes Audiovisual Performance in “LAYERS”

Pedestrians, Re-Sequenced: Walking Becomes Audiovisual Performance in “LAYERS”:reblog from Create Digital Motion

LAYERS (teaser) / Audiovisual performance from NOhista on Vimeo.
In Madeleine L’Engle’s seminal science fiction novel A Wrinkle in Time, the characters on Camazotz walk in time to a pervasive beat produced by a telepathic brain known as IT. In “LAYERS,” synchronistic pedestrians are perhaps not so sinister. But in a more playful experiment, those figures become part of an audiovisual composition, a kind of beat-sequenced set of sampled walking people moving through volumes of color. The result is that an otherwise ordinary, mundane feature of the landscape becomes aesthetic.
Pedestrians, in other words, need not be pedestrian.
More information:
Layers is an audio/visual performance about perception and memory, with the goal of creating a choreography for a digital crowd. Using audio-video fragments of anonymous pedestrians, Nohista confronts the public with his personal experience of the urban crowd.

Here, space and time are dissolved through tables and reassembled throughout a partition where the audio and visual material becomes an instrument, propelling the viewer into an evanescent universe.

Audio-video by Nohista / Shot and produced in Montreal / 2012

for best video quality:


Sight and Sound 2012 / Eastern Bloc / Montreal

Byetone / Nohista / Centre Phi / Montreal
Thanks to Bruno/”nohista” for sending your work our way!
Live performance version:

LAYERS @ Sight and Sound 2012 from NOhista on Vimeo.

La Poste – Digital District

La Poste – Digital DistrictPosted on Motionographer

A superbly executed take on the old trope of the unfolding book voyage.  Digital District, a French studio based in Paris, has taken the lighting to the next level while using engaging camera angles to highlight every detail that has been put into this spot.  The layout and animation flows smoothly around the piece with great attention to the thoughtful transitions.
Gotta say it again though, you should check out their Reel! It’s pretty fantastic.  This is definitely a studio to keep your eye on if you haven’t been already.

Amon Tobin ISAM 2.0 – Leviathan

Amon Tobin ISAM 2.0 – Leviathan:Posted on Motionographer

Chicago-based studio Leviathan crafts a creative projection-mapped piece to provide an immersive stage experience for Amon Tobin’s ISAM 2.0 tour.  Check out the making of video here.

Amon Tobin : ISAM case study from Leviathan on Vimeo.

In Black Droplets, the Monochrome LCD Transformed Into Medium

In Black Droplets, the Monochrome LCD Transformed Into Medium:reblog from Create Digital Motion

If previous generations worked in paint, now we can work in monochrome LCDs. That’s the message of a beautiful work entitled IRIS, making use of lowly LCD displays to produce a mirror made of dots. The description:
IRIS is a unique media canvas with matrix of conventional information display technology – a monochrome LCD. Through the phased opening and closing of circular-segmented black Liquid Crystal, IRIS can create various patterns and control the amount (size) of passing lights. IRIS is an interactive medium for visual simplicity which uses the passage of ambient light, not emission of light itself.
Interactive mirrors are a trope in themselves, but I think this piece nicely recalls Daniel Rozin’s “Wooden Mirror,” which lives in the lobby at NYU’s ITP program, a hub in New York of interactive design work. There’s an excellent video document of that piece:

More specs:
Expandable Matrix of Transmissive Monochrome LCD (90x90mm), Custom designed Arduino compatible controller board, DMX512, SPI, Kinect /
It is a selected and supported work of Da Vinci Idea Program(2012) by Seoul Art Space_Geumcheon, KOREA
Another lovely work from HYBE adds interactivity to Dan Flavin’s elegant, minimalist work with lighting tubes:

Full Color LED on custom-designed controller board with Integrated IR Sensor, Acrylic, Stainless Frame. 15(W)x235(H)x38(D)cm /
HYBE’s Light Tree: Interactive Dan Flavin re-illuminates the minimalist fluorescent light tubes of Dan Flavin(1933-1996) from the 1960s, through digital technology. Experimenting with light and its effect, Flavin explored artistic meaning in relationships between light, situation, and environment. The readymade fluorescent light fixtures he used created space divided and adjusted by light and composition, offering a newly structured space with light. HYBE’s work expands the logic of Flavin by reinforcing the physical property of light through interactive media. It presents an escape from traditional lighting, as light and color changes when touched by viewers. Lighting here is divided into front and back, and colors are programmed to maintain complementary colors. The front lighting constantly interacts with colors on a back wall through visual contrast and mixture. A random change and diffusion of light with the involvement of viewers provokes tension extending and segmenting space, turning space into a forum for emotional perceptual experience.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

reblog : Cool Hunting

Cinelli: The Art and Design of the Bicycle

More than 65 years of industry innovation celebrated in a new book

by  in Culture on 1 October 2012

Since Cino Cinelli began building frames in his native Italy in the early 1940s, his name has become synonymous with supreme quality and beautiful design in the cycling world. The innovative Cinelli set the standard in component design in the early days of the ambitious company, pioneering today's common trends. To celebrate the continuously influential company and its rich history, this month Rizzoli will releaseCinelli: The Art and Design of the Bicycle.
Cinelli-3.jpg Cinelli-4.jpg
The 272-page book covers the brand's extensive 65-year history with vibrant images and insightful text by the likes of current Cinelli owner Antonio Colombo, former pro cyclist Felice Gimondi, artist Barry McGee and designer Sir Paul Smith—all passionate enthusiasts. From the invention of the iconic curved fork crown to the brand's illustrious foray into mountain biking and BMX, and eventual unveiling of the bizarrely aerodynamic Lazer frame and Alter stem, the comprehensive book touches on a multitude of contributions to the world of cycling, many of which will come as a surprise to those most familiar with brand's sleek track bikes and recent artist collaborations.
The book does cover those much-loved collaborations as well, including work with San Francisco-based fixed gear gang MASH, artists Benny Gold and Keith Haring and brands like RVCA. Covering the scope of Cinelli's significance from the carefully crafted collaborative projects to the gravity of the brand's R&D outputs, Colombo and the cast of insightful authors provide clear and thorough accounts as appealing to both the knowledgeable enthusiast and the amateur.
Cinelli-Mash 5.jpg
Published by Rizzoli, Cinelli: The Art and Design of the Bicycle will be released 23 October with pre-order available now through Amazon for $34. For a closer look at the beautiful book's inner workings see the slideshow.

DJ Shadow special edition deluxe box set

DJ Shadow special edition deluxe box set: reblog from CR Blog

Above is a digital render of what the special edition deluxe box set of DJ Shadow's forthcoming Reconstructed release will look like. Click through for an exclusive first look at photographs of one of the first to come off the production line...

The release has been designed and art directed by Trevor Jackson in collaboration with Daniel Mason at Something Else who looked after packaging design and production. As well as designing the release itself, the pair also created a pizza-box style shipping carton that feels as much a part of the special edition as its contents:

Inside the box, and snugly stashed in protective foam, lies the release itself which is housed in a super-shiny 6mm thick black acrylic slipcase that sports an engraved graphic that has been infilled with glow-in-the-dark pigment.

The above shot shows how shiny it is (framed pictures on the wall beyond are reflected) and rather nicely the release comes with its own cleaning cloth – like the cloths you get with sunglasses, only larger and, appropriately black.

Inside the slipcase is a white glow-in-the-dark hardback book (above), the inside of which (below) is a symphony of matt black with the eight contained discs (seven CDs and one DVD) housed in the inside front and back covers.

Also included is an individually numbered certificate of authenticity (the release is in a strict edition of 500) signed by DJ Shadow.

The two flippable 'pages' of the book are 12inch sleeves, the first of which is foilblocked (as above) and contains a 12 page gloss laminated and embossed booklet (below) featuring an essay by Dave Tompkins and an illustrated select discography.

The second pocket contains a 180gsm vinyl disc containing a selection of remixes.

"It was a labour of love, took most of 2012 to put together and was one of the most difficult projects I've ever worked on but one I've been the most proud of creating," says Trevor Jackson of the project.
"It's an item that really needs to be seen in the flesh to fully appreciate," he continues, "the attention to detail on every aspect of production has been painstakingly overseen by Daniel Mason at Something Else, and in this increasingly throwaway virtual world it's something an artist of the calibre of DJ Shadow at this point in his career thoroughly deserves."
The special edition is priced at £170 - to find out more, visit