Archive for the ‘Stuff That I Like’ Category

Vuo 0.5.0 – Public Beta

Friday, October 25th, 2013

You might have heard of Vuo, a new visual programming environment made by Kosada, the same people who are behind all the excellent Kineme plugins for Quartz Composer. The first public beta version of Vuo was just released (you need to pay for a subscription to access it) and I wanted to talk a little about what I think about it.

Screenshot 2013-10-24 20.57.00

Why do I care?

For the past 5+ years, I’ve made my living mainly by making art, interaction design, installations, animations, real-time graphics, performances, custom tools and other various things using Quartz Composer. I use openFrameworks, Pure Data, Max, Processing and other tools also, but I will pretty much always choose to work in QC if it’s possible to create the project at hand using it. For me, it’s the environment where I work the fastest.

Screenshot 2013-10-24 20.54.41

Sadly, QC is made by Apple and it has been quite obvious for a few years that Apple doesn’t really give a shit about the people working with Quartz Composer. It’s not aimed for the corporate executives creating their slideshows, funny posters and generic GarageBand songs on their MacBook Airs at the airport while waiting for their connecting flight.

Screenshot 2013-10-24 20.26.32

I’m still hoping that a QC 5.0 update magically appears from somewhere and fixes all the bugs that have been there for a long time, but still it’s good to have a plan B. That’s why I’m happy to see Vuo actually getting released.

Is Vuo any good?

I’ve been using the 0.4.9 alpha release for a little while now and I’m going to say that it’s very promising. A lot of features are still missing, but the overall feeling is positive.

What you can do with it right now (Vuo 0.5.0):

  • Load and display images (local files or from the internet)
  • Blend and fade images together using different blending modes
  • Load and display 3d objects (uses the Open Asset import library)
  • Create simple 3D Objects (sphere, square, cube, triangle, parametric objects)
  • Basic logic and math operations
  • Control how events are triggered
  • There are lots of nodes for general data flow control
  • Multiple output windows in one composition (I love this!)
  • Print out text to a console
  • Midi in/out (notes, CC)
  • Get mouse input
  • Get keyboard input (only through the console window for now)
  • Get input data from the Leap Motion
  • Export your compositions into applications. (I haven’t tried this, but it should be possible with the command line. Maybe?)
  • Create custom nodes using C programming language. There are example Qt creator projects that make this process pretty easy.
  • Create GLSL image filters by making custom nodes
  • + some things I probably forgot to mention

So what is missing? (Mainly a list of the things I care about the most):

  • Audio input/output
  • Video input/output
  • Syphon
  • OSC
  • Serial
  • DMX
  • General math expressions
  • Something like the iterator in QC
  • Currently no way of collapsing multiple nodes into sub-compositions/macro patches
  • + things in this list

Check out the roadmap to see when these and other features are planned to be implemented.

So many key features are still not there, but the basic infrastructure is pretty solid and the feeling of working in Vuo is pretty similar for me as working in QC. There are of course bugs and I think a couple of confusing things in the event triggering need to be clarified, but overall I’m quite happy with it. Looking forward to seeing what kind of custom nodes people develop when they get their hands on this.

What have I done with Vuo so far?

Nothing super exciting, but go check out my GitHub repository for Vuo related things:

https://github.com/Mnstri/MnstriVuoExamples

The compositions folder has a bunch of experiments I’ve been messing with.

I also made a bunch of custom nodes, mainly just to get to know the process of doing that, but people might find them useful. They are more like abstractions rather than really complex new nodes.

I made a few basic math nodes and bpm/fps to event timing converters:

Screenshot 2013-10-24 21.47.39Input Splitters. Vuo didn’t have these so I decided to make them. I use them a lot for routing values to multiple nodes or input ports more easily. I got bored and didn’t make splitters for all data types, but these should get you started. Integer and Real are the most used for me anyway.

Screenshot 2013-10-24 21.50.44

What does it cost? Why isn’t it free?

Because Wu-Tang.

See the website for pricing details. I personally really don’t mind paying the subscription price. The Kineme plugins (free and paid) have been a real lifesaver for me and without them I would have had to spend countless of hours more on many projects or some projects might have not been finished at all. So every single euro I’ve sent their way has paid itself back multiple times. If Vuo becomes what I hope it will, I’m sure I will be quite glad to support the development.

e-MobiLArt exhibition

Friday, May 29th, 2009

For a little over a year now, I’ve been involved as an organizer in the e-MobiLArt project. It is a project between University of Athens, University of Lapland and University of Applied Arts in Vienna tailored around the process of collaboratively creating interactive installation artworks. More information can be found from the project website: http://www.media.uoa.gr/~charitos/emobilart/ Now the project is nearing it’s end and the e-MobiLArt group exhibition is on display in Warehouse B1 in Thessaloniki, Greece.

emobilart

I know that this is a bit late since the opening was last week, but I’ve been really busy since it’s my last week in Montreal and didn’t have time to post this earlier. Unfortunately, I can’t make it to Greece for the exhibition, but I’m hoping to catch in Katowice, Poland this fall. Click here for exhibition details.

Kutiman´s ThruYou

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Kutiman just became my new hero. Finally someone makes YouTube mashups that don´t sound like shit. Check them out at http://thru-you.com/. Having a hard time deciding my favorite.

thruyou

http://thru-you.com/

The Fretless Fader – Why Didn’t I Think of This

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

I´m glad to see some really innovative stuff in the world of turntablism. I just wonder why no-one has thought of this before. It make so much sense once you see it. I´ll have to build one.

Yöjuna Rovaniemelle

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Another nice music video. This time from Finland and a little different from the one below. Ella ja Aleksi – Yöjuna Rovaniemelle. Video by Anima Boutique

Le Le – Breakfast (Parra)

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Damn, how come I haven´t seen this earlier. Parra´s band Le Le with the track Breakfast. I´ve always thought that Parra is doing the best illustrations and typography on this side of the galaxy and now it´s in motion!

If you aren´t feeling the YouTube quality, check out the Quicktime at bigactive.com

Modded/Modattu and Other News (e-MobiLArt, Montreal, etc)

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

If you are in Rovaniemi from 2nd to 28th of June go check out the exhibition of two of my very good friends.

Jeanne Jo and Rachelle Beaudoin are two talented individuals who I met at RISD last summer. Modded/Modattu will have wearables, hacked headphones and other cool shitten. (shitten™ by Steven)

In other news, things are kind of hectic and I´m running out of energy. I´m leaving to Helsinki on Thursday and on Monday I will be on my way to the e-MobiLArt workshop in Athens, Greece. I’m really glad I have the opportunity to travel and be part of these great projects, but I could really use just a few moments when I don’t have some deadlines waiting around the corner. My schoolwork is lagging miles behind, countless of other projects would need a lot of attention and I´m stressing a little about work. I´ll manage, just bear with me if I seem like my head is not attached to my body sometimes.

What else… I will be moving to Montreal for a year next September. So holla at me, if you are from there and interested in working with me (DJing, VJing, design, art, anything…) And also contact me if you know of a good and cheap place to live for me and my girlfriend, preferably in Mile End.

Sensual Seduction aka Sexual Eruption

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

The coolest video I’ve seen in a long while. And the song gets better and better every time I hear it.

Phidgets Patches for Quartz Composer from fdiv.net

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

I wrote a tutorial a while ago for building a cocoa app that will enable you to control Quartz Composer with Phidgets sensors. Now there’s a LOT easier way to achieve this. Just use the new QC patches from fdiv.net.

Shit I’m Diggin’ #2

Saturday, April 7th, 2007

Some more inspiring stuff. In case you’re interested in what I like.

Lyapis Trubetskoy – Kapital

The YouTube version is pretty crappy so watch the quicktime from http://www.cosmosfilm.tv/

Run Wrake – Rabbit

http://www.runwrake.com/