Back to School Sale Fall 2013 – Now Ended :(

With college classes back again, we thought it would be a perfect time to have another sale on VDMX to help students and up and coming VJs start off the fall semester. 

Through September 9th, you can get VDMX for only 99 USD by sending us a school photo ID card, or by participating in our  “starving artists” discount program.

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And the winner of the VideoPong “Share Everything” contest is...

Earlier this week over on VideoPong we announced the winner and runner up in the “Share Everything” contest celebrating the addition to share attachments along with movies hosted on their site, making it easier for people to share their Quartz Composer compositions, Processing examples, and custom apps with other artists.

The winning composition can be downloaded here without signing up for VideoPong, and if you'd like to get access to the rest of the submissions it’s a great online community to become involved with.

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New VDMX Update with “Waveclock” Automatic BPM Detection, MIDI / OSC Echo, and More!

Hey everyone, 

It's once again time for us to show off some of the awesome stuff we've been working on here in the VIDVOX labs with a new release to VDMX! There's quite a bit to go over in the latest update (ready to download and install), so let's get started..

Automatic BPM Detection by Wavesum:

The most exciting new feature in this update is a collaboration with Wavesum to bring one-click automatic BPM detection to the VDMX “Clock” plugin. If you've previously tried the Waveclock standalone application to send MIDI clock to a VJ application, you already know it's pretty tight clock sync, and with native support built directly in it's even more useful. Watch this video demonstration, then try running the example template alongside some of your favorite music.

Read more about BPM detection... 

MIDI / OSC Talkback, aka “Echo” mode:

For faster workflow when using of two way talkback of MIDI and OSC controllers, we've added a new “echo” option to all of the standard interface controls that can be used to relay the current slider / button / menu value back to your favorite hardware controller. This new feature can also be used to put together VDMX behaviors that were previously either not possible- such as lighting up button in sync with slider interesting marks- or time consuming to set up. To get a sense of some of the possibilities check out the new tutorials and templates explaining how to use “echo” with instruments like the Livid OhmRGB,  Akai APC40, and TouchOSC for iPad.

Read more about Echo mode... 

TouchOSC layout importing in the Control Surface:

In the “Control Surface” plugin we've added two new UI item options: multi-button and multi-slider which are especially useful for creating layouts that match up with MIDI and OSC controllers. To allow for an even closer mimicking of remote hardware interfaces, it is now also possible to include knob style controls by resizing sliders to be a square shape in its layout grid. Additionally, TouchOSC users can now directly import their template files to generate UI layout for the Control Surface plugin, including all the labels and addresses of each interface item.

Read more about TouchOSC import...

v002 Quartz Composer plugins and 14 new FX: 

 With this update we are now including an extra installer that adds an extra set of awesome “Glitch” and “Film” style image processing FX, highly optimized blurs (gaussian, motion and zoom) which can be used instead of their CoreImage counterparts, and the “Rutt Etra” analog synthesizer emulator. Thanks to Anton Marini (aka vade) and Bill Etra for this!

Also make sure to check out the GitHub page for the v002 plugins where you can find more useful objects to use in your custom QC compositions.

Read more about the v002 FX in VDMX... 

Apply Custom Math Expressions to Sliders:

Now each slider in VDMX has the ability to type in simple math expressions to pre-process incoming control data. Particularly useful when working with OSC numbers that aren't already ranged from 0.0 to 1.0 – for setup, "$VAL" is the passed val, "$MIN" and "$MAX" refer to the current slider min and max.

Behind The Scenes:

A few other noteworthy additions: support for 14-bit MIDI control values (for example from Serato controllers) can be enabled in the MIDI section of the preferences, a new option for assigning endless OSC rotary controls (for example the encoder TouchOSC control) to adjust slider values, 'continuous' and 'range' detect mode to local preset UI items, pop-up buttons, and slider marks.

On top of all this and the usual bug fixes, we've made a lot of back end optimizations that make switching between presets significantly faster- read the full list of changes for all of the details.

End Of Semester Sale, Ended May 27th!

​If you're on this page, you are probably looking for information about our end of semester sale on VDMX– well, sorry, you missed it, we taking in requests for the special offer at 11:59 PM EST on May 27th.

But the good news is, you can still take advantage of our regular discounted rate for students, teachers and other educational faculty ​to get VDMX for just 199 USD..

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CandyStations live visuals for Sufjan Stevens Age of Adz and sneak peek at ‘Planetarium’

Deborah Johnson, perhaps better known as CANDYSTATIONS, is a self described “ALL PURPOSE MEDIA ANIMAL. FULL ON SHOW DESIGNER," and there's really no better way to put it. Among the many noteworthy projects of her career, the last few years has included several close collaborations with musician Sufjan Stevens, making music videosChristmas-themed comedy sketches, in addition to designing and performing the live projected visuals as part of the extravagant setup on the acclaimed Age of Adz tour during 2010-2011. The results of that project, some of which you can see in the trailer and photos below, are a pretty mind blowing combination of skillfully hand crafted images with a special level of pure digital insanity to match the equally intense music, stage and costume designs.

“When I designed the visuals for Sufjan Stevens’ the Age of Adz, Sufjan and I wanted parts of the show to feel very artificial and Tron-like, complementing the awkward, handmade brilliance of artist Royal Robertson and my own designs. I also wanted to be able to ‘play’ visual instruments along with the band. I asked Anton Marini to help me with the Quartz Composer elements for the set. I stipulated the design, motion and provided the graphic elements while we worked together to program the comps. It got a little loopy at times. There’s something called ‘Rainbow Control’ in one of the patches, for instance.”

Age of Adz: Distracted

 Age of Adz: "Get Real, Get Right"

Age of Adz: VDMX Project Screenshot

“I now use VDMX when I am performing. It enables me to both cue and composite pre-rendered compositions while incorporating QC animations and real-time effects. Along with a MIDI controller, I often use audio-input to affect parameters and VDMX’s audio analysis is fantastic. All this allows me to keep an essential ‘live’ element in my visuals while retaining a substantial amount of control and intention. This is important to me as a visual performer – especially when I am working with musicians.”

Age of Adz: Spaceboy

Age of Adz: Vesuvius

Seven Swans

In 2012, international venues Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, the Barbican London and Sydney Opera House commissioned composer Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner (The National), and Sufjan Stevens to create a collaborative song cycle. The musical exploration resulted in eleven intricately layered, metaphorical songs based on our solar system – appropriately entitled Planetarium (all the planets, including the Sun, Moon and even poor Pluto are represented). 

A complementary visual element for the live show was desired, so Deborah was charged with designing a set of interpretive, planetary inspired visuals to be projected onto a custom, 16' black orb (of her own design) that hangs ominously above the band.

After a series of "workshop" performances in Europe and Australia, Planetarium had its respective 2013 U.S. premieres at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in March and LA Philharmonic's Disney Concert Hall in April. An excerpt of the track titled ‘Saturn’ can be seen to the right, with some production photographs from the shows below (audience shots can be found on her tumblr).

Planetarium - Earth

Planetarium - Jupiter

Planetarium - Uranus

If you'd like to read more about her creative work there's also an great recent interview with Deborah over on the iLoveQC blog where she talks in detail about her history coming up as a visual artist, along with plenty of actual software discussion for the video nerds in the audience.

Her current production is for the New York-based string quartet ETHEL – entitled Documerica – based on the 1970's NEA archive of the same name. It will debut at BAM's Next Wave this fall. 

Glowing Pictures artist feature and free visual performance clip download

Download the Glowing Pictures 'Conception' video performance pack in Hap 720p or PhotoJPEG 720p.

There's so much to say about Benton-C Bainbridge and V Owen Bush of Glowing Pictures that I won't even try to scratch the surface here. We've known them personally — and they've been using VIDVOX software — since the very beginning of the company. Both of them have been working with video for longer than we've been on earth, so to call them pioneers in this field is a bit of an understatement. Over the years the two have worked together and separately on hundreds of live performances, installations, architectural spaces, music videos, Visual Performance workshops, and films for both dome and 3D projection, with a high profile client list that has included everyone in town from The Beastie Boys to Lincoln Center.

As always the duo are involved in a number of projects at a time - they've kicked off 2013 with the 'Vision of the Week' series, 52 completely new video paintings and performances, one of which was the inspiration for the set of sample movies they've produced for todays Visual Performance pack download based on the Cell Shading Experiment presets and After Effects tutorials from designer Matt Trunks.

What we're most excited for is their new Visual Performance program being taught out of Dubspot in NYC where DJs and musicians are showing up to learn how to be visual performers. Their website includes some video tutorials on using VDMX alongside Ableton Live and the APC40, so even if you don't live in the area of Dubspot headquarters they have some knowledge to share with you.

V Owen Bush (left) and Benton-C Bainbridge (right)

Photo by Dave Pentecost, East Village Planetarium

If you'd like to see Glowing Pictures live this spring, they're the resident visual designers of the American Museum Of Natural History's monthly One Step Beyond series. The new 2013 season kicks off May 10th with James Blake, and if you miss that, the next OSB is on June 7th. You can also see them performing on May 17th and 18th alongside V Squared Labs at the Electric Daisy Carnival in NYC.

And this post would not be complete without a major shout out to Nalepa and TeamSupreme for usage of the audio track in the above trailer for the 'Conception' clips pack.

Quartz Composer: "I'm not dead yet!"

​Over the last few months and especially in the last couple of weeks, there's been some concern from the Mac video community at large as to whether or not Quartz Composer had a future at Apple, and what such a loss would mean for VJ software like VDMX which heavily use QC as an option for real-time rendering. Aside from the news of its possible end, Quartz Composer has recently shown some big signs of continued life!

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History of the *spark d-fuser with Toby Harris and D-Fuse

Over the last few years one of the more interesting projects we've been following in the hardware side of VJing has been the development of the *spark d-fuser video mixer. Started as a tool for pioneering audio-visual group D-Fuse, it is now available to buy direct, shipped from stock. To celebrate this retail release we're joined by Toby, it's creator, for a special guest tutorial with tips for VDMX users.

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coLABoratory: Playing It UNsafe at Carnegie Hall

Over the weekend on Facebook we caught wind of what looks to be a one of a kind collaboration between composer Dan Visconti and visual artist Simon Tarr that premieres this Friday at Carnegie Hall titled 'Glitchscape'. Leading up to the event, Simon has been blogging about his preparations, bouncing between apps like After Effects, Cinema 4D, Quartz Composer and VDMX as he feverishly extracts images that have been in his head for over a decade.

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More about the Hap codecs + Free Sample Clip Set by Momo The Monster and Middlman

To celebrate the recent adoption of the Hap video codecs by a number of our fellow Mac VJ apps, today we're sharing a set of royalty free A/V oops created by Momo The Monster and Middlman titled 'pacificCoast' that highlight the use of transparency when compositing layers. The clips are available pre-encoded in Hap 1080p and Hap 480p, and include a VDMX project that demonstrates how to get the most out of the using movies that contain alpha channels.

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Presenting Hap, a family of open-source GPU accelerated video codecs

Today we are happy to share the fruits of a collaboration with Tom Butterworth that has been in the works for about a year now: Hap, a new video codec designed specifically for digital video artists and Mac VJs with the goal of achieving higher-performance video playback in OpenGL-based applications such as VDMX.

Instead of using the CPU to decode video frames, Hap passes compressed image data directly to your computer's graphics card for hardware accelerated decompression of movies during playback. By shifting this burden from your CPU to your GPU, Hap makes it possible to use more movies at higher resolutions than typical CPU-bound codecs.

Hap comes in three different flavors to meet the needs of real-world usage: Hap, Hap Alpha, and Hap Q. Hap offers the lowest data-rates for playing back the most clips at a time. Hap Alpha is similar to Hap, but adds support for transparency. Hap Q encodes at a higher data-rate to achieve significantly cleaner images when quality is a priority over performance and file size.

 

Click to read more about Hap...

 

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The Deadmau5 End of Year Show with Momo The Monster

Joining us from the road with Deadmau5 for our first post of 2013 is the infamous Momo The Monster--

In addition to his career as a visualist, Momo is known for the Make Space Ship and FiddlyBits apps for iOS and a bunch of other projects you can check out over at the mmmlabs website. You may also recognize his work with The Glitch Mob featured on our homepage.

We've put together a super edit of the videos he's sent us from the road on their non-stop stretch of holiday shows to watch- Then if you're curious for some behind the scenes continue on to the "How to do a Deadmau5 End of Year Show" tutorial

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Kicking off the new blog with the Eclectic Method

Welcome to the inaugural post of the Vidvox blog! We never though we'd have a blog, but while we were putting together the tutorials we realized that they were missing something: a place to comment on all the errata that doesn't quite fit neatly into the categories of tutorials. Between this blog and the ever-expanding tutorials, we hope to make this a place where everybody who uses VDMX will be able to find useful tips and interesting techniques to explore.

To help us kick off the new additions to our website, this week we'll be collaborating with master A.V. remixer Jonny from the Eclectic Method on our first series of artist technique tutorials. It's a three part series titled HOW TO DO AN ECLECTIC METHOD REMIX. Part one is available today with the rest coming over the next few days.

So what does an Eclectic Method remix look and sound like exactly? 

[ Go check them out on youtube, watch a couple more mixes, we'll wait.. That Bill Murray one is pretty funny.. ]

So if you've enjoyed that and you want to get a sense of how this is accomplished, as promised, there's a brand new tutorial to help get you started. Or if you'd just like to learn more about the Eclectic Method check them out on the facebook and twitter and what the heck even the wikipedia has an entry that you'll want to read.