Spirals and Loops: New Free Video Clip Pack!

Download Spirals And Loops in Hap Alpha

Today we've got a new free clip pack courtesy of Herry, one of our recent visual performance students from Dubspot who was using his motion graphics skills to make his own video loops to use at live gigs.

One of the useful techniques discussed in class is creating several variations on a theme or style to have in your clip library during a live show. This can be in the form of having different color palettes, or exporting individual parts of your compositions with included alpha channels. Often this is normally part of the process when creating clips, but often instead of trying to create several clips, people focus on making one 'perfect' version which can actually be less useful in a live setting.

By having multiple similar versions of a clip you can quickly select the best one to match the needed energy level. It can also allow for creating more interesting performances where mixes begin simple and have new elements layered on along with the music.

This set of clips is designed for just that purpose. Each clip is in Hap Alpha so you can layer them on top of each other and there are several variations that can be switched between. They also serve as a good example of how simple changes in style can influence the feeling of a loop. The intention for a live mix was to start with the simple black and white outlines and then introduce the ones with color, but you can use them any way you'd like.

Here's a few examples from the collection:

PS These clips are totally free to use!

Hap Codecs now working in 64-bit AVFoundation

Hey all!

We wanted to make this an especially Hap-Hap-Happy Holiday for all Mac VJs (not just the VDMX-ers) and what better way is there than with another awesome open source code release for the hardware accelerated Hap video codecs?

It looks like 2015 will be the year that Mac VJs move to 64-bit and to help make that a reality for everyone we've updated our GitHub repositories to include new source code and documentation for developers to use the Hap video codecs with AVFoundation in their 64-bit applications.

Developers can find the new repository here: https://github.com/Vidvox/hap-in-avfoundation

Hap playback and encoding through AVFoundation works with the same classic .mov wrapper so all of your old Hap encoded movie files will work just the same, and likewise any new Hap movies created will be backwards compatible with older 32-bit application (and cross-platform with Windows).

Hap 64- bit example app running AVFoundation in Yosemite.

Hap 64- bit example app running AVFoundation in Yosemite.

As a recap on the technical details and history of the move from 32 to 64-bit processing, for a long time on the Macintosh most video processing software has relied on using a technology from Apple called QuickTime for movie playback. Over the last few years Apple has been trying to transition everyone to use their new modern movie playback engine known as AVFoundation which has several advantages, but was also lacking in certain pro capabilities needed for fully featured real-time video processing applications like VDMX.

In particular one big limitation for VJs was the lack of support for 3rd party pro video codecs such as Hap...

Thankfully as of a few weeks ago it became possible to use Hap in AVFoundation, taking care of our big stumbling block on making VDMX a native 64-bit application. 

Though we still have a more work to do to fully realize the larger goal of having a 64-bit native version of VDMX, including further optimization and bug testing, we wanted other developers stuck on this same problem with their apps to be able to get their software working with Hap as soon as possible.

We'll be posting more information and details about the next round of VDMX updates in a few weeks so stay tuned for more announcements!

So once again, happy holidays to all and looking forward to seeing you in 64-bit land in the new year!

- Dave & Ray

ps. Devs don't forget that you can also use the Hap codecs on Windows too!

Dear Apple: Please bring 3rd Party Codec Support to AVFoundation

Hey everyone!

Like many other developers who are writing video software for the Macintosh one of the biggest road blocks for us moving to a 64-bit version of VDMX is swapping out QuickTime code for AVFoundation. While this is becoming more and more possible with the release of Mavericks, in particular the ability to use specialized 3rd party codecs such as Hap has not been opened to the developer community and is severely limiting to real-time visual artists working on the Mac.

Front Pictures using 26 layers of Hap Q on 52 projectors played from Touch Designer on Renaissance

If you're a developer or video professional on the Mac, please take a few minutes and fill out a feature request for 10.10 asking Apple to release the documentation for the "Professional Video Workflow Plug-In" specification. Below is a template you can use, or write your own feature request explaining how you use 3rd party codecs like Hap in your own work.


Please post documentation and/or sample code with the specs and requirements necessary to produce a "Professional Video Workflow Plug-In" for OS X.

The quiet addition of "Professional Video Workflow Plug-Ins" and their use in Apple's own professional applications is a tacit admission that a modular plugin architecture for working with codecs is still a necessary and vitally important step in using AVFoundation to develop professional and special-purpose video applications.  Third-party developers need this capability every bit as much as apple's internal dev teams, for the very same reasons.

If a specific example would help clarify the issue, look no further than the Hap codec, which has been specifically optimized to enable the playback of large numbers of high-res video files simultaneously: 

-- Under QuickTime, a stock retina MBP can play back 10 layers of 1080p/30fps Hap video in OS X before it starts dropping frames; more video can be played back simply by adding more/faster drives:

-- The d3 "4x4 pro"- a media server for major event production widely used by more professional touring musicians than you can shake a stick at- uses Hap to play back eight layers of 4k video in realtime:

…and to nobody's surprise, we've learned that Hap is extremely well-suited to projection mapping and dome installations, both of which are typically seen in large-scale, high-end events:

None of the examples on this page can be achieved with AVFoundation in its current state- all of the above apps are either based on QuickTime (OS X and Windows) or DirectShow (Windows).  Unfortunately, AVFoundation's built-in codecs are several orders of magnitude too slow for this type of application, and our inability to create a third-party codec means that this sort of performance simply cannot be realized with the framework- and this is just one concrete example.

This is an unfortunate and hopefully short-lived shortcoming, as AVFoundation appears to be capable of working with externally-produced codecs installed as "Professional Video Workflow Plug-Ins".  Please publish the information necessary to allow third-party devs to produce their own "Professional Video Workflow Plug-Ins".  Doing so can only help to cement OS X as the platform of choice for creative professionals with ambitious visions- visions that depend on the sort of bleeding-edge performance and flexible, useful API everyone should associate with OS X and Apple hardware.


(How to fill out a feature request for 3rd party codec support)

Once again, the place to point your web browser is https://bugreport.apple.com/ to ask Apple to include official 3rd party codec support in AVFoundation for the next version of the Mac OS!

Thanks for taking the time!

The Hap Video Codecs, Now Available For Windows!

[Update July 2018 – there is a new website with the latest information about the HAP video codecs: http://hap.video]

Front Pictures pushes the limit, 26 layers of Hap Q on 52 projectors played from Touch Designer on  Renaissance

Front Pictures pushes the limit, 26 layers of Hap Q on 52 projectors played from Touch Designer on Renaissance

Last year in a collaboration Tom Butterworth we had the pleasure of sharing a powerful new set of open source video codecs called Hap with the Mac real-time video community. The goal of Hap was to serve a broad audience with the same need to push more pixels, benefiting everyone from show designers on expensive media servers handling 2k and 4k arrays to weekend VJs now able to playback multiple HD streams off a laptop.

One thing we've learned about artists in our time writing video performance software is that in the real world they take advantage of all kinds of tools for different projects and to create their unique visual style. With every new application that adds native support for the Hap suite, now counting at more than a dozen, it makes it easier to get the best performance regardless of what software is used to get a job done.

This mixing and matching of software isn't limited to a single platform and today we're extremely excited to announce that the GPU accelerated codec of choice on the Mac is now officially supported on Windows!

As of this announcement, the Hap video codec family can now be natively used on Windows in TouchDesigner, OpenFrameworks (via ofxHapPlayer), Jitter (via jit.gl.hap), DirectShow and Unity (via RenderHeads AVProQuicktime), with support coming very soon to D3 Media Servers and the Isadora programming environment.

To celebrate, we've updated the Hap homepage to include our new photo gallery of the various applications and frameworks that have adopted the format on both platforms. The homepage is also the place to check out how Hap compares to other commonly used codecs for live visuals.

The installers for the QuickTime Hap codecs for Mac and Windows can be found on the downloads page: https://github.com/vidvox/hap-qt-codec/releases/

(remember that the application you're using will also need to natively support Hap!)

Mac and Windows developers who are interested in learning more about Hap can visit the GitHub project page for technical details and sample code: https://github.com/vidvox/hap

Thanks again to all of the developers who have helped build this Hap-py community, and infinite praise for the infamous Tom Butterworth who continues to make it all Hap-pen.

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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