Using LUT FX in VDMX

One of the common types of image filters that are found in the workflow for photo and video editing are LUTs, also know as "Look Up Table" based FX. LUT FX are used to change the color palette of an image to create a different stylized look or feel, or in some cases to mimic the look of different print film types.

In this video tutorial we'll be looking at how to use each of the three different ways to use LUT FX in VDMX and how to add your own ".cube" LUT files.

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Using VDMX as a Syphon Mixer

One of the best things about being a VJ on the Mac these days is Syphon which makes it possible for all of the different tools that are available to work together in countless ways. Within VDMX it is possible to have as many Syphon inputs and outputs as your computer can handle, which allows for it to be used as a source, mixer, FX processor or final output for other software you may want to work with.

In this video tutorial we'll look at a simple use case for connecting several Syphon enabled applications to and from VDMX by creating a two channel mixer that fades between two Syphon sources and publishes back out for other applications to use.

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4 Layer Korg nanoKONTROL2 template

One of the popular controllers used by VJs is the Korg nanoKONTROL, a versatile set of sliders, knobs and buttons that can be easily mapped to different setups. The goal of this more setup is to provide a good standard VJ rig for this controller that includes 4 layers with playback / mixing / color adjustment, clip / page switching along with a set of both manual and audio reactive FX that can be individually enabled.

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How to make a customized Livid OhmRGB Slim template by eatyourwork

For today's guest post we're joined by eatyourwork who first introduced us to the possibilities of using OhmRGB Slim alongside of VDMX in a blog post a couple of years ago. Since then we've made a few basic templates for new video performers to get started with a simple VJ video mixer setup with the Ohm, but in this video tutorial Simas shows off the extent to which you can customize your layout and MIDI mapping when making your own video performance rig.

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Making three templates for the Livid Base

When getting a new MIDI controller to use with VDMX, or other VJ / music making software, one of the most exciting aspects is finding out the best way to map the sliders and buttons to various controls that you want to use during performance, and along with that coming up with new ways that you can configure your software video generators and FX to get the most out of the layout of your instrument.

In this set of technique tutorials we'll be looking at three new example VDMX setups we've come up with for the Livid Base that take advantage of the controller in a few different ways including its multi-color LEDs and pressure sensitive pads.

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How to build the Waveclock Demo template

In this tutorial we'll be looking a closer look at using automatic BPM detection for syncing up the timing of visual events with music by recreating the core parts of the Waveclock Demo template that is included with VDMX.

The approach we'll take is to create a virtual video instrument in the form of a Quartz Composer composition and animate its interface controls with Step Sequencer and LFO plugins. Presets for patterns in each plugin can then be saved and switched to match the energy level of the music while VJing during a live set. 

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Automatic BPM Detection in VDMX using Waveclock

By enabling the “Waveclock” beat tracking feature in the VDMX Clock plugin, the music from a microphone or line input can be analyzed to automatically handle the adjustment of the BPM and measure position to ensure that the timing of changes in your video are perfectly in sync with the bands and DJs that you are working with. 

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VJing with a WiiMote game controller in VDMX

While MIDI devices and OSC enabled applications tend to be most commonly used instruments by VJs when getting away from the computer during a live visual performance, another extremely powerful controller that can be paired with VDMX is the WiiMote game pad which can be connected to a Mac wirelessly over Bluetooth.

The basic configuration only takes a few moments to set up and then we can begin to put together a sample project that is designed to get the most out of the possibilities of the combining accelerometers with game style buttons for performing live visuals.

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DJ Mixer EQ Style Masking FX for VDMX (with bonus X-Session Pro template)

In this technique tutorial we'll focus on two different ways the idea of a DJ style low, mid, high EQ control can be interpreted in the world of video as FX in VDMX as a means to mask out or adjust the gain level on separate discrete parts of a video stream for the purposes of blending video layers together.

The first example exchanges the low, mid and high levels for the individual RGB channels of the image for raising or lowering the intensity of each independently. The second qcFX uses a similar concept to a 3-band equalizer, breaking down the image into three different sections based on the luma (brightness) level of each pixel instead of its frequency ranges.

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The Dual Mix 4 Layer Livid OhmRGB Slim Template

When compositing layers of video together in VDMX or another VJ application, one of the standard techniques for combining images is the use of “masking images” which black out parts of an image by setting its transparency (alpha channel) to less than 1.0, allowing it to in front of content behind it instead of simply blending the two together.

This template is a variation on the technique described in the four channel mixer example in which we have two groups of layers (left and right bus) set up making it possible to preview and transition between mixes on the fly. Here the idea is similar, but instead of two mixes that use separate sets of clips, in this template each bus shares the same set of four clips, each with different controls for layer opacity, FX and blend modes. For an added twist, the four source for this template is used as a mask overlay for each bus that can be used in a variety of ways to combine the two separate mixes together in the main output.

In this video tutorial we quickly go through the design of this template and how it can be used to mix two movie clips along with an audio reactive or LFO driven Quartz Composer composition as an overlay or mask.

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Making a customized version of 'Grid Pro' in VDMX

Building on the previous template and tutorial on recreating the classic VIDVOX Grid using VDMX, ​in this video walkthrough we'll show how to turn the basic triggering and scrubbing app to it's big brother Grid Pro, which added a number of powerful features like transitions for fading between clips, image FX processing, audio analysis, a text generator layer and direct to disk movie recording.

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The 8 Layer APC40 VJ Mixer Template for VDMX

​The Akai APC40 is one of the most known MIDI controllers designed to be used alongside Ableton Live for DJing and music production. It also happens to be a pretty good controller for working with video and in this tutorial we'll look at some tips for setting up an 8 layer setup with controls matched to the layout of the controller itself.

With this example template you can load in your own movie files and start mixing immediately, or further map the remaining knobs and buttons to your own selection of real-time video FX and other movie playback parameters.​

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Making a customized version of 'Grid' in VDMX

When creating new performance interfaces from scratch using VDMX it is often useful to look at the layouts of other VJ tools as a starting points. In this video tutorial we quickly recreate the main features of the classic 'VIDVOX Grid' including most of the keyboard shortcuts, playback capabilities, and general UI layout. The completed version is available for download and just like the original app it is based on, this example template can be used out of the box with your own clips for performances.

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Multi-display video mixing with VDMX on a Retina MacBook Pro

​Along with being able to work with more layers at higher resolutions, faster computers and more powerful graphics cards make it possible to output to multiple projectors or monitors from a single machine. In particular, the new 15" Retina Macbook Pro features a combination of a fast SSD hard drive along with two Thunderbolt and one HDMI port making it possible for a VJ to power 2 or 3 different HD displays from a single Mac laptop.

In this video tutorial we'll walk through the basic steps of preparing VDMX projects with a double-wide and triple-wide design to output with separate source layers for each display.

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Two Channel Video Mixer template for Livid OhmRGB Slim

The OhmRGB is a hardware MIDI controller from Livid Instruments for DJs and VJs with a nice mix of faders, knobs and buttons for triggering clips or FX. It's an especially useful controller to use with VDMX because it has a versatile layout which can be adapted for a variety of different setups ranging from simple DJ style two channel video mixers to advanced multiple layer compositions.

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