Project Review

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Week 7: February 25 – March 10 (Adobe Connect)

Schedule of Assignments

A review of final project concepts. Prepare a 5 minute presentation of the final project idea for class, exploring the concept as well as its influence and role of the viewer. Prepare 3 illustrative images, video (optional): email media links to me: media due February 24, 10:00 AM, presentation due for class on February 25.

  • Tuesday, 2/25: Class meeting (8:00 PM – 11:00 PM, Adobe Connect)
    • WordPress: featured image, bios (don’t forget!!) (Take a look at the Authors page).
    • WordPress: post commenting. Functionality now exists to comment on each others blogs, which will be using to respond to project posts throughout the remainder of the semester. See comment assignment below.
    • WordPress: go into the Dashboard/Categories and create a new “Project” category and assign it to the DA9005 parent category
    • Facebook: integral to the collaborative / sharing aspect of the class: Weisiong still not a member
    • Final project presentations, approx. 10 minutes each, including discussion
    • Continuation of Livestream Lectures: VDMX
  • Comment on projects: Each student will comment on another student (I’ll assign in pairs). Provide meaningful critical feedback, not just whether or not you liked it. Place your comment on the latest installment of the Project Hyperessay: Role of the Viewer, but you should read the previous installments as well to get a full perspective on the work. Go to the Projects page to access project hyperessay posts. We’ll continue this process of commenting through the remainder of the semester. Due March 11, 2 points.
  • Project post on your final projects: anything you are working on. Reflect, write, upload! Incorporate images, video, sound, links, etc. Use the “Project” category and appropriate tags. See Wei Long’s post as an example. Due March 11, 5 points.
  • Spring break next week: work on your projects and have fun!!

Livestream Lecture Part II: VDMX

  • The VDMX layout: arranging your windows
  • The Workspace Inspector: layers, plugins, video input
  • Assigning controllers for computer keyboard and MIDI control
  • Creating a video mixer: controlling opacity levels of layers
  • Blending effects: real-time compositing layers
  • Visual effects in VDMX and their control and manipulation

The VDMX layout: arranging your windows

First, here is a screenshot of how I have my VDMX interface laid out. You can pop out any of the windows and then put them wherever you want, to give you full control over the layout. Typically, the window that presents the final visual output would be displayed on another monitor or sent to a projection screen.

Screenshot 2014-02-23 15.31.04

The Workspace Inspector: layers, plugins, video input

In the Workspace Inspector, you can create multiple layers that combine the form the Canvas or Main Output. These layers are composited from top to bottom / front to back, which is an important concept when using blending effects.

Screenshot 2014-02-23 13.39.28

The Plugins tab is where you create preview windows, the Audio Analysis Window, the LFO and Step Sequencer windows, etc.

Screenshot 2014-02-23 13.46.31

The “Vid In” tab is where you can activate external cameras and video input devices, preview the image, and set parameters such as the resolution. Refer to the VDMX tutorial on Video Input Basics for more information.

Screenshot 2014-02-23 13.48.44

 Assigning controllers for computer keyboard and MIDI control

There are a variety of ways to assign various controllers such as a computer or MIDI keyboard, and an endless assortment of physical controllers and wireless devices. For now we’ll concentrate on two controllers for purposes of demonstration.

In the case of the computer keyboard, I have assigned the number keys to the Media Bin, which is where video and still images are stored. As you can see in the image, the keyboard number shows up over the media clip after it has been assigned.

Screenshot 2014-02-23 13.54.30

In order to make the assignments, you need to go to the Plugins tab of the Workspace Inspector, select your Media Bin, and then the Media Bin Options will show up below. Under the Triggers tab, you can see the assignments. These were made by selecting in the menus at the bottom: Continuous/Learn, Key, and then clicking on “Detect.” When you do this, every image will receive a trigger by clicking on the appropriate key. When all the images are assigned, just turn off “Detect” by clicking on the button. For more information, check out the VDMX tutorial called Triggering Clips.

Screenshot 2014-02-23 13.56.59

Creating a video mixer: controlling opacity levels of layers

You can create a video mixer in VDMX by creating a Control Surface plugin and then faders, buttons, etc. to create your own custom interface built right into VDMX. Here I have created four sliders, one for each of the layers. For more information, here is the VDMX tutorial for the Control Surface plugin.

Screenshot 2014-02-23 14.05.54

In order assign one of the faders to a specific layer control, do the following:

  • click on the layer opacity fader in the Media Bin composition window, the one you want to control
  • in the UI Inspector window, under the Receive tab, click on the + button, and you will see <No Src Chosen> appear and to the right an arrow, click on the arrow, and then go down to Control Surface and then the media bin fader you have made, and this fader will now control the layer opacity of the media bin
  • follow this procedure for each of the faders or other UI elements

Screenshot 2014-02-23 14.26.45

 Blending effects: real-time compositing layers

There are different groups of blends in VDMX that utilize the graphics card in various ways: Open GL (Open Graphics Library) or GLSL (Graphics Library Shading Language) are high performance graphics effects that take advantage of the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) of your graphics card. CoreImage is another protocol for real-time graphics, and Quartz Composer is a graphics programming language created by Apple, which is popular for real-time software, and is the basis for VDMX. If you use OpenGl-Add or OpenGl-Over it will cause all your layers to shift. So it is best to use one of the groups. It is important to remember the ordering of layers and that the blend mode on top is the one that operates over the layer underneath. For more information on the various types of blend modes, here is a description for the Photoshop blends, many of which are used in VDMX. For example, here is the “Hard Light” blend mode, which is described in the following way:

Multiplies or screens the colors, depending on the blend color. The effect is similar to shining a harsh spotlight on the image. If the blend color (light source) is lighter than 50% gray, the image is lightened, as if it were screened. This is useful for adding highlights to an image. If the blend color is darker than 50% gray, the image is darkened, as if it were multiplied. This is useful for adding shadows to an image. Painting with pure black or white results in pure black or white.

In which a television image over my Webcam looks like this:

Screenshot 2014-02-23 15.12.58

Screenshot 2014-02-23 15.11.05

 Visual effects in VDMX and their control and manipulation

This is a large subject since there are hundreds of visual effects and their combination available in VDMX. It is best to explore the available effects and test them out. By clicking on the “Load Asset” menu in the layer FX window, you will get the drop down menu of effects: everything from Blurs to Color Adjustments to Distortion Effects, etc. There are some interesting effects in the “v002” submenu that produce various glitch effects. Here I have loaded the v002 Glitch FBO effect and selected the “Random” button that produces an interesting shifting of the effect. Note also that to the right of the “Load Asset” menu, there is a “Replace” button. If this says replace, then when you choose a new effect it will replace it, but if you deselect replace, you can add more effects to create what is called a “Chain.” Here is a VDMX tutorial that briefly explains Visual FX Basics.

Screenshot 2014-02-23 15.18.10


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