Josh (the blog)

Hey there. I’m Josh, a SydneyCanberra-based maker of Internets. I don’t update this very often.


Cru study camp party live visuals

Went pretty well I’d say. Not that it’s really my call to make :) Seemed rather short despite my lack of foresight resulting in me standing for the duration (I forgot to get a chair and then there were people in the room and chairs were too far away. Ones with armrests weren’t an option because they’re inconvenient). Standing was, however, a necessity. Video was composed largely from analogue loops, with everything ultimately running through effecTV. It did work amazingly well (IMO) but it was a bit of a pain not to be able to use composite capture, which would have meant a bigger camera not so constrained by a USB lead. Just quietly, my webcam kicks arse. Like, with plastic explosives or something. It’s great even in low light! Obviously it drops off into the nether-regions, but still… all-round goodness.

The grain wasn’t really a problem anyway, because most of the vision was intentionally grungy/the input was only a seed for further digital genesis, so that was cool. I’ve got to get the composite input for this computer working before I do another one of these things or get a real capture card, though, because it’s a pain having only one camera. Usually I’d flick it around to a light source bright enough that everything would flare out and then repo, or switch to a heavily distorted effect, or slide my finger over it (it’s a webcam, okay?) to black. The vision mixer didn’t get a workout because I couldn’t get TV-out working properly in time (mostly because effecTV’s fullscreen mode did weird things to sync on composite outputs, but hey, VGA worked).

I’ve really got to learn how to use PureData before next time, too. It looks so incredibly powerful, wow. I don’t understand where it outputs sources/runs, though. Looks great for routing and filtering stuff to the hilt, but where that all ends up is beyond me! Again, hopefully before next time.

It just occurred to me that pretty much every camera with IEEE1394 on the planet can be used as a V4L source. D’oh. Maybe I should finally buy a real camera instead of some boring capture hardware. Capture hardware doesn’t NEED to be boring, if you’re in a Windows environment and need a device that does real-time effects… but I’m not $2500 enthusiastic about all this just yet. And probably won’t be until it starts to have some abstract kind of earning potential… which I’m pretty okay without, but nevertheless, it’s difficult to justify that going into a hole of depreciation.

So… for next time, more cameras mixed (with vision mixer) into capture device, more cameras using FireWire, more effects custom-designed using PureData, and digital vision mixing with FreeJ. I’m happy with VGA output because you’re pushing native resolution to the projector that way. I’m also not too concerned about PC resources/performance. Tonight I’d say it was online for 3.5 hours without a glitch (with the exception of a kick-out 10 minutes in, and I was still partially setting up and wasn’t particularly in the middle of anything), running from a USB source. There used to be a time when that would just not have been possible with consumer gear (the camera cost about $90-110, which means it’s a rather-decent webcam. Probably, at this stage, one of the more expensive components of my setup!)

Oh, and I didn’t get to record any of the performance, sorry. Gem recorded another person’s performance for me earlier in the evening, but I’m too tired to share that right now… probably tomorrow, before Selo comes to my house and kicks my dog… err I mean camera’s SD card memory. I gotta do it before this month ends, because I’m now hilariously over quota. It’s got to be all because uploads count, seriously! I’ve been doing nearly 1GB a month to Flickr alone. Anyway. Stopping rambling and starting sleeping.