Realm of the VVVVertex

Generative VVVV work by Elektromeier

The development of VVVV, a toolkit for real time video synthesis, was initiated by MESO to prototype and implement leading edge media installations – it worth checking the Meso site to view some of the projects produced with 4v. The software is designed to ‘facilitate the handling of large media environments with physical interfaces, real-time motion graphics, audio and video that can interact with many users simultaneously.‘ The main developers on the project are Max Wolf, Sebastian Gregor, Sebastian Oschatz, Tebjan Halm, Joreg, David Brüll and Björn schwarzer.

Dataisnature is a excited fan of 4v for many reasons, one of them is that VVVV lends itself well to the fast prototyping of complex organic structures, iterated multiform shapes and surfaces that have parameters that can be informed by sound analysis. The use of Spreads (analogous to Arrays) to duplicate objects and set spatial organisation of objects is one of its most powerful key features. It’s been a while since I made a post about the toolkit and judging by the increasing number of topics in the excellent VVVVorums and the number of concurrent online users, it seems the amount of people using the software seems to have increased quite a lot in the last year. As I continue to use this software, I present a selection of works, blogs & patches/modules, I’ve been collecting for a little while, from some of its devotees and developers:

The 4v blog is a great place to start if you want to get a taste of its power. Many of the projects listed here go beyond the screen with aspects of interaction, such as body tracking and motion sensing with, for example, this multi-touch table. Elsewhere you’ll find intriguing examples of physical computing- Interflow being a good example.

Kalle has made some amazing real world objects/installations in colloboration with MESO such as a giant light sculpture constructed with fluorescent light tubes – be sure to check out the Future of Mobility video. Scroll down past the projects on his user page to view an impressive list of modules including one that deals with speech recognition/synthesis.

Desaxismundi is publishing his experiments via a blog, you’ll find a variety of shader transforms, meshes and deformations with considered complexity – swirls, streams and as he puts it ‘calligraphic lazers’. It should be noted that Desaxismund has produced a set of Shaders for your enjoyment too – available for download.

Defetto utilizes Perlin noise deformations to produce silky overlapping 2d waveforms and spikey 3d crystal shapes. I enjoy the way the overlapping pallet creates dense areas of black in these sets.

Electromeier ‘visuals’ set contains many mutliform compositions which are both organic and complex. Both the Cellnot & ‘placement-DirectX Renderer’ sequences utilize gradient objects and backgrounds to great effect, the latter sequence presents an atomic action painting space hybrid. Electromeier, produces live visuals and has made some modules and patches for this purpose. Recently I tried out his Beatstreet module, a beat tapper/counter, which proves very useful for synching sound to visuals when not applying a direct sound analysis.

Tebjan Halm (aka Tonfilm) has collated a large selection of stills from his experiments which act as a small history of developmental exploration – the range & breadth of the output goes a long way to proving the power and versatility of 4v, as well as his patching skills.

Perlin Noise expirement – Defetto

VVVV is equally suited to information visualisation as it is generative animations as proven by Andreas Koller and Philipp Steinweber’s Similardiversity project. ‘Similar Diversity is an information graphic which opens up a new perspective at the topics religion and faith by visualizing the Holy Books of five world religions’

Another collaborative piece, this time utilizing midi data to allow for visual representation of music is Benedikt Groß and Patric Schmidt’s Seelenlose Automaten. Marius has already done a good job of posting on this generative audio visualisation, where midi data is used to inform animation parameters instead of the usual direct sound analysis method.

It’s also possible to output VVVV statics to hi-res for print, and Eno Henze has just done this with his Cortices piece, here a plot of Perlin noise values orchestrate iridescent moirés on close inspection, but on a larger scale it resembles a flowing gauze-like structure. And on the subject of hi-res output we turn to Ampop, who created the original Gridrenderer (now part of the standard VVVV download) node allowing for a grid of component images to be output allowing them to be stitched back together thus forming a hi-res final image. Incidentally there are a couple of PDFs from Ampop worth a browse, one is his thesis on hi-res export in VVVV, the other is a delightful ‘book’ called GeneratiVVVVe where Greek myth and World news is peppered with black and white geometric abstractions, generative typography, and patterns of recursion.

Zeroinfluencer has been using VVVV to prototype his Datama project which is a software for the ‘The Cinematic Realisation of Data’. As he describes it ‘will be a suite of aggregation utilities, sequencers and render systems that enable media content to be treated as objects, thus enabling further real-time content creation’ Early patches look very interesting, allowing for an aggregation of different kinds of data in to a visual mix.

Onoxo, a visualist residing in Zagreb has a slick collection of VVVV visual experiments definitely work exploring, again Marius has already written a post on his work so ill direct you over to Generator.x for another intermission.

Two excellent collections of VVVV work I’ve featured before are those of Sanch TV and Rand, both feature great examples of superformula de/reconstructions.

This list is by no mean exhaustive – it was good to transfer some VVVV links from a txt file and post here. Please inform me of any work that I might be interested to feature in future.

3 Responses to “Realm of the VVVVertex”

  1. elektromeier writes:

    hey cool article & thx for featuring me! also check out my new site (still under construction and only german atm)

  2. Sebastian Oschatz writes:

    And dont miss to see the list of projects on the MESO Digital Interiors website we has been doing unsing VVVV. Most of these projects were quite impossible to do with other solutions, and the feature requests here still drive many of the day to day improvements in VVVV.

  3. paul writes:

    heh elektromeier, sebastian thanks for dropping by, yes both links have been added to the main article! I knew when i maded this post I’d miss some key works out. At some point im certain that i will make a part II, thanks!

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