VPT 8 released

vpt8_logo

I just released VPT 8, over ten years after the first release of Video Projection Tools (VPT).  VPT has proven to be a popular free alternative for windows and mac users interested in projection mapping and realtime video experiments: The previous version VPT 7 was downloaded over 100000 times, 2/3 was windows users, 1/3 mac users.

VPT 8 has a lot of under the hood changes. It is now 64-bit only. It will also be the last version of VPT.

I have created an online manual which should make it easier to get started doing interesting things with your computer and a projector.

You can download and read more about new features on the VPT home page.

VPT 7 released

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After a long development period, VPT 7 is finally out.

The previous version,VPT 6, was downloaded over 20000 times.

VPT 7 is completely rebuilt making it faster, stabler, easier and more flexible to use than previous versions of VPT.

and yes, it is still FREE!

Some of the new features include:

dynamic layers: add the number of layers you need for a particular project.

flexible source setup: create your own mix of quicktime,hap,still and mix modules according to the need of your project (on top of the live, solid and syphon sources).

In the mac version VPT continues to support the syphon framework but has also added support for the HAP codec, an opensource codec that greatly improves playback of high resolution video.

there is a completely new mask editor which lets you add as many mask points as you need.

the cornerpin adjustements of layers have improved, now providing a more correct distortion

the mesh editor is also new, and you can now apply a mesh distortion together with cornerpin distortion (not possible in previous versions).

expanded possibillites with controllers and the cuelist

an optional alternative to the traditional VPT presets using source presets and source playlists.

The download includes a 70 page manual, and there is also a getting started video tutorial available, all from
https://hcgilje.wordpress.com/vpt

Please continue to use the VPT forum  for VPT related questions:
https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!forum/vpt-forum

Voice 2012

Seven years after our previous collaboration, Maja Ratkje and I got together for a performance in Johanneskirken in Bergen for Festspillene i Bergen this May. I created a setup using LED modules normally used in outdoor video walls which I placed in an arc behind Maja. The arc functioned both as a canvas for low resolution patterns but also a powerful light source affecting the whole church giving me an opportunity to modify the whole space by improvising with these screens.

We have been invited to perform at the Bozar Electronic Arts Festival on september 22nd  (Bozar, Brussels) and later at the Kontraste Festival in Krems in october.

Johanneskirken has probably never looked cooler from the outside:

a very short glimpse of what you might experience:

The full-length performance at the Kontraste Festival in October 2012:

blink @ woodstreet (Projected Light Space)

multimorf 3: a composition for trombone and waterfall

I just finished a new collaboration with composer Knut Vaage, Multimorf 3, a composition for waterfall and trombone.

The image above is a snapshot from each of the nine sections of the piece.

The trombone plays together with recordings of waterfall and layered trombone overtones (also combined with live processing of the trombone).
The composition has an open form:
Vaage has together with sound designer Thorolf Thuestad created nine morphed backgrounds of waterfall recordings and trombone overtones. The trombone player, John Arild Suther, chooses how long each morph section should be played and in which order they should be played, as well as which sections of the composed score he wants to play within each section. This opens for very different performances based on the same material.

The video is conceived in a similar way to the morph backgrounds. The material is based on waterfall recordings and generated material, and each of the nine sections can be viewed as individial motion paintings. My intention was not to create something that followed the music directly, but to create a visual component that responded to the energy contained in a waterfall and to reflect the individual qualities of the nine sections. Since the length and order of each section can vary for each performance, I wanted each section to focus on layers instead of creating linear trajectories: If you see thirty seconds or four minutes of a section you will get more or less the same visual content, it is the combination and length of the different sections that create the linear dynamic of the piece.

The trombone player controls both the playback of video and sound backgrounds, using midi foot pedals, making it relatively easy to tour with the piece without involving too many people.

Multimorf 3 premiered on August 12th at Baroniet in Rosendal (probably one of the most beautiful places in Norway). We played outside in the courtyard of the Manor from 1665 to an enthusiastic audience.

It will also be performed at Bergen Architechture School on September 1st (together with multimorf 2), and at Integra in Copenhagen October 1st.

VPT 6 video tutorials

VPT 6 available: A projection powerpack

With almost 5000 downloads of VPT 5.1, I am happy to announce that the next version of Video Projection Tools, VPT 6 is now available.

VPT is a powerful and flexible video projection tool that does much more than just mapping.

What´s new in VPT 6.0
A completely new graphical interface making it even simpler to position, scale and distort the layers.
32 layers (previously 16)
mesh distortion with variable-sized control grid.
a completely rewritten cuelist making it even simpler to create transitions and to build complex sequences. You can now also send osc formatted commands directly from the cuelist.
crop-scaling of sources.
increased syphon support with two syphon (crop-scalable) inputs as well as syphon output support (mac only)
a DMX module has been added, with support for Enttecs usbdmx pro interface, enabling both control of VPT from DMX light consoles, or the possibillity to control dmx devices from VPT.

VPT still supports mac and windows, and it is still free. However, I have added the option for contributions through paypal:

VPT 6 is made possible through the support of IMAL in Brussels and Atelier Nord in Oslo.

IMAL offered me a one month residency in april to give a VPT workshop and to do an exhibition.

Atelier Nord has supported me twice this year: First they hosted a workshop as part of Oslo Lux in January which ended up in a VPT 5.1 release, and in june they gave me a week residency to write documentation for VPT 5.5 which instead turned into intense development of VPT 6.

So hosting workshops and inviting me to residencies is another way of supporting my work.

Read more about VPT 6 and try it out

VPT 5.5 preview

(update: VPT 5.5 turned into VPT 6 before it got released, and can be expected very soon)

I am busy finishing the upcoming release of VPT 5.5, and wanted to share a few of the new features.

One major addition is the possibillity to perform mesh distortion to each layer, giving you even more flexibility over the projected output.

The control interface gives you control over each point in the mesh.

Syphon is becoming an important tool for sharing image data between applications on Mac osX, supporting more and more applications (there is now a more or less working Processing implementation as well).

VPT already impemented syphon-in capabilities with version 5, but with version 5.5 there is more:

You can record the output from VPT using the Syphon Recorder App.

You can use different parts of the incoming Syphon image data in different layers: Using your favourite syphon-enabled application you can tile your output so that VPT split up the single syphon source into multiple sources.

For instance, if your syphon-app sends out something like this:

VPT can either use the whole image or split it up into four individual layers:

There are plenty of other improvements, which will be covered when it is released.

For VPT 5.5 I finally get the possibillity to make proper video tutorials, as Atelier Nord has generously offered me a one week residency to do this.

Expected release date: mid-June.

As always, free (with the possibility to donate).

btw, about 3500 people have downloaded VPT 5.1

Two new works

I have made two new works for my exhibition at IMAL, which is my first solo show in Belgium (29.04-22.05.2011).

As in my recent installations blink and split I am interested in relating directly to the architecture of the exhibition space. The main IMAL space is about 200m2 with a grid of 12 columns.  The circular discs are freestanding sound modules (five in total) placed on the floor. A slowly-paced sequence of projection and sound transforms the space into a contemplative environment.

The other installation explores through projection,light and reflection the inside,outside and perimeter of a circle mounted at a 90 degree angle to the floor. This is a first in a series of work creating dynamic volumes out of precisely cut flat shapes (in this case using a cnc mill).

For more images (also in print quality) from both installations take a look at my flickr set from the exhibition.

Len Lye at HKS

This year started with me co-curating together with Anne Szefer Karlsen an exhibition about Len Lye at HKS in Bergen, Norway. Lye has interested me for a while. I discovered him the first time in the eighties when MTV screened his experimental films between music videos (yes, they still showed music videos back then). I then rediscovered Lye through his kinetic sculptures a few years back when I was doing research on motion. I became particular fond of Lye´s “figures of motion”, he described his raw material as not being film or steel, but motion.

HKS, which has never presented the work of a non-living artist before, was eager to do an exhibition on Lye, based on my enthusiasm for his work. We ended up showing six of his films in the gallery, presented one at a time on three screens of different size, thus forcing the audience to move around and relate to his work at different scale. In this way the presentation of his films became a choreography of the movement between the screens. It was great to see his films in high quality digital copies which really brought forward the textures from the paint strokes and scratches in the original film. Presenting Lye´s films by showing restored digital files projected by video-projectors onto custom-built screens obviously influences how the films are perceived (Maybe not even Lye has ever seen them in such a good quality). We were intent on focusing on the relation between colour,texture, movement, rhythm, sound and scale instead of making a historical pristine presentation.

The films we showed in the exhibition were A Colour Box (1935), Trade Tattoo (1937), Swinging the Lambeth Walk (1939), Rhythm (1957), Free Radicals (1958, re-edited 1979) and Particles in Space (1957, finished in 1979). We also had several side programs during the exhibition period, including the lecture The Musicality of Modernism by Per Kvist, a screening of the documentary A flip and two twisters, as well as a live evening, Len Live, where we invited three sound artists, Lasse Marhaug, Maia Urstad and Espen Sommer Eide,  to create three different soundtracks to Lye´s film Tusalava (1929).

For those interested in checking out Lye´s films in a quality better than the pixelated youtube copies circulating I would recommend the DVD release.

As part of the preparation for the exhibition we got the chance to go twice to the IKON gallery in Birmingham which had a Len Lye retrospective from november 2010 to february 2011. This gave me the rare opportunity to see some of Lye´s kinetic sculptures, which I made a small documentation from.