Max directions for new users?

    Feb 15 2012 | 3:31 am
    100% noob.
    I have to use Max for a class in school. I find this program utterly impossible to learn, and I don't know how to get started. We have to create an interactive artwork.
    Short outline:
    - the piece is a collection of images
    - it will use background subtraction with a camera to determine when someone enters the space, how close they are to the piece, how many people there are
    - how close, or how many people determine when pictures on top of the background picture will fade out
    - using "boirds" butterflies will fly about the background, and will flock away from people when they are in the space
    - a library of sounds will also be playing and will fade out like the pictures as noted above
    - too close to the piece, or too many people in the space, and all the sound will stop, all the pictures will vanish, and the background picture will cross fade into a different picture. The piece will not reset until the space is empty of viewers
    Can someone tell me what items I need, and if there's tutorials on these items? Max is about as user friendly as adobe in this - it's not really clear what tools you have or what they do, until someone shows you. :) Please do give me the idiot's guide, as I am not getting along well with this program. ;)

    • Feb 15 2012 | 6:31 am
      Max has got essentially the best documentation on the market. Have you done the tutorials? If not, they are (unlike many tutorials) very, very helpful.
    • Feb 15 2012 | 6:33 am
      You've got to achieve that by yourself? How long have you got (or how much time have you had so far?)
      Honestly, you're going to need a lot of time and the will to persevere. The project isn't going to be easy if you find Max 'utterly impossible to learn'. I think you need to discuss it with your teacher.
      EDIT: +1 for the tutorials. It's the best advice you'll get but probably what you don't want to hear.
    • Feb 15 2012 | 11:18 am
      the person you should be speaking to is your tutor/lecturer. If you are expected to design a program such as you describe with little or no direct assistance from them, then.....thumbs down for the School.
      You'll find that this forum generally addresses such problems as: "here's a patch that should do X, but it doesn't", and not "build me a patch that does X, Y and Z".
      If your class is running til Summer, then you have time to read the Jitter tutorials, and there's bucket loads of stuff on youtube too.
    • Feb 15 2012 | 11:54 am
      have a second look. max is very well documented and has a fantastic user base with tons of resources.
      1. tutorials
      2. help patches (right click on object > open help patcher)
      3. this forum
      4. google
      btw, recently i got hired by a designer to develop a very similar installation. it took me a couple of days. that's with 8 years of max under my belt.
      if you want to achieve this as your first project you really have to split it up in several sub-projects and take it step by step. your assignment touches on many different aspects that need developing one by one.
    • Feb 15 2012 | 12:04 pm
      and indeed, i also teach, and we never drop students into a project like this without any kind of support or introductions.
    • Feb 15 2012 | 12:29 pm
      There is a video showing how to do frame differencing -
      It'll get you started.