mathematics, processes, and education
I apologize if this question has been asked before. It seems like it would
have been, but I couldn’t find anything in the archives.
I’m trying to gain a deeper understanding of some of the jitter objects, but
feel that I lack the proper video theory necessary to understand the brief
descriptions provided in the help patches. For instance, I won’t really be
able to effectively manipulate jit.convolve until I have a better
understanding of how convolution in the visual realm works. Likewise, I
tend to see complex expressions that utilize tangents multiplied by snorm
etc. When I connect a pwindow to the output I can see what the expression
is doing, but I don’t understand the process well enough to be able to come
up with my own original algorithm.
I’ve ordered the opengl red book which should help with a lot of my issues
with some of the gpu stuff, but are there any other good resources for
helping people like me understand the other nitty gritty stuff behind
digital video? I’ve waded through google lists, but a lot of books are more
along the lines of "digital video editing for dummies". I could get down
and dirty with some math books, but I was hoping people knew of resources
that were specific to visuals so I could make a better connection between
the numbers and actual applications thereof.
thanks in advance!
I remember a similar question came up at least once, see:
It still is a good question with no obvious answer i’m aware of.
What seems to be seriously lacking is a jitter equivalent of the
processing books that recently appeared, see
http://www.processing.org/learning/books/>, especially the Greenberg book
and the Reas book. They offer a mix of basic programming techniques,
basic mathematics, basic animation and are written with artists in
mind. But perhaps these books are a bit more basic than what you have
in mind ?
I have no idea why similar books do not exist for jitter, which has
been around for longer and which has a similar user base ?
Perhaps because jitter is an extension of max/msp and such books do
exist for computer music ? Dunno…
But on the other hand I only know people with a patchy knowledge of
math, built up through trial and error in a history of projects.
There seems to be no easy way and perhaps there is no real consensus
on what mathematics would be useful ?
On 6 Feb, 2008, at 10:46 PM, Bryan Teoh wrote:
> I apologize if this question has been asked before. It seems like
> it would have been, but I couldn’t find anything in the archives.
> I’m trying to gain a deeper understanding of some of the jitter
> objects, but feel that I lack the proper video theory necessary to
> understand the brief descriptions provided in the help patches.
> For instance, I won’t really be able to effectively manipulate
> jit.convolve until I have a better understanding of how convolution
> in the visual realm works. Likewise, I tend to see complex
> expressions that utilize tangents multiplied by snorm etc. When
> I connect a pwindow to the output I can see what the expression is
> doing, but I don’t understand the process well enough to be able to
> come up with my own original algorithm.
> I’ve ordered the opengl red book which should help with a lot of my
> issues with some of the gpu stuff, but are there any other good
> resources for helping people like me understand the other nitty
> gritty stuff behind digital video? I’ve waded through google
> lists, but a lot of books are more along the lines of "digital
> video editing for dummies". I could get down and dirty with some
> math books, but I was hoping people knew of resources that were
> specific to visuals so I could make a better connection between the
> numbers and actual applications thereof.
> thanks in advance!
"There is little use in devising a system of thought about
the nature of the trap if the only thing to do in order to
get out of the trap is to know the trap and find the exit.
Everything else is utterly useless: Singing hymns about
the suffering in the trap … or making poems about the
freedom outside of the trap, dreamed of within the trap …
The first thing to do is to find the exit out of the trap.
The nature of the trap has no interest whatsoever beyond
this one crucial point:
WHERE IS THE EXIT OUT OF THE TRAP?
It would be fantastic for the collective intelligence on these forums to create a free, pro-quality e-book about learning Max / MSP / Jitter…. sounds like it could be very useful. Obviously there’s a ton of references online and in the docs, but a compilation of all kinds of patches and tips etc. from users would be so helpful. At last, all those little tricks that one learns much too late can be known from the start… though of course a lot of these problems stem from skipping over the docs ;)
Looking forward to seeing the updates in the docs for Max 5 too… since a lot is changing in the program, probably lots of that has as well. Can’t wait to see what Cycling puts out there, version 5 should really get a lot more people interested in using Max. Having a well-done compilation of examples and help ideas would be a real boost to anyone learning the program, and would be a nice place for people to go for ideas. There’s already so many great examples and tips in the Forum archives, it would be fantastic for a group of people to cull through them, pull out the gems, and organize.
None of us are busy at all, I’m sure, so let’s get right on that !!
It would also be a great place to discuss things like the math underlying much of what we do, understanding how the computer and Max process data, what kinds of aesthetics are possible through patching and interface, etc. Since the program touches on pretty much all kinds of digital media, it’s an ideal playground for people to understand what’s possible, conceptually, aesthetically, and technically.
To be clear, the tutorials are great! They help one understand the process
of patching incredibly well, and even go through a lot of techniques that
form the basis of manipulations in jitter; feeback loops are a good example
of something that the tutorials take great pains to describe. I’m not
looking for an easy way around having to put in the time patching,
experimenting, reverse engineering, and reviewing tutorials time and time
This forum is obviously also a great place to pick up more techniques. I’ve
learned a lot just by lurking and trying to pick apart patches when they’re
I continue to re-read the tutorials and search the forums when I have
questions because everything I’m trying to do right now has undoubtedly been
done before. However, to figure out how, say, jit.convolve could be used as
a tool for my evil masterplans I need to be able to understand how not only
the object, but the process of convolution actually works. It’s mentioned
in the help patcher that it can be used for common effects such as blur?
That sounds interesting to me, and I’ve seen it used in other peoples’
patches, but don’t really know why it has the effect that it does.
Obviously a lot of this stuff is beyond the scope of the jitter tutorials.
Musically there are books that go through frequency modulation, waveshaping,
reverb, and a whole lot of other techniques that are used to create and
analyze sounds. When I get a musical idea, I’m usually able to break it
down into these sorts of components which eventually aids the creation of an
I’m looking for something NOT specifically jitter related, but to help me
understand the math behind video in general. Does something like "the
computer music tutorial" by curtis roads exist for video? Not only would it
help answer some of my immediate questions, but reading about processes that
have commonly been used in video as well as how they work under the hood
will help me break down my visual ideas into smaller components and help me
conceptualize how to patch better. Something like this would help with
being able to later do video stuff with anything whether it’s jitter,
processing, java, vvvv, or gem.
I’m most definitely beating a dead horse here, but there seems to be some
misinterpretation of what I was looking for in my previous query. I hope
this helps clarify the situation. Thanks for all of your responses so far!