Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Festival 2012 Lantern Wonderland Golden Moon

The project was a massive moon-shaped lantern whose form was designed by LEAD (Laboratory for Exploratory Art and Design) and whose lighting was designed and implemented by LEDARTIST Ltd.  The six-story globe shape was covered with Traxon DotXL RGB fixtures, and encompassed more than eleven thousand pixels. The control for the lights was a Max/Jitter patch producing a 300×300 window fed into multiple e-cue Video Micro Converters, which fed the DMX universes for control. Each night had a four to six hour show made up of individual fifteen minute segments. The first three minutes of each segment were playback of a pre-rendered sound and video piece, and then the rest of each segment was an increasingly complex flocking animation on the globe.  The animations were programmed for LEDARTIST Ltd by Joshua Goldberg and Kevin Li.

All sound and video were run off of a Mac Mini running Max 6.0.7. The increasingly complex flocking animations were engineered using jit.boids2d and xray.jit.boidsrender, and all of the cues were stored using a system that implemented qlist triggering pattrstorage cues.

Do you remember the first Max patch you ever made? What was it?

It was a MIDI-based player piano sketch: First completed patch

It's worth noting that this was the first actual music that I had authored since a brief electronic music class as a high school junior. Max rekindled in me a love of 20th century "serious" classical music that had been dormant since my teenage years, even though almost all of the work I have made with it is video or light related.

How did you come up with this project idea?

This was not my idea; it was conceived and requested by Teddy Lo and LEDARTIST. I was brought in to implement a configurable flocking system that evolved over the course of the evening on the globe.

What sorts of problems did you have to solve?

I had to build a show control system that allowed the LEDARTIST team to define desired cues at the last minute. Pattr, the new pattrstorage-and-preset linkage, and the qlist object allowed me to use excel to build the framework of a scripting system that was alterable, scalable and flexible.

If there were one person who you would want to see your project, who would it be?

Craig Reynolds, for the Boids algorithm. I'm sure there have been larger and more impressive uses of his code, but none that I've been party to.

At the conclusion of this project were you:
a) exhausted
b) ready to do a new one
c) thinking of ways to expand it
d) [other, please describe]

B. Definitely B. Any max system that actually requires the use of a spreadsheet to make it work is a terrifying enough prospect that I've got to make it bigger, better and more capable.

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Oct 07 2012 | 8:43 am

Cool! So you also live in HK?

Oct 10 2012 | 6:49 am

i do not, but i am the sole american employee of LEDARTIST. we are always on the lookout for reasonably experienced installation builders fluent in mandarin or cantonese, though- is that you?

Oct 24 2012 | 1:34 pm

Well I mainly use max in music related things. But I’d like to know more people using max in China.

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