VIZZIE Video Experiments Curriculum Outline

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  • An Overview of Vizzie
    • Max takes a different approach to programming.
    • You program using visible connections between objects rather than textual editing.
    • The basic paradigm is: create objects, then connect them with patchcords.
    • One way this changes things: You can run the program while editing it!
    • Another way it changes things: It preferences iterative (on-the-fly) programming.
    • One important aspect of Max is the creation of reusable systems based on existing objects.
    • Vizzie is a system of these "reusable modules", and is the system we will be using for our work.

  • How You Select Vizzie Modules
    • Vizzie is built with Max, and uses all of the strategies of Max programming.
    • Vizzie has a specific purpose: to allow us to have fun manipulating visuals while learning the Max development system.
    • You get to Vizzie modules in two ways:
      • You can use the contextual menu (my favorite).
      • You can select modules off the File Browser.

Create a Basic Movie Player

  • We will find all the modules in the PVR section (which stands for "Player/Viewer/Recorder")
    • The names of modules are "funny" - this is an attempt to avoid naming collisions.

  • Loading and manipulating the PLAYR
    • Load a PLAYR, and see how it reacts to clicks. (Editing Mode)
    • Lock the patcher and see how it now reacts to clicks. (Performance Mode)
    • Drag a movie file from your computer onto the PLAYR and see how it operates.
    • Run through the controls on the PLAYR, how to set them, and how to reset them.

  • Add a VIEWR to get a window
    • Unlock the patch and add a VIEWR. Connect the PLAYR to the VIEWR, lock the patch, and see how it operates.
    • Click on the FULL SCREEN button to see what happens, and how to return to the patch.
    • Save the patch, close the patch and reopen it. Discuss the state into which the patch return.

Adding Effects to the Movie Player

  • Add a ROTATR between the PLAYR and VIEWR
    • Unlock the patch and add a ROTATR module from the EFX menu section
    • Click on the patchcord connecting the PLAYR and VIEWR, note the handles on each end.
    • Use one of the handles to place the ROTATR between the previous two modules
    • Create another patchcord to connect the rest.
    • Start the PLAYR, move the controls of the ROTATR to see the activity.
    • Note the ability to disable the effect by clicking on the image.

  • Next, add a SLIDR after the ROTATR
    • Add another effect - the SLIDR - after the ROTATR.
    • Note the change to the image based on rotation and SLIDR settings.
    • Describe the serial nature of the data flow.

Using Generators to Alter the Effects

  • Creating an effects chain is fun, but it is even more fun if we have the system generate parameter changes for us!
    • This is done using "Generator" modules.
    • Add a TWIDDLR to the patch from the GEN folder.
    • The output of the TWIDDLR can be used on non-video input to control (or modulate) the control values.
    • You can tell which value will be controlled by hovering over the input - the modulation parameter will be displayed.
    • Connect the TWIDDLR output to one of the parameters and see how it modifies the controls on-the-fly.

  • There are several ways to temporarily turn off control of any of the Generator modules.
    • First, you can "mute" the output by clicking on the dot near the module outlet.
    • You can also "mute" any of the inputs by clicking on the dots near a connected input.
    • You can also turn off the Generator by turning its "power switch" off.

  • There are many different Generator modules available.
    • Try the WANDR for creating random effects changes.
    • Try the FLIPPR to swing between high and low values.
    • Try the STEPPR to create a stepped, sequenced set of value changes.

Create a Webcam Viewer as an alternative test system

  • A lot of time, it's more interesting to work with live video rather than movies.
    • Replace the PLAYR with a GRABR (found in PVR) to get live video from your webcam.
    • Connect it to the rest of your processing stream, then turn it on.
    • Assuming that your system is set up correctly, you should see live video processed through your effects chain.

  • Making the visuals more abstract means using some new effects.
    • The SKETCHR turns your video into line drawing-like video.
    • Smearing the SKETCHR output with the SLIDR, ROTATR and other effects provides complex, but abstract, results.

  • We can make an even more interesting display by generating a lot of on/off changes to the effects chain.
    • Use a FLIPPR on the SKETCHR, first, to turn the module on and off.
    • Add more FLIPPR modules to other effects, and have them change at different rates to create a generative flashy output.

Create a Video Mixer

  • Add an XFADR from the EFX menu, then connect both a GRABR and PLAYR
  • Use a TWIDDLR to automate a fading system
  • Add another XFADR and PLAYR to make a more complex system
  • Try a 4MIXR for more complexity and less "black out"

Create an Effects Switcher

  • Create a new patch, and start with a single PLAYR and VIEWR
  • Drop in a 2SWITCHR, and two effects, to create parallel effects streams.
  • Use the 2SWITCHR to choose which stream is active, or connect a WANDR to automate the switching.

Recording the Output

Document you Patch with Comments

Based on a workshop given at the MediaLive Festival in 2013 by Darwin Grosse