Visuals Rig from Sequential Circus 8

Well, everything went off rather well at the show. I had two laptops set up (mine and Leah’s) hooked into the video mixer at Open Studios. I used the TouchOSC application for my iPad (and iPod) to control the Quartz Composer compositions I made to generate the visuals. The Open Sound Control (OSC) protocol is really quite cool. It’s like midi over ethernet.

I wanted to be able to control both laptops using just my iPad. Unfortunately, the touchOSC software can only be configured to communicate with one host. One idea was to have the iPad talk to my laptop, then my laptop would talk to Leah’s laptop, also using the protocol. Unfortunately, the Quartz Composer plug-ins for OSC aren’t written in such a way that more than one sender can be in the same composition, or two different clients sending to a single receiver. I couldn’t get it to work, so I bailed on the idea, and made another interface for Leah’s laptop that could run on my iPod touch.

The end result had my laptop running the bulk of the visuals (it’s a newer MacBook Pro with half-decent NVidia graphics hardware), with two movies playing, with effects, and video feedback. Leah’s laptop played on top of this, with just a single movie source and effects. I re-encoded all the source video content into Quicktime files using MJPEG compression. It produces large files, but they are easy on CPU to decode.

I set up a local wireless network with a linksys router so everything could talk to each other. People really got a kick out of me walking around the party controlling the visuals with my iPad.

Here’s an example of the video from just my laptop:

Here are some videos from the party:

Here are screenshots of the iPad interface:

Here is the Quartz Composer composition: