Artist profile: Media apparat

Austria has a really awesome visual scene. We've been lucky enough to experience the good vibe and great people there a few times. And always the experience was rewarding and enlightening (and also there may have been a schnitzel or two). So we'd like to introduce you to one of the major players in the Vienna scene: Media Apparat.


Birthday Video: Media Apparat 2008-2012

Can you explain a bit about the history of Media Apparat?
Following several workshops in 2008 with bildwerk.tv and first gigs via the eye-con Label (4youreye), the collaborating DJs Matose & Flobert, VJ Sito Sun and Mister Pink founded an event called Media Apparat. VJ-Setups, which enable the audience to sense music in a space-consuming way, were focused.

Due to a lot of positive feedback the event was quickly turned into a collective for trans-medial Arts:
From stage designer to fashion designer, from producer to 3D modeler; many creative individuals encountered at the same place. Colleagueship and networking became our main principals. Countless gigs in clubs all over Europe provided us with the experience to win further commercial contracts.

Our tireless work on different techniques as well as the club-crowd itself made experimental projects possible. Most importantly: We were not afraid that anything might have gone wrong. Things did go wrong in the beginning. Our first mapping show turned out to be a fiasco; nevertheless this is how we managed to land our first major contract: The complete staging and production of the biggest Austrian science award. Through this engagement the Media Apparat became an Enterprise: Media Apparat Company + Network
 
Today, one and a half years later, we work for the biggest event agencies in Austria and have positioned our work as follows: We offer an All-In-One Service for agencies. We own a small film-studio and grow with every project. It is our ambition always to move ahead: To become more efficient, to design more impressively and to reduce mistakes to a minimum.

Eventually nowadays our clients spend enough money for the projects so that we can meet with our main principle which is networking on a trans-medial level. Out of the collective and networks therefore arose: Media Apparat Frameworks.


Biggest Austrian congress for Startups
 
What about the tech? What sort of gear do you lug with you for a show?
We are now in the fortunate position to being able to work without limits to our equipment. Every project has its proper profile of requirements. We have worked with several media servers, yet we mainly count on instruments that we are familiar with: A self-arranged computer with a 16 Gigabyte Ram, i7 CPU, ASUS EAH6970 graphic board, SSD as our work disc and if necessary Matrox-boards. For software we exclusively use Resolume Arena and as a plugin for mapping we use IRMapio. For backups, or if we deal with a high number of signals, we synchronize two systems, that’s it!
Controller: Launch-Pad + VCM-600
 
Is working commercially very different from a VJ gig?
One leads to the other. In the Club one gets the opportunity to learn about techniques, to test them, to experiment. What we learn there forms the basis for our commercial work. 


Latest Mapping Show
 
How does Resolume fit into all this?
Resolume is a Live-System. On stage things don’t always go smoothly; often we must improvise. It enables us to react faster to external sources of error. I don’t know any other software with which I can map and arrange complex Setups with screens and projectors so fast as with Resolume.
 
What's your favorite show of the last four years?
Without a question: Amon Tobin- isam
 
And what about the future? Where is Media Apparat headed?
More and more we receive international enquiries, for which we are very pleased as in Austria complex shows usually are not within the budget. We continue to develop ourselves permanently. Elements like the stage-interaction between audience and artists are very promising for the future. The markets where we operate are subject to constant changes to which we try to adapt to. We increasingly rely on solid knowledge about classic live-direction and on existing systems (for example the Congress-technique). We try to develop those techniques without loosing our traditional playground – the stage-management of shows. We enjoy our diversified work a lot, it’s a lot of fun.  The journey is the reward. We are looking forward to further projects. What they’ll look like, time will show.


Vienna Awards for Fashion and Lifestyle

Check out the site for more visual goodness:
Media Apparat

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Resolume Quick Tip: Piano mode



Use the piano switch for key and midi maps to add a punch to your visuals.

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VideoPong competition: And the winner is...

In our humble opinion, VideoPong.net is one of the nicest footage sharing sites on the web at the moment. Instead of being a vault of footage that is regularly being raided by everybody and their grandma, users of VideoPong are actively encouraged to participate in a community.

First of all, after joining VideoPong, you have to give before you can take. You need to share some of your own clips in order to download those of others. But even better, you can remix other people's clips. It was this feature that we liked a lot, and it became the basis for the Resolume/VideoPong competition.

Long story short, you could win a boxed Avenue 4 license, simply by remixing this clip:


(Lines moving across, by Joris. "it's beauty moved me to tears")

In the end, the winner was decided by VideoPong user votes, and a jury combined from the folks from VideoPong and Resolume:

Grand winner:

Lines moving across, by Paul Power

1st Runner up:

Stripe Remix by Zweck

2nd Runner up:

_stripeScraper by fredVJ.


As in all competitions, the decision was very hard, so aside from the top three we'd like to name a few honorary mentions as well. Be inspired!


Flowapowa by Biolume


white stripe_ deconstructed by patrick


Asp THE GreAt - RMX by Asp


1.6-15.7 win a resolume avenue4 license for best remix by Salil


FANCY TREES UP THE HILL (remix contest) by fapol


Them blades. by Biolume


_20´s style dead of a stripe Part 1 by fredVJ

So, congratulations to the winner, and thanks to everyone to participated. You laid down more lines than a game of tetris.
http://www.videopong.net/

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Exquisite Motion Corpse

From the creator of the popular “Touch Resolume” controller comes a new and creative art installation called Exquisite Motion Corpse. A fun and interactive work based on the surrealist parlor game Exquisite Corpse. This four-channel video installation features a life-size tower of screens controlled with an iPad running TouchOSC. Users can swap out body segments that are synchronized with loop-based music and sounds.



The backbone of the installation is a Mac Pro is running Resolume 4 Avenue. Resolume controls the timing and playback of the video clips and does all the heavy lifting need to make this installation work. Instead of having to program a unique video application using Max/MSP and jitter, the creators of Exquisite Motion Corpse were able to use audio/video playback functions built into Resolume to do everything they needed. Be sure to check the how-it-works section on the projects' website for more techy goodness.

At the Ann Arbor Film Festival their installation was running 10-13 hours a day without crashing, clocking over 21,000+ measures on the BPM counter! A stress test of Resolume’s stability in a performance environment.

Image

Now the project is being ported into an iOS application called “Bodies and Beats.” This will be the first audio-visual mashup app seen for the iPad and iPhone! Check out their Kickstarter campaign and help make this app a reality.

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3 New Footage Releases, 2 New Artists

We're very proud to welcome two new members to the Resolume footage label. Daniel Knight blasts on the scene with his first footage pack. No less than 33 high powered clips, with a sparkling color scheme and amazing sense of depth. And with great pleasure we give to you the amazing graphic skills of Zeplab! All eyes to centre stage for this 3D Circus extravaganza!


TunnelVision VJ Loops by Daniel Knight
Rest assured it's all killer, no filler. Every single clip a banger, they will burn out your LEDs and rip your projector screen to pieces. You've been warned.


Circus VJ Loops by ZepLab
Death defying are the dazzling depths he delves into, awe inspiring are the twists and turns of the psychedelic kaleidoscope he hypnotizes you with.


RaceStars VJ Loops by Space Monkeys
Strap on your seat belt and put the pedal to the metal with these high contrast retro clips. This isn't a race, it's a showdown!

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VJ Review of the New Retina MacBook Pro

We were amazed at how many reactions a single Facebook picture with Resolume running on the new retina MacBookPro could get. In that post, we promised everyone with a full review, so brace yourself for some serious number crunching!

Overall impression: For a laptop, it's pretty darn amazing!

Compared to setting up with a triple head, it's smooth sailing. Each screen is recognized as an individual display, making screen arrangment and assigning via the advanced output a piece of cake. The choice to use only HDMI for the third connection is a little unfortunate, since you're forced to use a consumer connection. We had to fiddle quite a bit with our projectors before we had all three outputs recognized correctly. In all fairness that has more to do with the HDMI input on the projectors than the MBP, but it would have been better if three DVI or component connections had been available. Connecting to the computer monitors worked immediately.

Performance wise, it's quite astounding to see the amount of pixels that are being pushed without the computer complaining. Of course better performance can be gotten on high end media servers, but we're talking about a 15" laptop here. 6 layers of 1080p at 43 fps, across three monitors, while fitting in a backpack? Everyone who ever had to haul a server case across a muddy festival field or into a elevated FOH booth will recognize how awesome that is.

The fact that it includes a SSD by default makes the interface feel incredibly snappy.Triggering a column of 30 clips is gaspingly instantaneous. Deck switching is a fraction of the time as with moving drives. Also it finally has USB 3.0 ports so you can plug in your Intensity Shuttle and make this a full mobile server laptop. Turns out Apple didn't use a USB3.0 chipset supported by BlackMagic. Perhaps BM will update their hardware, but currently the USB equipped Shuttle does *not* work (the Thunderbolt equipped Shuttle however, does). All in all, it has a bunch of features that make it a very appetizing box for mobile VJs, albeit one with a hefty price tag.

Check below for all the facts and figures of this fanboy extravaganza!

photo 1.JPG
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One cheeseburger, please.
  • 640x480 composition, 640x480 DXV content. Sent to three monitors, 2xMiniDP to DVI, 1xHDMI, 1920x1200 each. Layer 1 and 2 each get their own screen via layer routing, entire composition is sent to screen 3.
    3 layers 58 fps, 34(!) layers 34-38 fps. At this point screen 3 was a big white soup and we stopped adding layers.
photo 3.JPG
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Wait! Make that a Big Mac, actually:
  • 1920x1200 composition, 1920x1080 DXV content. Sent to three monitors, 2xMiniDP to DVI, 1xHDMI, 1920x1200 each. Same output routing as above.
    2 layers 58 fps, 3 layers 55 fps, 6 layers 43 fps, 12 layers 25-27 fps, 17 layers 20-22 fps
photo 2.JPG
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Supersize me!
  • 5760x1200 composition, 5760x1200 DXV content. Sent to three monitors, 2xMiniDP to DVI, 1xHDMI, 1920x1200 each, one continuous image.
    1 layer 49-52 fps, 2 layers 30-35 fps, 3 layers 22 fps.
photo 5.JPG
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But will it blend?
  • 5760x1080 composition, 5760x1080 DXV content. Sent to three 1080p projectors, 2xMiniDP to DVI to HDMI (!), 1 x HDMI, 1920x1080 each. Edge blended to form one continuous screen with about 15% overlap between each projector.
    1 layer 58 fps, 2 layers 39-41 fps, 3 layers 32-34 fps, 4 layers 20 fps. (The kids that are paying attention will have noticed that the test with edge blending actually ran faster than the test without. This can be accounted for by the fact that two edge blends of 15%, results in 30% less horizontal pixels that need to be calculated. Effectively this test was running at around 4000 by 1080.)
Would you like fries with that?
  • Effects, sources, Quartz Composer patches and Flash content run fine, fps hits vary with the actual file or effect used, as is to be expected.


All tests ran for about two hours, GPU temperature stayed steady at 68-71º. The body gets hot in the usual places, but not much hotter than a late 2011 MBP with one monitor connected.

For the super wide content, the limiting factor for the fps was the disk access. When the framerate drops below 30, it was maxing out at 90%. GPU load never came above 80%. For the 480p and 1080p content, the GPU was the limiting factor, and it was maxing out at 95% when dropping below 30 fps. Disk access in these cases was not even touching 1%.

In general we felt that when the fps dropped below 30, it would start affecting performance. The output was still fluent, but the interface became more sluggish. We were pushing things quite a bit in these cases, and bringing things back to 'only' 6 layers of 1080p content brought the snappy feeling right back.

Overall CPU never strayed too far from 15%.

We used both graphic as well as photographic content. Performance was overall better when using graphic content, since DXV can compress this more efficiently, so disk access is less. One of the super wide edge blend test files can be downloaded here.

The main monitor was running at retina recommend size, which is the middle one of the scaling options (resolutions apparently are handled differently on retina MBPs). So we could have gone with a larger interface screen, but we were more interested in output performance than screen real estate on this test. This also was a comfortable viewing size for a live performance, without having to hunch over the screen more than we already would.

For temp and performance monitoring, we used atMonitor.

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Quick Tip: Copy Effects

Ah, the delightful colours of Avenue 3. The tricks are still valid though!

How to quickly copy effects between clips, layers and the composition:

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