Make Art 2010

After a long pause around here… I was kindly invited by Thomas Vriet from GOTO10 to participate in the Make Art festival (between November 4th – 7th), presenting the live cinema piece Latent State, which I described in earlier posts. I’ll updating this blog regularly during the next days with some information about the process of putting the piece together again and preparing it for this event.

This time  I’ll be using a Macbook Pro 13″ as the laptop for the performance.  To be consistent with the FLOSS guidelines of GOTO10, I installed Ubuntu 10.04 on this machine, following the steps I described here. The software for the performance is implemented with the Processing language, using as the starting point bits and pieces of the previous application I created for Latent State, Andiamo. Input hardware: Korg nanoKontrol MIDI controller, Wacom Intuos 3 graphics tablet, and Unibrain Fire-i firewire camera in addition to the built-in iSight webcam on the MacBook.

To my initial surprise, all the hardware in the MacBook was recognized (even bluetooth and video output, which tend to be problematic to get working properly under Linux). A semi-random list of notes regarding the hardware/software configuration:

* The Ubuntu 10.04 64 bits installation DVD comes with the kernel 2.6.32-24. After a software update, 2.6.32-25 gets installed as the default kernel. However, brightness control (through pommed) doesn’t work with 25, so I just keep booting with the older 24, in which case everything works fine.

* I’m using Processing 1.2.1 with OpenJDK, the later installed from the package manager. I copied /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.6.0-openjdk to <Processing folder>/java, so replacing the Sun Java VM. Processing doesn’t seem to be very fond of OpenJDK, but after the warning it runs nicely:


Also, use of OpenGL in Processing under 64 bits Linux requires some additional tinkering with the library files, as detailed here.

* The GLGraphics and GSVideo libraries are used to handle OpenGL-accelerated graphics, and video capture and playback with GStreamer. I’m introducing some improvements and bugfixes in these libs as I go along, so newer installation packages better reflecting what I’m using for Make Art will be available in the coming weeks.

* To properly access the Fire-i camera, I had to allow the use of video devices for my user. To to this: go to System|Administration|Users and Groups, then choose advanced settings, and then go to the user privileges tab. Scroll down the list, and check the “Use video devices” option. Logout and login, and now the Fire-i should work from GSVideo using a pipeline with the dc1394src element:

pipe1 = new GSPipeline(this, “dc1394src ! ffmpegcolorspace ! video/x-raw-rgb, width=640, height=480, bpp=32, depth=24”);

* MIDI input either with themidibus library, or proMidi.

* Tablet input with the proTablet library.

* A little bit of computer vision to be described later 🙂

As you can see in the picture, the input/output capabilities in the MacBook are fully taken advantage of!



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