Sailing Digital Seas: Exquisite Audiovisual Etudes Made in a Free Game Engine

30 seconds or more 07 – Will I ever make it home? from Victor Morales on Vimeo. Set to the music of Norway’s Pål Asle Pettersen, Victor Morales has created surreal digital landscapes made of textures that vibrate and transform in time to sound. And he’s being quite prolific. Working primarily with Crytek’s CryENGINE game engine – now free for non-commercial use – he is producing one short film each day. He tells CDM the visual engine helps produce these rapidly: It shows how powerful these video games engines are for the creation of strong visual material in very little …

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Splash: Stunning 3D Visuals React to Sound, In New, Free Tool Built with Unity

Splash alpha test from XY01 on Vimeo. Splash alpha test from XY01 on Vimeo. “Visual synths” go in a slightly different direction from general-purpose tools. They produce visuals generatively in a way that seems more like an instrument. Splash is one new effort to do that, and thanks to the Unity game engine, it boasts some spectacular, bubbling, sparkling 3D graphics. The tool is free, supported only by donations, and currently in alpha. Melbourne-based developer Brad Hammond explains how he sees the tool: This is a program that anyone should be able to pick up, scribble a few lines, twist …

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Animation for Games, Fanciful and Surreal, by Mario von Rickenbach [Unity]

Zurich-based artist Mario von Rickenbach is a fine representation of what the new generation of visualists looks like. Adept in code and art alike, turning his talents in illustration beyond pretty pictures to experimental game design, he’s part of a breed of artists who expresses visual ideas in interactive, live form. Those real-time game engines are moving feasts of animated art, so it’s little wonder he takes his game engine of choice (Unity) and applies it to live performance, too, as he did in projections for a sci-fi musical theater work at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in …

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Planetary Exploration: 3D Warping with Unity Game Engine + OpenFrameworks + Syphon

Now you’re thinking in spheres. We’ve been covering Syphon since its introduction – see a recent interview with co-creator Anton Marini. The idea is to give visual apps on the Mac the ability to pipe textures from one app to another, as simply as you’d connect sound signal on a computer or in a studio. This example, though, really shows some of the potential for which we’d hoped, combining the Unity game engine with OpenFrameworks code freely and easily. (There’s a brief cameo by Modul8, too, but I think it was used only for testing, not in the finished piece …

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Powerful 3D Meets Visual Patching: Inside the Free GEM Engine for Pd

Pd and GEM, the free software cousins to Max/MSP and Jitter, are already known for visual programming via patching, but mainly for manipulating sound and video textures. Here, we see an entire 3D engine rendered, incredibly, as a series of patching objects. We saw a first look at what it could do last month: Truly Outrageous: An Entire 3D Game Engine, Built in Pd and GEM Well, now you can download the patches for yourself and have a look; see the walkthrough tutorial at top. And – wow, it’s more powerful than I even understood when I first saw it …

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Unity 3 Game Engine Approaches Mind-Blowing Upgrade

Unity, the commercial game engine, has long been a development tool of interest to those working not only in games but other live and interactive 3D visuals. In contrast to traditional tools, Unity is simply friendlier to designers and programmers alike. It’s what you’d imagine a game engine to be. After first attracting developers on the Mac, Unity has since become a powerhouse on various platforms. Interestingly, it’s all powered by the open-source Mono, a free version of Microsoft’s .net platform (and a painful reminder to Java advocates of what Java could have been). You can read a case study …

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Unity Game Engine 3 Adds Real-time Audio, Mod Tracker Features

Nearing the release of Unity 3, the popular multi-platform game engine, the dev team offers thoughts on what excites them most in the upgrade. Amongst those features are some tasty introductions in sound. Real-time audio features could make Unity an appealing environment for people working on experimental 3D interfaces for sound or adding more interactive sonic and music elements to games. And a MOD tracker … well, if you have to ask, you probably don’t care, but some heart rates in a particular community just shot way up. From the blog: Samantha Kalman I’m most thrilled about the new audio …

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Unreal Engine 3, Now Free for Non-Commercial Use: Go 3D Eye Candy!

Unreal Engine 3, by way of the Unreal Development Kit, is now available free for non-commercial use. That means that not only are its capabilities for games accessible, but all sorts of other possibilities for art, visualization, and, yes, live visuals. Unreal is scriptable, customizable, and powerful, making this pretty massive news. The feature list is deep as you might expect. Among the highlights: Video support Programmable shaders, particle effects, and many other goodies Physics support, via PhysX A UI for managing and editing assets and content Animation and cinematic features for making it easier to add motion Artificial intelligence …

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VJing with the Half Life 2 Game Engine

“Games” are, at their heart, high-performance, real-time-optimized, interactive three-dimensional graphics engines. And that means that, by focusing on their live graphical capabilities, they can become incredibly advanced live visual instruments – the stuff of VJs and visualists. A number of artists have put that to good use. Riley Harmon sends along his work with the Source Engine, the Valve-developed graphics engine behind the classic title Half Life 2 (and Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead, and the like). It’s an unusually well-balanced, solid engine that works really nicely, so a good choice. Here, it gets warped to new visual performance …

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Ever Woke Up in a Procedurally-Generated City?

Food for thought. I’ve definitely spent some time in what felt like procedurally-generated architecture — some of which seemed to have some bugs in it, where the algorithm created spaces that made no sense. And yet they were built by human hands… discuss? Top: from comments, Procedural System Structure, as discovered by Joahnsonn. http://proceduralcity.com/ as powered by NVIDIA PhysX and OpenGL Another (stunning) example: Procedural CitySystem. http://www.procedural.com/ Bottom: Introversion’s engine builds what looks like generic European cities. Lots of discussion on the Introversion forums: It’s all in your head, Part 7 Wow, it’s Milklovano, from the former Soviet satellite nation …

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