What better time to geek out a little than when setting up for a social occasion filled with family and friends? For our 2015 company holiday party held in Royal Oak, Michigan, the motion graphics and human resources departments teamed up to create a custom photo booth experience for everyone to enjoy. Styles were discussed, props were collected, and development was started in Quartz Composer (a visual programming tool created by Apple).
Building a photo booth
Using an Eyefi mobiPRO card to wirelessly transmit photos as they’re taken, the system was designed to collect a batch of only the newest images, then load them one at a time at specific intervals. Once loaded from disk, the photo was processed and sent to an animation system using sample & hold patches. This gave us access to both the current and previous image, making transitions easy and efficient. Multiple animation options were created; we picked our favourites and then set them up to cycle periodically.
Sure, that part may be boring to a few, but the truly fun part is seeing everyone’s photos animating across the wall. The event was a huge success, and we all enjoyed the photo booth. In the spirit of the holidays, we’re posting our setup and the Quartz project so you can have as much fun as we did!
Fair warning: it helps if you’re already familiar with Quartz Composer.
Gear we used:
- Samsung NX500
- It offers both a flip up screen and highly customisable multi-shot timer, but any camera with similar options will do.
- Eyefi mobiPRO card
- Easy solution for transferring via local wifi network without having to connect computers and cameras manually each time the power cycles.
- Sturdy tripod
- People will bump into it. A lot.
- We used our studio lights, but anything with a bulb can work.
- Thrift shops are the perfect place to find picture frames, and party stores have plenty of hilarious dress-up options.
- Mac Pro with Quartz Composer installed
- Any Macbook Pro or iMac made in the past 5 years should work great.
- Rendered against a black background, the animations work well on a wall, but TVs and computer screens are perfectly fine too.
- Configure your Eyefi card, Wifi enabled camera, or similar solution. Even USB tethering will work if the images are automatically saved to a specific folder.
- Download Quartz Composer from the Apple Developers site. It’s free to sign up, and once you’re logged in just look for the latest “Graphics Tools for Xcode” download. Copy it to your Applications directory and you’re ready to go.
- Open the VectorformPhotoBooth.qtz file in Quartz Composer and customise the settings by pressing “command-i” in the viewer. It’ll give you options for source directory and various durations. The defaults should work perfectly for an Eyefi setup.
- If you have a lot of extra photos, you may want to specify a single sub-directory instead of the entire Eyefi folder.
- For best performance, close the editor window and make the viewer fullscreen.
Happy Holidays, and have fun!
Rini Pegka – July 7, 2015
Vectorform is proud to announce its first project in the world of contemporary art. Technology makes our lives easier and art makes it more beautiful; both serve humanity and have no value if humans don’t interact with them in return.
In this first of its kind collaboration, Vectorform’s human centered perspective of technology meets the visionary art of contemporary artist Victor Alaluf (Portfolio) in his interactive installation “Inner Compass”, which confronts us with our very own, most intimate biometric value, our heartbeat, and thus, with the various aspects of life itself.
The interactive sculpture reacts to the visitor’s heartbeat, which causes the installed antique chandelier to pulse in the heart’s rhythm.
The technology behind it: An optical heart rate sensor integrated into the first central element of the installation, the walking stick, reads the visitor´s heart rate and processes it on a local “Internet of Things” enabled and wirelessly connected micro processor. After detecting the visitor’s heart rate the micro processor sends the signal wirelessly to the second element of the installation: an array of eight long LED powered light tubes, combined with an antique chandelier. The chandelier‘s integrated micro processor receives the biometric data and converts it to pulses of light that match the heartbeat of the visitor. To achieve this, Vectorform built a LED dimming module which controls the eight tubes simultaneously and ensures a smooth transition between the different levels of brightness. Additionally, the micro processors are connected by a local cloud and communicate via Wifi.
“An important aspect of this work is the relation between the past and the future and how we, as a society, both preserve and create our identity and how we deal with our responsibility to past and future generations.” says Alaluf. “In this context it is interesting to see the interaction between the objects in my work and the innovative technology of Vectorform.” (For a detailed Portfolio of Victor Alaluf please click here).
Victor Alaluf’ s installation “Inner Compass” is part of the exhibition “Who Cares? Social Responsibility in Contemporary Art“, which opens July 10, 2015, at 6:00 pm in the new space of Isabel Bernheimer’s art agency Bernheimer Contemporary , at the Residenz Monbijou , in the heart of Berlin.
Join us in this new, exciting step and experience this high-profile art exhibition with sculptures, installations, drawings and paintings from young, aspiring new artists and designers in a total of 11 rooms. Bernheimer Contemporary sets new standards, as the exhibition will have a constant accompanying program: there will be a one-hour-Gallery, during which selected artists will present a work of art in just one hour to the audience, but also panel discussions and speeches.
[Photos courtesy of bernheimercontemporary.de, Victor Alaluf’s photo (c) Bärbel Miesbach]Zak Sarakun – June 25, 2015
A few weeks ago, I received an email that I never thought I’d see as a devout Android developer. After many years of rejection letters and “sold out”, or “busy” messages, I received the email from Google saying I was selected to attend their Google I/O conference!
I was so excited to learn, first hand, about Google, what they were releasing soon, to see what other developers were doing. And, I was excited to talk to others about what I’ve been doing, and show them some of the great apps we’ve made here at Vectorform. Read moreZak Sarakun – May 15, 2015
In this new weekly blog series, we will be highlighting some of the trending design and tech stories that have been creating some buzz throughout our offices here at Vectorform.
Here are some of the articles that had our team talking this week…
- Interested in using a drone for your cinematography but don’t want to worry about flying a quad copter while you’re trying to stick that awesome landing with your skateboard? Check out the Lily Camera. It’s a Quad Copter that follows you via a waterproof bracelet that you wear/use to control what shot angle you want it filming you from. There are multiple shots to chose from; Right/Left Side Shot, Follow/Lead, and Stationary. Just toss it in the air (or directly into the water) and watch as the propellers spin up and the film starts rolling on it’s own. Check out the “Introducing the Lily Camera” video on Youtube!
- Source: “The Lily Camera is the point-and-shoot camera of drones” – Cnet
- On top of Oculus giving us a consumer release window a few weeks ago,(Q1 2016) today Oculus gave us it’s recommended specs for the consumer model. It’s somewhat intense, with recommended graphics being NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290, but that hardware will be more affordable by the time of it’s release. “Ultimately, we believe this will be fundamental to VR’s success, as developers can optimize and tune their game for a known specification, consistently achieving presence and simplifying development.” – Oculus VR
- Source: “Oculus pauses Mac and Linux development, offers PC specs” – Engadget
- Microsoft’s seemingly magical Hyperlapse app was just released (Beta) on the play store. (Join this Google + Community, then download here, the link will appear good once you’ve joined the group.) Hyperlapse uses advanced algorithms to stabilize and produce beautiful short videos that you can quickly share with all of your friends.
- Source: “Microsoft Hyperlapse Smooths Out Android Phone Shaky Cams” – Wired
- Ten predictions on what tech design will be like in the future, from how it’s going to expand to the point where any typical maker will be armed with basic fluency of design, to the idea that we will see much greater diversity in designers throughout the tech community. Things will begin to stabilize as time goes by, “we’re still operating a little like the Wild West — fast, loose, and with a lot of young guns. Best practices in our field are cutting edge rather than wrought through decades of experience. ” – Julie Zhuo
- Source: “The Future of Design in Technology” – Medium
“It’s really hard.”
Now that our friends in Redmond have been more open with peeks into the HoloLens program and those involved are free to speak (a little) more openly, I’ve been reading a ton of tech blogs regarding the experience. Unfortunately, it seems many of these writers have only a small idea of what software engineers or platform architects do. I say that, because I have read a lot of “It can map your environment, and that is really hard to do.” Well folks – letting your buddy have the last pizza roll is “really hard.” Read moreZak Sarakun – May 6, 2015
Zak Sarakun – April 28, 2015
Vectorform and the Dali Museum joined forces this past weekend in St. Petersburg, FL to co-host the Project 34 hackathon. This 34 hour experiential hackathon attracted developers and designers from across the state in the quest to create a ground breaking technical solution inspired by the makings of Salvador Dali and the Fibonacci sequence. Read more
Techweek Detroit was back for it’s second year in a row, bringing together innovators, entrepreneurs and the greater tech community to talk about the future of technology and the impact in Metro Detroit. This week long event, throughout downtown Detroit, included the conference, expo, Launch competition, Wearables Fashion Show and more. Read moreJennifer Tonio – April 15, 2015
Vectorform and the Dali Museum team up for sold out Project 34 Hackathon!
This 34-hour event will take place May 2-3, 2015 at the Dali museum in St. Petersburg, Florida and will challenge participants to build an innovative digital experience that is an extension of the out-of-box thinking that was Salvador Dali and Leonardo DiVinci. Read moreAimee Dooling – April 13, 2015
Current position at VF: Interactive Designer
Years at VF: 3
Years in the technology industry: 3
What did you want to be when you grew up?
In high school I used to animate cartoons with Flash – I even considered going to animation-focused school for college. Ultimately I went to the University of Washington and got an Interaction Design degree from the design program. Luckily for me, my flash skills ended up being a huge plus Read moreAimee Dooling – February 27, 2015
Current position at VF: Quality Assurance Lead
Years at VF: 3.5
Years in the technology industry: 8
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a game artist/concept artist.
How do you spend your time outside work? Read more