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!
Alison Atwell – April 8, 2014
Years at VF: 1
Years in the technology industry: 3
Years working as a designer: 4
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I was a pretty serious soccer player as a kid so professional soccer player was probably first up. Mia Hamm was an early idol. Somewhere along the way I realized I was better at art than soccer and that love of art definitely led to me a creative career.Administrator – March 14, 2011
As you may have heard, The AP Timeline Reader we created in HTML5 for The Associated Press, is up for an award for technical achievement, but we’ve had a few surprises brewing for South By Southwest. Today we will debut Foursquare Playground and turn a social network of text and images into a stylish isometric perspective–to celebrate the release of IE9, and foursquare’s (awesome) new API. Later in the week we will unveil our latest brand experience for the Fiat 500 at the world-famous FADER FORT by FIAT, to let car and music lovers blend brand assets, FADER media, and user generated content into one of the world’s largest vision-based interactive mosaics, using a Kinect sensor and motion sensing technologies with Windows 7.
We’ve got that and more going on at this year’s SXSW, so check back here, or follow us on Twitter — and watch the video below.
Want more information? Request a copy of our press release here.Vectorform – September 8, 2008
We had a blast creating the applications MSNBC is using on the Surface, and it’s been pretty exciting to see them in play. Each one is unique with a different theme and function—we’ve provided a little more info below on the ones you saw today. Check back for more details as MSNBC uses the other applications to delve deeper into the upcoming election.
The Electoral Map
The Electoral Map provides an interactive tabulation of the electoral vote, by State. While on-air, Chuck Todd can indicate a state as likely or leaning toward a candidate, or as a toss-up. By quickly changing the State’s status with just a touch, Mr. Todd can demonstrate how different scenarios affect the total electoral vote. In addition to voting predictions, the map interacts with musters and displays factoids about each state. Like all the applications, the map can accept hand-drawn annotations.
The Battleground States
As the whole country learned in the 2000 Presidential Election, one swing state, also known as a battleground state, can have a deciding effect on the next American president. Vectorform created the Battleground State Application to help MSNBC and Chuck Todd demonstrate the importance of a battleground state’s vote.
Check out our pictures from our day on the set, and we will be posting more information in the coming days and weeks, so stay tuned for more!
Florin with the electoral map
Chuck Todd preparing the bobbleheads:
Group Shot!Vectorform – June 20, 2008
The members of Vectorform Labs newly minted Surface team are starting to get their hands dirty and make some really sweet stuff. Our assembled A-list includes Joe, Dan and Brad, the genius minds driving new technology and interactive development, and Florin, Clemens, Aaron and John, masters in user experience, interface design and motion graphics. Today, the guys are exploring the capabilities of the Microsoft Surface SDK, as well as the applications that came preloaded on our unit, including:
• Data Visualizer
• Controls Box
• Finger Fountain
• Grand Piano
• Scatter Puzzle
• Shopping Cart
• Virtual Concierge
And many more…