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 – April 28, 2015
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 moreTony Lucci – February 4, 2015
Vectorform New York started in a small office at 425 Keap Street in the up and coming neighborhood of Williamsburg in north Brooklyn. At the time, barriers to entry in the neighborhood were much lower than they were today. It was a very desirable location as it was a growing trend for startups and tech companies to place an office in Williamsburg. There’s something about this location that allows an escape from the fast life of the city, but still maintains the competitive vibe. It’s a haven for creative minds and is now a world famous neighborhood. Most employees would agree the location is an amazing asset to VF. Since then the office has been relocated slightly northwest of the previous location to 190 North 10th St, now a much more convenient location for clients to visit, but still in the same neighborhood. Read moreJennifer Tonio – November 18, 2014
How we rose from the dust of the dotcom bust…
This month marks 15 years since Vectorform was launched out of a small office in a storage garage facility in Davisburg, MI. Back in 1999, there wasn’t the investment support for tech start-ups like there is today. Our co-founders had to get started the old fashioned way, by using credit cards and loans for funding to get Vectorform off the ground.
Over the course of this 10 part blog series, we’ll take look back on how we got started, how we’ve grown and where our continuing growth will take us. Though many things have changed in the past 15 years, one thing that remains the same is our passion for innovation and inventing cutting edge digital experiences.Aimee Dooling – October 6, 2014
Position: Director of Execution
Year at VF: 5
Years in the technology industry: 16 Read moreAimee Dooling – September 11, 2014
Workplace culture is a topic that has always fascinated me. Every organization’s is different. When I have the opportunity to chat about Vectorform’s culture, which is pretty much any time I can squeeze it into a conversation, I feel there is only one way to describe it. It’s like electricity; every day I walk through the door and while I can’t see it, I can feel it! I know it’s there, and it has an effect on everything! Read moreAlison Atwell – February 28, 2014
Senior Interactive Developer
Years at VF: Almost 5
Years in the technology industry: Almost 5
What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was little the first thing I ever wanted to be was a hot dog salesman. One of the guys with a little cart and umbrella that sets up shop in a parking lot! To this day my family likes to remind me of my younger aspirations. Fortunately for me, I discovered programming instead. I will say though, that I can still grill up a pretty good hot dog when needed.Ken Disbennett – December 6, 2013
Thanksgiving… typically a time for reflection. For Vectorform Seattle however, it is a time to look forward. Our shortened holiday week provided the perfect opportunity to take a break from active projects and focus on experimentation, thought leadership, and living up to Vectorform’s mission of cultivating genius. The concept was simple – divide into teams, pitch an idea, and execute a working prototype in the 3 days leading up to Thanksgiving.keep looking »