My Blog: projects, sketches, works in progress, thoughts, and inspiration.

Tagged: visualization

Magnetic Field Clock, created in flash with ActionScript 3

Continuing with clocks in ActionScript I created this slightly less abstract clock, loosely inspired by magnetic fields. I’m happy with the way it turned out. I plan to create a screen saver from this as well. If you’re interested it should be available soon. Leave a comment if you have any thoughts or criticisms.

I had a few little battles trying to get everything functioning. Some functions in Actionscript 3 use radians, namely the trigonometry functions, while other more basic functions use degrees. Having to switch frequently between the two tripped me up a few times. Another issue, not directly related to ActionScript, was dealing with the different number sets. Each dial object has an array of text objects. Some begin with zero, so they line up with the array indexes, while others start with one and throw everything off.

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3d sound form

Working in 3d in Processing is all well and good but does have it’s limits in terms of rendering. To get a better rendering of three dimensional forms created with Processing it’s possible to export them to a file that a 3d modeling program can read. From my experience, the exported file isn’t perfect, but with a little work it can be turned into a nice model. A Processing script generated a 3d grid based on sound, the three axes representing amplitude, frequency, and time. Using the DXF library, I exported the model.

This raw data is a little bulky and has a few issues. All the segments of the form were separate objects. After importing the script into Blender (a free 3d modeling and animation program) I selected all the objects, joined them, and then in edit mode removed doubles. This combines all the meshes if they are lined up. Then using the ‘make faces’ on auto will fill in all triangles and quads. The image above was also extruded to give it some form and has a subsurface modifier for a smoother look.

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3d Sound GridAlthough Processing does not have the ability to process audio on it’s own there are a few libraries which can be used to add such features. I’ve been experimenting with the ESS library but you can find others from the processing libraries page. Gathering Data from live or recorded sound can be a powerful tool for artists and designers in creating interactive applications, audio visualizers, music videos, or anything else that could involve an interaction with sound. Getting the data is fairly straight forward and the script returns an array of data updated each frame. This demonstration with display the data very simply, however, the numbers could be applied to any attribute in any system to produce different effects.

Here are the steps to creating a simple script to get the spectrum data from a microphone into a processing sketch. Using pre-recorded sound is similar. Once the data is in the sketch it can be manipulated and used to generate graphics or effect other aspects of a program including complex forms in 3d space using the OpenGL or P3D libraries. Read On »

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A variation on a script I’ve been working with to generate a 3d visualization of an audio spectrum. The color and position of the first row of cubes is based on spectrum values and then passed down the array with a decay factor. Created with Processing using the OpenGL library to create the 3d environment and ESS to gather sound data.

Another variation renders a 3d grid rather than an array of cubes.

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This Processing application uses the audio spectrum values to generate a 3d visualization. The first row of the 2d array gets it’s values from the audio input and all subsequent rows take the previous one’s each frame, multiplied by a decay factor. the result is this undulation 3d grid. The script uses the OpenGL library to handle the 3d environment and the ESS sound library to get the audio spectrum.

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