January 6, 2010 - Comments Off on Magnetosphere iTunes Visualizer

Magnetosphere iTunes Visualizer

After a couple years of working with the code for magnetosphere, the project started to show a little refinement. I was getting better at controlling the movement and anticipating the behavior but it still occasionally surprises me.

I set up an overnight render for a song by Trentemoller. When I awoke the next morning and viewed it for the first time, I was stunned. I watched it a couple more times and sent the link to Andrew Bell. His response, "Yeah, that'll do well".

The thing that is most interesting to me about the video is that it was nearly entire created with code. I say nearly because I use a couple premade particle images but every other aspect (aside from the music, of course) was made possible with code. And randomness. If I were to recompile the code over and over, the resulting videos would all be unique.

Here is the first video I made for a song by Trentemøller's Miss You. Its 92MB so be patient.

Due to the success of this project, The Barbarian Group decided to turn Magnetosphere into an iTunes visualizer. Andrew Bell, the most patient person I know, had the horrible task of porting my bandaided Processing code into proper man-style C++ while remaining faithful to the original look. He did a splendid job and the Magnetosphere iTunes visualizer did quite well. It eventually went on to greater things.

Below are three prints I created for the OFFF 2007 Conference in Barcelona where I gave a talk about my creative process.

Several months after the initial Magnetosphere video, I revisited the Trentemøller piece. It has become my favorite audio visualization to date. It just works so well! No small thanks to the beauty of the song itself. Miss You is a classic for me because it is both FFT friendly (Fast Fourier Transform, the method by which I am analyzing the audio) and extremely soothing to listen to. I will forever associate this song with discovery.

Published by: Robert Hodgin

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