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When Sun, Mar 1st 2020 - 20:00 until Sun, Mar 1st 2020 - 23:00
Where Hang'art, 61-63 Quai de la Seine, 75019, Paris, France
Paris mon amour!
So please save the date and prepare your patches. It would be great to have some of you show what you're working on. We'll have dottore giving insights into his latest works and I'll be having latest VL.Xenko with me for a sneak peak.
If you feel like, please RSVP on the GetTogether announcement.
Who sebescudie, joreg
When Tue, Mar 3rd 2020 - 19:00 until Thu, Mar 5th 2020 - 21:00
Where SUPERBIEN, 14 rue Crespin du Gast, (M Ménilmontant - Rue Saint Maur), Paris, France
while I'm in town for a vvvv meetup on March 1st and a presentation at Ircam on March 6th, I thought we could fit in some workshops. So together with local hero sebescudie of SUPERBIEN we'll run two workshops. Here is for you to choose:
Are you a creative coder, interaction designer, media artist, maker or scientist and want to add a new tool to your toolbox? Are you afraid of coding and want to try visual programming instead? Have you heard of vvvv before but never found the time to get started? Or are you just lazy and want to get your things done more efficiently? This workshop is for you!
vvvv is a visual programming environment that allows you to realize ideas involving things like 2d/3d animation, computer vision, MIDI, OSC, DMX, Kinect, Leap,... quickly without the need to write any code. But if you want, you can also write C# code for it and use any .NET library with it!
In this 3 hour hands-on workshop we'll give you an idea of how it feels to work with vvvv. You'll learn the fundamentals that you need to be able to follow further workshops or take the next steps on your own.
If you're a user of vvvv beta and want to up your game by learning about VL and moving on to vvvv gamma, this workshop is for you! Here we'll assume you're familiar with the terms of vvvv and know how to handle a 3 button mouse.
We'll take you by the hand and try to convince you that VL and vvvv gamma are your best friends moving forward. You'll learn about the basics and benefits of using an object-oriented approach to solve certain problems and get an overview of all the improvements vvvv gamma offers over what you're used to with vvvv beta.
Oui oui, hope to see some of you there. And please spread the word to anyone who could be interested in this!
When Wed, Mar 4th 2020 until Fri, Mar 6th 2020
Looking forward to presenting vvvv at this years Ircam Forum. With Ircam being the birthplace of both Max and PD, which quite inspired vvvv initially, it will be a great honor to hopefully give some inspiration back.
Here is what it is generally about:
Hope to see some of you there!
Previously on vvvv: vvvvhat happened in December 2019
work continues as per the usual on our quest to release a smooth vvvv gamma 2020.1 within Q1. Previews are coming out about once a week now. Most recently we introduced another improvement for help patches.
Into numerology? You may be interested in last year's numbers and figures.
And if you're up for meeting your fellow patchers in real-life, make sure not to miss our upcoming intro workshops, meetups and patching circles in Berlin. Here is the stream of our most recent meetup where we heard news from ur-patcher sunep.
A new one:
And there's been some action in the work-in-progress section on the forum:
And also make sure to check out this little gem by Juan Hurle: Fractal Armor
That was it for January. Anything to add? Please do so in the comments!
One of the most requested features for VL ever since was the support for help-patches. Obviously they had to come back, but it took us a while to figure out how exactly. One of the brainstorming sessions at LINK was especially helpful to sort out the details. Thanks everyone for your input...
So for the user it is just as before: Press F1 on a node that you need help for. Now what happens is:
Help patch was found...
No help patch available...
In both cases, you can now optionally opt-in for more help: Click the bubble to open the help browser showing the nodes Node Info.
Shows some info about the node plus 3 lists of how-to patches this node is used in:
This should increase the chance of finding good info about how a node can be used in different scenarios.
When "follow mode" is active, you can click around in the patch and always get the node info to the last selected node.
Creators of libraries who want to provide help patches now use help flags to indicate relevance for a node. Read all about using help flags in the graybook.
Available for testing in latest previews!
Who luna, david, joreg
When Tue, Jan 28th 2020 - 20:00 until Tue, Jan 28th 2020 - 20:00
Where NODE Institute, Wipperstr. 13, 12055 Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Image Copyright: Luna Nane
I a short notice:
berlins vvvv heads are meeting for a show and tell with drinks. Everyone is welcome! This time we have a presentation by:
luna nane about her work with vvvv and shaders
Update: Luna got a massive pack to patch until tommorrow. So she won't make it! Instead Sunewill be there via skype tellig uns about his lates projects and ideas..
We'd also love to hear from you: If you have something to show or talk about, please do so! Bring your projects, demos, works-in-progress and show us what you're patching with!
If you feel like, please rsvp on our Gettogether page!
is probably not exactly the word you'd use to describe vvvv's 2019 numbers. If you can't handle bumpy roads, please set your Damper to ~2s before reading on... Not sure what this is all about? Check out last year's numbers of 2018 to make yourself familiar with this vvvvery tradition. Then pull yourself together:
While we still don't have any new numbers from vvvv.org itself we do have what the forum tracks. It shows us different statistics regarding user engagement over time that are generally, how can I put this... not improving recently. The most uplifting I found was this:
According to the description of the graph, this indicates your stickiness in % and 30% is to be aimed at. Even though overall fewer things are happening on the forum you keep sticking around. Who could blame you, after all, it is rather cozy around here. Here is another one that doesn't look all too bad:
Ignore the red ones (crawlers) but see the rather constant number of logged-in users (dark blue) and the curious spikes at the end of December from anonymous users (light blue). Are these already the harbingers of numbers to expect when we finally will have an official 1.0 of vvvv gamma out? (hums) Dreams are my reality...
Not really numbers, but still interesting, here is a listing of top forum search terms in order of your priority:
|vvvv beta releases||4||3||5||5||5||4||1||4||8||1|
* x86 and x64 combined
What can we say? Only 1 release was really lame. But was it? Ok, yes, it was, but the way I'd like to whitewash these numbers a bit is that they are only reflecting vvvv beta, when obviously most of our work (to some of your's concern) went into VL and vvvv gamma. And inconveniently we don't have any numbers for vvvv gamma downloads at all. But then again those wouldn't be high numbers also because as you know we're still keeping a rather low profile with vvvv gamma, mostly advertising it to you as long as it is still in preview. So anyway, nothing to be particularly proud of here. Moving on...
Phew, not as bad as the declining number of downloads would have suggested. Certainly not an upwards trend but still the 4th best result so far. So let's see what this number is composed of:
Mkay, so according to the number of individual commercial users we're basically thrown back to 2012. Quite a bummer but to be expected when you put most of your resources into R&D for the shiny new product that just still isn't there yet to make its own money. We were certainly hoping to keep a few more of you with our advances in VL but we know that before making any new friends, VL needs to grow out of vvvv beta and get a 3d engine...
That was it? Far from! This year we held by far the largest number of workshops for onboarding new users. These included a series of 8 free introductory workshops and 8 full-day workshops on various topics in Berlin. Further, we toured Kiel, Linz, Timișoara and Moscow. Also, we held 10 meetups and 3 patching circles in Berlin, one meetup in Hamburg and one in Moscow. Finally, we even held a dedicated Teaching Patching mini-conference to better understand the needs for vvvv in education.
All these activities will see a continuation in 2020 and culminate in NODE20 in October. Until then, the road to NODE is filled with some precious gemstones:
Is 2020 finally the year of the future of visual programming or is the world not ready for VL yet? Stay tuned, spread the word and become part of a truly wonderful new numbers blog post next year! You know what to do...
We wish you what!
We're starting into 2020 with a couple of activities, culminating in the recently announced NODE2020 happening in October. So leading up to that, here is what we got for you in the first quarter of this year:
Every fourth Tuesday a month we're running a vvvv gamma intro workshop for total beginners. It goes for 2 hours and gives participants an idea of how it feels to work with vvvv gamma. Here you learn the fundamentals that you need to be able to follow further workshops or take the next steps on your own, continuing with online learning resources. Spread the word, send your friends and family!
The workshop costs 5€ and you can sign up here.
Right after every intro workshop, meaning also every fourth Tuesday a month, starting 8pm, we're running a vvvv meetup. Here we count on you: Have a project, demo or new library to show? Just come with your laptop and present. Low profile, no pressure. Doesn't need to be polished, rough around the edges is very welcome! Or just grab a drink and lean back...
The patching circle is a vvvv support group. Once a month, every second thursday, we're meeting to help each other out and find collaborators for our projects. So please join us for patching and drinks if you...
If you feel like coming to a meetup or patching circle, please announce your participation in our getogether events.
All the above are happening at the cozy NODE Institute, Wipperstrase 13 in 12055 Berlin/Germany. If you're running a similar event, be sure to also post an announcement here in the blog to get the attention of your local vvvvriends.
Happy new year, evvvveryone! Welcome back and we hope you had some fine holidays. More than one year has passed since the last report. An update is well overdue. This post sums up last year’s (2019) progress on our upcoming 3d engine for vvvv gamma.
Xenko’s codebase is huge and even after one year, we are still in explorer mode. But help is near! As you might have read, Xenko’s lead developer Virgile Bello aka xen2 is now with us in Berlin. While his main focus is maintaining Xenko and building a community around it, he also helps us to achieve our goals faster by answering questions and fixing bugs that we encounter.
As it is still early, for each technology we work on, we try to focus on creating only the basic nodes required to get a working prototype. Because if we have to change something fundamentally, every node has to be adapted. Nevertheless, there are tons of nodes already.
Besides many little things, here are the main topics we worked on:
The scene graph is the fundamental data structure of the 3d engine. It contains the entities and scenes of your application. Most engines use a tree view to visualize and work with it. In vvvv, we have “Group” nodes to build the parent-child relations of entities.
For convenience, every group and entity got a transformation and name input. The name becomes handy for finding and accessing certain entities later programmatically or just for getting an overview. It also shows up in the tooltip.
The scene graph can become large and complex quite quickly. Especially when you are a brave patcher and you use sub-patches to stay organized. Sometimes you want an overview of the whole tree structure and see basic properties (at runtime, of course!). Luckily there was an older project for Xenko that traverses the entity tree and visualizes its components and properties.
We updated it to the latest Xenko version and imported it as a debug helper.
If you look at the options and properties of a material in Xenko it’s quite complex and some features require expert knowledge. To make things quick and easy, we made a few simple nodes to cover the basics.
We’ll also add texture-based versions of them and for more complex setups, you can always design the material in Game Studio and import it.
For almost every project you have to import content. Be it images, videos, models or just text files. This sounds trivial at first, but as you come closer to deployment, it gets more tricky to have everything at the right place. Even more so, with the new executable export in vvvv gamma.
Game engines usually solve it like this: Resource files like models, textures, etc. get imported via the editor and compiled to runtime assets. These asset files get placed next to the executable on compilation. This works well for static assets, but for rapid prototyping and changes at runtime, we need something more flexible. So we took the Xenko asset builder and adapted it to work at runtime. This allows for importing and building assets while the application is running.
Load single resource files directly from disk, aka FileTexture. Good thing is, this works together with Xenko’s asset database and caches already loaded files. So everything is pooled by default.
That’s a nice one, you can create a Xenko project in Game Studio, work on Assets, Scenes, Prefabs, etc and import everything at once with the LoadProject node. It even updates on save!
Since we work directly with Xenko’s data types, imported entities are in no way different from patched ones. You can access and modify them in the same way:
vvvv is known for treating shaders first class. The Xenko team seemed to have a similar attitude. They created their own shader language called XKSL. It is a superset of HLSL, so you can paste shader code from vvvv into an xksl file.
However, there is much more. They added quite unique features that make writing shaders easy, fast and clean. If that wasn’t enough, you can compose shaders with other shaders at runtime and avoid an explosion of shader permutations.
The well known TextureFX node-set in vvvv beta makes working with textures easy and fun. Of course, we want to have the same experience in vvvv gamma. But, with preview in the tooltip! There you go:
Visual shader programming with nodes? Yes, please! The composition feature of XKSL makes this easier than expected. Turns out, the Xenko team was working on something similar which made it relatively easy to build a node-set around it.
To test these nodes, we had the pleasure to have Kyle McLean in our office for some days and worked with him on porting FieldTrip nodes to VL.Xenko.
FieldTrip is a modular shader library Kyle McLean created for vvvv beta. It includes raymarching and general tools to work with scalar fields and vector fields on the GPU.
We ended up with a working prototype, as you can see in this video from the vvvv berlin meetup:
Since Xenko has no native instancing for their material shaders yet, we tried to use stream out aka transform feedback to transform a mesh multiple times and build one big vertex buffer that works with the Xenko material pipeline. The node works nicely and takes a Mesh, a material, and the instance transformations. You can easily draw a few thousand instances with it. The header image was mostly done with it.
The bigger your project gets, the more important it is to know how well your shaders perform. Thanks to Xenko’s profiler infrastructure we can give every shader a profiler key and see it listed in the GPU page:
There are still some topics left in order to make VL.Xenko as convenient as we like it to be.
One major feature that vvvv beta does exceptionally well is working with multiple windows. Games are usually focused on one output window. In order to get this to work, we have to find a solid way to instantiate multiple windows in Xenko and render content into them. This requires some coding behind the scenes. We are planning to get this done by early 2020.
At the moment one still needs Visual Studio to set up a VL.Xenko project. This should, of course, be just a one-click package installation as we have it with other VL libraries. Initial tests went well and we are confident that this will work out just fine.
Because of legal reasons about the trademark, Xenko has to do a re-branding and will be called Stride soon. We'll of course follow along and will rename the library to VL.Stride.
If you want to know more about something specific or have any remarks or requests, don't hesitate to leave a comment below.
That’s it for now, looking forward to NODE20 and more exciting patches in 2020.
Previously on vvvv: vvvvhat happened in November 2019
still no bigfat vvvv gamma release but we're now really getting close. See what we've just released last month:
This means we're now basically feature complete and are planning for an initial release in Q1.2020! More tweaks and fixes will happen for the export and we'll do some more work on the help browser to make it even more useful. Meanwhile please keep reporting your buggers and help us make this a solid first release.
Documentation-wise there've been three updates: A new Section on IOBoxes in the gray book and two new how to videos:
And the biggest news of all: NODE20 is happening! Just in time so that we'll have 3d-support in vvvv gamma and hopefully finally match most features of vvvv beta. Ideally we'll have at least a first version of VL.Xenko out before, so that some of you can even already prepare workshops with it... Curious about our progress there? Expect a separate blogpost with a wrap-up of latest developments shortly.
A few updates:
woei opensourced two of his contributions:
And there's been some action in the work-in-progress section on the forum:
And some more fresh from the vimeo group:
That was it for December. Anything to add? Please do so in the comments!
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