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Just in time!

Only a whopping 6 years and one and an half months after its first mention during Keynode 13 and to the day exactly 5 years after the release of the The Humble Quad Bundle, you can finally hold it in your own hands. Not exactly as the full release we had planned but as a preview:

Her majesty... at your service.

To our own surpise we couldn't finish all the things we had planned to release today. Most notably the "windows executable export" didn't make it. We know this is a bummer, but we want to get this right and it just needs some more time.

Apart from that we figured there is no more need at this point, to keep it to ourselves. It is definitely good enough for a preview, definitely good enough to gather some feedback to incorporate into the final 1.0 release for which we take some more time to finish our plans. So let's have a look at what we got:

What's new compared to the vvvv beta series

General

  • Trivial installation via an installer
  • The overall performance is much improved
  • All your work is automatically backuped
  • A help browser: press F1! (and wait for it...)
  • You have quick access to your recent sketches
  • By default projects are now handled in one file
  • There are central settings per user, overridable per project
  • You can pause and step your patches frame by frame
  • Extensibility: Write plain C# to extend vvvv with custom nodes
  • Simply use almost any .NET library available e.g. on nuget.org
  • Proper scope and dependency handling
  • Structured documentation for your patches. Add summary, remarks, help to elements
  • close to .NET use msdn, stackoverflow help

Patching

  • Patches are now zoomable
  • You can use frames to structure your patches visually
  • UI runs in its own thread
  • Tooltips show help and errors
  • IOBoxes allow for much faster configuration
  • You can doubleclick a link to insert a node or finish a link with a doubleclick to create a node
  • Patch your own pingroups
  • The color theme is now customizable and defaults to dark

Language

Besides staying true to its nature of being a an easy to use and quick prototyping environment, vvvv is also a proper programming language with modern features, combining concepts of dataflow and object oriented programming:

  • Define your own datatypes (Classes and Records)
  • Composed Datatypes (Spread of Spread,..)
  • No more binsizes needed!1!!
  • Loops to iterate within one frame
  • Generics
  • Delegates
  • Reactive programming
  • Async data processing (multi-threading)
  • Easy caching of expensive operations

Node Library

While for now the number of libraries we ship is limited, the fact that you can essentially use any .NET libary directly mitigates this problem at least a bit. Besides there is already quite some user contributions available in the wip forum and here is what we ship:

  • A thorough core library for all your basic needs
  • State of the art 2d drawing with VL.Skia
  • Effortless computervision via VL.OpenCV
  • Support for Midi, OSC, ArtNet, Serial,...

Forum

To accommodate for the fact that from now on we essentially have 2 products, we added two main categories to the forum:

Living together in harmony: beta and gamma

The existing question, feature, bug, general sections were moved into vvvv beta, and the vvvv gamma section got its own question, feature, bug and general sub-sections. Note that by default the search is constrained to the category you're currently viewing. When you're using vl in beta, still feel free to ask questions in the beta forum. We'll handle that.

Tutorials

Head over to this forum section to watch some video tutorials:https://discourse.vvvv.org/c/tutorials

Pricing

We've previously announced the upcoming pricing model for vvvv gamma, which we're currently refining and we'll update you on changes to it soon.

Until further notice, the previews of vvvv gamma are free of charge but due to its preview-nature we don't recommend using it in commercial scenarios yet.

Download

Here you go: vvvv gamma 2019.1 preview 930

Changelog:

930 02 11 19

  • fixed annoyance with nodes being selected instead of draged
  • fixed problem with red nodes not updating after installing VL. nugets
  • fixed time step calculation of Damper (Fast)

923: 31 10 19

  • added ToVector2/3/4 (Float32)
  • fixed Tokenizer (Frame)
  • fixed register services method called too early
  • fixed regression that timings wouldn't show up on regions
  • fixed timings not working on Cache region
  • fixed serializer not dealing with fields of type object correctly
  • fixed serializer crashing with a stack overflow when data like vectors or colors stored in an object field were re-interpreted as arrays
  • fixed IL emitter not picking up type dependencies on fields if the type was a generic type instance (https://discourse.vvvv.org/t/weird-reference-documents-behavior/17949)
  • added Random implementation for RGBA
  • fixed hue calculation and minor improvements in color space conversions
  • added String <-> Array<Char> conversions
  • shutdown dialog now lists unsaved documents
  • installer adds windows defender exceptions

827: 09 10 19

  • setup.exe is now signed and shouldn't trigger "windows protected your PC popup anymore"
  • added Quad>Windows>Key/MouseDisplay
  • fixed GrayScale Skia ColorFilter
  • added Damper/Oscillator 2D, 3D
  • Packages are now in AppData\Local\vvvv\nugets

703: 16 09 19

  • tooltip performance improved
  • ImageReader now returns correct format of images
  • added FromBytes (SKImage)
  • added Resize (SKImage)
  • LinearSpread now has Phase input
  • added midi ProgramChange node

667: 03 09 19

  • added IsEven/IsOdd nodes
  • added Morph node
  • added MultiFlipFlop node
  • added ConnectAll node
  • added CounterFlop
  • added Random (Centered)
  • added Sort (FormerIndex)
  • added OrderBy (FormerIndex)
  • added IndexOf (KeySelector)
  • added Search
  • added Search (KeySelector)
  • added Resample nodes (Point, Linear, Repeat, Hermite, BSpline)
  • Switch node can now have more than 2 inputs
  • Filter node now has TweenerMode exposed
  • Nodebrowser now also looks for tags in nugets
  • FromImage (Skia) now has options for the case of R16->R8
  • FromImage (Skia) now handles 24->32bit conversions
  • ADSRSettings has optional inputs for Attack, Decay and Release curve settings
  • ADSR has an input to set a new clock at any moment
  • fixed AddRange (Array) of SpreadBuilder
  • updated VL.OpenCV to 0.2.129-alpha

618: 22 08 19

  • SVG/PDFWriter now deal with background correctly
  • improved some warnings
  • increased max tooltip height

615: 21 08 19

  • more tweaks for tooltips
  • Ctrl+F now also considers nodes category
  • updated to VL.OpenCV 0.2.122

573: 08 08 19

  • pin tooltips now show their infos again when available
  • copying messages from tooltips is now via ctrl+shift+c
  • added simpler Mouse and Keyboard (Skia.IO) nodes
  • skia primitives (rect, circle,...) now come in two versions, instead of as overloads
  • updated to VL.OpenCV 0.2.121

552: 01 08 19

  • reworked tooltips
  • new settings: MouseMiddleButtonOpens to activate middleclick to open patches of nodes
  • addded node: FromImage (MutableArray)
  • added skia ColorFilter nodes: Transform, Brightness, Contrast, Grayscale, LUT

411: 12 06 19

  • Value to bytes nodes now have defaults
  • Fixed somehow newly introduced crash in patches making use of serialization (like Tilda) or reflection API (like the runtime-model-editor demos)
  • Fixed accumulators on loops being auto-disposed causing object disposed exceptions in more complex patches (ike Tilda)
  • Fixed Sampler (Reactive) getting stuck in an endless loop if upstream observable crashed (also seen in Tilda)

406: 10 06 19

  • Fixed crash when creating IOBoxes in regions while linking
  • Fixed pin highlights when linking via region border point
  • Fixed application restart with F8/F5
  • Skia gradient nodes rework

398: 05 06 19

  • fixed couple of regressions in compiler introduced between 369 and 380
  • fixed splash screen flicker
  • fixed a null exception on startup

380: 01 06 19

  • fix for Tokenizer (Frame/Postfix) with empty separators

369: 27 05 19

  • Skia PerfMeter (F2) now measures full paint time
  • fixed "Countdown" output of Trigger node
  • fixes in compiler
  • performance improvements in compiler
  • added pixel format R32G32F to imaging
  • fixed a freeze in Tokenizer
  • added Tab, CR, LF, CRLF nodes
  • added serializer for Range
  • theme and interaction improvements
  • added Skia checkerboard style that can be used as a paint
  • fixed removing .vl doc references

344: 14 05 19

  • PerfMeter in Skia renderer (F2) now shows UpdateTime and RenderTime
  • added checkerboard style that can be used as a paint for any layer
  • improved scrolling behaviour for sliders
  • CoreLib improvements
  • sped up RepellingCircles demo patch
  • several compiler fixes
  • compiler performance improvements

318: 09 05 19

  • frames now let you choose colors from a palette instead of the color chooser
  • frames now move their content along as you drag on their titlebar
  • frames now only move elements that are fully contained
  • frame is now included in the "surround with" context menu
  • press SPACE to force-include frames in selections
  • in inspektor changing precision for floateditor now also sets precision for min, max and stepsize.
  • can now grab border control points on regions properly without interfering with region resize
  • default culture setting is now invariant

303: 08 05 19

  • fixed missing dependency for VL.OpenCV

301: 07 05 19

  • windows timer is set to 1ms on start
  • mainloop uses less performance and doesn't block windows messages
  • Skia Renderer has PerfMeter build in, toggle with F2 when selected
  • fixed dpi problem with text in SymbolFinder
  • ctrl+T/ctrl+shift+T to bake/clear type annotations on datahubs
  • fixed "invalid cast in typeunification" error

287: 06 05 19

  • shortcuts now work with all tabs closed
  • Renamed action "Assign->Pop" to "Assign->Clear assignment" to make it easier to understand what the action does
  • Firmata: Tokenizer was stuck in an endless loop
  • fixed null exception in ResizeSelectedMouseHandler
  • Typewriter: Shift+PageUp/PageDown - select to the beginning/end of the document, cursor stays at the same column.
  • OverlayEditor now has minimumsize (again)
  • ImageEncoder doesn't have the bmp option anymore as skiasharp can't encode into bmp

273: 02 05 19

  • fixed another problem with editors/tooltips and high dpi settings
  • fixed "ReguarExpression" typo
  • AllAtOnceEditor for vectors now sticks to value of first component
  • fixed problem with enum-editors on pins getting stuck
  • no more duplicate "Horizontal" entry in IOBox inspektor
  • inspektor now also shows elementtype properties for Spread<Vector>
  • serialization for custom types doesn't throw errors for inspektor/defaults
  • upstream dis/connected iobox no longer looses its settings
  • added GroupBy (Length) and GroupBy (Count) nodes to split a spread into spread-of-spreads
  • added Clean node: removes slices with empty strings
  • added RepellingCircles skia demo

252: 27 04 19

  • fixed dpi handling for fonts in editors
  • can now set ApartmentState of BusyWaitTimer to make UI threads
  • mainloop now has high precision
  • added PerfMeter to VL.Skia
  • editing comment/string now keeps size of editor
  • comments now have correct initial size
  • StringEditor on pin now has wider fixed width
  • fixed problem with paddings differing between single and multiline textbox
  • fixed setting bool pin value via dragging
  • fixed interaction in signature view of patch explorer
  • fixed deadlock when implementing interfaces

230: 24 04 19

  • fix for regions inside operation definitions disappearing
  • fix for patches with more than 10 operations showing later operations as black
  • quad icon now works for all themes
  • previous/next icons now colored correctly in all themes
  • string editors/comments now have a configurable "Max Visible Characters" to prevent low performance with too long lines

222: 18 04 19

  • VL.Skia Camera 2d is not experimental anymore
  • fixed pin interaction in signature view
  • fixed an edge case when then node browser wouldn't show up
  • fixed IOBox rendering freezes
  • added many tags to VL.CoreLib to find nodes faster
  • VL.Skia is referenced by default for new documents
  • toggle toggles on every mouse click
  • IOBox values are not applied while typing anymore

200: 15 04 19

  • inputs/outputs of definitions/regions and groups can be moved (again)
  • fixed problem with documents not opening anymore
  • fixed file path serialization of dependencies when the path couldn't be made relative to the document itself
  • fixed coloring of pads and region bordercontrol points

191: 13 04 19

  • a comment that only holds a link can be right-clicked to open in the browser
  • recent sketches now show in reverse order: most recent is topmost
  • fix: improved recizing of nodes, regions and ioboxes
  • fix: input/output indicators on pins and pads are now in sync with tooltip (again)
  • fix: selected spread ioboxes can now be deleted with backspace when hovered with the mouse

180: 11 04 19

  • fixed background for definition patches
  • Skia ButtonBehaviour now lets you specify which buttons to listen to

177: 10 04 19

  • new setting DocumentAskOnFirstSave sets whether to ask for save location on first document save
  • added "Show Intro Patch" to quad menu, to recall intro patch even if it's not shown on startup
  • reactivated play/pause mode visualization
  • various coloring/theme fixes
  • active tab is underlined (again)
  • definition patches now have a hatched background
  • removed RestructureDocument from patch context menu
  • default count of a collection pin group can now be configured
  • Skia Group defaults to 2 inputs (again)

150:

  • VL.OpenCV now comes with demo patches in Help Browser!
  • fixes for Skia ImageReader and ImageWriter
  • added '-m' or '--allowmultiple' command line arg to allow running multiple instances side-by-side
  • shortcuts are deactivated for patch when Finder box is open
  • several fixes for IOBox drawing and interaction

139:

  • fixes various assembly not found exceptions when using nodes of the Midi category, the Script region or binary serialization: a, b, c

137:

  • fixes problems with pin-editors: a, b, c
  • enables spread-editors directly on pins

134:

  • Info.vl in now called Intro.vl
  • double-clicking .vl files will open with the already running instance
  • Skia renderer goes fullscreen via F11 or Alt+Enter
  • many fixes and tweaks

Apart from the promised and still missing parts, we're aware of quite some little glitches still and will update the download link above periodically. So please check back often and report your findings!

Yours truely,
devvvvs.

joreg, Saturday, Nov 2nd 2019 Digg | Tweet | Delicious 22 comments  

Holy patchers!

To answer the often contemplated question of "Where the hell is this all going?" we first have to establish that vvvv is different things for different people. Let's have a look at some of these different perspectives:

■ vvvv - a generative designers best friend
■ vvvv - a data visualizers wonder weapon
■ vvvv - an interaction designer's magic wand
■ vvvv - the multiscreen solution
■ vvvv - physical computing covered
■ vvvv - a projectionmapper's dream
■ vvvv - rapid prototyping on steroids
■ vvvv - your procedural lighting desk
■ vvvv - computervision for everyone
■ vvvv - stage? show? control!
■ vvvv - fish feeding for the lazy
■ vvvv - L.A.S.E.R zzzz!1!!

That's all?, we hear you say...and you mumble on, but can I please has:

■ vvvv - a tool for machines to learn
■ vvvv - easy logic for gamers
■ vvvv - visual scripting done right
■ vvvv - klickklickklick your mobile app
■ vvvv - the no-brainer IOT toolbox
■ vvvv - the final webdev solution
■ vvvv - an admin's batching buddy
■ vvvv - robots dig this
■ vvvv - no controller too micro
■ vvvv - from sound to noise in one patch
■ vvvv - any shaders of gray
■ vvvv - scratch that: kids taken seriously

Well, vl, vl, we hear ya.. and that's exactly why at the heart of it all, we have always been, and will continue to work on:
■ vvvv - a multipurpose toolkit

Introducing vvvv gamma

When we started working on VL, we never thought about creating anything different than vvvv. We had our issues with vvvv and wanted to solve those. But mostly we loved it and wanted to keep the good things we still enjoy about it. Essentially we set out to rewrite vvvv to make it better, nothing more.

So it is our great pleasure that we can finally annouce the impending release of what we've so far been referring to as "VL standalone":

For a start, vvvv gamma will focus on 3 main scenarios:

  • 2d interactive motion graphics using VL.Skia
  • computervision using VL.OpenCV
  • controlling devices, ie. everything IO (Midi, UDP, OSC, RCP, HTTP...)

Frankly it will be gorgeous and above all shine through the following features:

  • multithreading
  • patching with any .NET library
  • windows executable export

So beta vs. gamma, really?

Nope, don't think vs., we prefer to think ♥!
Here is how to read this: Over the past years we've been R&D'ing a next generation visual programming language that we dubbed: VL. And we still call it that: VL is a programming language, just like c#, that now happens to power two of our products:

  • vvvv 50betaX
  • vvvv gamma 2019.X

While for vvvv beta, VL is just another language it supports, for vvvv gamma, VL is the core. As such, both beta and gamma will continue to profit as we progress with VL. We are well aware of the fact that gamma is not going to replace beta for everyone anytime soon. We're therefore commited to support both equally for the foreseeable future.

If you're interested in a few more details regarding how we'll be polishing vvvv gamma for its initial release, please head over to our roadmap.

What will gamma cost?

We're still working this out and will update you on licensing early next year.

Wait and what about Xenko/3d?

As we've previously reported from our lab, our initial efforts of integrating the Xenko 3d engine couldn't have gone much smoother. We have helped realize a complex multiuser VR project within just 4 months besides our research and now know that this is certainly the way for us to go forward. VL.Xenko will complete vvvv gamma to a fancypantsy interactive 3d authoring environment.

We're confident to be releasing an initial public version of VL.Xenko before 2019.Q4 and we have some ideas for a prerelease phase that we'll announce soon.


Thanks for using vvvv, thanks for your feedback on VL, thanks for your patience, thanks for the licenses you buy which makes this journey possible for all of us.

Have a nice holiday, get some rest, because 2019 will be the year of the vvvv desktop!

yours,
devvvvs.

joreg, Monday, Dec 24th 2018 Digg | Tweet | Delicious 7 comments  

Not many will remember the times when vvvv's 3d rendering was based on Direct3D 8. Not important really, because at the same time we released vvvv 33beta1 in December 2002, Microsoft released Direct3D 9 with a lot of new features, so we knew what we had to do..

Luckily vvvv's DX9 implementation proved powerful enough to be quite useful for many years. Then it took Microsoft 5 years to release its successor DX10 which was only available on Windows Vista, which nobody wanted. Also graphic-card adoption took quite a while so we didn't really feel an urge to start working on it right away.

A Gift

A year later in 2008 Microsoft released Windows 7 and with it DX11, which altogether looked more promising. But still a lack of adoption of supported hardware and Windows 7 didn't put too much pressure on us to implement it. Instead we thought it would be smarter to improve the plugin-interface for vvvv to make it easier for users to contribute to the library of nodes.

In parallel we had already secretly started work on our next big thing that would become VL, which we first announced at the keynode during NODE13. Since with VL we've mentioned from the beginning that we wanted it to eventually run across platforms, for us, implementing a new renderer based on the windows-only Direct3D api became less and less appealing.

What happened next couldn't have been more fortunate: besides many other major contributions, using the possibilities of vvvv's plugin-interface, power-user vux took it in his own hands to create a set of nodes for rendering with the features of DX11, which he released on vvvv's 10th birthday in December 2012. And the vvvvorld was a better place.

DX11 for vvvv is amazing, but innovation in the world of computer graphics started moving faster and faster. Despite the magic that DX11 brought, users demanded more and more bling, but all we were talking about was how VL would revolutionize visual-programming, which brought us all together in the first place.

Another Gift?

With the cross-platform goal in mind, for years it seemed the only option was going for OpenGL instead of Direct3D as rendering API for VL. But all those years, following OpenGLs development and stories about bad support by Microsoft and Apple never got us excited enough to just go for it. Meanwhile a new player has appeared as a modern cross-platform graphics API, called Vulkan, but since it is still in its early stages and support for MacOS seems not official yet, again we were reluctant to jump on it.

All the years we knew there would be another option: Instead of using Direct3D, OpenGL or Vulkan directly, we could base a rendering library for VL on a game-engine API that would deal with different graphics APIs under the hood and would possibly have all 3 as back-ends that can be used on different platforms without us needing to worry about it.

While this sounds brilliant, it obviously has other potential drawbacks (out of scope for this post). But also the range of options for game-engines we could have used wasn't too overwhelming. Until recently. Enter Xenko.

Xenko is a universe of its own and as such comparable to Unity3D, UnrealEngine, CryEngine and the GodotEngine. Please check Xenko's propaganda page to get a glimpse of its features.

We've had an eye on this engine for a while already but it being targeted at commercial game-studios would mean that every user of vl would also need to buy a license for it, so again we were hesitating and looked for alternatives.

But what just happened could again not have been more fortunate: The company behind Xenko, Silicon Studio, removed its commercial licensing and released it to the community under the MIT license, which is a very permissive open source license. This would allow us to base a renderer for VL on it without any licensing restrictions.

Xenko and VL

Initial tests look very promising. Within just a few days we were able to patch a little interactive scene and export the project as an executable so it could be distributed via the Steam store and run on a VR device.

Hence our plan is to investigate further in this direction and at the moment we see two interesting workflows between VL and Xenko:

  • a VL.Xenko pack: that would be basically like the VL.Skia pack we've just released
  • Xenko Studio as a host for VL: that would be similar to how vvvv is hosting VL at the moment

For both scenarios what will be important, is a proper library design wrapping the original Xenko functionality into a comfortable set of nodes, similar to what we just did for Skia.

Next Steps

We'd usually not water your mouths before we are more sure about things. But with Xenko just having gone full open-source and looking to build a community of developers and users, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about this now and try to involve you from the beginning.

So if you're curious about Xenko's universe, just head over to its website and see what it has to offer. You can even download and play around with the editor and if you're familiar with C# create a little game with fancy graphics and assets in no time.

Next we'll demo what we've got so far to participants at LINK and start a discussion there. If you're not at LINK please still join the discussion with your thoughts using this thread. If all goes well we should also be able to share our proof of concept sometime after LINK.

So we hope you understand that at this stage it is too early to promise anything but at the moment we are confident to having found the right library for implementing a 3d rendering system for VL. Just as we were happy when we finally found Skia as the perfect library for VLs 2d rendering system.

Meanwhile please help spread the word about Xenko, retweet their announcement and consider supporting their Patreon to help them build a strong developer community.

We'll update you about developments as we progress...

joreg, Thursday, Aug 2nd 2018 Digg | Tweet | Delicious 11 comments  

General Status

As you know, efforts have been going for the last year and a half into bringing a computer vision nodeset to VL.

The goal was to incorporate as many of the features covered by the world renowned ImagePack; contributed by Elliot Woods some years ago; while bringing in as many new features and improvements as we could.

In the winter of 2018, after setting a roadmap and having patched a decent initial nodeset, we happily announced the pre-release version of VL.OpenCV.

Since then, listening to your needs and constant feedback, we have tried to polish every corner, fix every bug, document every odd scenario, add plenty of demos and specially we tried to give you a clean, consistent and easy to use nodeset.

At this point in time, we are happy to announce that the goal has been nearly met. Most of the features available in the ImagePack made it into VL.OpenCV with the exception of Structured Light, Feature Detection, StereoCalibrate and some of the Contour detection functionality. At the same time, newer features such as YOLO, Aruco marker detection and others have been brought in for you to play with.

So what's next? Even better documentation and loads of examples!

In the mean time, here is a summary of the new things that have been brought into the package in the last couple of months:

CvImage

The new CvImage wrapper around OpenCV's Mat type allows for some optimizations, specially when dealing with non-changing images.

CvImage allows nodes to run only once when the image has changed, significantly reducing CPU usage

Cache Region lovvvves CvImage!

Since it is now possible to detect if an image has changed, CvImage is a perfect candidate to benefit from Cache regions.

Cache Region

Cache regions can now make proper usage of image inputs and outputs

Keep in mind that Cache regions have already been added to most VL.OpenCV nodes. When in doubt just open the node and have a look inside.

Renderer

The Renderer was re-built from the ground up to improve usability and to fix bugs and issues. Title, Render Mode and Show Info features were added. Renderer also remembers its bounds on document reload.

Renderer

New Renderer implementation introduces Title, Renderer Mode and Show Info pins

Histograms

Histogram analysis has been added to VL.OpenCV. A useful tool in many scenarios.

Hitograms

Histograms allow you to analyze pixel value tendencies per channel

Homography

Homography and reverse homography are now available in VL.OpenCV.

Homography

Homography (vvvv used only for point IOBox)

Stereo Matchers

Two new Stereo Matchers were added, these allow you to create a depth map from a set of stereo images. For more see the StereoDepth demo patch in VL.OpenCV.

Stereo Matcher

Depth map obtained from a pair of stereo images

Serialization

Serialization support was added for CvImage and Mat types, allowing you to use CvImage as part of more complex data structures which get serialized with no effort. This can be a heavy operation so make sure to trigger it when needed only.

For a hands on demonstration check out the Serialization VL demo that ships with VL.OpenCV.

Breaking Changes

As part of this final effort to clean everything even further and make the nodeset consistent and properly organized, we needed to rename and move a few things around which as you can imagine means the introduction of breaking changes. We understand this is an annoying thing to cope with, but this was basically the reason why we chose to keep this pack in a pre-release state until we felt confident with its structure and approach.

In summary yes, you will get red nodes when you upgrade your VL.OpenCV projects to the latest version, but in most cases it should be as easy as to double-click and find the node in its new category.

An exception to this are the nodes that got renamed, which we list below:

  • Reader (Intrinsics) -> IntrinsicsReader
  • Reader (View Projection) -> ViewProjectionReader
  • Writer (Intrinsics) -> IntrinsicsWriter
  • Writer (View Projection) -> ViewProjectionWriter
  • GetByteArray -> ToByteArray
  • GetValues -> ToValues
  • GetValues (Custom) -> ToValues (Custom)
  • FiducialTracker -> FiducialDetector
  • Update (FaceRecognizer) -> FaceRecognizerUpdate
  • VideoFile (Append) -> VideoWriter (Append)
  • VideoFile - VideoPlayer
  • Merge -> Join

Summarized Changelog

General

  • Introduced a new wrapper for Mat called CvImage
  • Cache region additions to improve performance on non-changing Images
  • ImageReader re-implementation
  • Renderer re-implementation
  • VideoIn re-implementation
  • Reintroduced "Supported Formats" output pin on VideoIn node
  • Upgraded to VL.Core 0.95.37
  • DirectX/OpenCV transformation documentation and cleanup
  • Added Blocking, Reactive and HoldLatestCopy versions of VideoIn node
  • Added Blocking and Reactive versions of ImageReader node
  • Reimplemented Extrinsics as a data type
  • Stabilized VideoFile Source node and moved from Experimental into Sources
  • Added Serialization support for Mat type
  • Added Serialization support for CvImage type

New in VL

Nodes

  • StereoBMMatcher
  • StereoSGBMMatcher
  • ToValues (Custom)
  • ToValues
  • GetChannel
  • Histogram
  • DrawHistogram
  • ToByteArray
  • Transform (Perspective)
Demos

  • DrawNodes
  • Homography
  • Histogram
  • Serialization
  • StereoSGBMMatcher

New in vvvv

Nodes

  • IntrinsicsToProjectionMatrix
  • ExtrinsicsToViewMatrix
Demos

  • Calibrate and Reproject
  • SolvePnP
  • StereoDepth

Remember that in order to use VL.OpenCV you first need to manually install it as explained here. Also, until we move away from pre-release you need to use the latest alpha builds.

We hope you find good use for this library in your computer vision projects and as always, please test and report.

ravazquez, Sunday, Mar 17th 2019 Digg | Tweet | Delicious 3 comments  

It's been a while again since we last dropped news about that next big thing we still call vvvv50 (50). So in order to get the hype slowly started here are some further notes...

All information given here is still preliminary and subject to change.

Now

45 patch
45 patch. cool.

First a quick recap of what we have with vvvv45 (45) so far: For the first ~6 years in existence vvvv was a rather monolithic thing. We sloppily called it "a multipurpose toolkit" and really only later found out ourselves that it was actually made of 4 parts:

  • a development environment (GUI)
  • a visual programming language
  • a runtime
  • a library of nodes

Still very much monoltithic in that there was no way for the user to change any of those. Only when in 2008 we introduced the plugininterface vvvv became more modular in that it allowed users to create their own nodes, and boy they did (->addonpack, dx11-pack, cv.image-pack, ...).

So the library part was addressed but critizism remained:

  • meeehh runtime, we want to be able to run patches standalone
  • meehh cross-platform
  • ufff spreading hell
  • bäähh GUI..

According to the great Joel Spolsky the single worst mistake you can do when writing a software, is starting from scratch. So we did.

Then

50 patch
50 patch. still looking like shit.

So here is our bold plan, this is what we're aiming at (longterm):

  • a hybrid development environment (HDE) that will be able to host visual and textual languages.
  • a topofthepops visual programming language (with features known from c#)
  • a compiler for that visual language (that creates cross-platform executables)
  • a node library (closely modeled after .net)

Now if that sounds familiar as in "so whats the big difference?" then exactly. Instead of saying it will be completely different we can also say that it will be very much the same only much better. People tend to prefer hearing either. We couldn't decide...

Anyway we're at a point with this where we have bits from all 4 parts implemented and can do simple demos. But mostly we're still focusing on the "visual programming language" which we consider the foundation of the pleasure we want you to have with 50.

Language Features

The great thing about 45 is still that it is simple to learn. Say that again..!? No really, if you approach it the right way (arrogant!) it actually is. There is a huge library of nodes that is hard to grasp, true, but the things you have to know about the visual language vvvv are only a few:

  • spreads
  • framedelay
  • send/receive

Those are basically the language features of 45. Specifically the concept of Spreads is what makes vvvv stand out. It allows you to do simple things quickly but as things get more complex they are quite cumbersome to work with. We call this "low-level" while the goal of our new visual language is to be able to work more "high-level", ie. less thinking about concepts that make things easy to understand for the computer but more thinking in human terms.

So with 50 we're introducing a number of new language features that will make it easier for the user to create more complex programs. Here is the buzz of what we have so far:

  • userdefined datatypes
  • functions
  • interfaces
  • generics
  • events
  • loops

Sounds scary? Naa... you'll see, all a breeze. Really the basics are not changing: You'll have nodes and pins to connect, a renderer, a quad, ... nothing new. If you're not using any of the new features you can still work kind of 45-style only then you'll not be seeing any of the productivity-increase you can gain from using them.

Specifically as you'll not need to use them all right away and you'll be using them without noticing anyway. But in order to talk about them we need to call them names.

In a forthcoming series of blogposts we'll show you how working with those features will feel like. If you already like what you've read so far and want to buy the cat in the sack we're always up for a /downloads|vvvv?.

joreg, Tuesday, Sep 30th 2014 Digg | Tweet | Delicious 17 comments  

previously on VL: vl-progress-report-4

Networking is a huge topic and we just started scratching the surface. While in the process of implementing more features we want to stay flexible to unify nodes and namings to keep the nodebrowser tidy and the patching experience nice and easy! Therefore later mentioned nodes are published as experimental since they might be subject to signature changes still, meaning pin and node names.

things you know

the vivid blog reader already knows the drill: everything stays the same if you liked it just the way it was.

Simple VL UDP nodes
vvvv flavoured UDP send and receive nodes

Specify remote host (IP address), a nice port number, connect some data and bang the send to let your UDP packets travel over the network. Or open a server to receive bytes arriving on the specified port. The only difference to vvvv you might see is, that here you also get infos about the sender of the packets via the Remote Endpoint output (which is an IP Address and a port)

Simple VL TCP nodes
likewise vvvv flavoured TCP Server and Client nodes

same same for the TCP nodes: The client will try to connect to a server. And once the connection is established, you can send and receive bytes.
The TCP Server awaits incoming connections to talk to. The subtle difference here is the Tuple input, where you would expect the data pin. No one ever requested it, but now you can decide which packet should be sent to which client by specifying IP address and port together with the message. In case you still want to send the same packet to all of your clients, just set the address to 0.0.0.0 and port 0


UDP & TCP revisited

so why did it take so long, what's the goodies behind that?
Unlike the monolithic networking nodes in vvvv you can peek inside the VL ones. The goal was modularizing on a much lower level to be able to provide the very basics as nodes for the patcher:

  • Timeout on send and receive (you have that one via @phlegma in the TCP (Network Client Advanced) node in the addonpack)
  • access to Local Address and Local Port: means you can have senders and receivers bound to different networkcards (not just listening to any packet coming in on a certain port as it was now, or relying on the system automatically chosing the right card to send from)
  • amongst which cards are available and running, get all sorts of information about the network capabilities of the system
  • The guts of UDP and TCP are tightly built around Berekley Socket where you have tons of infos and code snippets on the web. untested yet, but you should be able to tinker your own networking magic, e.g. speak the raw IP protocol directly.
Socket base stuff
UDP and TCP nodes implemented on the base Socket type

read more...
woei, Saturday, Jan 21st 2017 Digg | Tweet | Delicious 2 comments  

"The Humble Quad Bundle" by #vvvv serves 4 computer classics implemented using the stilltocome #visualprogramming language codenamed #vvvv50
(hint: the above are exactly 140 characters)

The bundle comes with a reissue of the hit games Pong (1972), Frogger (1981), Worms (1995) and Asteroids (1979) all realized using the patternpending Quad render-engine. Something for the whole family.

Download Now!


huh,

we just had a look at the calender and noticed it's been already over a year since we told you about our next big thing. those who were there at the node13 keynode event already got a glimpse but since then we kept a low profile on that thing again. we're now slowly coming to a point where things start working and we feel we can start sharing some more infos about what is to expect.

we're currently in the process of testing patching convenience and the usability of certain language features and paradigms. all with vvvvs traditional focus on ease of use.

the games above are the result of our first round of applying the new language to some actual problemsolving. specifically we picked one very common problem for a start that is managing the life-time of objects. And the term "object" is key here. where in vvvv45 you need to manually synchronise several spreads representing the properties of your objects, in vvvv50 you can comfortably (on a high-level) think in actual objects that have data and operations that act on that data. so eg. when the spaceship shoots we can create a list of rockets that have a position and speed and and ask them to check if they hit one of the asteroids. and when they do, we can remove them from the list of rockets and tell the asteroid to explode...

here is a screenshot of the asteroids root patch. have a look around and see if you can read it. don't worry, it took us a while ourselves as well.

(click image for a sharper version)


now here is a little vvvv50 faq:
will it run on mac/linux?
probably. it is all written in pure c#/.net which runs cross-platform via mono. we haven't done extensive testing on this yet but are halfway optimistic.

will it run on devices?
probably, see above answer.

when will it be available?
rumours are there will be a node15...

can i alpha-test?
don't call us, we call you. we'll slowly start reaching out to testers when we feel it makes sense.

will it be faster than vvvv45?
yes.

will the first version be as amazing as vvv45 is now?
nope. but in a good way.


thats it for the first treat. expect more posts introducing some of the new features in detail in the coming months. but now next up is the release of beta32 scheduled for late april.

joreg, Tuesday, Apr 1st 2014 Digg | Tweet | Delicious 39 comments  

oui..

vvvv has finally arrived in the age of 64bit computing. to you this means you can finally use all of your PCs memory. to us it means we have to maintain two builds now. but nevermind. service is our success.

so basically "out of memory" messages should be out of our memories (cheese us!) soon and content/texture heavy vvvv-applications ahoi. in theory due to the compilers use of SSE2 instructions things should be generally faster as well..but we already noticed this doesn't seem the case just yet. generally.

now available from: alpha builds

and of course every beauty has its beast. so here is a list of a couple of things that are not yet (probably never will be) working in the 64bit builds:

missing from core

missing from addonpack

most of the addons already work with the 64bit build. below is a listing of those which still need some treatment. chances are good that we'll get most of them to run..given some time.

need some bugging towards vux

  • Assimp
  • Bullet
  • Box2d
  • Bass
  • StructureSynth
  • MSKinect
  • FitEllipse, MinimumAreaRect, KMeans
  • all of his EX9.Geometry nodes

some devices

  • all Phidget stuff
  • LD2000 (Devices)
  • LinBus (Devices)
  • RS232 (Devices Spreadable)
  • NWTouchData (Devices NextWindow)
  • SpaceMouse (Devices)
  • Tablet (Devices Wintab)
  • uEyeCam (Devices)
  • WiiMote (Devices)

misc

  • Ssh (Network)
  • Arduino
  • OpenNI
  • FileStream (EX9.Texture VLC)
  • FileStream (Irrklang)
  • HTMLTexture
  • Flash (EX9.Texture) (RIP)

developers

when you want to debug 64bit stuff use:

 scripts/fetch-binaries --platform=x64

in the bash to get the according executables and in the Addonpack.sln set the Configuration to x64.

joreg, Tuesday, Nov 20th 2012 Digg | Tweet | Delicious 8 comments  

Welcome back to the second sneak peek into our adventures with xenko. Together with MLF we've been busy patching the first project done entirely with vl and xenko: Ocean of Air. So far the combination works superbé, and you can experience that for yourself until the 20th of January, if you are in the London area. Alongside the project we explored the xenko code base and now that it's live, we can give you some more insights into our research.

In the last blog post we used predefined entities to set up a little scene graph. This time we will dig a little bit deeper.

Having primitive objects like Box, Sphere, Plane etc. is nice for casual patching and quickly visualizing something. But you will need more sophisticated objects for the final output of your project. What you want to do is designing your own objects that are specific to your use case.

Luckily, game engines have quite similar requirements and came up with a good solution, and they call it entity/component/system, short ECS, which is also the latest hype in Unity. Xenko has a good documentation page if you want to go into detail. But for now let's stay on topic and keep two things in mind:

  • Entities are the nodes in the scene graph
  • Components are the features/properties of an entity

We found two appealing ways to create custom entities that can also be combined with each other in any way that suits you. You can either patch them or design them in xenko's game studio using their prefab workflow. Here is a simple example for both cases:

1. Patching Entities

Let's look inside the BoxEntity from the last blog post:

As you can see, it adds a BoxComponent to the entity on Create (white) and exposes parameters like Color, Transformation, Enabled etc. as input pins on Update (gray). This is more or less an arbitrary choice of how the BoxEntity is designed and it will probably change a bit before it becomes official. The patch is also an example of how vl's process nodes work nicely together with the entity component model. Each instance of an entity or a component can be represented by a process node and connected with each other in an understandable way.

In the patch we saw the EmptyEntity node, which is a general entity object that contains nothing more than a TransformComponent, hence the transform input pin. To make something useful with it, we add more components (e.g. model, material, audio, physics etc.) to it. There are many of them and you can combine them as it suits your use case. The big advantage here is, that the components are able to interact with each other via the common parent entity and that the scene graph system automatically processes them in an optimized way. This is where it gets interesting!

Let's say we want the box from the patch above to emit a sound from its current position. In order to do that we only have to add a SpatialAudioComponent to the same entity as the box component:

Since the SpatialAudioComponent and the BoxComponent have a common parent entity they will share the same transformation. Also, if an entity has child entities, the children get transformed by the parent. We could use that feature to add an AxisEntity to our custom entity:

Again, there is no need to connect the input transformation to the AxisEntity since it gets added as a child to the main entity and gets transformed automatically.
Here is what a little scene could look like:

Let's add a second one and let them rotate in the scene to hear the spatial audio effect. Aaaaaand action! (works best with headphones):

2. Prefabs

There is also a super easy way to design custom entities in xenko's game studio and use them in your patch. Suppose we have a 3d model with animation and skinning imported and edited in game studio. All we have to do now is to create a prefab from it and give it a meaningful name:

Learn more about xenko's prefab workflow here. Once we have that it's as simple as this to use it in your scene:

Ridiculous!
And finally we will start the walk animation:

Starting the animation is also patched in this case, but let's save that one for another post.

Conclusion

The entity component model of xenko works very well together with vl's process node feature. VL's automatic recompile and instant stateful hot reload allows to dynamically combine and configure entities and the scene graph in real-time while the application is running. You can combine different workflows with each other, simple primitives, custom patched entities or imported prefabs. There is no right or wrong, just build up the scene in a way that suits your way of thinking and the requirements of your project.

We still have only scratched the surface here, there is much more to come.

Yours,
devvvvs

tonfilm, Sunday, Dec 9th 2018 Digg | Tweet | Delicious 6 comments  

Skia is a modern and fast 2d rendering library. As usual, we stand upon the shoulders of giants when making this functionality available to you: the core Skia technology and the .Net binding "SkiaSharp". The VL.Skia package aims to make all of this functionality available within VL in an easy-to-use high-level node set.

You now can have the first glimpse on it. From the start, it comes with a nice stack of tutorials and example patches. This package is done for vvvvbeta37.

Here is a rough overview of what the key concepts are:


Layers and Renderers

Just like known from vvvv the main idea is that layers can be grouped and can be connected to a renderer to draw them. Most Layers come with a Bounds input OR Position and Size and Anchor.

We offer different renderers:

  • Renderer: this one comes with a window
  • Renderer (OffScreen): outputs an image that can be drawn with DrawImage or converted to an IImage via ToImage. Here is what you can do with an IImage.
  • SVGWriter, PDFWriter: they take a Layer and write an SVG or PDF file to disk
A Layer connected to a Renderer

Paint

Every layer comes with a Paint input. It describes how to draw the layer. This is very comparable to the render states in DX9/DX11.

You can stack the Paint-modifying nodes. Nodes like SetColor would take everything from the incoming paint and only adjust the color.

Stroke sets up some paint properties

Shaders, Filters, and PathEffects are all properties of Paint. 1000 words wouldn't be enough to describe what you can do with them. You probably just need to play with them a bit.

What can I say

Text

Text nodes are also just Layers. You can think of them as text boxes.

Within that rectangular region you now can adjust horizontal and vertical alignment. This is done via properties of Paint. The FontAndParagraph node allows to conveniently adjust several text related paint properties in one go.

You can visualize the text box with the Show Helpers pin of FontAndParagraph.

(See the examples\3_Text for how to do word wrapping etc.)


Transforms

Layers can be transformed. This allows you to patch a Camera. You would then connect your scene to the Camera and the camera to the renderer.

Transforms are not that important as in 3D rendering frameworks as all Layers already can be placed.
Scaling a Layer influences the stroke width. If this is unwanted specify the Size on the layer itself and not via transform node.
Everything scales. Also the stroke

Spaces

We designed the library in a way that it works for different scenarios. Sometimes you would like to think in a normalized space, like known from DX9/DX11. In other scenarios, you want to think pixel- or device-independent-pixel-based.
You can choose the space on the renderer. But you can also combine spaces: With the WithinCommonSpace node you can adjust the space for everything upstream. By that, you could have a game that adjusts its content depending on the size of the renderer and still draw some text top-left with a constant text size no matter how big the renderer is. (See examples\1_Basics\08_Spaces-Overview for more details)

Top Left - Device Independent Pixels

Interaction

Layers in Skia can be interactive. The main idea here is: "What you see is what you want to interact with". So if the layer is interactive, connecting it to the renderer in one way or the other means that it will be drawn AND that you can interact with it. (See examples\5_Interaction)

This part is under construction still.
Button is just a experimental proof of concept node

How to install

In order to use this library with VL, you have to install the NuGet that is available via nuget.org. For information on how to use NuGets with VL, see Managing NuGets in the VL documentation. In short, navigate via document menu to Dependencies -> Manage NuGets -> Commandline and then type:

nuget install VL.Skia -prerelease -Source nuget.org

As long as we don't have an example browser here is how to get them via windows explorer:

VVVVDir\lib\packs\VL.Skia...\examples

Drag & drop an example patch onto vvvv or VL. For closing the example use the X on the renderer or hit Ctrl-F4 on the VL patch.

Happy exploring!

Yours,
Devvvvs

gregsn, Saturday, Jul 28th 2018 Digg | Tweet | Delicious 30 comments  

anonymous user login

Shoutbox

~2h ago

andresc4: latest vvvv&leap drivers, leap visualuzer works fine on the 2 pcs, but vvvv dont output data on one pc... ideas?

~5h ago

nissidis: Hey, is anybody showcasing v4 stuff in Greece these days ?

~6h ago

tonfilm: @koma_4610 you can write a C# importer for any D library and use that in the C# plugin interface or VL: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/539234/using-d-programming-language-in-a-net-context

~17h ago

koma_4610: How Can I use D language on vvvv?

~1d ago

joreg: Reminder: This thursday in #berlin: Patching Circle with special guest: everyoneishappy: patching-circle-a-vvvv-support-group

~2d ago

joreg: Bored in #berlin coming friday, Nov 15? Get started with #datavisualization using #vvvv Tickets: https://nodeforum.org/announcements/fullday-workshop-getting-started-with-data-visualization/

~5d ago

guest: Thinking the unthinkable https://vimeo.com/67076984