Project Mix: Fireworks Test

Project Mix: Fireworks Test

150 Nodes all playing respectively to their connection timings.

So, I had an idea. I wanted to make fireworks as a way to celebrate the 4th of july. And I figured lets try to do it with project mix.

What you see in the video is 150 Connected nodes. Each node has their own note and sound settings.

What a node looks like up close
The looks of the actual sound settings

All of these are defined by presets in which I manually create by importing a wav file from FL-studio with each octave I want to have available to use. Like I’ve talked about in the past with the post about audio visualization using the baked analysis that unreal just added, there are only a handful of actual sound files which makes my life so much easier when it comes to quick importing and management. However, I don’t currently have support for just.. One-Shot type sounds.

FL-studio midi used for exporting sounds.

I tried to take an approach to create this that is a bit additive. I started with the basic kick to get the loop that I wanted to use, layered in the snares and high hats, and then went to town emulating the “firework” feel I was going for. This meant that I needed to create a few buttons to help make things faster like Randomize Notes, Randomly place in a spherical pattern, and selection helpers.

The buttons at the top are the examples of added usability.
In the end… it looks like this hellstorm of madness. There’s gotta be a better way.

Right now there is NO MIXING setup at all. This is about as raw as audio playback can get in unreal. Just play the damn sound… This is also why certain parts might sound a bit too loud or soft. So the next phase of development for this system is pretty clear. Project Mix.. needs.. well.. a MIX of some sort. But that’s not the most worrying thing to me. I think the biggest issue with development right now is that I have to hit play.. wait for the loop to start… and hope that it sounds the way I want. This makes things extremely slow and aggravating to work with. So, I think I am gonna take an interesting step forward into editor-based nodes that actually play .. while I am tweaking them (Obviously with some control on when to play). Imagine kinda like planet coaster, where the roller-coaster is running along the track you are currently building. This is something that I think is needed in order to not rip my hair out creating the next scene and ultimately.. the final vision for this project ( Which I am currently keeping to myself ).

Then… well there is the time synth.. which aims to solve all of my synchronization problems… so I gotta get going on that too. I did watch dan’s amazing overview of it and I think it has a ton of potential with one fatal flaw… time synth components are made to not be used spatially… 150 times in a scene. Therefore.. I’d have to tell the nodes to call the master time synth in order to play things on time efficiently. Maybe if I do that I can convince the awesome audio folks to help me out with getting 3D sound to work properly per node.

So to finish it off.. here is a few bullet points for the future.

  • Better Editor Development workflow
  • An actual soundclass and submix setup.
  • Update the core audio system to use the time synth component instead of my jenky synchronization master blueprint.

Those three are enough to keep me busy for awhile. On that note, have a great day <3

Watch what you eat! 15 min a day 018-032

Watch what you eat! 15 min a day 018-032

Ok, this is the format! I am done with the daily edits of the videos for now. Timelapses it is simply because it takes too damn long to edit stuff. Maybe if I’ll give it a go again one day if I ever get premiere to not take years to export a file. Anyhow, I am pretty happy with how this one turned out. On of my friends said that it looked like a skull with tangerines as eyeballs.. which is funny because I had a similar vibe when making it to call it something like “Watch what you eat”. So that is what I am running with.

I have made a habit

I have to draw at least 15 minutes a day now or else I feel almost guilty. I’ve had 1 slip up but recovered the time later in the week and to be fair, I was traveling that day so that is how i justify it! Moving forward, I have some Ideas that I want to start trying which can start to intertwine possibly with the album. “I’ve got some wild ideas” but I am not as secure about music as I am art so I tend to not talk about it much but that is still going at a decent rate!

That is it for now. Have a great day!

Dark Lightning!

Dark Lightning!

This is the second piece I’ve finished on day 017 in my 15 minutes a day journey. If you have no idea what that is please check out this post.

Each time I finish a piece I am naturally left to reflect on what I could improve during this process. Here is where my head is at right now.

  • Instagram posts are working pretty nicely. I think instagram is built really well for this.
  • Twitter has 1 or 2 days that seem to stand out, so it might be best to try and keep only released stuff like this post on twitter.
  • Facebook can just take literally everything
  • Youtube … the videos are flood filling my youtube account.. and I don’t think i like that. So my current thinking is to take the current smaller video format and condense the entire piece into a longer video that you can watch from A-B that has a bit more story than the timelapse. I like being able to share some of the thought process as I move forward so I think this will get better and better the more and more I talk through what I am actually doing. Slowly but surely… so you can expect that I will delete or unlist almost every daily type video on youtube and keep the posts to only released content. I think this is best moving forward to keep people interested and actually give them a chance to watch through something. Can you tell this has been bugging me?

So, I think overall that is my current thinking and the overall goal still remains the same just with a few tweaks to how I go about showing the journey and progress.

Have a great day! <3

First “15ADay” Finished Piece

First “15ADay” Finished Piece
Timelapse of the whole thing.

This is the first finished piece for the 15 minutes a day series. If you have no idea what that is please check out the post i did a week or so ago.

This was a fun one and truly has shown a few flaws with my initial idea of just posting the full 15 min videos.

  • They take forever to actually export. Almost 1-1 the video length.
  • I have to make thumbnails and all that crud for youtube (I always forget this.
  • They aren’t interesting to watch..

Cool.. so I figured that out I guess I can try something else now. Stay tuned and have a great day!

15 Minutes a Day

15 Minutes a Day

Drawing picture from day 007

I am now 2 weeks into something I like to call “15 Minutes a Day”. As a technical artist I find that I constantly have to remind myself to sit down and draw. This can be a struggle given the fact that it’s too easy to say “No, I can’t draw right now, I have to do something else first”. The problem with this is that if I don’t create something with my own 2 hands in REAL LIFE, I feel as if a lot of what I am doing is actually fake. Something about the digital realm of art makes it hard to feel accomplished after spending countless hours on something that is just viewed as pixels. Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t do digital artwork, it just means that the satisfaction of making something on paper is much greater to me for reasons I don’t think i can quite explain.

So what am I doing exactly?

Well, everyday I am sitting down for AT LEAST 15 minutes to do something creative with a traditional media. Right now, it’s these amazing Copic grayscale markers I picked up last year. Along with this, I decided I might as well hit the record button and see what happens and possibly try to actually motivate others to do the same as well as forcing myself to get better at managing video editing pipelines and posting / using different social medias. Right now I am 1 week ahead of the actual days which allows me to casually export / setup the videos each week and remain consistent without feeling the burn of the constant pressure to grind each day. This means that I am 2 weeks strong so far and 1 week released.

Here is the official playlist to follow along each day.

What have I learned so far?

Well, as always, the editing / content setup for posting online is the longest part. Essentially right now I am averaging about 3-5 hours to do the final edits which means that more time is going into editing than drawing. So my goal right now is to reduce how long stuff takes to import, edit, and export. I did just cut my render times in half with a new video card and using NVENC H.264 Exporting with a plugin called Voukoder R2 in Adobe premiere. So baby steps. As I get into a flow, then I can start to worry about things like music / more narration / whatever else I can do to add a little bit of polish on top of the videos.

The goals and overall thoughts

I love it, and I don’t think I am gonna stop any time soon. The main goal is to feel that accomplishment each day and to possibly motivate others to do the same. Right now, I want to just keep moving forward and making slight improvements as I go to editing process and content creation. If you like the idea and have thoughts on how I can improve it please let me know. I am always willing to hear feedback and want to get peoples overall sense as to whether this is a good idea or not. Thanks and have a great day!