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After working on a simulation for the Advanced Beauty Project we had the idea to create a virtual gallery in which the user can interact with sound driven interactive sculptures. The space is modeled after the old Vegas Gallery. The album artwork of the MP3s cover the gallery walls and each MP3 creates its own sculpture. To achieve this we spent quite a bit of time on research and development.The program features various graphics modes with very different looks. These modes use techniques such as meta-balls, random polygon clipping, particle systems, physics simulations and random growing geometry to achieve abstract looks that can react nicely to sound. The graphics are set on top of filmed or pre-rendered backplates, and techniques such as shadows are used to ensure they sit well in the scene.The program targets the NVIDIA GeForce 8 and 9 series graphics chipsets and uses advanced openGL 2.1 features to achieve graphical effects. Although the program could be optimized much further (1it’s really a prototype), many of the graphics modes already achieve a frame rate of 60 fps even when running on a laptop.The program uses a fast fourier transform (1FFT) to analyze the frequency spectrum of the audio, and this analysis is then used to influence the behavior of the graphics. The program can play back and analyze music from CD quality files, or it can sample sound directly from the microphone or line-in.
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