Post-production techniques ||part2

after successfully completing first part of my Post-Production in max/MSP i moved on to next part which involved using a Playstation1 GunCon game controller to trigger a shatter effect in my video presentation.  my main task was to make it communicate with the computer and in order to do so i needed a “middle man” which would convert a controller analog circuit signal into midi or OSC signal understood by Max/MSP. my options were either Phidgets or Arduino or similar platform chip boards. i chose to work in Arduino package as i found it cheaper to buy and compatible with more sensors and elements (including Phidgets) as well i had an impression that there is more “underground” feeling to it as there are many arduino board clone experiments and it feels more innovative as an open source programming with hacking possibilities and experiments. the arduino programming language is based on C/C++ and it’s interface looks very similar to Processing. but i didn’t need to write code to make my Arduino board work, all i had to do is install special arduino drivers for max/MSP and use relevant objects in max to detect incoming signal from the board.
the most difficult part for me was to figure out how to translate trigger signal to arduino board. i opened gun controller and found two pins which transmitted electric circuit when button was pressed down.

the gamegun has built in chip board and all wiring were soldered to it. i was trying to get trigger signal at the end of main wire which i cut open and located the main wire, ground and button feedback wire. with help from Jason who knew more than i did we tried to use these wires and stick them into arduino board. we didn’t succeed and my guess was that there is a miscommunication between controller built in namco board and arduino. i had an idea to make it work but i had to test it beforehand. i knew how to make a simple button on and off action on arduino breadboard also called a protoboard.

it is a separate construction base device used for building temporary prototypes of electronic circuits. it is solder less and is easily reusable in comparison to other more permanent soldered boards such as built-in one-off gun controller board. i wanted to test if button lifted from breadboard would still function if there would be 4 wires attached to its legs and those wires would be sticked into breadboard. here is an experiment i did to test it:

the reason for this test was to see if this button can be triggered and signal transmitted without delays due to length of wires. it worked perfectly so the next step was to solder 4 wires to gun’s built-in button and insert those 4 wires in breadboard. in doing so i would avoid interacting with build in board which might require more voltage to operate than arduino board and i had already working circuit set up for a button trigger on breadboard which did communicate with my max/MSP patch without glitches and problems. all i had to do is transmit the button pressing from gun to the breadboard. here is some images of soldered wires and arduino set up:

here is the patch which was receiving incoming signal from arduino.

this part of the patch deals with receiving a trigger signal from gun via arduino through route analog digital object in Max/MSP. white round button triggers the shattering effect which is applied on one of the layers of life video feed. it is possible to later the velocity of disintegrating particles as well as manipulate the character of dissolve based on speed, particle size and shape and direction of the movement. my aim was to mix two different sources of videos , one is a live chromakeyed footage from camera feed and another layer beneath it is just a film clip. the main idea is to give an impression when someone “shoots” a person and it will shatter on top of a background. the inspiration came from”The Lawnmower Man” film in which there was used similar effect of body disintegration. the best way to describe it would be a video clip which shows how this patch and gun works together:

i also implemented coloring options which i can alter as i go in my patch. i can change RGB levels as well as the brightness and contrast.


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