Isadora Guru Session #1: Stage Setup Editor and Basic Particle Systems

Download the materials and finished patch for this session.


Watch Part 1: The Stage Setup Editor (10:59)
In the first part of this stream, we start by covering the basics of the Stage Setup editor, which is a new feature as of Isadora 3. This important addition allows for greater flexibility and control of how images are routed to video projectors and/or displays. In this segment of the session, you'll learn how to:

  • Add stages and link them to external displays
  • Use virtual stages and additional output features that allow you so you can route video to external applications or devices.

Written Tutorial to Accompany this Session: Isadora 3: Quick Start with Stage Setup


Watch Part 2: Basic Particle Systems (47:00)

In the second part we cover the steps required to create a basic particle system using the 3D Particles actor. You'll learn:

  • To add 3D Particles actor, to move the Isadora's 3D "camera" to make them visible, and to start generating particles.
  • How to change the position of the particle using the Mouse Watcher or one of Isadora's generator actors
  • The importance of using interesting textures to bring the particle system to life

Questions or Comments? Need Help?

Isadora Guru Session #2: The Self Generating Patch

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Watch the session. (8:28)

Contribute: Upload patches you've created as a result of Mark's assignment

Today's installment is called "The Self Generating Patch" and is designed for novice to intermediate users of Isadora. During this session, you'll learn about using actors like the Envelope Generator and the Wave Generator to create some simple generative visuals. More importantly, we'll spend time on scaling values, making sure you understand the concept and can use it in your own creations, because understanding scaling is the gateway to creating sensitive interactive patches.

Isadora Guru Session #3: Data Manipulation with the Data Array Actor 

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Watch the session (10:40) 

During today's session, we'll learn about Isadora's Data Array actor, a powerful tool for storing, accumulating and managing data. All are invited to join, but this session is targeted toward intermediate to advanced users of Isadora.

Isadora Guru Session #4: Create a User Interface in the Control Panel

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Watch the session (8:10)

During today's session, we'll dig into an often-overlooked feature of Isadora: the Control Panel. You'll learn how to create a user interface for your Isadora patch. We'll start with basic controls like buttons, sliders, and knobs, and move into more advanced options that give you feedback about what's on the stage and where you are in the show. This session is targeted for users new to Isadora, but all levels will benefit from the material we'll cover.

Isadora Guru Session #5: Real-Time 3D Visuals in Isadora

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Watch the session. (9:20)

In this session, targeted at intermediate to advanced users, we'll dig deep into the 3D capabilities of Isadora. From the 3D Projector actor to using the 3D Player and 3D models to build up complex scenes where individual objects respond to sensory input, you'll see new opportunities for creating imagery that lives and breathes along with performers or the public. 

There are two 360° video clips that you'll also need to download:

Isadora Guru Session #6: Creating Custom Plugins using User Actors + Macros

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Watch the session. (10:40)

In today's "guru session" for more novice users, we'll introduce you to Isadora's User Actors and Macros. This powerful feature of Isadora allows you to group together several Isadora actors to create a new custom actor of your own design. We'll start by explaining the difference between User Actors and Macros and showing how they can streamline your workflow. Then we'll carefully build a few together, so you can learn how to change and update multiple instances of the same actor, and - if you like -- how to share your actors with the Isadora community.

Isadora Guru Session #7: Generative Visuals with the 3D Ropes Actor

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Watch the session. (9:40)

For today's "Guru Session", Mark will introduce intermediate-level users to the 3D Ropes actor, which allows you to create virtual strings that simulate the movement of everything from a thread blowing in the wind to a wild spring that "twangs" back when you pluck it. We'll cover all of the many parameters of this actor so you'll have a good understanding of how to create evocative imagery with this powerful actor.

Isadora Guru Session #8: Cocktail Hour and Open Questions with the Master

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Watch the session. (9:40)

To mark the completion of our first full month of "Guru Sessions", we're going to host an open session where Mark will spontaneously answer your Isadora questions live. You can ask your questions in the live chat, or pose them in advance below. We encourage you to join us with your favorite beverage in hand (it's always cocktail hour somewhere!) and to have some fun as we celebrate the curiosity of the Isadora community together.

Links to Questions & Answers in this Session:

  1. Is it possible to make a cylindric arrangement of the 3D Ropes actor?
  2. In the v002 Rutt Etra actor, how does the point sprite video input work? Mark also presents our User Actor and Plugins in this section.
  3. Is there a way to randomize the image on particles when using the 3D Particles actor?
  4. On IzzyMap is it possible to project the alignment lines and the grid numbered points directly on the external output screen?
  5. In the Edit Text control in the Control Panel, is there a way to use the return button without jumping to another line? And once you press enter, could the text could be reset to blank?
  6. What are your thoughts on XR/AR? Might Isadora venture into these areas?
  7. Could you offer some guidance on what one might broadly call "good practice" in these areas:
  8. Can we have the output of Isadora as a webcam?
  9. Does the order of the Projector actors in the scene matter even if you designated layers?
  10. For User Actors and Macros, is the execution order of the inputs the same as a normal actor?
  11. For Izzy3 can you still download third-party FFGL plugins as long as they are 64-bit? and still put into the same "IsadoraPlugins_x64" folder? (Mark also explains how to install a FreeFrame plugin.)
  12. Is there a node-based editor to create FFGL plugins for Isadora that works on mac and windows?
  13. I like a rough go-through about putting (more than one) video stream from far away into Izzy and sending them back to the same or a different place.
  14. What are the most exciting things you currently see in the arts to deal with the current situation?
  15. I like the agility with which you work with programming Isadora in terms of being responsive to users and nurturing a community of practice. The ecology around Isadora is forever shifting and changing as opportunities for extending its compatibility with other hardware and software progress forward. How do you see that ecology now and into the short-term future in relation to what can be supported and what can be leveraged for creative work over the next two years or so?
  16. Could we have basic laser control in Isadora?
  17. Is there a way to ensure the particles never fade out when using the 3D Particles actor?
  18. Can you explain how you match polar coordinates?
  19. Is there a way to use NDI to integrate Isadora with gaming/3D real-time engines like Notch or Unity?
  20. Can you get a projected image to stay perfectly within a tracked object?
  21. Can there be a guru session about integrating ArtNet and DMX into Isadora?
  22. Is it possible to create the "ghost image" found in NI-Mate only inside Isadora?
  23. Is it possible to respond to the mouse button and scroll wheel in the same way the Keyboard Watcher responds to keys on the keyboard?

Isadora Guru Session #9: Real-Time Interaction with Open Sound Control (OSC)

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Watch the session. (8:04)

For this "guru" session, open to all levels of experience, we dig deep into Open Sound Control (OSC), a protocol that allows Isadora devices and other programs to communicate with each other for real-time interactive control. You'll learn how to receive OSC and use it to control your patches, how to control other applications by sending them OSC messages they understand, and how to create a custom layout for the incredibly useful control surface app TouchOSC.

We'll be using the OSC-enabled apps TouchOSC (iOS/Android) and GyrOSC (iOS only) and FaceOSC (Mac/Win) during the demonstration. (TouchOSC and GyrOSC are not free, but I can highly recommend both for anyone seeking ways to sense a person's movement and orientation using a device.)

Isadora Guru Session #10: Facilitating Remote Performances with Isadora

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Watch the session. (9:40)

For this special "guru session" Isadora's creator Mark Coniglio will show you the potential of using Isadora as a tool to facilitate remote performance, a topic that is high on everyone's minds right now. We'll cover Isadora's new Screen Capture actor which allows any portion of your screen to serve as a video input, leveraging Isadora's NDI® implementation to live mix multiple video streams from Skype, how to send Isadora's stage to YouTube or Twitch using the free open-source broadcasting software OBS, and more. Basically, we're going to go over everything we can think of that will empower you to create online shows in this time of social distancing.

Isadora Guru Session #11: Generative Visuals and Real-Time Effects using GLSL Shaders

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Watch the session. (2m30s)

In this session, we explore the power of GLSL Shaders. We'll start with ways to source existing shaders from sources like GLSL Sandbox and ShaderToy and TroikaTronix's own GLSL Shader collection, move on to experiment with modifying shaders ourselves, and finally, I'll show you a new, very nerdy (but very useful!) command line tool that will convert many of the existing shaders in the ISF Shaders format to the Isadora format. By the end of this tutorial, you'll end up with new sources of imagery and a palette of new effects for your toolbox.

Isadora Guru Session #12: Create Panoramic Projections Using Edge Blends

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Watch the session. (8:07)

In this session, Isadora's creator Mark Coniglio will show you how to create panoramic projections using multiple projectors (even if you don't have projectors to work with while following along.) You learn about the tools and techniques needed to blend the output of multiple projectors into a single, continuous image. You'll learn more about Isadora 3's Stage Setup editor and its associated Blend Maker tool, how to use blend curves to create a seamless blend, and how to prepare your media so that it meshes perfectly with panoramic output.

Isadora Guru Session #13: Body Tracking with Depth Cameras

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Watch the session (8:29)

In this session, we dig deep into, body and skeleton tracking using Isadora's OpenNI Tracker actor. You'll learn how to connect your Kinect v1, Orbbec Astra, Intel Realsense depth cameras so that you can sense the movements of one or more performers. You'll learn how to use the Skeleton Decoder actor to read the individual points of the performer's skeleton, and how to use that data to interactively control video and sound. As usual, I will take your questions live and do my best to answer them.

If you want interactive tracking of the human body to be part of your artistic toolbox, then this is the session for you.

Isadora Guru Session #14: Intro to Projection Mapping with IzzyMap

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Watch the session (3:10)

In this "guru session", Isadora's creator Mark Coniglio will introduce you to IzzyMap, Isadora's built-in projection mapping tool. During this session designed for novice users and above, Mark will guide you through the entire projection mapping workflow: starting from the stage design, he'll show you prepare your video materials, to build the projection mapping "slices" in Izzy Map, and, as the final step, how to map those images onto objects in the physical space.

You'll be able to follow along even if you don't have a projector, but if you want to practice on the same surfaces used in this tutorial, you can download a kit from the TroikaTronix forum post for this session.

Isadora Guru Session #15: Beyond Cueing: Using Scenes in Isadora

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In this Guru Session, Isadora's creator Mark Coniglio will take you on a deep dive into a feature so basic that it is easy to overlook: Scenes. We'll start with a few basic points like how to transition from one Scene to another and how to organize the cue numbers for your Scenes. Then we'll dig into more complex topics like how to have more than one Scene active at a time, how to use the Broadcaster and Listener actors to communicate between multiple active Scenes, and Isadora 3's new "Blind Mode" which allows you to edit a Scene even when it is not active.

Isadora Guru Session #16: MIDI Madness

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It's an oldie but a super-useful goodie: the Musical Instrument Digital Interface better known as MIDI. In this session, Isadora's creator Mark Coniglio will show you how Isadora can play music, respond to a MIDI instrument or controller, listen to other programs sending MIDI, and pretty much every little nook and cranny inside Isadora that deals with this easy-to-use communications protocol.

Isadora Guru Session #17: Motion Tracking with Eyes++

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In this session, time Isadora's creator Mark Coniglio will tell you everything he knows about Isadora's core motion-tracking actor, Eyes++. Using nothing more than Isadora and a normal video camera, you'll learn how to track people or objects, using techniques like color tracking or background removal. We'll discuss more sophisticated techniques like using infrared cameras that allow you to project images onto the people or things you're tracking.

Isadora Guru Session #18: The Ups, Downs, Ins, and Outs of Creating Remote Performances

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Want to know the ups, downs, ins, and outs of creating remote performances? December 17th, 2020 we live-streamed an hour-long conversation between Isadora super-user Jared Mezzocchi and Isadora's creator Mark Coniglio.

Jared shared practical techniques and theoretical notions in this lively get-together, focusing especially on his recent production "Russian Troll Farm" which was named one of the best theater pieces of 2020 by the New York Times. 

Isadora Guru Session #19: Body Tracking with the Rokoko Smartsuit Pro™

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Watch the session (3:30)

Want to bring high-quality, markerless motion capture data into Isadora? 

Then this guru session is for you! Isadora's creator Mark Coniglio shows you how to link the Smartsuit Pro™ to the real-time media generation and modulation features in Isadora, and also discusses what makes Rokoko's system different from other mocap solutions.

Isadora Guru Session #20: Remote Performance: Past, Present and Future

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Look! Two gurus for the price of one! ;-) Recorded live January 21st, 2021

Isadora's creator Mark Coniglio is joined by long-time collaborator and co-founder of Troika Ranch Dawn Stoppiello, for a lively "co-interview" focused on remote performance. Starting with practices they first explored in the nascent days of the Internet, this dynamic duo will present their ideas on what will be crucial dramaturgically and technologically for online performance as we ride out the pandemic and beyond.

Isadora Guru Session #21: Dance-Tech Archaeology!

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Mark Coniglio gives us a glimpse into long ago, showing the innovative technology he handcrafted with Dawn Stoppiello to fuel the works of their dance company Troika Ranch (http://troikaranch). From "SandyCam" to "MidiDancer", you'll see and hear how these devices allowed them to translate the organic into the electronic and helped to shape the future of dance and technology.