This is a quick and dirty demo of my video synthesizer. It is basically an FPGA board connected to an old CRT display. It is meant for live performance. The images were recorded using a webcam. No fancy effects or editing, just cut and paste.

The synthesizer's inputs are:
-4 switches
-4 push buttons
-1 knob
-1 keyboard
These are used to control the color, size, rotation and complexity of the polygons.

Output:
-640x480 @ 60Hz, 8-color VGA
Yes, eight fabulous colors.

How does it work?
It basically renders a wire frame model. The vertices of the model can be moved around using the keyboard. You don't really have much control over the shape. The keyboard is sort of a "random data source", which means the user just bashes the keyboard like a monkey until something pretty shows up on the screen ;). More precise controls could be easily implemented, but I am happy with them as they are now.

Having a cheap webcam to "post-process" the video is very important. It is the key overcome the 8-color limitation imposed by the FPGA board. The digital-to-analog-to-digital conversion process helps to soften the colors, and makes the resultant images look better. The colored dots you see are actually the phosphor sub-pixels of the CRT display. The camera I used was a Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000.

The actual digital circuit that's the core of the synthesizer started out as a school project. It took me about 3 weeks to develop. Then I modified it so I could have more control over the image, and to make sure there were glitches everywhere :).

If you want any more info (VHDL code even!), please contact me. My email is: checo22 {at} google's email service.

MUSIC BY ORVONTON (available as a free download)
myspace.com/orvonton

I perform with these guys:
emulacionaleatoria.com

More info on the FPGA board here:
xilinx.com/s3estarter

More to come!

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