It’s been so long, I barely remember how this thing works…

Some screenshots from a little project I’ve been working on for Weirdcore. It’s essentially a simplified version of vade’s Rutt-Etra effect (keep coming back to that one, don’t I), but in some ways truer to the original hardware device, in that the displacement of the lines takes place on the Y-axis only, so it’s essentially a 2D effect, rather than an extrusion of an image plane into 3D space. The other difference is that the lines can vary in width, so with the right input material, you can get these really graceful curves and almost calligraphic lines. It’s a kind of hybrid visually of the early work of Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely– hence the title.


17 Responses to “VasaRiley”

  1. 1 blouboy
    November 18, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Good to see you are still at it. I don’t have as much time to mess with QC as I would like these days, but I keep your blog close at hand so to speak.

    As always, good stuff! If you like Vasarely and Riley, you might want to check out François Morellet, Karl Gerstner and maybe even Richard Anuszkiewicz. You may know those guys already, but if not, they have all done lot of work that is in many ways directly related to what we now do with computers.

    • 2 toneburst
      November 18, 2010 at 11:46 am

      Good to know someone’s still looking 😉
      It’s been so long since I posted, I was wondering if anyone still visited. I’ve not had time to spend on QC stuff either, sadly. This little project, and maybe some other stuff on the horizon, are giving me an excuse to start tinkering again though. Hope you have a chance to get back to it sometime soon, too.

      Thanks for the tips re. artists. Some of those names are familiar, but I’ve not seen their work recently. I will follow-up on those, I think.



  2. December 6, 2010 at 6:55 am

    hello a|x – wanted to let you know I really admire your work,..and have to admit I’ve used your beyond_plasmoids.qtz a lot -for audio responsive vj sets.

    * really interested in the ‘Vasariley’ inmages esp ‘the lines can vary in width’ aspect.

    I’ve have been making paintings of Moiré or Interference patterns for a while now (around 5 years) here is and example:http://r1v1era.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/129/

    and more recently been playing with QC to try and emulate a similar effect – but trying to avoid too much machine look,….

    is the QC comp available for inspection? – or can you give some insight into what you are doing to get the line width variation – please?
    kindest regards,
    (aka r1v1era)

    ps please keep it going! – I still look here regularly! and really appreciate your attention to detail and visual aesthetic.

    • 4 toneburst
      December 6, 2010 at 11:25 am

      Hi ben,

      thanks for the comments- always nice when people appreciate my work, and find it useful.

      Interesting painting. I’ve spoken to a few people lately who’re really interested in the moiré effect. I’ll have to look into doing some more experiments in QC sometime, if I get a chance.

      Re. VasaRiley- I originally made it for a particular performance (not by me, I hasten to add), but now that’s been and gone, I’m free to release the qcFX into the wild, which I’ll do as soon as I get a chance. I’ll give you a clue as to how it works though. It’s basically a combination of JavaScript to create the mesh for a single line, iterated Mesh Renderers to render multiple lines, and a simple GLSL Vertex Shader to handle displacement and line-width modulation.



      • 5 r1v1era
        December 8, 2010 at 12:53 am

        hi and thanks for the reply,….I’m a really keen learner and would totally appreciate seeing an example of the Vasariley composition. Still finding QC a steep learning curve,…. I’ve started to dabble with Processing as well. – I’m hoping things will start to make more sense to me soon,….Really wish I had someone near to give me some one on one tuition but nobody round here (Central Australia) – So I’m trying to learn as much as possible from the Apple QC examples and from other QC wizards like yourself. Kineme is a fantastic learning resource. But often I’m really wanting to focus on specific elements – line, curve waves, particle – that relates to my earlier explorations with painting and video.

        ps what would you suggest as a good learning path?…will Processing help me with a deeper understanding of QC? – I’m also really interested in some of the Open Frameworks projects. – But C++ seems a bit over whelming at this stage.

        kind regards,

      • 6 toneburst
        December 9, 2010 at 12:21 pm


        whether you choose Processing or QC depends a lot on your style of working. If you enjoy writing code, and are prepared to have to write code to see anything happen, then Processing is probably the better bet. If you work more visually, then QC is the way to go. You can get some pretty cool stuff working in QC without writing a line of code. Using QC will get you thinking about data-flow, looping and programming logic though, which can be applied to working in Processing, and even C++, too. In the longrun, learning C++ will open up a lot of possibilities. Don’t wanna put you off too much, but, it will be quite a long time before you start producing anything exciting though, unless you’re a really fast learner. Another alternative might be to start in QC, then have a look at Objective-C or C++ with a view to making some custom plugins to extend QC in various ways. That’s always been my plan, but so far I’ve had a few false-starts, but haven’t really got there yet. One day…


    • 7 toneburst
      December 6, 2010 at 11:27 am

      Various tb effects, including VasaRiley in use in Weirdcore’s visuals for Simian Mobile Disco.

  3. December 9, 2010 at 7:23 am

    hello again,…I’d like to send you a couple of examples of my ‘noob’ attempt at moiré – basically I’ve taken the same approach as I’ve made previously with paint! – very simple but I feel this is in-line with the expression of the paintings, only digital and additive colour rather than subtractive as with painting.
    – iterators inside GLSL shaders – one with interpolation and the other using audio input.
    – I’d still really like to start getting a grasp of the java-script mesh concept ;-)- as this will bring it back to the idea of ‘finer’ variability!? – ie subtle nuances of the human touch/ perhaps using perlin noise?….and then later varying input data ie motion/proximity detection,….
    Hope you don’t feel this is a hum bug!?cheers B

    files located here: files.me.com/benward75/51qfz7
    & here: files.me.com/benward75/mkt2nx

    • 9 toneburst
      December 9, 2010 at 12:23 pm

      Cool, will have a look at those as soon as I can. At work at the moment, so can’t try them right now.


    • 10 toneburst
      December 9, 2010 at 2:52 pm

      They’re really nice. You can do something similar without shaders, using a couple of instances of the QC builtin Stripes patch. Your geometry-based method if probably faster, though.

      There’s some Core Image Filter code on this page to do something similar.


      • December 10, 2010 at 4:43 am

        thanks mate – can’t quite work out the CI filter process yet,..the reason I was using the shaders was it gives more of a wave motion rather than linear rotation.
        re ‘look of video pointing at a screen’; here is one more patch for you which i think is getting pretty close to the original effect (using RGB) to look like a TV screen up-close. Also using a twirl distort to get those waves moving.

        I have plenty of new bit to play/experiment with now – thanks for your tips and tricks.
        – still hope to one day see the mesh for changing line thickness variation 😉
        kind regards,

  4. 12 r1v1era
    January 25, 2011 at 5:33 am

    from earlier reply:…..”Re. VasaRiley- I originally made it for a particular performance (not by me, I hasten to add), but now that’s been and gone, I’m free to release the qcFX into the wild, which I’ll do as soon as I get a chance.”

    any chance the qcFX can be released? 😉

    • 13 toneburst
      January 25, 2011 at 10:51 am

      Sorry, have been a bit pushed for time lately, and haven’t had a chance to document the plugin. Maybe I’ll just release it, and see if people can work out what the controls do… 😉


  5. 14 r1v1era
    January 27, 2011 at 3:04 am

    yes please!

  6. 15 r1v1era
    March 18, 2011 at 7:36 am

    pretty please? – you did say you would 😉
    – sorry about the humbug.

  7. 16 r1v1era
    May 18, 2011 at 6:21 am

    Hello Alex,…
    its been quite a while, but I would still really like to see the VisaRiley patch (if at all possible)! – I have no intention to use it for commercial reasons,…just a keen learner.
    You haven’t replied to my last few queries – not sure if you were ignoring them or just too busy,…
    Could you please let me know either way?
    best wishes,

    • 17 toneburst
      May 18, 2011 at 8:41 am

      Hi Ben,

      sorry, I haven’t been ignoring you, just been caught up in other things, and haven’t had a chance to do much machinesdontcare-related stuff lately.
      I’ll put the Vasariley QTZ in the Box.net widget for you. I meant to do this ages ago, but I wanted to document the controls etc. first. I’m sure you’ll be able to work out what does what by trial-and-error, anyway.


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