[ANN] Squeak, Live On Stage!

Martin McClure martin at hand2mouse.com
Tue Apr 9 06:44:10 UTC 2002

Those of you who were at the Squeak BOF at OOPSLA in Tampa last 
October saw a demo of the crude beginnings of a virtual juggling 
program I was implementing in Squeak.

I'm happy to announce that the full application is complete, and is 
part of the Flying Karamazov Brothers' new and improved live stage 
show "L'Universe."

The virtual juggling application displays animated images of planets 
on a rear-projection screen about 3 meters across. It examines live 
images from a video camera at the front of the stage that is pointed 
at the screen, and thus can react to the motions of performers that 
are standing in front of the screen. The performers juggle planets, 
play volleyball with the earth, heave the sun away, etc.

It's all implemented in Squeak 3.2g, with use of FFI to interface to 
the video camera, and a small Slang plugin to speed up a couple of 
tight loops in processing camera input pixels. The display is done in 
Morphic. All the graphics are 2-dimensional BitBlt stuff, mostly 
32-bit with alpha blend. Performance is quite good; I can animate 
most of the scenes at 100 frames per second, though I'd like to speed 
up a couple of operations that involve alpha blending most or all of 
the screen at each frame.
There are other fun bits of technology in the show as well, many of 
them created by MIT's Media Lab.

"L'Universe" is playing in Berkeley, California, April 12 through May 
19, and in New York City October 1 through November 24. Other 
bookings are pending. For more information about the show, dates, and 
tickets, see http://fkb.com. (If you get to fkb.com's gallery of 
photos from the show, note that the two photos of the virtual 
juggling piece are of an earlier C++ version. The Squeak version 
looks a lot better.)

I hope that some of you will get a chance to go and see the show!


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