Z Vector launched at SXSW 2014! (posted March 9, 2014)


Over two years ago I ran into a then freshly formed Finnish electro duo called Phantom who were heading to promote themselves at Austin’s South by Southwest. As I’d been planning to travel there to promote NI mate, an idea formed in my head. We had to make a music video.

The music video was eventually released at SXSW 2012 and became something of a runaway hit for the band, landing on Pitchfork and some selected TV channels around the world. On that same trip and due to the fact that lead dev Janne Karhu had created the software to function in real-time, I ended up doing my first performance with what would later be called Z Vector. Today – exactly two years since that first performance and the release of Scars – we’ve built and uploaded Z Vector v1.0 to the server and the shop. Talk about karma.

For us, Z Vector is not a software, but rather a work of love. In the range of two years of active development and field testing (performances), it has evolved from a simple and quirky little oddball of a software in to a serious performance instrument. We sincerely hope that it will provide inspiration to the tens – even hundreds of visual artists and performers round the world that we’ve had the chance to talk to and perform with during these past two years. This software is dedicated to you. And it’s only the beginning.

Z Vector v1.0 UI layout

Z Vector v1.0 short feature list:

  • GLSL shaders with an integrated editor
  • Integrated sound analysis and MIDI clock synchronisation for animation
  • Sound analysis based animatable UI
  • Fully scalable output resolution (up 1920×1080 or 2073600 individual pixels)
  • Real-time depth camera based 3D scanning, recording and playback
  • Virtual camera and multiple person tracking modes
  • Computational transitions between profiles
  • MIDI/OSC control (with metadata and programmable macros)
  • Multiple geometry and texture modes, particle effects
  • Stereo rendering (side-by-side, anaglyphic, Oculus Rift)
  • Full Syphon support (in/out, Mac OS X only)

Updated documentation, tutorials and workshops will follow shortly. We will be covering our activities at SXSW 2014 in further details in the next few blog posts. Now go download Z Vector and have loads of fun!