Cover image for The Case for Resolume Wire
Jacob Mesick
Jacob Mesick

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The Case for Resolume Wire

I don't consider myself a programmer or coder, I am an artist through and through. I often tell people is that I make "Pretty Pictures" and that coding is really not my thing. I struggle to write up code or even know where to start. I've learned many programing languages (HTML, CSS, Visual Basic, and a little C#) and even understand the concepts behind them. If, Then, Else? Sure. For, Then, Next? Yeah, I got that. Float2 and a Float4? Oh, that's new but yeah okay, I understand what that means. So why then not code if I understand the jargon? More or less it's the troubleshooting of the syntax of the code that gets me.

I struggle to remember should I have used a % or a /% or a // to comment that out? How is a string written in this code again? A perfect example of this, is this very article when writing the syntax for the you tube video at the end. I re-wrote the snippet twice before I just copied and pasted the example and changed out my video ID for the example ID. I know how the code and how it supposed to be written but rather then take the time to learn what I've done wrong I slam my head against the code mulling over it. I find it's always some thing stupid too like I forgot to capitalize or not the right format. It's the little things that foul me up the most.

I also struggle to remember how it is supposed to be written up after it's been 3 months to a year before I look at a certain snippet of code I wrote before. There has got to be a better way to write code for me. This is where node based systems come in.

Node Systems are not new, there are many programs that employ this kind of Technology such as Blender 3d with their shader and geometry nodes, Cables.gl, Tooll3, etc. the list is long. Resolume Wire is one of those node based programs that takes snippets of code and creates manageable chunks that you can mix and match. For a visual artist such as myself, this makes for a much more pleasant time "coding". Honestly I know that this is snubbed at in a way from the coding community because I am not physically writing it all out, however I would argue that I understand the concepts offered in this program better than I thought possible and encourages me to learn new techniques.

For example, one of my patches recently was created from me wanting to learn more about how halftoned screens are made. Another I wanted to learn how to create Moiré patterns, and another I learned about collision detection. Wire allows me the ability to create intricate or elaborate effects and sources all the while the freedom to play with the controls. I can fiddle and prototype to my hearts content. I spent less time in the coding and more time utilizing the nodes to create. In a sort of Irony I spend more time in Wire trying to figure out exactly how each node works and I am more eager to learn how the coding works for each node. Heck I've even started to looking into coding ISF because I can add my own snippets of code to make new nodes to use in Wire. The possibilities to this program really excite me.

In this article I wanted to give a small look into my world of Wire. Here is a wire patch that I was tinkering with this morning that Bends the angled lines I created in wire to a UV offset created using a meta-balls node.

Image description

I won't bore you with the specifics with how this is created, but I like that I can share this image and if you had Wire you too could create this very patch. As if this was a cooking recipe, you could create the nodes in this patch set up the settings as you see and make this available into your Resolume Arena/Avenue scenes. Don't like how the patch is configured that's okay with a little bit of tinkering and an inquisitive mind you too can create the perfect patch for your scene in Resolume. The possibilities are endless.

In this example I thought it might be fun to learn how to melt an image. Why ? I dunno, I thought it might be interesting to learn and I liked the effect that I saw some one else do. I thought "I can do that, I think ? How do I do that?"

I hope this little example of a node system inspires you to try one out. For all the other artist out there that struggle to understand the coding part don't give up and persevere in your endeavors. There are many ways you can show the world what your beautiful mind is capable of.

-Jacob Mesick

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