HoloDecks has been a personal project of mine which I’ve been steering to create a stronger relationship between music and the physical world. In previous experiments it had manifested as 3d printed sound sculptures, drawing on the relationship of the disc shape seen in compact discs and vinyl records as the bridge between the two worlds. In this latest iteration, HoloDecks uses augmented reality to transform Brian Eno’s and Karl Hyde’s new vinyl release, Someday World into a augmented interactive experience for the iPhone and iPad.
Users of the app can listen to ‘Strip it down’, a track from the Eno Hyde album and watch colourful, geometric worlds springs to life on top of the record. The visuals are inspired by ‘outsider architecture’, a concept of impossible architectural forms which defy the laws of our known universe. Four worlds were created for the experience, each one with its individual backstory and constructed using a number of rules specific to the architecture of that world.
The EnoHyde app is powered by HoloDecks which in turn is made using openFrameworks and ofxQCAR (OF wrapper for the Vuforia AR engine). The visuals were programmed for ES1 (fixed function pipeline) to maximise device compatibility, so no shaders unfortunately, but still fun to work within those technical limits. Dynamic textures were achieved using real-time rendering to FBOs and perlin noise was used for mesh displacement before everything was sent to the graphics card.
A custom circle packing algorithm was written to drive the placement and growth of buildings on the record. Two categories of buildings were created at random, the normal type grew until it made contact with another building and stopped growing, another type known as the ‘merger’ would grow and engulf other nearby buildings. Once a merger reached a maximum limit it would collapse to create space for new buildings to grow. The system was programmed to resemble the natural growth of trees in a forest.