- Advanced Visualization Studio
Advanced Visualization Studio (AVS), is a
music visualization pluginfor Winampdesigned by Justin Frankel, the creator of Winamp itself. Its highly customizable design allows users to create their own visualization effects, or presets, which are featured on numerous websites, such as [http://www.winamp.com Winamp.com] , DeviantArt, and [http://www.deskmod.com DeskMod] . Several artgroups of preset authors exist as well: AVSociety, Finnish-Flash (Defunct) and [http://www.visbot.net VISBOT] . Some members of the AVS community see AVS as a new artform, a method of free expression through means not normally associated with art.
Much to the surprise of the community, AVS was made
open source softwarein May 2005, released under a BSD-style license. The announcement was made to the community on a [http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?s=3cf35de0411a1883b67640b7babcd153&threadid=216394 forum post] . A [http://sourceforge.net/projects/avs/ SourceForge] project has been created.
Every preset is made up of different components. There are three categories of components: Render, Trans and Misc. Render draws shapes, Trans transforms the current image and Misc contains the components that don't fit in other two categories. The components are plugged into a list, which is executed from top to bottom, each component doing something with the image and sending the result to the next one. A lot of components are configurable and a few are even codable. Effect lists can be included, which act as presets within presets.
The codable components allow the most customizability, when a preset author can control and program effects through AVS' simple scripting language. The codable Renders are the Superscope, which draws lines or dots, and the Texer II, which draws bitmaps. The codable Trans are Movement, Dynamic Movement, Dynamic Distance Modifier, Dynamic Shift and Bump. The only codable Misc component is the Effect List.
AVS is now at version 2.81d. Because new features are often created by request from preset authors, people are always eager to use new features. It is thus recommended to get the latest version of AVS, which comes with
AVS comes with a set of built-in components, but third party components can be added and are called
AVS plugin effects (APEs). The most used APEs are Channel Shift, Color Map, Color Reduction and Texer II by Steven Wittensand the Convolution Filter by Tom Holden. Some of these APEs are included in the standard AVS install. Others are included in the preset collections, or packs, that need them.
The history of AVS
The first versions of AVS came without the "superscope" or "dynamic movement" components, and presets were quite different than they are today. Among fans and users of the plugin, these versions (and, consequently, visualizations made when using them) are known as "old-skool AVS". Prominent authors from that time were "paranoya," "tonic," and "catminddo." Certain well-known authors were also involved in an
art groupcalled "AVSociety." By 2002, with new developments of the software, most of these authors had ceased to be involved in the community. The AVSociety declined with them, taking most of their art with it, though some of their presets can still be found on the Internet.
The introduction of the superscope and dynamic movement components radically altered the possibilities of AVS. At that point, users were able to write their own code. Visualizations once limited by the program were now only limited by the power of the author's
imaginationand computer. This new, near-limitless style became known as "new-skool AVS." In 2001, an artist known as "El-Vis" wrote the first 3D rotation code for the superscope, allowing the use of more sophisticated 3D objects in the visualizations. Later that year, "UnConeD" (real name Steven Wittens) wrote the first 3D ray tracingcode for the dynamic movement component. Both authors became quite well-known within the community.
Not everything was well in the AVS community, however. Due to the proliferation of artists and the lack of software updates, the possibilities for original visualizations (which had once seemed limitless) began to run dry. New features added by AVS Plugin Effects (APEs) from Steven Wittens and Tom Holden solved this problem only partially.
A new revolution in AVS happened in the fall of 2003. After much complaining by the community, an entirely new version of AVS was released by
Nullsoft. This new version was much faster than previous versions and also added several new features like arrays and the possibility of interactivity in visualizations. This release was version 2.81b, the most recent at time of writing (October 2006). But later DrO did some minor updates and now the most recent version at the time of writing (February 2007) is [http://nunzioweb.com/daz/temp/avs/ 2.81d] .
Recently, AVS has received more recognition as an art form. Author El-Vis created visuals in AVS for a German theatre production, VISBOT performed at 320x240, the
Croatian visual arts festival and "fšk" (later the author of Line Rider) created AVS visuals for nightclubs. VISBOT also appeared in the [http://codedcultures.5uper.net/ Coded Cultures] exhibition in the Museumsquartierin Vienna.
May 18, 2005, it was announced that AVS would now be open source software, released under a BSD-style license.
* [http://www.winamp.com/nsdn/winamp/plugins/avs/ NSDN: Advanced Visualization Studio]
* [http://www.winamp.com/plugins/browse.php?ctype=P&category=11 AVS Packs on Winamp.com]
* [http://forums.winamp.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=&forumid=85 AVS on Winamp Forums]
* [http://www.nullsoft.com/free/avs/ AVS Source code]
* [http://www.visbot.net/ VISBOT NETWORK]
* [http://www.customize.org/list/avs AVS Packs on Customize.org]
* [http://www.acko.net/art/avs Steven Wittens' APEs]
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