LZX Visual Cortex module announcement

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lizlarsen
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LZX Visual Cortex module announcement

Post by lizlarsen » Mon May 26, 2014 11:20 pm

Image

(Frontpanel image above, revised 7/6/2014. Log in if you can't see it.)

Please ask any questions!
Last edited by lizlarsen on Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by kuxaan-sum » Mon May 26, 2014 11:35 pm

Wow...looks interesting.

I saw what I thought was your stuff against the wall at the meet but I never saw it setup and/or projecting. Was looking forward to checking it out.

Any videos of this one available yet?
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Post by lizlarsen » Mon May 26, 2014 11:46 pm

We weren't able to bring a system out for this meet, and Nick was having some power issues with his case. I'm sorry I wasn't able to demo anything for you in person. I will definitely update this thread with full tutorial/demo videos when we get to that phase. We're finalizing production details over the next 2-3 weeks, and I'd like to have final frontpanels in before recording demos.

We're not covering a lot of new ground here (other than the Transition Controller, which is our take on a video controller/LFO section.) Mainly just consolidating core features under the same roof. For existing system owners, this module frees up existing modules for different purposes, and for new system users it provides a single purchase entry point packed with features to get you going. It also makes a great standalone video feedback interface.

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Post by Matos » Tue May 27, 2014 12:03 am

Looks sweet. Is this the new direction in design? Seems like a new step away from the black squares designating outputs and so on. Very colorful! :cloud:

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Post by numan7 » Tue May 27, 2014 12:08 am

:loves: congrats on getting this one into production, liz, and wow, what a beautiful final design -- :hail: those color-coded jacks and markings in the decoder/encoder sections jacks , that horizontal x-fader-at-the-top, the clear labeling of functions within dense functionality -- this will be the one of the nicest (if not the nicest) module designs in a system that already contains somes extremely nice module designs... once my video synthesis voyage resumes! :boat:

cheers

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Post by Cobramatic » Tue May 27, 2014 12:12 am

Very very cool!
Few obvious questions off that bat:

Does this also mean there is no need for a TBC ?
This unit outputs RGB and has the Component input but I cant see a composite input - am I missing something?

Only one source input for conversion to Y and RGB is that right?
But it has the A and B input for a crossfade

I assume you can just sync this manually to an existing VSG for another synced input - does it use a sync cable for this?

Thanks for letting us know early that it is on the way :yay:

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Post by lizlarsen » Tue May 27, 2014 12:12 am

Yes, the art will be going in a more colorful direction on this and future planned modules. We are moving towards larger panels with a selection of functions, which necessitated some design revisions for labeled sections. We've tried to keep things in line so that in the same system, this new series of modules will fit aesthetically with the previous lineup while being differentiated enough to not feel disjointed.

I want to reiterate, the design specs and standards are the same -- the previous modules are not outdated in any way. They simply embody a more functional/utility block approach, whereas these newer designs will try to give you all the functions you need for a single creative task on one panel.

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Post by lizlarsen » Tue May 27, 2014 12:39 am

Very very cool!
Few obvious questions off that bat:
There is only one external input on this module. If you have a Component source, it can come through in monochrome (Y) and color (RGB). If you have a Composite source, it can come through in monochrome (Y) only -- via the Component Y jack. Everything is analogue, there are no TBCs. The external input should either serve as the genlock source/master -- or be genlocked to the system externally.

If you want more external inputs, or need Composite-to-RGB, augment this with some Color TBC modules. We wanted to keep this one to fully analogue, color I/O paths. Component (YPrPb) video will give you the highest fidelity analogue image in processing environments.

In systems with an existing VSG (Video Sync Generator) you can either remove that module, or genlock it to the new core directly.

I hope this all makes sense! Let me know if any points are confusing.

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Post by Cobramatic » Tue May 27, 2014 1:22 am

lizlarsen wrote:
In systems with an existing VSG (Video Sync Generator) you can either remove that module, or genlock it to the new core directly.

I hope this all makes sense! Let me know if any points are confusing.
Thanks Liz yes, that makes perfect sense. :tu:
If you already have a VSG you can use that as 2nd input (Monochrome only) that will be synced - so it is definitely useful to keep the existing VSG, especially if you want 2 synced input's and don't have a TBC or a genlocked camera.

A TBC will still be useful to take another source in, and / or if you need Composite in to RGB output.

Are those 'Ramps' on the Sync Generator section?

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Post by smrl » Tue May 27, 2014 1:30 am

looks absolutely great!

Are there any footprints/headers on the PCB for I/O? The more I play out the more wary I get of board-mounted RCA connectors. Ideally, I'd like to add some BNC jacks to my case.

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Post by smrl » Tue May 27, 2014 1:35 am

Cobramatic - if there's no framebuffer and it's all analog, you're still going to be able to have only one synchronized input (the one that the system is deriving its sync from.) I guess with your existing VSG you could use the color bar outputs, and input-condition an external, genlocked input. Not sure of any other uses...

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Post by lizlarsen » Tue May 27, 2014 2:06 am

If you already have a VSG you can use that as 2nd input (Monochrome only) that will be synced - so it is definitely useful to keep the existing VSG, especially if you want 2 synced input's and don't have a TBC or a genlocked camera.
Just to reiterate what smrl said -- no, that's not accurate. If you have a VSG in tandem with the new core module, you will have to lock the VSG to the new core, and that uses up your VSG's external/sync input. The Color TBC is the "no fuss" solution to all this, of course.
Are there any footprints/headers on the PCB for I/O? The more I play out the more wary I get of board-mounted RCA connectors. Ideally, I'd like to add some BNC jacks to my case.
We're doing the last board rev right now, so I can definitely try to add some wire points. I don't know if you are using a CVE with the panel-mounted RCAs (that are wired) or the board mounted ones, but the board mounted ones we've used on the last run are pretty solid. Would you prefer individual solder points, or something like space for a 2x8 0.1" header for a ribbon cable going to a breakout panel with BNC sockets? If you've got any other requests like this, please e-mail me. :)

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Post by lizlarsen » Tue May 27, 2014 2:14 am

Are those 'Ramps' on the Sync Generator section?
Yes, this module produces H and V ramp waveforms, like the Video Ramps module. These are created by high speed pixel rate DACs and are very accurate. I have a lot of new modules coming out which use HV ramps as their source inputs for generating complex shapes, so I wanted to include the reference ramps on the core module. The Video Ramps module is still useful since it has a bunch of output variations, but will likely no longer be produced unless requested.

Also of note: There is a single NTSC/PAL dip switch on the rear PCB for default sync mode -- no longer a bunch of jumpers to reconfigure. However the syncgen will also auto-detect the source of the external input and change operation of the entire module if it does not match the default setting. So very simple.

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Looks so amazing!

Post by VideoTraveler » Tue May 27, 2014 11:46 am

I can't wait to get started building an LZX rig! I've been looking around for the past month for a CVE and VSG... now I understand why they've been hard to find.

My only question is how do I secure one? Is there a pre-order list available :)

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Post by lizlarsen » Tue May 27, 2014 11:53 am

We're launching a large (for us) production batch to be out in August or September. I don't mind taking pre-orders as it certainly helps with R&D/prototyping in the meantime -- but I don't know if it will make a very big difference on ship date or that availability will be in jeopardy -- please PM me if you're interested!

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How Deep?

Post by VideoTraveler » Tue May 27, 2014 12:14 pm

Great, thanks!

This module will mark the beginning of my journey into video synthesis... so I'll need to get an enclosure/case for it. Do you know the depth? Is there anything special I should look out for?

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Post by lizlarsen » Tue May 27, 2014 12:20 pm

The depth will be no greater than 1.75" or standard double stacked PCBs in EuroRack, so it shouldn't have trouble in most cases.

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Post by revmutt » Tue May 27, 2014 4:01 pm

Looks great and will be a great addition or introduction for people.
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Post by lizlarsen » Tue May 27, 2014 11:56 pm

If you were desperate for a Composite-to-RGB input and didn't want to spring $399 for the TBC module, these only cost $84:
http://www.ambery.com/costorgrgbco.html

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Post by Backroads » Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:31 pm

Exactly which modules does this one "replace", i.e., duplicate features?

I understand that the CVE & VSG are going out of production; are they the only ones totally accounted for?

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Post by lizlarsen » Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:36 pm

The only module with duplicate/redundant features is Video Sync Generator. This module has been carefully designed to multiply system options/capabilities when combined with all the other previous releases. Also, multiples of the Cortex will play very well together.

That said, it will replace Color Video Encoder, Video Sync Generator, Video Ramps and Triple Video Interface in terms of module production -- unless there is demand. It also has some functions similar to VBM, TVFKG, and Colorspace Mapper (see revised OP for the current panel layout of the last prototype -- still subject to change, but hopefully all there.)

I wanted to design a module that offered access to all the basic video synthesis functions (color in and out, keying, compositing, shape generation, colorization, etc) and in ways that have never been offered in the system before.

After this module will come some other complex, integrated modules for signal generation and shape processing.

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Post by anti_climacus » Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:17 pm

Really digging the new panel revision Liz! Very nice colors, layout, and function titles on everything!

Is this 26-28hp now? Are you still planning on an August/September release?

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Post by lizlarsen » Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:48 pm

26HP! Thanks for the compliments -- hundreds of hours have gone into this module. I'm very happy with it, and I'm terribly OCD and hard to please, so that's saying something. :)

Yes, still planning for August/September. It's all going to happen as fast as it can.

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Post by barto » Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:51 pm

lizlarsen wrote:
Are there any footprints/headers on the PCB for I/O? The more I play out the more wary I get of board-mounted RCA connectors. Ideally, I'd like to add some BNC jacks to my case.
We're doing the last board rev right now, so I can definitely try to add some wire points. I don't know if you are using a CVE with the panel-mounted RCAs (that are wired) or the board mounted ones, but the board mounted ones we've used on the last run are pretty solid. Would you prefer individual solder points, or something like space for a 2x8 0.1" header for a ribbon cable going to a breakout panel with BNC sockets? If you've got any other requests like this, please e-mail me. :)
A couple years ago I was a dummy and tripped over my composite cable coming from the VSG. The cable was actually the thing that broke, I had to remove the center pin from the jack but the module and jacks are still sturdy and work great.



Looks great Liz! I usually use 2 projectors so this could be fun. Thoughts on pricing yet?

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Post by lizlarsen » Mon Jul 07, 2014 3:05 pm

We were shooting for 650 but it may go up a little. Like everything else we make, it'll be based on a direct multiple of the manufacturing costs. Anything between $650 and $850 is likely. About the same cost as buying the previous two core modules plus Ramps, or something like that, if you want to compare. With the colorizer, keyer, and shape mix features in the last revision, this module gives you access to all the basic video synthesis functions in one module.

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