Toy Hack Digital Metropolis

Toy Hack Metropolis

Toy Hack Digital Metropolis – Free Young People’s Workshop and Public Event (Brighton Digital Festival Education Award Project)

Phoenix Brighton
Friday, 18 September 2015 at 19:00 – Saturday, 19 September 2015 at 21:00 (BST)
Brighton, United Kingdom

Click here to book a free place for this workshop

Alex May and Exploring Senses will work with young people to design and construct a stunning cardboard cityscape bringing it to life with video mapped projections using May’s accessible software Painting with Light, and populating it with ‘toy hack citizens’.

The event is curated and hosted by Phoenix Brighton. May is an internationally known digital artist working with code and video mapping technologies. Exploring Senses are a not-for profit community arts organisation based in Brighton, who explore learning creatively through play, and working with local communities and young people. Phoenix Brighton is the largest artist led space in the South East and known for creating high quality education activities and exhibitions

Young People’s Workshop
The young people’s workshop is free and open to a limited number of participants aged between 13 and 19. It runs 7:00-9:00pm on Friday 18th September 2015 and 1:00-5:00pm on Saturday 19th September 2015 and participants may attend either or both sessions. Please book via eventbrite to join the workshop sessions and provide a contact phone number and name for the parent guardian.

The event is supported by a Brighton Digital Festival Education Award and is part of Phoenix Brighton’s flagship Artistic Learning Programme.

Public Opening Event
The final installation will be open to the public from 6-9pm on Saturday 19th September 2015. All welcome, no need to book.

Painting With Light workshop: Brighton, March 2016

Video Mapping Workshop Phoenix Brighton

I’m doing another Painting With Light workshop at Phoenix Brighton in March 2016.

Click here to book your workshop place now

Last time we had so many people sign up I had to add an extra date, so even though it’s a while off, do please book up and we can schedule further dates if necessary.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Painting With Light 1.5 BETA


A new beta version is available for testing that features the following major changes:

  • A brand new plugin that does texture sequencing
  • Compiled under, and tested with Windows 10


Painting With Light 1.5.1000 BETA for Windows

Painting With Light 1.5.1000 BETA for OSX

As this is a beta, I haven’t written up the Sequencer plugin just yet, but here’s some basic instructions.

The sequencer automates switching between textures.  This can be done manually (by double-clicking on column headers and individual textures) or automated based on time duration or number of times the texture has been played.

  1. Open the plugin window via the Windows Menu -> Sequencer
  2. Click on Texture: Add to add a new texture
  3. Click on Column: Add to add a new column
  4. Drag textures from the Textures window to the rows and columns of the sequencer
  5. Select a sequencer texture by clicking on the header where it says ‘Tex 1’, ‘Tex 2’, etc…
  6. Draw with the normal drawing tools

Rewind Action

When a texture is activated, you can have it:

  • Just play normally, as though you’d selected it manually
  • Rewind to the beginning, if it isn’t currently being used on any other shape
  • Always rewind it

Exit Action

When a texture has finished playing (reaching either its set duration or play count) you can have it do the following actions:

  • Nothing
  • Clear – removes the current texture
  • Jump to next – advances the current texture to the next column (or wraps around to the first column)
  • Jump to previous – moves the current texture to the previous column (or wraps around to the last column)
  • Jump to random – jumps to a random column
  • Jump to column – jumps to a specific column (use the drop-down underneath the action to choose the column)

There are also options for controlling all the rows at the same time.  The ‘All to …’ actions do the same actions as above but for all textures.

Other Controls

  • Double-click on the column header to change all the textures to that column
  • Double-click on a texture to activate it
  • Select one or more cell with the mouse and change the duration and/or play count
  • If you set the duration to 4.5 (for instance) the selected textures will play for 4.5 seconds and then perform the action.
  • If you set the play count to 0 (zero) the texture will loop infinitely.  If you set it to 1 it will play once and then perform the action.
  • Select one or more cells and click on the Clear button to remove those textures

Painting With Light 1.4.970


There was an unexpected change in the ecommerce software that Painting With Light uses to control its registration resulting in licences being made invalid.

  • NEW: Edit Tool that can move any shape (including Brush and Roller) and edit shapes by double clicking on them
  • NEW: Mesh subdivision supports linear and bezier interpolation
  • CHANGE: Vertex mapping is now supported on Bezier, Polygon, and all line tools
  • CHANGE: Using the mouse wheel, you can now zoom out even further
  • FIX: Cursor wasn’t always hidden when mouse left the window
  • FIX: The mapping window wasn’t handling output rotation properly
  • FIX: The registration system broke due to a change in the ecommerce software

Click here to download and read the full change log.

Painting With Light: Version 1.4.943


Painting With Light 1.4.943 is now available for download for Windows and OSX.

The two big changes to this release are:

  1. The demo version will now load and save paintings
  2. The painting file format has changed

It will still be able to load your old paintings but it will only save in the new format.

Click here to download and read the full change log.

Painting With Light 1.4.898


Painting With Light version 1.4.898 is now available for download.

This release fixes one critical bug, and includes some important work done on the core video loading and playback code, as well as a minor improvement to the finding of brushes and textures when loading a painting.

Critical Fix

Once of the previous releases re-enabled loading of pwl files by file association under Windows.  On some computers this resulted in a crash if the output window hadn’t actually opened yet.

Better Video Support

Many people use many different formats of video with Painting With Light depending on what operating system they have,  what kind of hardware and software they use, what kind of workflow they want.  Painting With Light aims to support as wide a range of video formats as possible to fit in with your existing processes but it has previously worked better with certain formats over others.

In this release lot of work has gone into retuning the video playback code with the aim of improving compatibility with a much wider range of video formats, and fixing issues when the videos loop back to the beginning.

New Asset Handling

When saving a painting as a PWL file, Painting With Light saves the full path to all of the brushes and textures that are used in the painting.  This is fine when you’re just working on a single computer, but if you want to copy the files to a different computer, or share them over Dropbox or such like, these full paths will probably become invalid for the receiving computer.

In this release Painting With Light will first look for the brushes and textures in their original location, then it will look for them in the brushes and textures windows, and finally (and this is the new bit) it will look for the files in the same directory as the PWL file.

So, to copy a PWL file, just include all the brushes and textures in the same directory, and Painting With Light should now find them without you having to do anything.

As ever, please let me know if you are experiencing (new or old) issues with this latest release.  Also, it would be nice to know if the new video playback code is working better for you all.

Painting With Light new manual and tutorial

painting_with_light_milkdrop_spoutMy video mapping software Painting With Light has been living on it’s own website since it launched.  I’ve been planning to incorporate it onto the main website for a while now, and you may have noticed that this process is now underway.

By having all my software on one site I have less web admin to do and it provides a more consistent interface.

I’ve also been working on a new Painting With Light manual to replace the wiki and this is now available here.  I’m still working on it but it contains all the information from the wiki (and more) and can even be downloaded in a PDF for offline reference.

Additionally, there is a new Painting With Light tutorial that uses Winamp, Spout, and Milkdrop to feed live audio visualisation graphics into PWL for video mapping.

Finally, there was a minor release of Painting With Light over the weekend.  Version 1.4.893 is available for download on both Windows and OSX.