This is a fairly simple Quartz Composer visualisation that I developed to be a screensaver or to run in the background of an environment to help develop an atmosphere. The idea originally came from when I was walking past the Chalk Hotel in Woolloongabba in winter and noticed that they had big LCD’s on a couple of walls playing a video loop of a fire to help create the sense of warmth and a warm atmosphere, even though there was almost no heat actually being produced by the LCD’s.
What I have created here is floating plasma that slowly floats from the bottom to the top of the screen and accumulates at the top. Audio input is taken from the microphone and combined with an LFO so that it is constantly varying between the base colours that the LFO covers and then other colours dependent on audio spikes. The audio input is also used to make the plasma “shy”, that is, as the input volume increases, the plasma starts to get smaller and disappear until the volume starts to subside again, then it comes back.
The basis of this is created with a Quartz Flame Image patch, ideally, I would have liked to redo this with a more controllable particle system, but that is for another time.
Download the Quartz Composer file here. Note that this requires OS X 10.5 Leopard. It will not work in Tiger as I have used patches that were not available in Tiger.