VISUALIST – a hardware visual effects synthesizer

[Berto] wrote in to tell us about the visual effects synthesizer he built. It works as a pass-through for a video signal, rendering crisp clean images into a more psychedelic flavor like the one seen above. On the one hand this does a dishonor to the high-quality video devices we carry around in our pockets these days. On the other hand it will make some really interesting background video at a party or at your local dance club.

This is not a filter for a PC, or an FPGA-based processing system. A set of analog parts alter the incoming composite video (NTSC or PAL formats) and pipes the result to a television or projector. [Berto] included controls to alter the effects. They’re mounted on a panel and everything is given a home inside of a handy carrying case. Check out the video clip after the break to get a better idea of the video manipulations this things can pull off.

12 thoughts on “VISUALIST – a hardware visual effects synthesizer

  1. This is extremely cool! Since I’m an enormous video nerd, I wonder how hard it would be to implement these in RGB instead of composite, looks like I have some reading to do.

    1. Thank you ;-) This Benq 37″ TV was one of the first HD TV’s here in Europe. Price in 2005:1750 euro or 2250 dollar. It’s a first generation quality TV.

  2. Having 2 analogue video FX units I would like to add this to one of them. One has ckt bending with audio. They both break down to RGB, process then recombine. This is the bomb for liv-ing up the joint with a band. Here analogue rules because delay messes with live content.

  3. do you use the audio i see you put the red and white to the box but were there go next or do you have a audio out on it so you can put a audio systeem on it. but cool project you make so far

    1. The stereo audio in- and output plugs are connected together in case you want to go to an (headphone)amplifier or TV sound input. The soundboard taps the stereo signal and makes it to a mono signal.

    1. The 4 video FX are presets. You can choose them by pressing short the button “Colour Select”. This will change the color combinations adressed to the 7 (or less)luminance levels. The presets are: GRB,RBG,BGR,BRG. The switch IC7 shows the presets by 4 LED’s.

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