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.


  1. DanAdamKOF says:

    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.

  2. NewCommentor1283 says:

    C.S.K. ing

    Chroma, Shift, Key -ing

    … i THINK its called

  3. Anhalonium says:

    This would be awesome hooked up to a camera and projected onto a club wall!

  4. John U says:

    I thought the picture on all Benq TV’s looked like that.

  5. echodelta says:

    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.

  6. ferdinand says:

    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

  7. xai says:

    what if it is 4 analogue vidoe FX what will happen.. ?

    • Berto says:

      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.

  8. BlackEdition says:

    any chance you could put together a parts list? i’d love to build one of these and i don’t want to miss any parts.

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