For many years I have been designing shows and performing live video (VJing). These shows ranged from local nightclubs like Beta to performing large venues with international acts including Skrillex, Amon Tobin, The Orb and more.
I started off with all analog VHS/NTSC equipment before the hardware caught up to allow realtime digital mixing and effects on HD video. We used to carry a large wooden crate of VHS tapes, 2 full height tower PCs and projectors the size of a coffee table into the venues. Thanks to digital technology including better video codecs, I now only bring a laptop and MIDI controller!
In addition to performing by mixing clips and effects, I have been contracted to create custom software for some big name clients including Black Eyed Peas and Plaid (Warp Records).
These projects were special because in each case, the idea was to create software to give the tour exactly the look and control they needed, while integrating with the rest of the show in both a hardware sense, and in the art direction sense.
Over the years of building iOS apps, I have developed a strong fondness for the intricacy and power of AVFoundation, the framework that powers all multimedia across the Apple ecosystem.
I’ve applied AVFoundation in many apps, utilizing video and still capture from the various cameras on the devices, as well as video recording / editing, depth field tracking, audio synthesis and more.
Across all these projects, there is always something they have in common - the video must be encoded! I have worked with a wide variety of encoding situations, including the nuance of dialing performance for playback in either direction for Audi interactive brochures, getting the best streaming performance from the North Face Mountain Athletics workout app, or encoding VJ content to the lightning fast but huge file size DXV codec for GPU-enhanced performance in Resolume.
I took a circuitous path through college. First, attending the engineering college before switching to fine art, then ultimately dedicating myself to Mathematics. Talk about well rounded!
In my study of Mathematics, my main areas of interest were Fourier Analysis, analytic geometry and probability. Fourier Analysis (FFT) is of course of extreme importance to video encoding as the codecs attempt to optimize bandwidth by tweaking frequency domain characteristics. Analytic geometry might as well be the base course for anything related to advanced UI development, and has been of extreme use throughout my career.
In my quest to become a computer graphics specialist, I made it a priority to understand the computer-inside-the-computer, also known as the GPU. I wrote a 3D driving game engine for iOS from scratch that made heavy use of Vertex Buffer Objects, allowing the device to render millions of triangles per frame. Additionally, I have had a keen interest in writing GLSL shader programs for fun and utility!
As interfaces get more complex, and powerful parallel processing applications become in more demand, understanding the GPU is a very relevant skill. Nerdy - but relevant!!
(Here’s a cool little example of a GLSL shader I’ve been toying with : https://www.shadertoy.com/view/XtGGR1)
I love living in Denver’s Golden Triangle neighborhood, where there is a great city vibe, quality museums, a great bike path, and I can walk past the nightclubs, glad to know that I’m over all that! Besides, it couldn’t hurt to live close to work, could it?
All this technology has only one purpose - to facilitate, enhance and deliver the vision of those creating great content. That's what's inspiring about working on the technical side - knowing that the tools you create will allow great stories to be told. That's exciting!
Shown here is my 2013 film "Beauty Must Suffer" documenting and reimagining a fashion runway show for jewelry designer Andrea Li. Shot on Red and edited in Final Cut, this project was my vision to bring fashion shows to a new place. I was assisted by many talented people in the models, cameramen, lighting and so much more.
Kris Collins : K@RGB.nu