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Eternal Light takes your abundant photographic memories out of the dark to let them shine. Create beautiful timelapse videos with ease.

Take your photographs out of the dark and put them in Eternal Light [EL1] - An OSX app that lets you playback, filter, affect & record an infinite number (100,000+) of images & videos at any speed. All synced to sound and controlled (optionally) via iPhone or iPad.

Idea

I had a rough idea for this project some years ago. I wanted to collect all my photographic memories and build a software tool that would display all my personal digital artifacts chronologically, one after another, at very high speed. The goal was to simulate a near death experience - a wild stream of all visual memories of my life.

At the time, around 2004, i imagined I'd be able to collect around 10,000 images in total. As of today, i have more than 100,000 images, photographs, designs and screenshots sitting in my iPhoto Library. Paradoxically the more images we gather nowadays the more they disappear, their abundance makes them invisible.
One simply cannot sort, select or present these memories to anyone. The light which was once captured with a great many devices is now hidden in our massive hard drives where nobody can see it. Hell knows who (ever) will ...
Eternal Light is all about making this captured light shine again!

Goal

Over the course of the last year I  began developing this very software with a small team. Once we had the basic functionality working we added more and more features and the project grew into something even bigger: a tool which lets you control, filter, present and animate vast amounts of images & videos at your fingertips - synced to any sound. This is Eternal Light.

- Stefan Landrock,
Creator of eternallight.io

Examples

Photos taken from a trip from to Naoishima (Japan). Fixed framerate of approx. ~8fps was used.

A documentary about Ju and me hanging out on the internet via skype. Made out of ~1600 handmade screenshots over the course of 3 years.

This manually controlled piece shows what happens when you accelerate the images to full speed while adding maximum feedback and colors. 

Sound-synced piece using photos from Akihabara (Tokyo), also known as "Electronic City".

Setup

All you need is a decent Mac (Macbook, iMac) running Lion & optionally an iPhone or iPad as a remote Control.

  • At the core we built this tool with Quartz Composer,
    a visual development environment which is part of XCode.
  • We used TouchOSC to build a working Prototype
    for the iPad Controller App.
  • We employed Syphon to be able to make recordings of the output.

Mockups of the Eternal Light Mac App.

What needs to be done

  • Transform the Quartz Composition into a real Mac OSX Application.
  • Add an import & conversion functionality which resizes images to 1080p.
  • Rebuild the Controller as a Universal App for iPhone & iPad as well as a desktop version for Mac.
  • Add sorting and filtering options to the controller.

Deliverables

  • Desktop Application (Mac OSX, Lion / Mountain Lion).
  • Controller App - Universal App for iPhone & iPad (iOS 6).
  • Nicely designed Manual & Guide (PDF).
  • Source of the Eternal Light Quartz Composition Core (under MIT License).

Mockup of the iPad version of the Eternal Light remote control app.

Features

  • Control playback of hundreds of thousands of images.
  • Chose to play images in sequence or randomly shuffle.
  • Playback videos with audio synced or manual retiming.
  • Optional remote control with your iPhone or iPad.
  • Make slideshows at any length and at any speed.
  • Sync to sound - reactive to either volume or frequency.
  • Sync to manually tapped BPM. 
  • Feedback visuals for smoother transitions.
  • Display your images as moving grids.
  • Record everything including sound as a Quicktime movie.
  • Send the output to any app that is able to receive Syphon streams
    (e.g. Resolume).

To make it clear Eternal Light [EL1] is a self-contained piece of software.
There is no communication with the web and no data is stored on an external database. Your images stay wherever you keep them - safe and sound on your computer. This piece of software requires nothing but itself and your images to run & as long as you have a Mac to run it on it'll keep your memories shining - even a thousand years from now!
We say this because we worry about the amount of cloud based software being released these days which relys on a third-party in order to function.

Use Cases for Eternal Light [EL1]

  • You can use the tool to transform all of your photographic memories
    (or parts of them) into a timelapse movie.
  • Use it as a performance device, as the interface gives you simple and powerful controls over streams of images.
  • Use it as a sound-reactive slideshow player.
  • Use it for interactive or non-interactive art installations.
  • Use it to very quickly record audio synced music videos
    out of a series of pictures.
  • Use it along with VJ software and mix it with other sources...
  • Remix & Shuffle videos using our random playback feature.
  • Get inspiration from whole new views of your memories.
  • Easily animate stopmotion footage at either a set framrate or synced to sound.

Since we got Eternal Light working we've watched our memories hundereds of times we always see them differently as perceptions change with different music and speeds. These viewings work as a window into their creator's brain - when you see thousands of images taken by someone at once it gives you a sense of how they see and process the world. As well as all of our photographs we have also collected many screenshots. Watching these with Eternal Light allows you to see how ideas and projects grow and change over time.

37000 photographs and screenshots at a timelapse speed of 10 images per second for 62 minutes. (see more examples here).

Big Picture

There are a number of questions which initially inspired us
to create Eternal Light [EL1]:

  • How do we deal with our increasing load of collected visual memories?
  • How can we interconnect memories of different peoples' lives?
  • How can we make and keep them accessible in the long term (until the end of time)?
  • Who should be able to access them and how are we able to control access?
  • How can we structure our digital artefacts in order to make them independent of new technologies?

Eternal Light is just the first part of our answer to these questions.
Regain control of your images and make them visible again.


Who we are

  • Peter Basma-Lord - Broadcast Engineer & Campaign Manager.
  • Stefan Landrock - Videographer & Communication Designer.
  • Sebastian Kainradl - Quartz Composer Developer.
  • Stephan Schulz - iOS & Mac Developer.

We hope you can see the potential of Eternal Light - from party presentation piece to forgotten memory excavator. Many thanks for taking the time to check us out and even more thanks to everyone who supports us!

Checkout recordings and examples of what you can create using Eternal Light at: http://eternallight.io/recordings

-The Eternal Light team

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The body of Eternal Light is already built and working - the funding we're asking for is to allow us to properly package, bug fix and feature the app.
As such there's no worry of the app itself not appearing.
The biggest challenge we face now is just getting the application finished, the risk being that we run out of funding.
We are certain the amount we're asking for will cover the development we need, however if we were to run into unexpected costs or issues (more than we have budgeted for) development will continue but simply at a slower pace as we'll find funding from our freelance work!
We love this application and we'll do whatever it takes to get it into your hands!

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    I want it right now! Package: Early access to the actual Quartz Composer source code (MIT license) so you can start using Eternal Light immediately - this is the same software we used to make the examples in the video you see here (comes with detailed setup instructions)! Plus the Desktop App (OSX) and Universal App for iPhone/iPad when they're released and recognition with your name in the about section of the Desktop Application. Please note this requires an iOS device and the iOS app TouchOSC which costs ~£4.

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    1 day setup workshop: You´re invited to take part in an 1-day workshop at our studio in Berlin where we'll help you get the tool setup and talk about photographic memories. (This comes with early beta access allowing you to start using Eternal Light as soon as the campaign ends!). Plus - Desktop App (OSX), Universal App for iPhone/iPad, early beta access to the actual Quartz Composer source code (MIT license) , recognition with your name within the about section in the actual Desktop Application. (Early beta access requires iOS device & TouchOSC iOS app).

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    2 day workshop & group exhibition: You´re invited to take part in an 2-day workshop at our studio in Berlin to help get the app setup, help organise your images and talk about photographic memories. This will end in a Group video exhibition & Vernissage Party. Plus - Desktop App (OSX), Universal App for iPhone/iPad, early beta access to the actual Quartz Composer source code (MIT license) , recognition with your name within the about section in the actual Desktop Application. (Early beta access requires iOS device & TouchOSC iOS app).

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    One to one setup: You´re invited to spend a whole day with the developers to help setup the tool, organise your images, chat about the future of our photographic memories & no doubt make some more! In the evening we'll go for dinner and after that drinks in the wonderful city of Berlin! Plus - Desktop App (OSX), Universal App for iPhone/iPad, early beta access to the actual Quartz Composer source code (MIT license) , recognition with your name featured most prominently within the about section in the actual Desktop Application. (Early beta access requires iOS device & TouchOSC iOS app).

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