after handing out the roadmap for what's to come last time, we are back again with a new release of cables.gl.
Head over to the changelog to see all the changes one-by-one, but read on to get a rundown of some highlights.
You will find that we improved the workflow of collaboration even more, give you some nifty tools for VJing, let you organize your favourite patches and make you animate your 3D models even easier. And that's not even all of it!
Cables already has the means to edit patches and view on other devices or windows in near real-time for quite some while. This needed a networking connection, proper setup of credentials and still comes with a few drawbacks, though.
With the "ExternalCanvas" op, most of these are a thing of the past. Patch live - in a club of your choice - project to different displays, test on second monitor...
VJing with cables
Open your patch, add the ExternalCanvas op, put it somewhere into your MainLoop and click "Open Window". Pick different names, if you need multiple windows.
Tweak some parameters and see things update in real-real-time.
GltfScene now has better support for morph targets and shape keys (weighted morph targets) or vertex animations.
This makes it possible to - for example - create unique generative animations of predefined shape states - or simply export complex vertex animations that were created in an external tool without skinning or rigging.
To improve the workflow of finding, remembering and working on patches we are adding patchlists to the mix of options to collect a bunch of patches together.
Patchlists integrate nicely with all the other "lists" in cables, be it teams, collaborators, featured patches, ...
Adding a patch to a list - or managing which of your lists the patch appears on - can be done right on the patchpage.
Via the new "Patchlists" option in the "My Patches" navigation you can create new lists, make them private or keep them as "unlisted". If go for "public" visibility, the list will be shown to everyone.
Share your favourite patches containing cubes, best practices, curated demos, ...
Good-Bye Secret URL
The new way of deciding on visibility of everything finally made it's way to patches themselves.
Gone are the days of creating, finding and copy-pasting a secret URL to share a patch with certain people. Just put your patch on "unlisted" and share the URL.
All of this now integrated nicely into the new patch summary and a refined patch-page. Find the teams and lists a patch is related to right where they belong. The new patch summary in the editor also gives you a bit more space.
Click any free space on the background of the editor to check it out!
Working With The Editor
Working on the releases also involves a lot of patching. Sometimes we stumble across something that could improve the general "quality of life" when working with the cables editor. Here is what we found this time:
What started as an idea on github - and already made its way into the last releases - finally made us go all the way and make adding math to your patches way easier.
Press "Esc", type "/100", press "Enter" and you just added a Divide op that already divides by 100...check all the other ones, as well!
The GPU-Profiler shows you how long each drawcall takes to render on the GPU. You can analyze which texture effects or instancers take the most time.
Use the GPU- and CPU-Profiler to fine out what is slow in your patch and optimizing.
You really want to isolate an op? Need to cut a few links at once?
Simply hold the "y"-key and draw with your mouse, where you want to cut, and they are gone. Like a hot knife through butter.
These were all our highlights of updates to platform and editor.
The changelog mentions a few more improvements. But here are all new ops:
To wrap things up:
If you want to meet some of the people behind cables, there is a good chance at deadline demoparty in Berlin.
Check our the awesome invitation "BRVTL" by "slay bells" and "farbrausch", that we were kindly allowed to snatch a screenshot from for this blogpost:
If that doesn't keep you exploring for a few days: more fixes and improvements can be found in the changelog, as always.
With this release being about sharing, and contribution we reworked the credits page on cables.gl to include all the contributors in the community, all the open source projects that we are standing on the shoulders of...and most notably the companies that sponsored cables development in the past.
If you want your logo on that page, contact us to find a spot on our backlog for features you'd love to see integrated.
Thanks again to everyone that contributed to the development of cables so far!
To not make this post too text-heavy. Here are some new ops for you to check out:
That about wraps it up for this post. Stay tuned for more information on changes in
We picked up on where we left in the last release and moved our beloved example room to VR. WebXR-VR is coming along quite nicely these days and we updated our experimental VR ops and made them work on many devices.
We got ourselves some headsets, jumped in on the task and added two new Ops to the cables library: WebXrVr and WebXrVrController.
Once you put the WebXr.Vr-Op
into your patch and open it on a capable device, you will be presented
with a "headset icon" on top of your patch. Click it and you can dive right in!
With just these two ops, you to add VR capabilities and controls to your
patches easily. Check out the examples and see how easy it is to
experience your patches in Virtual Reality.
As said, this is the very first version of WebXr in cables and we would
love to hear from you. If you have any feedback on devices, features or
workflow, please let us know.
It works great on devices like Quest 2, HoloLens or many Android phones. Without a headset, you can use this handy extension for Chrome and Firefox. Try it:
Collaborating with people is a huge part of how we think cables should work. Be it via public patches, remixing, sharing or working together on private projects.
We now introduce better control of who can see, play around or edit a patch.
This is explained in full detail in the documentation. Here is a quick rundown:
Any team member, or user with a secret link will see a "request access" button on the patchpage. Click it to let the owner of the patch know, that you want to help them work on the patch.
For example: You can safely ask for help in the forums using a secret link and give read only access to people that offer help.
To not have you flooded with a lot of requests, this button is not shown for public patches.
The owner of the patch will see new requests on their invite page, and also be notified with a red bubble the next time they open cables.gl.
It's now up to them to decide on the level of access. In a nutshell: "Full Access" allows everything, "Read Only" allows to play around but never save the patch.
We also added this functionality to invites, so whenver you want to share a patch with someone you can now decide if they should be able to make changes to your patch.
Working with collaborators has become more centralized. You can now decide on the level of access even after accepting requests or sending out invitations.
Simply open the "Collaboration"-Tab in the settings of any patch and invite new users, see pending requests or change the permissions of current collaborators. Even for patches created before this update!
Easier Life In The Editor
Making your patching-experience a better one, improving on workflows and making it easier to keep your patches clean and tidy is one of the most important goals of every release.
Let's see what we came up with this time to make the life of patching even more enjoyable.
Do you also like your patches cleanly organized and aligned in a aestetically pleasing manner? Then this new feature will make you smile.
The editor will now show a vertical line when dragging ops around. You will see when they "snap" to other ops that are on the same position, vertically. No more excuses for crooked cables!
We added more context based suggestions for fitting ops. So now you have a shortcut to create Texture-, StringEditor-, DivElement-Ops and all the fitting VizOps for the type of the port.
The opsearch dialog will now be even more clever and allow you to create and use variables or triggers to organize your patch. You can even decide if you want to set the variable directly or control setting of the variable with a trigger.
You might have encountered situations where it was very tedious to link ops to each others. Be it because of display size or input method. With the new "longpress" functionality in the editor that's a thing of the past.
To use it, click on any op and hold until a white line will appear. Now, navigate to the op you want to connect and select it. You will be given the known selection of fitting ports to choose from.
We enabled both of these features in the editor, they can easily be turned off in your editor preferences.
All the simple math ops to work on numbers in cables are now quickly accessible via shortcuts.
Press escape to open the opsearch dialog. Then simply enter +, -, * or / to add the appropriate op to your patch.
You don't even have to press enter anymore!
Shiny New Toys And Some Old Friends
To facilitate for the (pretty common) task of playing media files, or even controlling the cables timeline, we created "PlayerControlPanel". The op gives you a simple UI to work with AudioBufferPlayer, TimelinePlayer or anything else that somehow works with a "current time". Check the example for a timeline-based audioplayer that allows for skipping and navigating in the track!
When debugging the state of your patches, all the Viz-Ops come in handy. If you have to deal with text, or long strings in general.
VizStringLong will now show you all the content you need to get an idea on what's going on.
This new op will make getting an overview of your arrays a breeze. Connect any array with numerical values to it an it will show the distribution of it's contents as a piechart.
If you need the values named, add an array of strings to the op to have your piechart labeled with.
GradientTexture GradientTexture received a trigger port that allows you to randomize the colors it outputs.
The number of points you gradient will have is still up to you to decide. You can manually
trigger and refine the generated gradient or just let it be completely
random by triggering it, say, at a certain Interval.
The most simple
example would be to mask the background of a webcam image, but we are
sure you will come up with much more creative uses for this feature.
FreezeMeshes lets you combine multiple meshes into one geometry, to optimize performance.
With GeometryToObj you can generate an .obj file from a geometry. For example, you can import your geometries in any 3d software (like blender).
More Ammo For Your Patches
With the release back in June we introduced a new way of working with physics in cables. ammo.js.
We got a lot of feedback on that and also spent some more time on our own to see how it performs. This resulted in quite some changes, additions and improvements to the ops that were introduced almost four months ago.
AmmoBody got an option to "be" a triangle mesh, it now can work with an array as an input to create multiple bodies at once. To optimize performance when using physics in only parts of your projectAmmoWorld now cleans up all the bodies internally, when set to inactive via an input boolean. You will also find a new output port for all collisions that currently happen in the world.
AmmoCollision, for that matter, now can filter collisions more fine-grained. You can match the name of either body of the collision using "exact", "startswith" or "contains" matching. So "ball collides with any wall" is possible and now also works well with AmmoEmitter. Stick all of this together with AmmoRaycast, now outputting hit positions.
Show us how you create games with cables!
Things That Also Happened
For a complete overview on what changed, head over to the changelog, it is quite the read.
If you are still not done with reading, check out our updates to the documentation. We added a new section on coding your own VizOps, as already mentioned there is a whole write-up of the (new) permission system to patches and we moved the section on embedding exported patches into your website to a more prominent place.
And last, but not least, we added some cool new projects to our "hall of fame". Check out made with cables to see some impressive "real world" projects that were made with cables.
It has been a great big year in the cables-universe - we made a lot of changes, improved stuff that was already there and added new features. We even fixed one or two bugs!
The cables-community was busy and growing in 2021 - we see a lot of new people in our regular meetups, registered users are constantly increasing and so is the number of created and published projects. Keep up the good work, and join the discussion on discord, the forums and the public issue tracker.
If you feel lost, need a quick introduction or want to know how to use new features, check our YouTube channel that revved up again in the second half of 2021 with a new tutorial video every week. Like, subscribe, comment...as they say!
Shall we dive into what happened in the last 12 Months? Well, let's!
The Big Changes
After almost a year in development, we switched the cables patch editor from being rendered in SVG to an accelerated WebGL rendered one - as it should be! We took it a step further and deleted the SVG renderer entirely from the user interface in the November release.
Having the editor no longer draw operators and cables with SVG but being completely rendered in WebGL gives massive improvements in regards to performance and a lot of new possibilities for improvement.
With this step made, watch out for more improvements to the UI to make your patching-life easier, quicker and even more fun!
Workflows with imported 3D GLTF Scenes in cables got a major boost over the last year. We introduced a lot of new ops that make working with materials, cameras and animations exported from i.e. Blender a breeze. It all culminated in adding support for skins and bones in November, and while we were at it (and since we still target the web) we also added Draco Compression support. You can even compress your 3D models right inside the cables editor file manager!
Even though we are super happy to see these already used "in the wild", we flanked these features with a few tutorial videos to guide your workflow transition a bit easier. Check them out!
In The Wild
Apart from a few real-world projects we also set aside a bit of time to teach cables to students and interested audiences all around Europe. Sometimes remotely, sometimes in-person. We held workshops at Hyper Island, returned to Muthesius Art School in Kiel - spreading the word on demo making, and introduced cables to the students at Ostfalia University as well as Beckmans Design School.
Thanks to everyone inviting us and giving us a chance to show the possibilities of cables to various audiences. If you'd like to have cables as part of your curriculum in 2022, feel free to contact us on discord. We'd love to come!
For the first time, we invited the cables community to take part in nodevember - a month of challenging topics to create patches for. And what a month it was! Brave participants created a staggering 53 patches and shared them with the world. It was incredible to see the cables community being super-active during November and having new public patches for the given topics everyday!
We even made it to the big list of software used for the online event, awesome! We will definitely be doing this again in 2022, so reserve November for some intense patching sessions!
What's Next In 2022?
As you might have read between the lines, we are super happy with the last year. Thanks to everyone contributing to cables in one way or the other, be it by joining our discord meetups, giving feedback on releases, hinting us at new things to try out, helping other people on discord and the forums or also "just" spreading the word on socialmedia. Thanks!
But are we done? Far from it. Be prepared for another year of new and improved stuff in cables, like working on patches together simultaneously, better ways of contributing code to cables, more features using your webcam for AR or a complete rework of the cables community websites. Stay tuned!
again: happy new year everyone, we are looking forward for the next 12 months with you!
Congratulations to all of the participants in our very first #Nodevember with cables challenge! The month long patching extravaganza finished up with more great patches that we were all excited to see.
It sure wasn't easy balancing work, life and creative brainstorming prompted by the official topics but we all enjoyed seeing your posts each day! To all of the participants, we've prepared a small package of goodies to ship out - expect those soon!
Check out what everyone whipped up for last week of the challenge below and you can always see the rest of the submissions in our past blog posts and of course the #nodevember tag in the cables.gl patch library.
Get ready for #Nodevember with cables 2022
As with all things good and fun ... we want more! Next year we hope you too join in and share your cabling skills and tricks. We really enjoyed what the community made and how it inspired us. Truth be told, the discussions we had during the meetups and in our chat gave us some ideas on how to improve our own patches and yes, even create and add features to new cables operators.
Check out the awesome work from the rest of the community as they flexed their node based applications that are posted under the official hashtags on twitter and insta - #nodevember and #nodevember2021 .
another release, quite quickly after the one in September but still a massive one. You can see what working on almost 250 issues does on the official changelog, as always.
Worth mentioning in this release are definitely some pretty nifty new features in the UI of the editor. Like grouping Ops into areas or having small visualizations directly next to your Ops. But more on that in a few seconds...
GLTF support in cables got a big update as well with support for skinning, bones and a bit of performance optimizing if you are working with DRACO compression. Time to fire up blender!
We also worked on updating documentation, adding a few more "tips" to the "did you know"-panel. Did you know these exist and you can turn it back on in editor settings?
GLTF skin and bones
GLTFScene can now render skinned meshes that are animated by bones. This means you can now create a "T-Pose Skin"
of a person and use mixamo to easily create a person that is running, fighting or even dancing.
Cables will now automatically replay these animations.
New UI Ops and workflows
The UI of the cables Editor received tons of small improvements, updates and little things that will make your patching-life easier.
With the WebGL-UI now being the only mode to run the editor, the time was right to facilitate the new environment and give you some nifty new features.
Our new Area Op lets you create, color and name areas in the patchfield. Once you created an area you can then select all the Ops that
are in there and move them around freely, a cool new way to organize all the different parts of your patches and move them around.
The new set of Ops starting with "Viz" give you the possibility to visualize data in the patchfield itself.
VizGraph will go one step further and show you a graph of several numbers as they change over time. Compare how your animations and easings align with each other right in your patchfield.
And, last but not least, VizTexture will give you a preview of the Texture at that exact position in the trigger-flow. Super useful to not always have to render them out to the canvas.
If you need to catch up on what has changed, you can check all the "did you know"-images right here.
With the introduction of the new PixelDifference Op cables now provides THE tool for feedback effects.
Use it to calculate the differences between individual pixels which can then be used with PixelDisplacement to create self-modifying feedback effects.
If you find yourself in a situation where you want to change something big in your patch and you fear that stuff will break (and it will, right?), you can now create a quick backup of the current patch to get back to.
This is also helpful to compare what has changed and which exact binge-cabling session broke your patch. Be aware though that you should not edit and save backups, this will set your patch back to that state...then again, that might exactly be why you went back to that version in the first place, right?
Easier Audio workflow
We updated the documentation on when and how and where you are allowed to play audio in browsers. Since there have been questions about this quite a lot, we thought we'd put it into the FAQs.
For even more convenience Ops.WebAudio.Output now displays a small speaker icon in the bottom right corner of your patch to provide the "User Interaction" that is needed to start playback. If the browser is already allowed to playback audio, it will not show. Sweet!
We introduced a new way of recording your patches to video. By using the fairly new Mediarecorder API you are now able to easily record videos of your project from within the editor. Use the new MediaRecorder Op and try different browsers for different supported video codecs ... and also audio-support!
Sharing your work has never been easier!
more new operators!
On top of all the above we added a few more Ops, some by your request on the public issue tracker, for you to work with. Have fun putting them to use!
even more improvements to...
A few of our old favourites have gotten some improvements as well. Be sure to check the changelog to see how these trusted Ops were made even better.
Apart from us working on cables, some of you have shared the amazing things you've created! Be sure to let us know what you make with cables in the future!
Soo...that's that...have fun diving into everything delivered. Join our weekly meetup on Discord for praise and questions. Thanks to everyone providing feedback, bugreports, bugfixes and mental support. Appreciated! Happy patching!
Great to see the participants challenging themselves with new techniques and approaches and we are taking notes!
We linked a few here and to see more just browse the #nodevember tag in our public patch library. You can also check out the #cablesgl #nodevembertags for more patch videos and patch links on social media.
If you'd like to participate and nab a super cool cables.gl sticker and shirt - there is still plenty of time left.
To enter, publish a patch on the cables.gl site with the #nodevember tag or post a video of your patch on social media with the tags #nodevember and #cablesgl .
Here are just a few of them for you to play with and learn from.
Check out our Nodevember website section and the social media #nodevember #cablesgl tags for even more publicly published and top secret experiments from our community as the challenge continues into the 2nd half of the marathon.
If you'd like to participate and have some fun with the official #nodevember creative topics, all you have to do is publish your cables patch with the #nodevember tag set in the settings.
To share it with the global event online audience and our team on social media - tag a video of your patch with #nodevember #nodevember2021 #cablesgl .
Have some questions or want some help with a patch you want to share? We will continue to checkout the challenge with you during our Weekly Meetups on our Discord.
Thanks to all participating so far and we are looking forward to week 3!
Here are the Official channels and hashtags to keep an eye on: