From iLab Cookbook

Demos: Cambience

Cambience is a program designed to allow people to network their webcams and monitor motion on the periphery through the use of ambient sound effects. Cambience allows you to create your own mappings in real time between video and sound through a visual programming environment.

Cambience can be useful for:

Similar to the Community Bar, Cambience allows for custom modules to be loaded without requiring a program recompile. This leaves the possibility open for programmers to add their own modules to Cambience as they wish. (Documentation and Template Project coming soon.) Cambience comes standard with the User, Audio, Camera, and Tools modules.


Basic Instructions

To add webcam regions:

  1. Click on the green "+" symbol below the webcam image in the top lefthand corner, so that it is depressed.
  2. Draw a new rectangular region onto the webcam image. The Region Properties box will be visible in the Camera tab below.
  3. Give your region a name and description. You may also change the color of the region if you wish.

To edit webcam regions:

  1. Mouseover the edge of the region in the webcam image until the cursor changes. Click on the edge. (Alternately you can select a region by name using the dropdown box.)
  2. A border with resizing anchors appears around the region. Use the 4 corner anchors or 4 edge anchors to alter the size. Click on the hatched edge to move the whole region.

Saving/Loading Region Schemes

  1. Click on the ... button above the webcam image to make the Local Camera Settings window appear.
  2. Click on the Region Schemes tab.
  3. Click on the Save As button to save your current region configuration in a .cam file.
  4. If you have already saved the scheme, click Save to overwrite with the current configuration.
  5. You may quickly flip between existing schemes by clicking on the .cam files in the Saved Schemes list.
  6. You may clear the current scheme and start anew using the New button.

Mirroring/Flipping the Camera Image

  1. Click on the ... button above the webcam image to make the Local Camera Settings window appear.
  2. Click on the Settings tab.
  3. In the Camera Image groupbox, use the Camera Flippage dropdown to select your desired flippage.

To monitor webcam regions:

  1. Find a region in the Remote Regions box, in the Camera tab below the webcam image. You may click on the camera to view all regions, or click on each individual region to view it's positioning relative to the webcam image. Note: this box will contain both the local webcam regions and the remote webcam regions of any other users.
  2. Drag the region into the Ecology workspace to the right. A region item will appear.
  3. Click and drag the hooks and sockets (filled circles and circle outlines on either side of the region item) and drop on other sockets and hooks to make connections. Note that a hook can have multiple connections emerging from it, but a socket may only have one connection entering it.

To add audio:

To control signals using Intermediate Items:

  1. Click on the Toolbox tab on the lefthand side of the screen.
  2. The toolbox contains a list of utility items that can be dragged to the Ecology. Click on an item in the list to view a description of what it does.
  3. Some items such as the Threshold and Booster have a details pane that is hidden. Click on the arrow at the bottom of the item to expand the details pane, or right-click to pin it open.
  4. The Time Item is useful for making Cambience respond to the time of day (or year, month, week, hour, minute). The Booster Item has a special input for time adjustment, and can be used to compensate for varying lighting conditions between day and night.
  5. The Threshold and Booster items can be used to morph a low signal to a higher range. This is useful if you want a region's Over All Motion to affect Audio Volume, so that the Audio can reach maximum volume even with a small amount of over all motion.

Download and Installation



Update History


Retrieved from
Page last modified on July 25, 2007, at 12:14 AM