Transform video and audio to art.

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System Requirements:

macOS 10.14 or above



Spectra is a Mac and iOS app for creating computational art from video and audio.


Settings files store the parameters that describe the art form and include:


• Control values
• Color palettes
• Audio samples


With built-in presets, video and audio samples you can generate cool art immediately! Then customize with your own settings, video and color palettes.


Spectra supports Live Photos: On iOS, you can pick a live photo with the image picker and its video and audio will be extracted and used.


More settings are available within the apps: select 'Show More Settings' from the File menu on either plaform.


You can save settings in the ‘MySettings’ table of the presets pane, or in iCloud with 'Save Settings in iCloud' in the File menu in iOS and directly on your Mac. This is one way to share settings between platforms.


Saved settings and presets will include the current color palette - which you may have created yourself from the ‘Colors’ pane - and the current audio.


On the Mac the presets tables are located on the right side of the Spectra window. In iOS open the 'Presets' pane:



Video frames can be used for creating color palettes for drawing, and the audio is used to modulate line or arc length - the components of the paths Spectra draws.


A color palette generator is in the colors pane, where you also can quickly switch between video, settings file, variable, random or grayscale palettes. The variable palette generates color using a given color and a periodic trigonometric function. Generating colors in this way is fun with unlimited surprising results.


Using color and sound from videos various art forms are generated automatically with with attributes dependent on the values of user selected parameter controls.These values can be stored and reloaded from settings files on both platforms.



Use your device videos, screen recordings or your favorite theatrical movies as input. You can use the audio of the video, or load a separate audio file.



Using the controls in the various tab panes - labelled Lines, Size, Type, Scale, Color, Label and Audio - the graphic preview will reflect the state of the controls.



The output can be printed from high resolution PNG images, or you can output the art as resolution independent PDF files to print at any resolution supported by a particular printer.



Spectra can be used as a platform for educators to integrate mathematical computation with creative art.


Although Spectra does not teach these concepts it can be used as a fun visualization and experimentation of applied math.


Numerous mathematical concepts can be introduced and illustrated through the art forms Spectra mathematically generates:


• transformations, functions, plots and parameterization
• plane geometry: lines, triangles, circles, chords
• angles, rotation, trigonometry, radians
• distance, arc length, area
• randomness


4 basic art forms whose names are derived from the math:


• linear
• radial
• arc
• chord


Each Spectra graphic is merely a path composed of lines, circle arcs and chords. Each part corresponds to a particular frame of the video and sound level at the same time.


When using video as a color source every color is chosen as the average color of the frame.


Various other parameters you can adjust include:


• inner and outer radius
• zoom and 2 different arc length modes
• use of audio for line width and length modulation
• random, grayscale and parametrized color palettes
• random variability in frame selection ranges
• descriptive title label
• art aspect ratio
• line capping and width
• alpha gradient : the transparency of each part can diminish gradually over time so it is apparent what other parts it may overlap
• path filling to create solid pie shapes


To view the variety type of art you can generate peruse the Gallery, or the Settings - because all settings are art forms that have been generated and saved by Spectra,


For your convenience...


• Presets Table: Select from many control, color and sound settings sets. Then customize by changing the control, color and sound, say from another settings file.


• You can save your settings, including the colors and audio samples for reuse on both platforms.


• Two sample videos.


• Audio Samples: Additional audio files are built into the app, in particular many presets contain sample audio. This enables you to use the app "out of the box."




Try the demo. Fully functional.