QuartzCrystal and Low Frame Rates

jersmi's picture

Selecting fps in QuartzCrystal does not compensate for low fps in QC, right? Say I select 30 fps in QuartzCrystal but my composition is showing ~5 fps-- what should I expect to see?

Forgive me if this has been covered in another post.

Btw, QuartzCrystal is much appreciated over here. :)

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cwright's picture

QuartzCrystal renders and records the composition at exactly the frame rate you specify. It's an offline renderer, which means it does not work in real time -- If a frame takes 2 hours to render, and you want to render 60 frames (for a 2-second clip at 30fps), it'll take 120 hours to render, and the video will be as if it played real time. (60 frames @ 2 hours/frame = 120 hours). QuartzCrystal never drops frames because things are taking too long.

If your composition runs in QC at 5 fps, it'll just take 6 times longer to render than realtime, plus the video encoding overhead.

The only place where this gets weird is if you're using system time (which will appear to go much more quickly from the composition's point of view) to drive events -- you should use patch time instead to keep it consistent, regardless of render speed.

jersmi's picture
Thanks so much...

Thought I was seeing some other behavior, but the situation was convoluted by complexity...

gtoledo3's picture
I am going to

I am going to semi-needlessly chime in....

I had a computer doing rendering with Quartz Crystal pretty much all weekend, with the aim of really testing out all of the parameters.

It was suprising to realize that there are certain types of compositions that actually have more visual appeal when rendered at slower frame rates. I had a couple of .qtz's based on the math surface patches, with various lfo's and interpolation effects going on, so that some parts move slowly and smoothly, while others kind of "tweak out". The higher frame rate was irritating looking to me, whereas dropping it down to 7 frames actually changed the feel for the better. That seems to be an exception to the rule.... I wish I would have somehow realized it before waiting all night for render at 30fps!

psonice's picture
glitching too fast

If some effects (particularly glitches) run too fast, they look horrible. What you could do though is use a sample + hold with a signal patch triggering it at 7fps, so that the bits that move to fast run at 7fps but the rest runs smoothly at 30.

manuelzg's picture
image with composition causes crash in Quartz Crystal

hello, i had a problem every time i tried to run quartz crystal it shuts down, so i removed image with compsition, and everything is back to normal, it was my mistake i think coz im in leopard, and image with composition is for tiger,

well just for reference..


toneburst's picture
Maths Surfaces Renders

Any chance of posting some clips of this qtoledo3? I'd be interested to see what you've been doing with the Surfaces shaders.

a|x / toneburst http://machinesdontcare.wordpress.com

gtoledo3's picture
.... I try to release no

.... I try to release no wine before it's time.... no, here you go.

This uses the CISobel filter on the mask image, and edgework with gaussian blur, right before the billboard.... as well as a number of lfo's and interpolation patches...

This is 15fps....

I have some other "versions" of this, and will be messing with it more until I get exactly what I am after.

cwright's picture

Can you send a crash log for when this happens? (or, send a composition with Image With Composition inside)? I might be able to add some code to handle it so at least it doesn't crash...

toneburst's picture
That's really really nice! I

That's really really nice! I love the hand-drawn-ness of it. Looks kinda like an animated blueprint. Very nice effect!

You should try using the new audio tools Audio File Input patch to render an audio-reactive version. I'd love to see that!

Would you mind if I posted a link to the clip on my blog?


gtoledo3's picture
No, of course you can....

No, of course you can.... and I am going to have a higher res variant that I will post later on tonight or tomorrow.

I can see that there is some potential with using filters on the actual image, like the sobel, the emboss, zoom blur, etc...

I am definitely am trying the audio stuff (many many hours so far), and have setup some compositions with the idea of resyncing the audio later.

manuelzg's picture
the error log

i post the logs in the bug reports forum. thanx for your time.

gtoledo3's picture
This is a better

This is a better res, a little longer, slightly different settings...

toneburst's picture
Very nice! I wonder if this

Very nice!

I wonder if this would run in realtime on my MacPro. I mean, with manual controls, but with your post-processing filters in place...


gtoledo3's picture
Hmmm.... it is slow. Your

Hmmm.... it is slow.

Your QTZ is elegant. This is a hack job, plain and simple, knowing full well that it could render in Quartz Crystal no matter how many lfo's and interpolation patches I threw at it. I beg your forgiveness :o)

gtoledo3's picture
Well... I would say,

Well... I would say, download it, checkout the filter part, and then just copy it onto your manual controls. You are really making me want one of those space navigator mouses...

jrs's picture

I get 7-7.5 frames per sec on my macbook pro (with crappy nvidia card......or crappy drivers depending on who you ask)

Whats the mac pro render it at?

gtoledo3's picture
This is really making me

This is really making me realize how lame I am for not maxing out my RAM... pure procrastination.

toneburst's picture
Hack Job

Well, my original QTZ was basically just a reverse-engineered version of something it's MUCh easier to do in VVVV. If you dig down far enough in the composition, you'll find 128 identical macros. I should be able to do the same thing with a single Iterator. That would be the elegant solution. Problem is, it gives half the framerate....

I'm at work at the moment, but I'll download your QTZ and have a look at it on the MacPro when I get home.


gtoledo3's picture
I poked around that VVVV

I poked around that VVVV site a couple of weeks back... and I am trying to digest it all, but my brain is sore!

I would really appreciate you, or anyone for that matter pointing me to a decent resource on learning that, because THAT is what I am really interested in doing with some .qtz.

I about pooped myself when I saw the 128 macros... I noticed that and it was a moment like learning how to align a 2" tape machine or something (to use an analogy from my form Audio Engineer hat...)....

If you can give any pointers on how to get that stuff working in qtz, it would be great, and I would happily share the fruit of my effort :o)

toneburst's picture
I know what you mean- I've

I know what you mean- I've been drooling over some of the example screenshots there for ages. In fact, being able to achieve some of the same things in QC has been one of my major aims since I started messing around with it..

In terms of learning-resources, there's lots of stuff out there, but a lot of it is quite hard to understand, without knowing a bit about the basics of computer graphics. That's where I fall down, really. I've never formally studied any of this stuff, so a lot of the resources out there I found initially very confusing. I'd definitely recommend reading the GLSL Orange Book. It'll tell you all about the GLSL language. I mainly learnt about the language's syntax from that book, and had to go back and try and pick up some more basic concepts later on.

The OpenGL Red Book is a good introduction to basic 3D computer graphics principles. There are lots of other more beginner-friendly 'introduction to 3D graphics' books out there, but I've yet to find one that is based on OpenGL. Most seem to be build around examples in HLSL and C++. You might find the explanations of fundamental concepts useful, but you probably won't be able to run any of the examples on a Mac.

I'd also try and learn a little about HLSL (the M$ equivalent to GLSL), if only so you know how to translate HLSL shaders (of which there are loads out there) to GLSL ones (which there are far fewer of, apparently). The two languages are similar in many ways, and operate on the same basic principles, anyway.

I've also been finding JavaScript quite useful lately, in terms of creating and manipulating control values, and packaging values together into nice neat one-cable structures. There's lots of stuff on JS out there, since it's commonly used in webdesign.

VVVV has been around for a few years, and (as far as I can tell), is largely the work of one person, so it's been able to develop much faster than Quartz Composer. You'll probably find that there are a lot of things VVVV can do that QC can't. On the other hand, with a bit of ingenuity and a sprinkling of code, it's possible to get quite close to some of the more impressive things the VVVV community have come up with. And, of course, the good people at Kineme are adding functionality to QC all the time.


toneburst's picture
Good to hear someone else

Good to hear someone else came from a music/sound background too. I've been making electronic music for years- in fact that's how I got into realtime visual stuff, really.


Scratchpole's picture

I guess this may be useful, but I know nothing: hlsl2glsl-v0.9 http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=179738&package_id=...

toneburst's picture
You'd be much better advised

You'd be much better advised to learn GLSL that to try HLSL2GLSL, in my opinion. That way, you'll understand more about how the shaded works. And, it might work. Never had any success with that app, anyway.