Quartz VJ App

scalf's picture

I was curious if anybody else had made a composition in Quartz Composer for VJ or live video purposes?

I have found this to be one of the easiest environments to work in and I was curious if anybody had applied this ease to a full program that was robust and reliable enough to be used in live productions?

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knaut's picture
Re: Quartz VJ App

I'm a VJ and use QC compositions in almost all of my work.

I don't use compositions as standalone apps, though this is entirely possible and attempts have been made (names escape me right now). I wouldn't build a VJ program in QC personally unless it was a small show and I knew exactly what I'd need… all the leg work and potential crashing would be too much worry for me.

Instead, I use VDMX, which is a great Mac VJ program and uses Quartz Compositions for almost everything… layer sources, layer effects, and plugins that open up all sorts of custom programming opportunities. I consistently make plugins like in QC for VDMX that let me control visual sets with Wiimotes, Leap Motion, etc.

Here's Vidvox's wiki on the subject: http://vidvox.net/wiki/index.php/Quartz_Composer

It's worth checking out if you want to use QC for VJ purposes.

jrs's picture
Re: Quartz VJ App

jersmi's picture
Re: Quartz VJ App

I used to run crazy QC comps all the time for live shows, always different, performance art, contemporary dance, video for bands, interactive camera sensing stuff. It's possible, and I kept it up because the results were always well received. Looking back I think it was reckless and unprofessional. And it was stressful. All those noodles in a live show -- not good. Use a host. VDMX is awesome.

itsthejayj's picture
Re: Quartz VJ App

You be surprised how many of us come from this type of background.

Who here remembers Roger Boltons Quartonian? Only 8 years old now :)

jd's picture
Re: Quartz VJ App


I used to run crazy QC comps all the time for live shows, always different, performance art, contemporary dance, video for bands, interactive camera sensing stuff. It's possible, and I kept it up because the results were always well received. Looking back I think it was reckless and unprofessional. And it was stressful. All those noodles in a live show -- not good. Use a host. VDMX is awesome.


Yes, this is almost word for word my experience... VDMX is fabulous. Think of it as a lego set for vjs... Whadyaa wanna make? The fact that you can then leverage in all your QC work is indispensable for me... Good luck

scalf's picture
Re: Quartz VJ App

I am pleasantly surprised to see how many people have experienced the same type of situations.

I have been using a Quartz based composition I call "SimplMix" for live Vj purposes over the past few years. I really like developing in Quartz but the comp is getting huge, has many noodles, and as some referenced, can be "reckless, unprofessional, and stressful" operating on such a foundation. Having a backup is essential.

However, I really like what this program can do, and I feel it is markedly different from those Vj apps I've used - VDMX, GrandVJ, Modul8, etc - so I would really like to keep the idea evolving and share what I have been working on.

I guess I'm trying to gauge if the Kineme community has any members that are interested in trying to further develop such a program?

jeanpoole's picture
Re: Quartz VJ App

You might like 2VP - http://www.2v-p.tv/

I'm also fond of using QC within VDMX.. It's easy to have whatever QC sliders and buttons you need - appear within the VDMX interface... http://vidvox.net/wiki/index.php/Quartz_Composer

GL's picture
Re: Quartz VJ App

I alway VJ just with QC. I make macro's to avoid too much noodles distracting me. To make it MIDI friendlyI make every parameter I publish 0 - 1.

I work a lot with paper and webcams, sometimes a layer with stoptmotion (JPG's), video or abstract background. As my VJ work is a lot based on image rather than 3D stuff it works good for me.

it started with having no money for VDMX : ) But now I'm fine and can work quickly with always editting QCstuff live if needed.

Serious Cyrus's picture
Re: Quartz VJ App

I actually used one of my complex compositions as a basis to teach myself development in OSX. I first started building it as a standalone app using quartz builder from the guys here. However it was still limited by some aspects of QC.

Next I moved into xcode and started building an app around the composition, there are stock components that can be used to easily build a qc player, and interface builder makes it easy to design your own interface.

Then you can start working out how to break up your huge compositions into smaller chunks and chaining them together using the qcrenderer class and opengl views, opening up more flexibility with the interface builder and internal functionality.

Finally I started replacing the compositions themselves with my own openGL code.

I found it an excellent way to learn, as you could slowly progress from a simple app to control your own compositions, quite easy to do in xcode (if you have some programming experience), and slowly add more features and functionality as you become more familiar with the development environment.

dust's picture
Re: Quartz VJ App

yes quartz is a good program to create your own vj programs or to create content for other applications.