If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you get your work done?

New fortnightly poll: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you get your work done?

You may choose more than one response, or write in your own scenario.

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vade's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

I'd write a replacement.

jersmi's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

vade wrote:
I'd write a replacement.
kosada, meet vade. vade, meet kosada. :)

franz's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

wow, wtf is that !!!!!!

vade's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

Stay tuned.

iaian7's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

Oooooh...as a VFX/motion artist (QC/FxFactory is my go-to-tool inside After Effects right now), I have to ask; any chance this'll turn into a Shake replacement?! :D

vade's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

Unlikely for the time being.

destroythings's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

Wow. I want whatever that is.

Need alpha testers? :)

jersmi's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

vade wrote:
Meet v002
questions, so many questions....

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

This is a question I've heard before but even if Apple doesn't write another single line of QC code it's still usable until one is forced to build for some OS X that absolutely can't run a QC composition. The question is with iMovie, iChat, Keynote, screen saver and one heap of a lot of 3rd party apps in the video space all QC capable, why would they create a kill button for QC and hit then it without replacing it with something “better”. That's the pattern Apple usually takes, although a consumer feature with low adoption e.g. Ping can get wasted without replacement but that's hardly comparable to QC.

It's more likely that QC gets harder and harder to develop for as future OS X versions bring in other frameworks with QC overlap and refuse to bug fix as more conflicts and regressions creep in.

By all means if Kosada has some better ideas let's see them ;-)

dust's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

i was psyched for scene kit in mountain lion. it definitely is bridging the gap between designer and programmers but unfortunately it doesn't bridge the gap as well as qc does in my opinion. the scene kit model loader works awesome, as it imports animations, bones, skins, materials and lights etc... all with a visual editor. it defiantly is a step forward but its proprietary data formats and lack of plugins architecture make it less versatile than i originally thought it was going to be. still though you cant beat how effortless it is set up a skinned kinect skeleton rig or trigger different animation clips and pick things out of scene etc...

Udart's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

Hey - scene kit. Taht was new to me. Never heard of it before. Thanks for the heads up.

harrisonpault's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

hey dust - what are the "proprietary data formats" issues in Scenekit Framework? It looks to require COLLADA (which is a Khronos standard). It also seems to lack for tools to manipulate meshes outside of pre-defined skeleton-based animations. Cool for little self-contained worlds - like a game scene - but not so good if you are thinking more in more plastic creative terms?

smokris's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

usefuldesign.au wrote:
e.g. Ping can get wasted without replacement but that's hardly comparable to QC.

Ping had over 1 million users, and was intended to generate revenue for Apple by enticing users to purchase more media licenses. Neither is true of QC — the existence of QC sells very few Macs. Ping was more financially-relevant to Apple than QC has ever been, yet Ping is being discontinued.

usefuldesign.au wrote:
By all means if Kosada has some better ideas let's see them ;-)

We do have some ideas on that front. (News coming very soon.)

jrs's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

How many VJ's, developers, businesses, museums and pieces of software rely on ping though? Whilst QC doesn't generate much/any revenue it is used in a lot of areas (much more than apple realise I suspect) as I get the feeling there are a lot of closest QC developers out there. The moving of the graphics tools out of xcode gives apple a way to track how many people are using/downloading QC but all of the museums I've setup exhibits with QC don't ever tend to upgrade their machines so probably wouldn't be counted by this. Apart from touch designer which I added to the list you may want to include Isadora which is probably the closest thing to QC. I'd also be interested in how many people would move away from OSX as a development platform as Apple aren't doing the best job of looking after their developers.

smokris's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

@jrs: Good points. I added Isadora and Touch Designer to the options.

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

I meant that Ping and QC are qualitatively different not that QC is of superior merit to Apple or others. Could have expressed it better. QC is primarily a developers tool. Ping totally a consumer feature, there was no Ping APIs that I recall. Did 1M+ users stick around with ping, I don't think so. I read that Apple has a much bigger threat in Spotify and other music streaming services and are working on their own offering to staunch the flow of revenue away from iTunes music sales.

Point taken that Apple is happy to move on when it suits them. Apple wanted to work with Facebook but couldn't cut a deal they liked so invented Ping. I guess it can't have been so rewarding for them otherwise why kill it? Perhaps it was seen as an embarrassment that it wasn't dominating the social media pages like most everything else Apple does is

dust's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

oh man well if qc disappeared, some of my days would be miserable. there is obvious cl, gl, & quartz core etc... equivalents to qc as far as code is concerned. i find qc's high level visual programming paradigm is much more pleasing than most all other node based programs are concerned. now this isn't really a replacement to qc by any means but i have been finding the uScript visual editor for Unity 3D very interesting. it is based kismet a visual programming interface to unreal's game engine from http://www.detoxstudios.com/

now the drawbacks are it cost money.... (excluding free personal learning addition) its actually kind of expensive and takes a bit to get acclimated to the logic. the great thing is that you can build custom nodes very easily from the visual editor or from c# code. it is marketed as a beginners or designers tool for unity although... i don't think that it is a beginners substitute to writing code. it does however generate code and is boasted to be able to script anything visually that unity can do in code blocks.

uScript reflects all unity objects and existing plugins etc.. so you have visual access to pretty much everything. there is an extensive library of nodes that come with uScript and a user forum for trading nodes etc... it has major potential to rapidly prototype games just like qc does... so far I have not found it any faster than actually writing a few lines of code and dragging a script to a game object. it is defiantly worth the money, particularly if you want to program visually with graphs.

chaining nodes together in a sort of linear left to right type of visual logic is sometimes way better than a top down line by line function style exectuion. the graph makes it easy to follow an execution change. im not sure how compares as far as execution efficiency but it is cross platform ios, droid and web capable with many nodes to facilitate touch and sensor data etc... so far its not faster for me. the process is write a code block in c# make sure its working on your game object then write the node plugin in code and finally create your visual graph. once you build up your custom node library then it becomes way more powerful.

so far i have made a few audio fft windowing nodes that are reporting pitch, amplitude and spectrums etc.. i recreated all the unity basic asset scripts visually like mouse follow, camera follow, mouse look, move controller, ray cast, and fps etc... just to learn how visually graph. one of the most powerful things in unity in my opinion are the abilities to connect variables to visual objects and components all via the editor without having to jump into code... so if you like those features of unity then uScript extends them a great deal. totally worth it. (although i was skeptical at first) check out the PLE version for a test drive.

clockworkpictures's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

vade for president.

franz's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

If QC disappeared tomorrow, I'd take a massive break.

mattgolsen's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

If QC disappeared tomorrow, I'd have to totally freeze application development, both on the client side for our digital signage and the backend stuff that it handles for it. This would suck immensely, purely because of the amount of work that I'd have to re-engineer. Now this is something that's been floating around in the back of my head since Snow Leopard, for numerous reasons (cost to deploy a client, remote maintenance etc) but up until now it hasn't been a huge priority. Theoretically we could still operate and develop on the current platform that we've developed, but it would be an ecosystem that quickly died off, and one of my biggest attractions to QC is not just the development environment itself, but the QC community (You guys! Lots of warm fuzzies!). It's a close knit community around an extremely flexible tool that allows me to be as creative as I want to be. Not just in installation-type work (which we occasionally do), but from an enterprise perspective as well.

So TLDR, option 1 is to freeze everything.

Option 2? Bust ass to learn a new environment. Most of the other tools listed on here don't quite fit the niche that QC does. They don't have the same feature sets, or only partial. My personal preference would be ThreeNodes.js with a little bit of massaging (adding XML handling, CSV's, maybe WebSockets or the like) with some work on "deployability", or some kind of player type framework. Not to mention I'm really not a programmer, I'm more of a designer and QC gives me the opportunity to experiment with things that would normally be inaccessible to me.

TLDR, Option 2, move on to a new environment.

I've said this before, but I would love, love, love a web based version of QC. I think the flexibility of the web, with the rapid evolution of it (and Javascript, CSS, HTML5), will prove to do some amazing things. For my own purposes, I could dramatically decrease cost of deployment if I was able to use something like, say a RaspberryPi as a client, or even utilizing a SmartTV with a browser built in.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

I'd probably just use Xcode and some other supplementary things. If I had to fire off a show & tell demo thing, I'd probably setup something sort of like the GLSL Showpiece app and add video input, since a decent amount of my graphics are shader things. I also generally just like working with OpenGL since it's fairly well thought out.

I checked off more things above, but mainly because I already do them now as well as use qc. So, moreso than doing any fundamental shifts towards starting to use those things, I would just use other stuff more.

If I had to have some kind of working file format for collaboration, I'd likely spend more time with a project I was working on last year that started after looking at the eflaceview source code. I got video object and shader loader with working with a geometry input, files restore fine, etc., so I know it's feasible for me. I'd spend some time sweetening that up, and adding patches. Probably preferable to putting a ton of time into learning another black box or being too beholden to whims.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

Hey, checkout what mirek rusin's been up to: https://github.com/mirek/

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

Yeah FloVv looks interesting. I've used his Websocket patch before and it's fast and bi-directional, nice. Not tried across networks yet just on the one Mac.

cybero's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

@ gtoledo regards your earlier comment, Mirek Rusin's work rate and productivity is phenomenal IMHO.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

What's up with processing/ofx/written code being so high in the results here, but coding in the editor is basically at the bottom of the last poll? Do people voting for processing/ofx here actually use it, or is it wishful thinking/the buzz associated with the names?

pixelnoizz's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

i have the same question in my mind. I started to use QC because i wasnt able to write code. Perhaps my reason is not unique. Meantime i started to learn how to use code and keep patching. But if there is no qc anymore (and this is so realistic because those who bought a mac just now they have ML, and many things are not working on that qc) i cant imagine how i would be able to create a complex interactive work in processing (and i have some processing knowledge).

.lov.'s picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

pixelnoizz wrote:
... those who bought a mac just now they have ML, and many things are not working on that qc...

Are you sure about this? I experienced problem only with the mouse input patch, other stuff just working, at least on my side.

pixelnoizz's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

kineme GL, kineme 3d is not working for sure. thats enough problem.

.lov.'s picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

Okay, no offense, but those issues are not because Apple or the slow development of QC, you can't say QC is bad because 3rd party QC plugin developer's did not update their plugin till now ;-)

pixelnoizz's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

then why i have the feeling that kineme stuff not will be updated anymore... (and thats why iam keeping SL on my work machine)

.lov.'s picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

I can't tell you about your feelings :) But look this list, Kineme updating patches to make it compatible with 10.8: http://kineme.net/downloads?project=All&compatibility=2115

franz's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

I am keeping SL too.

Unfortunately, I had to install a new computer for a show ... and they come with ML, no possibility to downgrade to sL... Apparently, KnM3d and GLTools are working. (didn't test much tho')

pixelnoizz's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

now i reinstalled everything, and GL tools works fine.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

So, what is current status in ML anyway? Other than some strife from some kineme plugins that hadn't been updated, what actually remains as "buggy"?

I'm guessing the editor is still sluggish in comparison to SL? I haven't made in compositions in mountain lion other than some glsl setup stuff that only takes a few patches, and it's all worked fine, and even better with things that use the render in image patch for a feedback loop- it seems to be rendering with improved color precision (?) but I'll leave that determination to those who have tested.

I've taken apps I've compiled and thrown them on ML and had them work fine, but then again, I was aware of data tools having a 10.7 max long ago and had a compatible version for my projects before release. So I haven't personally found myself bitten - I wasn't using multitouch or any of the paths that apparently threw exceptions, knock on wood. I haven't seen any other problems.

Long story short, what's still broken?

jrs's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

FYI My kineme 3D problems have sort of been solved

I was seeing the following type of effects when loading and rendering an fbx model (in this case a car)

https://img.skitch.com/20120919-fbyqhtcwktwbbxkm1mbt2idwnp.jpg (rendered as a wire frame)

https://img.skitch.com/20120919-jwu3wif3ag8i2g2jwjpmje7nyx.jpg (rendered with a texture)

To fix the problem I just reordered the layers and it went away.....far from a proper solution and I'm not filled with confidence but it works

Other than this everything is now working aok on ML for me (apart from the interaction patch of course - for which I put in my own bug report in the hope that if enough people did the same it would get fixed)

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

I can't get this simple structure maker and breakout composition to work on my Clients ML MBP.

Anybody like to confirm?

(This was supposed to be a reply to Gtoledo's question about ML but after I logged in it lost the thread it seems.)

PreviewAttachmentSize
mountain lion test BKGDs composition.qtz7.16 KB

jrs's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

Works fine for me - 2010 MBP and 10.8.2

I'd never noticed the structure breakout patch before - most cool, great work kineme as always

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

Thanks Mate.

Yeah I broke out an XML feed once into about 100 outputs — very helpful!

Weird, I wonder why it isn;t working on client's new MBP?

gtoledo3's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

They have an old version of the plugin somewhere.

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

The updated version now works on 10.7 again (at least for the structure maker and breakout patches anyhow) and works on at least one 10.8 MBP but fails on at least one 10.8.? MBP.

harrisonpault's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

Boy, the "QC is a walking dead man" meme is echoing about the inter-tubes today. Now the FCP crew is sounding the alarums:

http://fcp.co/final-cut-pro/news/932-will-the-end-of-apple-s-quartz-comp...

It seems to me, we are a pretty tiny community in the grand scheme of things, and I wouldn't expect Apple to devote a whole lot of effort to us, the non-compiled graphics geekery community. Frankly, that's the problem for Kineme and other tool makers as well. Exactly how large is the target market? If you fall into the coding sub-community who write compiled plugins using Objective C, etc., then it's an even smaller community.

I guess my bet would be that Apple will continue to maintain QC with a small, overworked, bug-fix oriented team until they think of the next insanely great way to package up core technologies for the creative geeks in a cross iOS/OSX framework.

iQC-X anybody?

harrisonpault's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

On the other hand, the plea from the fcp.co (Peter Wiggins?), to pelt Apple with requests to keep investing QC, is probably a good part of the meme to keep alive. Can't hurt, right?

3lab_VJ's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

Another point of view...

Since years I just play with Quartz Composer in my free time, i never made a commercial product or earned a real dollar with it, but Quartz Composer puts me on a rocket and took me a journey. First i used it to arrange and rearrange things i found, tested a lot of stuff and produced some graphical and audiovisual movies for some VJ-Gigs. (that was cool at that time, but it bored me after a time. I looked forward to do more interactive stuff.

Many of you will call me the typical dummy "try and error" user, but in case of heavy use and study things within and around, Quartz Composer was the best starting point for generative / interactive visual programming i choosed.

For me Quartz Composer is still one of the best tools for rapid prototyping, but only in case of the productive community and active developers, who share their knownledge, works and plugins. At this point i want say thanks, because i think it's time for that, to: kineme, smokris, memo, vade, månsteri, frz (_1024), mirek, benoitlahoz, zugakousaku, tobyz, bangnoise, CoGe, pixelnoizz, cybero, gtoledo, noboko, _p_g, nodepond and all the others i missed here…

Without Quartz Composer I wouldn't know anything about OSC, MIDI, Websocket, WebKit, 3D, GLSL (Shader), Perlin Noise, Fluids, Algorithms (Lattice Boltzmann, Lindenmayer, Dijkstra, Bellman-Ford), Color Tracking, CoreImage, WebGL, Javascript, Python, LUA, VVVV, Processing, Nodebox, XCode, OF, Cinder, Context Free, Structure Synth, Blender, eMotion, Syphon, Löve, kinect, OpenCV, Bullet Physics, Box2D and more.

After years I'm still not a programmer or developer, but i am more comfortable with all that stuff i talked above and that is one of the real benefits of using and starting with Quartz Composer.

Learning programming can be a challenging task for creatives, designers, students and self-educated people like me, in case of that some Universities use visual programming tools to teach their design students basics of (textual) programming as well.

For the future i look forward to use Quartz Composer and i really hope that apple recognize what great flexible programm they own, but i also think we will see web- and node based visual programming solutions rising in popularity in the future soon. An actual great example of a node based visual programming solution with a great performance and a lot of possibilities is minko2 from http://aerys.in

Make use of Quartz Composer is sometimes like building bridges to nowhere, but at the end it could be innovation.

Would love to see more at apple and elsewhere who see Quartz Composer as an investment in education.

So, i spread these words: Quartz Composer must not die and should not die.

franz's picture
Re: If Quartz Composer disappeared tomorrow, how would you ...

@smokris: mmmm... 60 voters only ? I wonder how many users are registered to this forum. I also wonder how many users a likely to switch to Vuo at some point. The userbase seems really small. A bit of a shock.