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Release: KinemeCore, v0.1

Release Type: Production
Version: 0.1
Release Notes

Have you grown weary of seeing @cwright's incomprehensibly cool transparent editor screenshots?

Are you tired of wishing your QC Editor would get out of your way, instead of getting in your face?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, the KinemeCore Plugin might be just for you.

As Seen At NAB2008! ;)

KinemeCore Options

The KinemeCore Plugin enables several modifications to the Quartz Composer Editor UI, including private patch exposure, snap-to-grid, toolbar removal, fullscreen editors, fullscreen viewers on startup, non-floating patch creators, slim and non-existent scroll bars, transparent windows, and much much more. Everything you need to get started on QC-Development Bliss.

This public release offers numerous performance improvements over the previous betas, as well as some more polished transitions and modifications. It also removes the KinemeCore Framework dependancy, removes the Sparkle dependancy, and has less start-up overhead.

This plugin doesn't affect your compositions in any way. What it does affect is how you make them.

There are still a couple Rough Edges; some of the modifications are pretty invasive, and there's not much more that can be done, unfortunately :( But there's always more room for additional changes, so feel free to fire questions, complaints, and additional features our way, and we'll see what we can do.

We're also in need of a much cooler about-box icon; if you're talented with paintshop, feel free to submit your artwork (512x512 or larger, please). Your artwork could be featured in a future update!

[edit: oops, forgot one link last reference. Sorry about that. Now it's fixed!]

KinemeCore-0.1.zip211.72 KB

toneburst's picture
This is nice...

I'm liking the Snap To Grid feature particularly.

How about having an option to make the grid finer though, and also maybe making it possible to have the right edge of a patch snap to the grid, rather than or as well as the left one? I find it often looks neater if you have a load of splitters one under the other, for example, if their right edges rather than their left edges are aligned. Makes the connecting cables look neater.

Good stuff!


Quartz Composer Blog: http://machinesdontcare.wordpress.com

Music Site: http://www.toneburst.net

cwright's picture
sounds good

I like that idea; Ive half-heartedly considered it off and on, but couldn't think of a good reason for it. Splitters though, that's a perfect need. I'll look into making this possible.

As for grid size, it seems like a UI would be necessary to accurately control grid fineness. Nothing wrong with that, mind you, just uncharted waters when I initially wrote the grid stuff (back in November, believe it or not ;) Since then, I've learned enough to make that pretty simple actually... hmm...

yanomano's picture
(UI) Grid size + linear patch cords

Thanks kineme for this clean release ! Yes grid size is a big feature ...:) Something for discard the bezier curve on patch cords would speed up the UI, don't you think ?

yoki's picture

this is splendid! apart from the grid-thing i really enjoy the full-screen mode.

there is another thing which annoys me really much, when starting qc by clicking a .qtz it always opens up a blank composition in addition to the clicked .qtz.. is this something which could be fixed from a patch like this or should i whine at the qc-devs? :)

ot: btw, are QC only updated for each 10.x release of osx, no autoupdates in-between?


cwright's picture
updates and stuff

opening: there's an option in the preferences pane to control how it works; I've always got mine set to "open the last loaded composition", and I've never seen the additional blank one bug. If you can document it a bit here (i.e. describe setting used, and some steps to duplicate it), I'd be willing to confirm it. You could then file a bug report with apple (loading/saving is their deal, and I don't really want to muck about much with that; nothing like breaking everyone's compositions to tarnish our reputation :)

QC is periodically updated as the OS ages. In Tiger they removed patches as time went on (hence our Image With Composition patch for Tiger), for Leopard they've maybe made a few subtle changes, but nothing radical (like fixing the sphere patch, or the structure sort leak, or any of the other bugs discussed on this site ;)

yoki's picture
do nothing

the "do nothing" alternative made qc behave in the way i wanted it to.. however, even if having the "create blank composition" as i previously had (hehe) it makes no sense to create a blank composition when QC is started by the user clicking an existing .qtz.. although i'm not sure if i would call this a bug anymore considering its possible to turn off using "do nothing" or the other alternatives in prefs..:)

tobyspark's picture
fab with one silly caveat

great to see a tidied up release.

the one thing that always bugs me is the menu items for patch searching, which instead of being a tick change their meaning depending on whether its on or off. i find that really confusing (is it telling me what its doing now or what will happen if i click it?) and it also jars as not-the-mac-way to me. and kinda the point of using macs are their consistency, so thats important to me.


cwright's picture
checks and balances

The Apple HI guidelines strongly discouraged the use of check marks in dropdown menus, so I made it do the text swizzling thing (which I totally agree with you on, it's super confusing). I'll switch that to checks when I get a moment; I wasn't sure what native mac users were used to getting.

Thanks for the tip :)

[edit: to clarify a bit, multi-part options wasn't clear to me. simple on/off features (such as snap-to-grid) made sense with checks. Should the other on/off options be checkified as well, instead of text-swizzled?]

tobyspark's picture
props for reading the hig!

i guess the root of it is that menus are typically for one-off commands ie "go do this". the kineme menu is pretty much entirely preferences, so it really shouldn't really be a menu... but we like the 'k' there =]

so yes to a check-box bonanza!

tobyspark's picture
'search with x' not saving state properly

i've had the annoying feeling that there's more to being confused by the 'search with name/description/etc' menu items, and definitely definitely they're not saving their state properly. especially when coding plug-ins, which often kills qc without a proper quit, i'm having to toggle all three 'search with' to get it back to the behaviour i want.

kinda counter-productive to the idea of them =]

cwright's picture
search state

the state for those is shared with QC's search bar state, so if you toggle that, I think it gets unsynced with what searches are actually enabled. It saves the state as soon as you toggle an option, so a forced quit shouldn't affect it (unless the quit was in the few nanoseconds between you clicking the menu option and it saving the plist setting...)

I'll check in to that more for the next release, thanks for pointing it out :)

tobyspark's picture
haven't touched qc's search

haven't touched qc's search bar state on the patch creator window, but thats not to say thats not the root cause...

yoki's picture
small bug

even if i click "dont show this message again"-checkbox in the messagebox which explains that im going into fullscreen-mode, im not able to get rid of it :)

cwright's picture
oops :/

good find; I guess it doesn't "just work", even from a programmer's point of view. I'll take a look into fixing that, thanks for catching it :)

yanomano's picture
AboutBox Logo

Hope you love it ! Identity for kineme pacthes....


KinemePatches.png66.18 KB

tobyspark's picture
brilliant, yano the mano

they certainly tickle my visual aesthetic. was going to try doodle something myself if a moment presented itself, but it would have been something in the same vein... so props!

the one thing i'd try is make the text bigger+bold, fill up the entire colour block to see if they could scale down to 128px icon size.

cwright's picture

I like them too :) I'm with toby on the bigger, bolder text though -- it's difficult to read the vertical text when it's scaled down to less than 70 pixels or so.

Is it possible to get them individually at 512x512 or larger? right now, that image is something like 1000x1008 (500x504 per icon), so there are a few more pixels available. Also, transparency instead of white for the background :) (Sorry to be so picky -- I really do like them as is)

Thanks for the wonderful first step, I'm impressed :)

[ I'm a fan of the grid-lined version, personally, since it looks like the QC editor :) Probably not visible when scaled down, but a nice easter egg none the less (like Alessandro's .xX signature on the blueprint of the QC Icon, if you zoom in...)]

toneburst's picture
Really Nice

Good work, yanomano!


Quartz Composer Blog: http://machinesdontcare.wordpress.com

Music Site: http://www.toneburst.net

yanomano's picture
Rebuilding from scratch !

Ok thanks for these positive comments... You are right it must be redable in 72 pixels...and it is not the most funny part of the work.... So I'am rebuilding it to work as a rice grain tatoo...:)


in construction.png
in construction.png26.75 KB

cwright's picture
one more thing...

before getting too polished -- can you tweak the grid lines so the edges of the rounded box don't have grid lines on them? it makes the edges look a bit fuzzy.

(smokris will probably jump in at any moment with typeface stuff, since he's the font guru ;)

smokris's picture

Could you attach the AI file when you have a minute? I'd like to play with it and see if I can come up with some tweaky suggestions.

Overall I love the "in-construction" work so far. (Perhaps this also warrants a website re-theming? :^) )

yanomano's picture
"Hide Spaghetti" feature...

Have you experienced very low GUI reponse due to spaguetti ? (with hundred connections and full screen editor on cinema display...)

Need a hide spaguetti function ! Chris, do you think it will be difficult to do this in a future release of kineme core ? ( I think that Alex will love this feature too...:)


psonice's picture
No spaghetti slowdown here

I've not noticed any slowdown in the gui, and I've built some really big compositions. I do keep them fairly organised with lots of macros though. I have my editor fullscreen on a 1920x1200 screen, and the rest on a second monitor, on an imac with radeon 2600.

On a related note though, my current work has a different kind of slowdown. Whenever I mouseover an image port and the little preview/tooltip gets triggered there's literally several seconds delay (if I'm lucky, 3-4 seconds, unlucky, perhaps up to 20 seconds or a QC crash!). I'm doing some heavy lifting with CI filters, and it seems to be them that causes it. Any ideas of what could be happening?

Also any tips on where to learn more about the domain of definition handling in core image? That's been giving me some oddities too, all sorted but it'd be good to learn exactly what's going on there.

639me's picture
file icon

i would love a feature to make thumbnail icons for individual qtz's. i recall from early panther days, i think, a menu item called quickplay, that would play any media file instantly from it's contextual menu in finder. then, by hitting 'a', an icon for that file would be created from the present frame. i know there are candybar etc, but i want something supereffective for my 1000+ qtz's.

smokris's picture
Built-in as of Leopard

As of Leopard, QC thumbnails are automatically provided by Finder (via QuickLook).

Go to "Show View Options", and select "Show Icon Preview".

ShowIconPreview.png43.9 KB

639me's picture

sorry, i know this. what i meant is custom thumbs, - many qc's only have a black thumb, like for example audio reactive comps.

cwright's picture
saaaaaaaaaafe mooooooooooode!

The black thumbs are because of safe mode -- rendering the thumbnail actually requires loading the compo and rendering the first frame -- this would be bad if a plugin or unsafe patch executed from finder, so the quicklook plugins don't load unsafe patches.

It's possible to work around this with a plugin, but I really don't think it's a good idea :(

psonice's picture
unsafe mode!

I totally agree. In fact I really wish there were no icon previews for .qtz files - I have a composition saved somewhere that will reliably crash finder completely if ANY kind of preview is shown :/

Descriptive naming and well organised folders are your friends.

toneburst's picture

If you find any good sources of info on this psonice let me know. I'm still completely confused about the whole DoD/ROI thing...

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

yanomano's picture
Spotlight patches

The basic idea : 1/ find patches that answer to certain criterias inside a composition (by name or/and category or/and descripion or/and localization in the hierarchy AND tags ) 2 / display their properties in a sort of spreadsheet or in the patch parameters window to have a quick edit access. 3/ have the possibility to "tag" patches with keywords for future quick access....

Spotlight_patches02.jpg97.57 KB

Installation Instructions

Place the plugin file in
/Users/[you]/Library/Graphics/Quartz Composer Patches/
(Create the folder if it doesn't already exist.)