facebook pixel Quartz Composer integration in GrandVJ 1.2 | ArKaos VJ/DJ
By ArKaos Team
on 16 Nov 2009 12:00 AM
  • development
  • grandvj
  • mac
  • quartz
  • quicktime
  • visuals

GrandVJ 1.2 now allows to use Quartz Composer .qtz files directly, both as sources and effects. In older versions it was necessary to save them as QuickTime movies with the big drawbacks that it was slow and it did not allow to change compositions variables.

We have optimized the Quartz Composer integration in GrandVJ 1.2 so that the compostions are rendered natively through the fastest available interface.

Finally, when using a composition as an effect the application will scan the published inputs and map them as effect parameters, if the format is compatible with the engine. GrandVJ can automatically map parameters that are float values, indexes, colors and booleans and there’s one visual input of the composition that receive the cell visual.

Now let’s have a quick look at how you can use Quartz compositions with GrandVJ..

Using compositions as sources

The quick way to use a composition as source is to import it just like you do with any movie, by drag and drop on a cell or by reaching your .qtz through the file browser. When doing so, GrandVJ will save the path to the .qtz file in your project as it does for any other visual.

For your convenience, GrandVJ installs a set of source compositions in “/Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/GrandVJ/Quartz Composer/Visuals”, these are listed in GrandVJ under the “Quartz-Composer (User)” section of the sources browser so that they are always available when you create a new project.

The idea is that you can also add your favorite source compositions there so that you always have them ready when you work on your projects.

Playing compositions as source does not allow modifying the variables from within GrandVJ.

Path for user compostions as Sources

User compositions as Sources

Using compositions as effects

System compositions as Effects For effects, GrandVJ will add all the compositions from your system that are supported. It does it by automatically scanning the system folder “/System/Library/Compositions”. These compositions will appear in the application under the “Quartz-Composer (System)” section of the effects browser. You can use them as starting point to develop new effects.

You can also add your own compositions as effects, just drop them in the local directory “/Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/GrandVJ/Quartz Composer/Effects”. They will appear in the “Quartz-Composer (User)” section of the effect browser.


Path for user compostions as Effects

User compositions as Effects

About the parameters

As a quick example, let’s have a look at the effect parameters from the system composition Image Hose. With the Quartz Composer application (found in Developer > Applications – you need to have installed Apple’s developer tools of course), open the file “/System/Library/Compositions/Image Hose.qtz” (ore better, open a copy) here’s what you should see:

Image Hose composition

Open the inspector (Editor > Show Inspector) and from the menu, look at the Published Inputs & Outputs, here’s what you have:

Image Hose composition parameters

In GrandVJ, the first 4 parameters that can be mapped automatically will be displayed. In this case it will be PrimaryColor, SecondaryColor, Pace and Size:

Quartz composition parameters in GrandVJ

As you can see, GrandVJ will only display the meaningful part of the parameter name and remove all _ProtocolInput strings from parameter names – this allows to easily display the full parameter name in the panel – it will also make things a little nicer by capitalizing the first letter of the parameter if necessary.

There are many resources on the web where you can find information and help about creating your own Quartz compositions, you can start by looking at Apple’s Developer Connection.

Note: you can download GrandVJ 1.2 beta 2 from our forums

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