Quartz Composer: "I'm not dead yet!"

[Update June 2019: ”Starting in macOS 10.15, the Quartz Composer framework is deprecated and remains present for compatibility purposes.”]

Over the last few months and especially in the last couple of weeks, there's been some concern from the Mac video community at large as to whether or not Quartz Composer had a future at Apple, and what such a loss would mean for VJ software like VDMX which heavily use QC as an option for real-time rendering.

This had mostly started with speculation on a FCP blog that QC might become deprecated in 10.9 and then more recently the fear came back in the spotlight after a bug report filed by vade received the following response:

"This is a courtesy email regarding Bug ID# 12328202.  Engineering has provided the following information: QC does not support retina display, and will not in the future. QC is deprecated already."

A pretty significant blow back on Twitter and the Quartz Composer mailing list followed and it wasn't long before someone at Apple clarified, pointing out that QC is in fact still supported in Mountain Lion:

"No, this must have been a mistake. Quartz Composer is not deprecated, and still fully supported in Mountain Lion. The bug reporting system, as you all are aware is like a game of telephone and although I do not know how this could have happened, I apologize for any confusion it has caused."

Whether the node based programming language still has a future in the next major versions of OS X is yet to be seen, but aside from the news of its possible end, Quartz Composer has recently shown some big signs of continued life, within the last week being featured by Facebook as part of their workflow for developing Home for Android which has sparked some new video tutorials from QC users on the subject (below, left from David O Brien) and QC was also used (along with the Bangnoise datamosh plugins) to create a trailer for the new Superman movie (below, right, WarnerBros Pictures). Needless to say, we're still pretty excited about it too.

So to celebrate the continued existence of Quartz Composer, we've published a two new tutorials on how to use it alongside VDMX, with sample compositions to get started: Creating custom text renderers for VDMX and Passing in ArtNet Universes with Structure Inputs. Or if you're just beginning with QC we'd recommending taking a look at the introduction lesson from Minuek.