Announcing VV Edu: A free and open source curriculum for teaching live visuals and VJing

Photo of VJ workshop taught by  Kalma

Photo of VJ workshop taught by Kalma

Along with making great software for VJs and our related open source projects, one of the areas we have tried to focus on is creating educational materials to help visual artists at all levels help improve their craft. Over the last few years our website tutorials section has served as the main outlet for our various lessons, demonstrations and conversations of the various techniques used for all aspects of live visual performance.

Today we are extremely excited to announce that we are taking the next big step in our educational offerings, and as you might imagine, we’re doing it open source style:

Based on a combination of our own extensive set of existing tutorials and collaborations with amazing artists and educators like Deborah Johnson and Colin Sebestyen, the VV Edu Curriculum is designed for teachers and students alike to learn about the techniques being used to create live visual performances and investigate how these same skills can be applied to innovate on traditional forms of video production.

The lesson plans provided are broken up into separate modules that can be followed in order or put together in sub-collections that best fit with the focus for an individual class.

So far we’ve created 15 lessons that span across 6 modules:

  1. “Live” Visuals

    • Input to Output

    • Responsiveness

  2. Introduction to Montage

    • The Cut

    • Rhythmic Sequence

    • Cinéma Pur

  3. Introduction to Motion Design

    • Stills to Motion

    • Color and Choreography

  4. Visual Music

    • Abstract Visualization / Color Organ

    • Audio Visualizers and the Shape of Sounds

    • Generative Patterns

  5. Aesthetic Overview

    • Styling Your Look

    • Mood board / Storyboarding

  6. Show and Event Production

    • Pre-Production and Show Design

    • Technical Riders and Contracts

    • Getting gig ready, Rehearsals and Performances

And we’ve got plenty more ideas for new topics in development!

Each lesson plan includes a recommended set of lecture notes, demonstrations, in class exercises, homework assignments and other useful resources that teachers can use as starting points for their own classes. The materials are also great for hobbyists and self-learners who want to teach themselves by following along with the notes and provided downloads. Teachers who are looking to get started can check out the read me page for teachers .

We designed the class to be roughly 1/3 theory, 1/3 technical, and 1/3 practice, and much of the material can be adapted to teach other software besides VDMX as needed – as mentioned, the coursework is open source and can be found on GitHub here: – please feel free to use the materials as-is, to branch or remix, and contribute your own thoughts on how to improve the curriculum.

AND as one last final bonus, we are currently running a FREE online run through of the course material. If you’d like to participate, sign up on our forums before October 1st here: VV Edu Online Fall 2018 Sign Up – or follow along with our weekly video posts for each lesson.