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

Along with making great software and 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:

Read More

Introducing OSCQuery Protocol

One of the most useful techniques for artists working with audio and visual software is the OSC protocol for sending control information from one application to another. While MIDI is great for a lot of situation, OSC was designed to be more extensible and allow for a variety of different datatypes, greatly expanding the possibilities within the community of real-time digital art. Over the years the ecosystem of tools that support the protocol has grown and now we are excited to release a new extension to help the community take OSC to the next level.

The OSCQuery Protocol is an agreed upon specification that extends the base functionality of OSC to make it easier to construct impromptu or improvisational interfaces between different systems…

Read More

Would you like to take a survey?

Hey everyone!

We've been working on VDMX for several years now and we'd love to get to know some more about the people who are performing with it and how it is being used in the real world.

There are currently two very short surveys that you can take.

The first is for general VDMX related topics:

The second is for specifically for the Hap video codecs:

While these surveys won't tell you which character from your favorite TV series you are (Willow) or what your favorite color is (probably blue?) but it will give us some useful information that'll help us decide what to focus our efforts on in the coming months.

Thanks very much for your time!

VDMX 64-bit now available, plus the El Capitan upgrade guide

Hi everyone!

Some exciting news over at VIDVOX today – as you might know the last several months Ray and I have been immersed in changes for the 64-bit conversion of VDMX – and now it is ready for some testing!

How many changes can you spot in this screenshot?

A more detailed change log is linked below, but here are a few highlights and notes before you try it out:

1. The new 64-bit update requires 10.10 or later!

2. If you'd like to keep this and the older 32-bit versions installed at the same time, simply rename the existing VDMX on your computer to something else (eg VDMX b8232 or VDMX 32bit) before running the new installer.

3. Various old movie codecs are no longer supported by AVFoundation. PhotoJPEG, Hap, and h.264 are now generally recommended for use in VDMX. ProRes is also supported.

(For other codecs such as Apple Intermediate you may need to install the latest pro video formats from Apple)

4. That's right, you can use h.264 movies! To get the best performance while scrubbing / adjusting playback rate make sure to set every frame as a keyframe when encoding.

5. Movie Recorder can capture to h.264 with hardware acceleration on supported GPUs. Recorder can also capture to PhotoJPEG / Hap / ProRes.

6. Vuo support! See the release notes for full details, but essentially Vuo compositions can be used as sources, FX, text sources and plugins.

7. Lots of bug fixes, performance improvements and time saving workflow tweaks.


Full release notes and additional discussion on the 64-bit update can be found on the forums here:

Additionally, today is also the date that Apple released its new OS update, version 10.11 also known as El Capitan. For VDMX users looking to upgrade their Macs we've written up an upgrade guide to cover frequently asked questions:



Back To School Sale: Ends September 10th!

Hey everyone!

Yes, it's that special time again to get VDMX at a deep discount with 100 USD off on every purchase!

This means that through September 10th 2014, students, educators and anyone applying for our starving artists discount can buy a license of VDMX for only 99 USD!

Visualizing audio waveforms with VDMX

Along with being a powerful tool for VJing and live visual event production, VDMX is also a great environment for learning the general fundamentals of image processing.

For new VJs looking to find out what this is all about, we've got a whole suite of tutorials to pour through including fun technique topics and guest visits from amazing artists. Also make sure to download free sample loops to get started with!


If you've not already read about the special discount for hobbyists and new artists, the idea is simple — help others get started by doing a community based project such as:

  • translating, or recording a new video tutorial,
  • documenting the details of a project you are working on in a blog post,
  • creating an original set of creative commons sample movies,
  • open sourcing some useful creative code, 
  • a DJ could share some audio loops for video artists who need soundtracks for demo reels,
  • sharing Quartz Composer compositions, 

Or write to us about another idea that uses your existing skills in exchange for a discount on a full license of VDMX. Some examples can be found in our roundup of featured projects from last year.

And don't forget that for the first time ever this offers applies to the every day sales price of VDMX making it an ideal time to get a serial number and start saving project files.

For more information on the sale visit our buy page, or send us an email with a scan of your school photo ID or a proposal for the starving artist rate, and we'll send back a coupon code to get your full license for 99 USD when purchasing VDMX from our online store.. but act soon, this offer ends September 10th, 2014!

New VDMX Update With Improved Chroma Mask, Audio Analysis Visualizations and More!

Hey everyone!

We've released an update that includes a bunch of new features and other improvements – watch the video and read below to get the highlights on what's new!

If you want to jump right in, here's the download link: Download VDMX

Audio Analysis FFT and Waveform Values Published as Video

Using the FFT Color Lines generator to visualize the audio frequency spectrum and raw waveform

When an Audio Analysis plugin is active two new video streams are published that can be used by generators and FX to create new forms of music visualization.

The FFT and raw audio waveform are provided by the plugin as grayscale video streams that are 1 pixel tall. You can access them anywhere a video input menu is found such as a preview or masking FX.

To get started try using the new example FFT Color Lines and FFT Spectrogram ISF video generators.

New ISF Video FX

Earlier this year we released a new format for making custom generators and FX for VDMX called ISF. For this update we've created a bunch of our own new high end FX using the new format.

New film style "Lens Flare" FX

These are some of our favorites:

  • Updated Chroma Mask.fs, greatly improved color masking (eg. green / blue screen).
  • Color and Film FX: Chroma Desaturation Mask, Color Replacement, Ghosting, Bleach Bypass and Lens Flare.
  • Glitch FX: Collage, Convergence, Slit Scan and Pixel Shifter.
  • Geometry and Distortion FX: Optical Flow Distortion, Side Scroller and Flip, Shake and Shockwave Pulse.

Pro tip: Don't forget that you can also make your own ISF based generators and FX using these as example starting points!

Support for Generic HID Controllers

HID Input Plugin connected to SpaceNavigator

The HID Input Plugin interfaces with game controllers, 3D mice, and other devices that support the Human Interface Device (HID) protocol. Buttons, joysticks and sensors are made available to control UI items in VDMX like any other data-source. These can be a fun alternative to using a MIDI or OSC instruments.

Import / Export Control Surface Templates

Exporting a Control Surface layout to a JSON file

From the inspector panel of the Control Surface plugin you can export the layout and settings as a template file that can be easily imported into other projects or sharing standard layouts with other people.

Use the “Import JSON layout” and “Export JSON layout” buttons in the inspector to respectively load and save the templates.

Custom Movie Recorder Directory Paths

Enable the 'Custom export location?' toggle in the Movie Recorder Options panel

When using the Movie Recorder plugin to capture video and images, an optional custom folder location can now be specified in the inspector panel.

The default location for movie recordings can still be set in the VDMX Preferences – this new setting is an optional override for situations where the videos are further parsed or handled by another application or to make sorting the files easier.

Hope you enjoy these new additions and refinements! As always if you have any problems or suggestions send us a message by choosing “Report Bug” from the Help menu.

Once again, here's the download link: Download VDMX

Have a great weekend!

- Dave & Ray

Introducing ISF Video Generators and FX

ISF stands for "Interactive Shader Format", and is a file format that describes a GLSL fragment shader, as well as how to execute and interact with it. The goal of this file format is to provide a simple and minimal interface for image filters and generative video sources that allows them to be interacted with and reused in a generic and modular fashion. ISF is nothing more than a [slightly modified] GLSL fragment shader with a JSON blob at the beginning that describes how to interact with the shader (how many inputs/uniform variables it has, what their names are, what kind of inputs/variables they are, that sort of thing). ISF isn't some crazy new groundbreaking technology- it's just a simple and useful combination of two things that have been around for a while to make a minimal- but highly effective- filter format.

Read More

Back to School Sale Fall 2013 – Now Ended :(

With college classes back again, we thought it would be a perfect time to have another sale on VDMX to help students and up and coming VJs start off the fall semester. 

Through September 9th, you can get VDMX for only 99 USD by sending us a school photo ID card, or by participating in our  “starving artists” discount program.

Read More

New VDMX Update with “Waveclock” Automatic BPM Detection, MIDI / OSC Echo, and More!

Hey everyone, 

It's once again time for us to show off some of the awesome stuff we've been working on here in the VIDVOX labs with a new release to VDMX! There's quite a bit to go over in the latest update (ready to download and install), so let's get started..

Automatic BPM Detection by Wavesum:

The most exciting new feature in this update is a collaboration with Wavesum to bring one-click automatic BPM detection to the VDMX “Clock” plugin. If you've previously tried the Waveclock standalone application to send MIDI clock to a VJ application, you already know it's pretty tight clock sync, and with native support built directly in it's even more useful. Watch this video demonstration, then try running the example template alongside some of your favorite music.

Read more about BPM detection... 

MIDI / OSC Talkback, aka “Echo” mode:

For faster workflow when using of two way talkback of MIDI and OSC controllers, we've added a new “echo” option to all of the standard interface controls that can be used to relay the current slider / button / menu value back to your favorite hardware controller. This new feature can also be used to put together VDMX behaviors that were previously either not possible- such as lighting up button in sync with slider interesting marks- or time consuming to set up. To get a sense of some of the possibilities check out the new tutorials and templates explaining how to use “echo” with instruments like the Livid OhmRGB,  Akai APC40, and TouchOSC for iPad.

Read more about Echo mode... 

TouchOSC layout importing in the Control Surface:

In the “Control Surface” plugin we've added two new UI item options: multi-button and multi-slider which are especially useful for creating layouts that match up with MIDI and OSC controllers. To allow for an even closer mimicking of remote hardware interfaces, it is now also possible to include knob style controls by resizing sliders to be a square shape in its layout grid. Additionally, TouchOSC users can now directly import their template files to generate UI layout for the Control Surface plugin, including all the labels and addresses of each interface item.

Read more about TouchOSC import...

v002 Quartz Composer plugins and 14 new FX: 

 With this update we are now including an extra installer that adds an extra set of awesome “Glitch” and “Film” style image processing FX, highly optimized blurs (gaussian, motion and zoom) which can be used instead of their CoreImage counterparts, and the “Rutt Etra” analog synthesizer emulator. Thanks to Anton Marini (aka vade) and Bill Etra for this!

Also make sure to check out the GitHub page for the v002 plugins where you can find more useful objects to use in your custom QC compositions.

Read more about the v002 FX in VDMX... 

Apply Custom Math Expressions to Sliders:

Now each slider in VDMX has the ability to type in simple math expressions to pre-process incoming control data. Particularly useful when working with OSC numbers that aren't already ranged from 0.0 to 1.0 – for setup, "$VAL" is the passed val, "$MIN" and "$MAX" refer to the current slider min and max.

Behind The Scenes:

A few other noteworthy additions: support for 14-bit MIDI control values (for example from Serato controllers) can be enabled in the MIDI section of the preferences, a new option for assigning endless OSC rotary controls (for example the encoder TouchOSC control) to adjust slider values, 'continuous' and 'range' detect mode to local preset UI items, pop-up buttons, and slider marks.

On top of all this and the usual bug fixes, we've made a lot of back end optimizations that make switching between presets significantly faster- read the full list of changes for all of the details.

End Of Semester Sale, Ended May 27th!

​If you're on this page, you are probably looking for information about our end of semester sale on VDMX– well, sorry, you missed it, we taking in requests for the special offer at 11:59 PM EST on May 27th.

But the good news is, you can still take advantage of our regular discounted rate for students, teachers and other educational faculty ​to get VDMX for just 199 USD..

Read More

Presenting Hap, a family of open-source GPU accelerated video codecs

Today we are happy to share the fruits of a collaboration with Tom Butterworth that has been in the works for about a year now: Hap, a new video codec designed specifically for digital video artists and Mac VJs with the goal of achieving higher-performance video playback in OpenGL-based applications such as VDMX.

Instead of using the CPU to decode video frames, Hap passes compressed image data directly to your computer's graphics card for hardware accelerated decompression of movies during playback. By shifting this burden from your CPU to your GPU, Hap makes it possible to use more movies at higher resolutions than typical CPU-bound codecs.

Hap comes in three different flavors to meet the needs of real-world usage: Hap, Hap Alpha, and Hap Q. Hap offers the lowest data-rates for playing back the most clips at a time. Hap Alpha is similar to Hap, but adds support for transparency. Hap Q encodes at a higher data-rate to achieve significantly cleaner images when quality is a priority over performance and file size.


Click to read more about Hap...


Read More