Using the Built-In VDMX OSCQuery Browser

The OSCQuery protocol makes it easy for software that supports OSC to access each others parameters for remote control, without a lengthy setup process. Within VDMX there are a few ways to take advantage of this and in this tutorial we will focus on using the built-in OSCQuery Browser window which can be used to browse the address space of a server, send OSC messages and add OSC sending elements to our workspace.

The built-in OSCQuery Browser Window can be opened from the Window menu or by using the cmd+5 keyboard shortcut. From this panel you can access, browse and search the namespaces of other applications. For each of the listed OSC address destinations at the remote server you can:

  • Use the provided interface control to quickly send test data.

  • Dragged the listed item on to UI elements in VDMX (such as sliders, buttons, and color wheels – this also works with the list of variables in the Cue List plugin inspector) to automatically configure OSC sending to the remote hosts.

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Show Production: From Mood Boards to Technical Riders

Along with the technical tutorials on how to use VDMX and other software tools, one of the main focuses of this site are topics related to the field of performing live visuals. In this post we'll be looking at some of the techniques that are used to bring a show from an idea through to an actual production, covering the areas of:

Mood boarding: A primer, or “mood board,” is used to gather ideas for the overall style and palette for the visual design. This may include a collection of colors, graphics, textures, image references, screen grabs and sketches.

  1. Mood boarding: A primer, or “mood board,” is used to gather ideas for the overall style and palette for the visual design. This may include a collection of colors, graphics, textures, image references, screen grabs and sketches.

  2. Storyboarding: A storyboard takes the elements derived from the mood board and places them in time, typically matching up events such as style changes with important moments in other elements of the show production, such as the music or theater scene changes.

  3. Pre-production: During pre-production any prepared material, such as video files, still images, interactive generators, custom FX, that are needed for the show are created and arranged in the performance software for rehearsals.

  4. Technical riders: Technical rider documents are often created as a way to clearly describe the broad technical aspects of a show production, including details like equipment lists, wiring diagrams, stage layouts, venue requirements, and contact information for people involved.

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Kalma Shows How To Get Started With VDMX

One our favorite questions for people who have been using VDMX is to ask them how they would show it to someone who has never used it before and we are especially excited to see how teachers are introducing the software in classrooms and workshops. Everyone learns best in a different way and it is always helpful for us to see new approaches to VJ techniques.

For this guest video tutorial we are joined by Kalma who has been organizing workshops in Europe on topics including VJing and 3D Mapping, covering a wide variety of software including VDMX.

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4 Layer Korg nanoKONTROL2 template

One of the popular controllers used by VJs is the Korg nanoKONTROL, a versatile set of sliders, knobs and buttons that can be easily mapped to different setups. The goal of this more setup is to provide a good standard VJ rig for this controller that includes 4 layers with playback / mixing / color adjustment, clip / page switching along with a set of both manual and audio reactive FX that can be individually enabled.

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Guest Tutorial: 10 Workflow Tips from DocOptic

This guest tutorial from the DocOptic team goes over some of their favorite tips to improve our workflow while using VDMX including keyboard shortcuts, BPM automation, presets, and more. Also covered are a few techniques using features of VDMX such as the Alpha Mask effect and using application windows as media sources.

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Overview of Available Data-sources in VDMX

A big part of using VDMX is taking advantage of the ability to automate any of the standard interface controls (sliders, buttons, color pickers, pop-up menus) which are used to control everything including things like the opacity of a layer, the volume or rate of a movie, the intensity of a blurring FX being applied, or even the settings of any of the automation plugins themselves.

For this quick reference tutorial we'll look at all of the available data-sources that VDMX publishes internally for automating controls. These can all be used on their own, or together, and in some cases you may have multiple providers of each type.

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Video Fundamentals – Part 1 – General Workflow

Since the first introduction of our new blog almost a year ago the number of topics covered has grown to include a wide variety of subjects that at this point you could almost write an entire class on VJing and live video techniques from our tutorials.

With this in mind, rather than trying to teach how to use VDMX to new potential users, we've started to put together a new “Introduction to Video Fundamentals” curriculum that focuses on the basic knowledge needed to get started. While these ideas are usually demonstrated with VDMX, a lot of the underlying techniques are generally translatable to other software and hardware for video and lighting production.

In part two of this series (stay tuned) we'll start to look at some more advanced topics for putting all of this together along case studies and tips from the pros in the field.

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Converting movies to the Hap video codec

Hap is a new video codec for Mac OS X that performs image decompression on a computer's video card, substantially reducing the CPU usage necessary to play back a movie- this is useful in situations where CPU power is a limiting factor, such as when working with high resolution movies.

In this tutorial we'll look at when it is appropriate to use Hap encoded files and how to convert movie files using the free Vidvox batch exporter utility, or your other favorite QuickTime enabled applications.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is VDMX5?

VDMX5 is a modular realtime video performance application for the Mac which has been evolving and undergoing continuous development for a number of years (technically, it's classified as a beta). On this website you can find lots of tutorials that demonstrate some of the many ways that VDMX5 can be used.

What is b8?

"b8" refers to the 8th major series of builds (beta 8.x.x.x), and has its own FAQ because it's a complete redesign and rewrite of the whole application in response to user feedback.

When is the final release of VDMX5 going to happen? Will there be an additional update fee when that happens?

We don't have a slated release date in mind at this time for the official final release of VDMX5 – when the software is finished we'll be happy to call it a final release. When that happens, there won't be any additional cost to use the final release.

What are the system requirements for VDMX5?

Minimum System Requirements

  • Mac computer with an Intel processor
  • Mac OS X 10.10.5 or later

Recommended System Requirements

  • NVIDIA or ATI Graphics Card
  • 4+ GB of RAM

Note that VDMX5 is not currently supported on Windows.

Do you offer any discounts on VDMX5?

We know that many people can not afford the full price of VDMX5 and we offer two different routes for getting a fully functional license at a reduced rate.

  • We offer a 150 USD educational discount for students, teachers and educational institutions.
  • We offer a 150 USD “starving artists” discount in exchange for a small community projects.
    • Write a blog post documenting how you plan on using VDMX for a project and a follow up post when the project is complete.
    • Record a new video tutorial (about 2-5 minutes) on a topic not already covered.
    • Translate an existing tutorial into another language.
    • Create and share an original set of Creative Commons licensed media files (eg movies, ISF, Quartz Composer, Vuo)
    • Release an open source application that does something interesting or useful with MIDI, OSC, or Syphon.
    • Send us a proposal with your own idea!

What online users communities can I join related to VDMX5 and live visuals?

There are several places online where people who use VDMX5 and other related toolsets that you may want to become a part of.

How can I get help if I have a problem with VDMX5?

If you are having trouble with VDMX5 or otherwise need to contact us for support, we can be reached by the following means:

  • For problems with serial numbers or registering, or other general sales inquiries about VDMX, please send us an email:
  • For lost serial numbers visit:
  • If VDMX crashes ("The Application VDMX5 has unexpectedly quit"), just relaunch it: on launch, it checks to see if it can access the internet, and if it can it will automatically send us the crash log your system generated. From this panel you can request an email reply to crash logs submitted if you would like more information about the issue.

  • If VDMX hangs (if it's not responding and you've got the "spinny beachball") please email us a Stack Trace and anything from your Console Logs that happened while VDMX was running.

  • If you're having any other kind of problem, please file a bug report by choosing "Report Bug" from the "Help" menu.

Please keep in mind that the faster we can reproduce whatever problem you're having, the sooner we'll be able to fix it. Describing exactly how to duplicate your problem is usually helpful - if it is easier, feel free to include images or record a short screencast demonstrating your bug and send that to us!