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Using the EMIT Quartz Composer Library

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New Movie Loader in Quartz Composer for Snow Leopard

New Movie Loader in Quartz Composer for Snow Leopard

Exploring the awesome updates to the Movie Loader patch in the new Quartz Composer for Snow Leopard

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Make realtime AV Cutups the easy way – with Lucifer and Ableton Live

Quartz Composer: 3D Cubes and Audio Input

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A Beginner’s Tutorial on Lighting, Cubes and Audio Input to make an Interactive Toy in Quartz Composer.

AV Challenge 2: Part One, Making the Clips

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Momo the Monster’s Method for AV Madness

Loop-R VJ Touchscreen System

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Homemade Performance system from visual_basiq

Playsonic: AV Fun with a Game Controller

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NuVJ Crash Course

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A VJ’s Pet – Lemur

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Play a Movie in Quartz Composer

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QC can look daunting at first – here’s how to get started.

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Visit the VJ Kung Fu Channel on Vimeo to download the original, high-quality Quicktime.

New Movie Loader in Quartz Composer for Snow Leopard

playMovie

Quartz Composer has always had an easy way to play movies. You drag and drop your movie into the editor, connect the image ports and the movie plays. However, its control over movies has left much to be desired. We can set the timebase to external for a movie, which the exposes the Patch Time parameter. If we change that the movie shuttles to our new position, but we can’t get it playing again without changing our timebase. And you can’t change the timebase with an external controller, so this method is out for live performance.

Also, to play the audio track of a movie, you have to switch to Asynchronous mode. In Leopard, this also meant losing any control over playback.

The movie loader in Snow Leopard changes all of that. We can zoom between positions in our movie, while the video and audio play continuously.

Let’s take a look.

movieLoaderAsynchronous mode in Snow Leopard gives us a lot more options than it did before. Here are the new parameters we’ll focus on:

Reset Signal:
Shuttles the movie back to the Selection Start and continues playing.
Selection Start:
The playhead, effectively. Changing this will not affect current position until Reset = True.
Rate:
Playback speed for audio and video. Slow-mo effect also pitches audio up and down. Works in reverse.

Building it Yourself

In this short tutorial, you’ll learn how to use these parameters to control your video and audio.

  1. Start a new composition and add a Clear patch and a Billboard.
  2. Set the Billboard’s Width to 2.
  3. Drag in a movie from your hard disk (an SSD is highly recommended). You can download a free high-quality countdown movie at the end of this article.
  4. Connect the Image output of your Movie Loader to the Image input of your Billboard.
  5. Use the Inspector (Command-i) on your Movie Loader to turn on Asynchronous mode.
  6. Set the Movie Loader’s Rate to 0 to stop playback.
  7. Change the Selection Start to an arbitrary amount and check the Reset box to see your movie jump to the new point. Note that you have to uncheck and then recheck the box to get it to jump again.

Now we just have to combine these actions – setting a new Selection Start and resetting the movie. I’ve got a finished version of this page available for download at the end of this article. I recommend you download it and open it up.

Playing With My Version

movieControlAdv

In this setup,  we still have the Movie connecting to the Billboard, and we’ve got two new additional patches. We’ve got the Keyboard patch, which sends key signals through the Javascript patch, which interprets them, sends the Position data out to the Selection Start on the Movie, and also sends a Reset signal.

Notice that the Movie’s Duration is being fed into the Javascript patch. This is how the Javascript patch knows where in the movie to jump to. For the curious, here’s the Javascript code:

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function (__number position, __boolean reset) main (__number inputNumber[8], __number duration)
{
var result = new Object();
var slice = duration/8;

if ( inputNumber[0] > 0 ) {
result.position = slice*1-slice;
result.reset = true;
} else

if ( inputNumber[1] > 0 ) {
result.position = slice*2-slice;
result.reset = true;
} else

if ( inputNumber[2] > 0 ) {
result.position = slice*3-slice;
result.reset = true;
} else

if ( inputNumber[3] > 0 ) {
result.position = slice*4-slice;
result.reset = true;
} else

if ( inputNumber[4] > 0 ) {
result.position = slice*5-slice;
result.reset = true;
} else

if ( inputNumber[5] > 0 ) {
result.position = slice*6-slice;
result.reset = true;
} else

if ( inputNumber[6] > 0 ) {
result.position = slice*7-slice;
result.reset = true;
} else

if ( inputNumber[7] > 0 ) {
result.position = slice*8-slice;
result.reset = true;
} else {
result.reset=false;
}

return result;
}

Using the home row keys on your keyboard (a, s, d, f, j, k, l, ;), you can jump to 8 different spots in the movie. You can also change the Rate for some fun time-bending effects. So there you have it – controlling a movie – With Audio – in the new Quartz Composer for Snow Leopard.

Next time we’ll take a look at swapping out this keyboard patch for a Midi Notes receiver so we can control our videos with Ableton Live.

Coming in early 2010: Realtime Graphics With Quartz Composer

The first how-to book on using this awesome language. Co-authored by Surya Buchwald (Momo the Monster) and Graham Robinson (VJ Shakinda).

 
 

5 Responses to “New Movie Loader in Quartz Composer for Snow Leopard”

  1. nobbystylus Says:

    Great tutorial chaps.. can't wait for the midi note version!

  2. alex Says:

    wow ! thanks for giving me a reason for buying snow ;-) i can't wait any longer !!!!

  3. monbaza Says:

    Thank you!!!!!!
    I expect to see Shkinda's book!!

    Monbaza from Taiwan

  4. itsthejayj Says:

    Nice tutorial + useful bit of javascript for the community. The movie loader is qc 4 is need improvement, however could do with a volume control as i noticed occasionally when disabling a macro with a movie loader within the quicktime movies sound stills plays!

  5. Chris::Bamborough » Improvising with visuals. Says:

    [...] new iMac running 10.6 (Snow Leopard), and have recently found out about Quartz Composer. Through VJ Kung Fu I found a number of videos which attempted just what I have been setting out to achieve and it [...]

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