Controlling Quartz Composer Parameters with VDMX

Almost any Quartz Composer patch parameter can be controlled in real time by VDMX data sources (waveforms, oscillators, step sequencers, audio analysis bands, buttons, sliders, etc). VDMX has a single fundamental requirement for such compositions, that is each input has to be published in the parent view of the document using an Input Splitter.

Let’s assume that you want to control the diameter of a sphere using VDMX.

  1. Right-click the Sphere patch and select “Published Inputs” -> “Diameter”. Give it a name of your liking. This will highlight the small circle next to the “Diameter” input of the patch. It means the input has been published. VDMX required the following additional step.
  2. Right-click the Sphere patch and select “Insert Input Splitter” and select the (already published and named) diameter input. This will create an Input Splitter with the name you originally gave to your diameter input.
  3. Load VDMX and put the composition into the media bin.
  4. Hold shift and then select (click) the composition in the media bin.
  5. Now look at the Media Inspector window in VDMX. You will find the diameter input available as a slider.
  6. Right click the slider controller and go to “Use this Data Source:” and choose the data source you prefer.
  7. Click apply.

If the sphere is inside a macro patch, such as a Lighting or 3D Transformation patch, you will need to do step 2 (publishing the input splitter) only after you exit to the parent of the macro patch. You will then be inserting the Input Splitter to the published input available on the macro patch itself. You will need to keep on moving “outwards” while publishing the inputs, if you have macro patches within macro patches.

The Media Inspector shows different types of inputs with different types of controllers. Boolean or on-off inputs are shown as toggle switches, numbers shown as a sliders, colors shown as color-pickers, text shown as text input boxex and finally video inputs shown as video taps.

Additionally, VDMX itself publishes the BPM and measure position (a value between 0 and 1 that indicates the current position of the BPM clock) available for quartz compositions to use. If you name your input splitter’s published input’s name “MeasurePosition” or “VDMXBPM” (eg: instead of “Diameter” writing “MeasurePosition”), those values then will be automatically assigned to the inputs without you having to manually assign using the Media Inspector.

Posted December 3rd, 2008 in category quartz composer.