Quartz Composer

Jul 14, 2005

Quartz Composer is provided free with Mac OS X Tiger when you install the XCode developer tools. It is located at;

/Developer/Applications/Graphics Tools

Quartz Composer files (.qtz) can be opened directly by Quicktime Player or any Quicktime-based application - you can drag a .qtz file directly into iMovieHD or iDVD. The file will be rendered into DV video, which means you can share your compositions with those not equipped with the requisite hardware - minimum 32Mb video card, and greater if you want to take advantage of the Core Image patches which demand processing on a suitably hefty programmable graphics card.

Many of the multitude of patches in Quartz Composer will work on a lower configuration; there are patches provided which perform programming tasks, import images and video, sound and midi, or render anything from clear colours or gradients to geometric primitives. A lower configuration also supports the particle generator patch, 3D transformations, lighting and fog.

If your graphics card supports Core Image, then you can render blurs, distortions, transitions and more in real-time (a lower configuration will attempt to render these patches on the CPU, sending the framerate plummeting).

If you are running OS X Tiger, here are a few compostions to take a look at;

Starfield A bog standard starfield using the particle generator.

Floating Cubes 3D transformation patch containing a cube in an iterator patch which is inside another iterator patch inside another iterator patch.

Moon An irregular orbit around a sphere renderer with an image of the moon mapped onto it.

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