Quartz Composer Guide © Cybero Designs  

Snow Leopard - Doodles & Noodles


Firstly, I wanted to see just how well some of my old compositions worked in Snow Leopard. This precipitated a process of pulling plugins that showed they were not pre flighting correctly [ loading at application boot time ], or that now were intercepted as being of an incorrect architecture.

The Console application proved invaluable in this , especially as other 3rd party monitoring and feedback plugins were amongst the various plugins pulled. See Pulled & Culled for further details of what didn't actually make it through thus far to QC 4. This process had one extra tier of refinement, namely that code blocks in plugins might well be acceptable at 32 bit, but fail if QC 4 were booted as 64 bit, its Snow Leopard default boot mode.

Until further notice, this differential is likely, under some circumstances, to make for a 32 bit plugin variant to the norm reference 64 bit QC 4 working environment.

No doubt about it, at the time of writing, these Open CL dependent compositions are needing a health warning sticker on 10.6.x. There still seems to be a whole lot to find out about making Open CL stable and supportable for the currently deployed line of Intel ready Macs that could install OS x 10.6.x .
Jelly CL
This simply is what can happen when one has re-versioned the default Jelly visualizer for Leopard [10.5.x], typically by adding additional resources to the Preset list available via the menu shortcut, then proceeding to employ the Open CL , Mesh Rendering facilities made available in 10.6.x instead of Sprites, or iterated Billboards. To avoid potential plugin problems, any GL Tool items were removed from the Leopard / GL Tools friendly version prior to adding in the .dae & Mesh patch assets used.
I really like the kind of hand painted effect I've stumbled onto, definitely more the result of my not having dealt with textures or something in the production of the .dae than anything especially deliberate. Please note that as of the 10.6.2 update this currently posted composition crashes iTunes. So only use , at your own risk, upon 10.6.1 or earlier.

The .dae [Digital File Exchange] assets were loaded from a local folder to the project folder [./DAE/nameof.dae]. They were created in GroBoto and exported via Blender as .dae files. The other particles are created by exploiting a transplanted Particle System from Apple's Snow.qtz Sample Code example.

They were then rendered and sometimes iterated as Mesh patch renders.

To ensure that the example download works, it has been archived along with the .dae assets employed. The folder and the JellySL.qtz should be installed to ~/Library/Compositions. Requires iTunes visualizer on 10.6.x .


Stream CL
Having satisfied myself that it was perfectly feasible to create a really fine visualizer using purely Open CL generated graphics within the pre-existing Jelly framework, I thought it was about time to see if .dae and Mesh Render patches couldn't provide a pretty responsive variant upon the old wowlab favourite, Stream.

The original Stream used a line, Stream Spline, used a spline and a GL line, Stream CL uses only .dae and Mesh Rendering patches. There were a few hit and misses with implementing this . Open CL dependent renders can be very touchy, just a little too much volume and the balloon bursts.

After a little experimentation and a couple of Queue related freezes the Stream Meshes rolled off the QC production line. This does pass the 10.6.2 update test. [It doesn't crash in iTunes].

To ensure that the example download works, it has been archived along with the .dae assets employed. The DAE assets were created in GroBoto and exported via Blender as .dae files. The folder and the StreamMeshes.qtz should be installed to ~/Library/Compositions. Requires iTunes visualizer on 10.6.x .


See Stream CL Gallery for further examples.

I've only recently picked up on the new Interactive / Feedback patches. They prove to be pretty well nigh impossible to export via Quartz Crystal. However I do have some Jing capture to inflict upon you all :-) . I am quite enamoured of this particular set of patches and expect to be digging into them even more in the future.

For the time being though this simple example shall have to speak volumes for what is possible.


Network Patches
Just recently came across an example RSS QC file that exploited QC 4's facility with arbitrary XML. The following is a revamped version that gives you the choice of two such feeds, one for BBC Radio and the other for BBC TV. Thanks to the BBC RAD team blog for the original upon which this tiny refinement is based.

The file should be installed to ~/Library/Screen Savers
h for Help, 1 to set to TV feed and r to reset to Radio feed. Enjoy :-)

All compositions created in QC 4 using only Apple's default patches and some home grown .dae assets. All movies rendered offline using Quartz Crsytal from Kineme and output with QuickTimePro.
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