Working with Quartz compositions in Modul8

Screen shot 2009-10-28 at 18.55.38In Modul8 you’re able to play Quartz compositions (.qtz files) just by dragging them into your media bank like any other movie. However there are a number of problems with this approach:

No 1. Performance. I have done tests and often there is a severe drop in framerate for qtz files in Modul8 compared to the framerate in the Quartz Composer editor.

No 2. You cannot decide the rendering size of .qtz files in Modul8 (in version 2.5). They are always rendered as 640×480. In Modul8 v2.6 you can set the size in Preferences but there may be many situations where you’d like to set the size for the individual files.

No 3. You cannot set the duration of .qtz files in Modul8. Duration will always be 30 sec.

I find that these problems can be solved by following the steps below and converting the .qtz file to a .mov before importing it into Modul8.

If you have Quicktime Pro (as you should – it’s sort of a vj’s swiss army knife) just

1 – open your qtz file with Quicktime pro. Then
2 – resize the viewer window to your desired size. You can hit cmd+I to view the current size in the inspector.
3 – Save the file as a .mov using ‘Save as’ where you have the option to set another duration eg. 60 sec.

Now you can open the mov file in Modul8 and it will have the size and duration you want plus in many cases the framerate will improve. Note that even though the file is called .mov it is still a Quartz composition. It’s just been wrapped in a Quicktime packaging.

Also note that if the size is too big you won’t gain better performance even if you scale it down inside Modul8. You’ll have to scale down the mov file in Quicktime until you find a size that works.

Hope this works for you

Share it:

3 Comments

  1. ignaciotorres

    that was usefull, thanks!!, now i can bring my “sort of hypercube” into modul8 and play with it without quiting modul8. Lets see how it affect performance, but still, simple and clear, as truth should be

Trackbacks for this post

  1. Quartz Composer performance in Modul8
  2. Setting the right size and duration of Quartz compositions in Modul8

Leave a Comment