Musicians have long benefited from audio plug-ins; why not visualists and VJs? The FreeFrame plug-in format is the answer to that question, with broad support in favored visual apps like Resolue Avenue, Modul8, vvvv, Jitter, and others. All you need is some plug-in juice to feed them.

Enter Marc Wren, whose new sfFreeFrame plug-in is a fully free and open source set of visual plugins compatible with FreeFrame 1.5 hosts. Because it’s free software, you’re also free to check out and modify, under the same license, the source – a great way to learn about 3D OpenGL programming and FF.

I’ve selected a couple of my favorites, but there are others in the collection, too. I like that, far from the usual (and often unsatisfying) video filters, you get some really lovely, audio-reactive abstract visuals. I hope this sparks other similar efforts.

Marc writes with further explanation:

Howdy, I’ve been enjoying your blog for a while and wanted to share something I thought your readers might be interested in. I just released the first version of a project I’ve been working on called sfFreeFrame. It’s a collection of FreeFrame plugins for use in A/V software like Resolume. The project is open source for anyone interested in tinkering with the code. I’m hoping these plugins will be useful both to people looking for additional elements to use in their performances and for people trying to get into visual programing. I wanted to get the project out for the New Year as a way of giving back to the development community. There are four plugins at the moment and I plan to add more throughout the year (I’ve been working on these during my lunch hours so it’s a been a little slow going). The project is in Beta so I’m hoping you can help me get people to play with it and report bugs. You can find demos of what the plugins look like at:

For anyone interested in playing
with the code, the project is hosted at SourceForge:

Thanks, Marc! Anyone else got favorite FF plugins or collections, especially for the newer 1.5 format? And anyone else doing similar development?

(One idea: any readers interested in starting a little FF study group? Now that the format works with OpenFrameworks…)

  • Morph

    Anyone have any luck getting them working in M8 2.6.1

    I've extracted the ZIP file in the M8 plugins folder but its not listing them in my Filters.

  • cool Plugins! I tested them)

  • VDMX CAN´T load these, right ?

    well , we got quart composer… 8)

  • The Isadora forums are discussing trying to get these working too.

    Look great!

  • What would be the best way to try live visuals on the cheap? Are there any decent (not necessarilly world class) Open Source initiatives out there that would support these plugins? Anything in the Reaperish-approx$100-range?

  • ChrisG

    Is the current version of jitter compatible with freeframe 1.5? I used to use Pete wardens plugins but it was limited by the CPU, not good when we only had a single core to do everything. 

    I'm looking forward to using Marcs plugins if and when jitter supports them…

  • EATYone

    don't find any way of using them with Jitter…

  • pietro

    Freeframe doesn't really work with jitter : first they need to be Universal Binary (99% of them aren't) + they don't support open gl. So putting jitter in the list of software that support Freeframe is a joke…
    I guess that's why vdmx doesn't support freeframe and I don't know about modul8 but it might be the same probs

  • EATYone

    thnx for the explanation Pietro

  • Modul8 doesn't support FFGL (1.5), although everyone seems to think it does.

  • lovely plugins tho, work a treat in resolume avenue…

  • vjwunderkind

    AFAIK the next gen VDMX will support FFGL. 

  • No Comment about VDMX B8 support for FFGL (FF 1.5)


  • deb

    works great in resolume. this is great stuff, and looks lovely—they're really finished products.
    the thing for me is — how do I use these to do something personal rather than just playback? Looking forward to experimenting.

  • red.dakini

    Resolume 3.3.1 crashes after restarting (after setting FFGL directory) on a WIN 7 x64.

    Are these compatible with WIN 7 64 bits?

  • bob

    Yeah, can't get them to work in R3.3.1 as well…can't find them in the directory actually. Win7x64

  • Same thing here, Can't get them to work with R3.3.1 on an Win7x64 system.

  • red.dakini

    Does anybody care about answering or is this space just a shoutbox?

  • I've got it figured out on Winx64.  You need to add the directory the plugs are in into your PATH environment variable.  First you need your path, an easy way is to navigate to the directory containing the plugs in Explorer and right click on the address bar, and "copy address as text".  Then hit the start button, right click on "Computer" and hit "Properties".  Hit "Advanced System Settings" (should be in the left panel) and hit "Environment Variables" in that screen.  Almost there.  Now in the bottom panel scroll down and select the "Path" variable.  Now every entry here MUST be separated by a semicolon.  So go to the end of the collection of directories, enter a semicolon (;) and paste the directory you copied.  If you accidentally overwrite your paths, just cancel out of the screen and go back and try again.  Just make sure it's all good to go before you save.  Should work without rebooting, took me three days of "you don't have zlib.dll on your system" until I figured out I should just point the path var that way.

  • bob

    Yeah got it working too, just copied the freeframe .dll's to resolume's main directory..Cool stuff hey.

  • Can't seem to find it in the effects/sources. copied it into the plugins folder. am using resolume avenue 3.2. anyone care to shed some light?