If you’re trying to tackle visual programming to move your art forward, know this: you’re not alone.

And so it is that Mike Todd writes us to share Andrew Benson’s ongoing series of Jitter tutorials. I remember reading Andrew’s tutorials years ago, but the guy just keeps going – “recipe” number 50 for Max/MSP’s matrix/visual tool Jitter is now available. Mike is generous enough not only to point to those tutorials, but share some of the work he’s done with them. beeple’s videos are Creative Commons-licensed, so here, Mike takes on one as a learning etude. He writes:

I’ve been learning Max/MSP this year and I’ve found Andrew Benson’s tutorials essential to the process. He just finished his 50th Jitter Recipe, a great series that shows some practical tips and tricks from discussions in the Cycling74 forums. Check them out, and thanks Andrew for putting in such effort over the last 7 years (!) on these.


(I’m especially enjoying the new stuff with model animation and GEN!)

I made this video [above] after playing around with Recipe 37 – Shatters, and thought you may enjoy it.

Recipe 37 is actually a “vintage” recipe, so you’ll find it in book 3. (We turn in our Jitter hymnals this morning to hymn number 37, “And He shallt patch us together like sheep,” followed by “For He shall take into His arms they who read the manual.”)

More details, via Vimeo:

Remix of the Flying Lotus + beeple’s “Kill Your Co-Workers” video. Made and recorded in real-time. The original video is broken up into a bunch of pieces and thrown around the screen – inspired by Andrew Benson’s Jitter Recipe 37 (Shatter). I used an AKAI LPD8 mapped to several parameters to control the effect as it played and recorded the output with Syphon.

I’m thankful for people out there like Andrew and Mike (beeple). On top of being incredible artists, they are extremely generous with their knowledge and time – beeple releases all of his videos with creative commons licenses and source C4D files and Andrew painstakingly documents tutorials for Max/MSP and helps noobs like myself in the forums day-to-day. Andrew just finished his 50th Jitter Recipe, go check them out!
Oh, and Flying Lotus seems cool as hell too (need a VJ?)
beeple – beeple-crap.com/
Andrew Benson – pixlpa.com/
Flying Lotus – flying-lotus.com/
Original Video – vimeo.com/15572863
Syphon – syphon.v002.info/
High-Res Download:
The compression doesn’t do the video much favor, so if you don’t mind downloading a huge file I think the difference is worth it.

Mike Todd: miketodd.info

  • Thanks for the note, Peter.  I have a minor quibble with the word “tutorial.” 😉  Jitter ships with a bunch of really long, and really informative tutorials, but the idea with the Recipes was that it seemed like people were giving up before they got to the cool stuff.  I have the luxury of spending long hours staring into the vortex of experimental video, both in the context of working for C74, and with my own work as a visual artist, performer, and visuals programmer for hire. I know a lot of the unexplored corners and know how to find them, and wanted to draw something of a map for people who want to start in. The Recipes have been a personal project of mine in my downtime at work, and were never intended to be the tome of magical secrets that it has become. At many points I’ve thought, I’m done with the Recipes, I’ve given out all my secret tricks.  But then Jitter keeps getting better and I keep coming up with new tricks.  For now, I’m trying to do one a week for the foreseeable future, so stay tuned for more.  I want everybody who uses Jitter to have access to the really powerful magic, and not get sidelined by the complexity of this rich tool.  Peter, I hope you have time to check out some of the new stuff.  I’m proud of these latest ones.

  • They are certainly more like crazy secret hacker tricks than tutorials, to be sure. thanks again for sharing them.
    The download link I posted really seems to make a big difference in quality, so I highly recommend it, although the file is about 1.9 gigs the way I recorded it. It’s dense. I haven’t quite figured out a good way to transcode it for Vimeo (the posted version followed their recommendations). Any codec gurus out there (Andrew and Peter included) have any suggestions? It was recorded using Apple Intermediate in Syphon Recorder.

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  • Paul

    Interesting.  I have been doing a very similar technique, based on Quartz Composer filters over a video source.  I tend to use Coge (to organize this and add in midi or other HID controls) and the wonderful Syphon Recorder also for persistence.

    One aesthetic challenge I find with this remix medium is to find a level and type of distortion that is in some way “true” to the original.  The video source can quickly become simply a palette of color.  For me, the true excitement comes in attempting something like Picasso’s cubism, whereby he rendered images that were both recognizable and seriously distorted; the source object is understandable and the emotions generated related to that object and it’s nature.

    I suppose it is a bit analogous to the audio sample world:  if you use macro samples one can often hear the rhythm or hook of the original.  With micro samples, it is more of a texture.

  • John

    i have the strange urge to buy some french jewelry.   thanks for sharing, guys.

  • just a note that the Book 3 link has broken html tags.
    PS I am loving jitter.. still a newbie, but the potential is amazing..
    I hope to use it to expand the generative capabilities of my custom video mixer.
    see: http://www.dusxproductions.com/blog/free-video-mixer-for-vjs/