Built-in mapping features now is anything but mad.

Adding built-in mapping features now is anything but mad. Images courtesy ArKaos.

ArKaos’ GrandVJ live visual software is now in a major upgrade and out of beta, with a companion mapping module alongside.

Some readers – largely those loyal to rival tools – have responded that the number “2” after GrandVJ left them wanting more substantial changes. But this isn’t a radical update – not in visible ways. Instead, ArKaos are tuning the ways in which you use the software and the performance beneath.

Or another way to look at this – ArKaos are getting rid of some major gripes from users. That includes making sure codecs you want are there, some confusing user interface wrinkles have been ironed out, and that activation works more easily across a couple of computers.

Those nice adjustments, plus some major new improvements, are now available for free to GrandVJ 1 users (nice):

  • Updated video processing engine with better multi-threading and playback performance
  • New effects (the most useful being a Color Correction effect), new transitions
  • Audio file support (as found in rival Resolume Avenue)
  • Updated user interface (see below) with color-coded layers and cells, easier panel locks

See our previous story on the update:
ArKaos GrandVJ 2 Now in Public Beta: Video Mapping, Improved UI

The free updates are nice, but the biggest news for ArKaos users is a built-in, integrated video mapping tool – something which previously required a third-party solution for greater control, as in MadMapper.

In GrandVJ 2 XT, the VideoMapper extension is built-in. Like MadMapper, you get scalable surfaces you can use to tailor video content to projection surfaces, multiple outputs, LED screens, and the like.

VideoMapper’s implementation looks rather nice. Cells and layers can be mapped directly, and the software automatically detects different mixes of outputs.

You can see how it works in the gallery. It is certainly very similar to MadMapper, but the integration is nice – and if it can best MadMapper on reliability alone, I’m sold.

Have a look, and we’d love to hear from loyal GrandVJ users; maybe you can even give us a test.

GrandVJ 2

GrandVJ 2 XT

  • SB

    What is it with current VJ apps all being in a race to take the crown of ‘worst UI’?
    I’m unsure what that brown smear behind the panels on the second shot is meant to represent.

    • vrom

      .. it means: those smeary panels show the parameters of the selected layer. when they are blueish they represent the parameters of a cell..

  • London Mark

    It saves hours of creating custom source files for complex mappings you can mix everything on the fly. In the XT version it allows you to send any source to any mapped surface or group of surfaces live. The mapper was originally from their professional versions of their media servers so is already had a lot of use.
    It is only the basic version that is the free upgrade. The xt version is a new extra functionality as an integrated solution instead of having to use something like Madmapper.
    The colours in the interface the blue indicates you are in the synth mode and the brown indicates you are in the mixer mode.
    It is worth downloading and trying it in the demo mode to explore its functionality.

  • Disappointed

    ARKAOS is rubbish. Period. I’ve never been more disappointed by a piece of software or a company. When I had myriad technical problems with an ARKAOS server we had in place with a client, the closest I ever got to a useful piece of advice was “We have hundreds of systems around the world, and none of them have ever failed”, followed up by an attack on my professional background. Two weeks of veiled insults and flimsy attempts at solutions culminated in an on-site visit from an ARKAOS tech, who couldn’t fix the problem – I guess that’s what happens when none of your hardware ever fails, huh? Such bull, and I have the email trail to back it up. Stay far, far away from any of their half-baked products and horrific customer service.

  • Ex-Fanboy

    I bought arkaos 1.0 because I did not like Resolume. Then I upgraded continually, being tricked in with promises of new stability and features. Then nothing for a year until: Grand VJ 1 with no discounts for previous users. That ended it for me. Working on a Media Server from them was just as horrible, sorry – and the really arrogant customer service made it worse. I personally oversaw or was involved in over 20 large event halls and discos throughout Europe throwing out Arkaos/Grand VJ/Media Severs and changing over to resolume. Still not a fan of resolume but at least it “just works” and the customer service is unparalleled. Avoid Arkaos at all costs.

  • mm

    I have always chosen GrandVJ over Resolume for a number of reasons, but primarily I loved the simple and intuitive interface of GrandVJ over Resolume’s UI. I hope I am not disappointed with the new interface, which, at first glance, appears to be trying too hard to compete with Resolume. I have heard multiple Resolume users tout it’s reliability, while seeing it crash multiple times during live performances. Never happens with Arkaos. Resolume users have knocked Arkaos because of how “simple” it’s interface is. Shouldn’t an interface be easy and intuitive, not over complicated and a hassle to navigate (because of un-used functions or a weird color scheme or layout)? A good interface should consider the way an application would naturally be used by a customer and be designed around that. The user should not have to modify their workflow based on the layout of their hardware or software. If anything, developers and users should place more attention on the functionality of the products, and create more customizable tools, so their users can utilize and arrange the functions in whatever ways suits them.