Since its release, Syphon has demonstrated how visual materials can be more fluid on computers. The open source technology on OS X has changed the way people work with visual apps, become the key enabling tech that helped popularize streaming visuals to dedicated mapping applications, and, probably, convinced more than a few people to splurge on that MacBook Pro instead of a PC.

So, it’s always worth revisiting some of what it can do.

Earlier this year, Syphon co-creator vade demonstrated mapping with Syphon at New York’s now-legendary Eyebeam art research center, below:

(Via Le Collagiste [French])

Introduction to Syphon and Projection mapping workshop @ Eyebeam from vade on Vimeo.

In one concise video, vade (Anton Marini) illustrates the power of Syphon:

Quartz Composer was used to composite the various Syphon streams, via the Syphon plugin for Quartz Composer.
v002 Screen Capture plugin captures the screen within Quartz Composer, 4 Syphon Clients pull frames from Modul8, VDMX, and Resolume Avenue 4 and “Simple Client” simultaneously (all at 720p resolution) with alpha channels.
Quartz Composer then composites these live video feeds together along with the Eyebeam logo, and then a single Syphon Server sends the entire mix to both the Syphon Recorder application, and to Mad Mapper simultaneously.

Also updated in recent months, Camera-Live turns a camera into a live Syphon source. You can do this in any application that supports camera input and Syphon output, but Camera-Live performs another neat trick: with just this one app (and nothing else), you can directly transform a Canon DSLR into a live feed. And performance isn’t bad:

Typical latency of a Canon 7D is 120 ms (between 3 and 4 frames at 30 FPS), which is comparable to the latency of the same camera’s HDMI output connected to a capture device.

On GitHub:

See the related post (though GitHub is your current source for the latest project): Canon2Syphon v1.2 [Blair Neal]

(Off-topic: good to hear that Apple will continue to support AppleScript, despite missing dictionaries for the new iWork, because that means you can do things like full-screen MadMapper.)

What are you doing with Syphon? Which clients do you use? We’d love to hear about it. Send us your work, and let us shamelessly promote it – seriously.

  • florian

    this is the first time, i deeply regret choosing my otherwise beloved pentax over a canon.

    anyway, i made this with and for syphon a few months back:

  • Graham Thorne

    Syphon is now part of Isadora by Troikatronix also. Shows up in isadora as a general user actor. Syphon input and Stage Syphon Output making it very easy to send and receive Syphon video feeds.

    • Yeah, client/server support on desktop and now even mobile is pretty stunning.

  • VJ Anomolee

    I’ve been using Syphon to send camera’s in Unity3D to Millumin. Check it:

  • Nathan Selikoff

    I used Syphon to bring Processing sketches into VDMX for a live audio-visual performance with the Orlando Philharmonic last year:

    • Myuce Lawrence

      super cool!

  • barrabin

    I use syphon to output my VJ Session(CoGE) to traditional Skype/LiveStreamming websites , using the virtual camera of CamTwist.

    I’ve included support for Syphon on CamTwist (, but camtwist 3 already has Syphon Native.