It may be called a beta, but that hasn’t stopped VDMX from being a favorite in big live gigs. Here is powering przemion’s rig in Amsterdam.

VDMX5 may be “perpetually in beta”, but oh, what a beta it is. The latest version includes some major breakthroughs, a new render engine, lots of new features — and significant signs that VDMX may be nearing its milestone non-beta release. And don’t bother mentioning the “beta” status to the many people for whom this insanely rich, Mac-only VJ app is the center of live visual sets. VDMX has been rock solid, and keeps getting better.

VDMX5 public beta 6.9.0 now available [Vidvox User Forums]

New in this release:

  • Faster rendering: A new render engine with vastly improved performance – and OpenGL add/over blend modes (“extremely fast,” say Vidvox)
  • Smarter sizing: Smart auto-sizing and syncing size
  • Stills: Better still image / texture support
  • Interactive Web sources: Live use of Flash files and even Web pages (evidently including applets like Processing), with basic interaction
  • Slicker effects: Layer-specific effects preset chains, new delay and RGB delay FX (I always enjoy a little RGB delay), and better effects management

More documentation and improvements are coming, as well.

The render engine is clearly the worthy headline here, but I think people will be very, very excited about including Flash and Processing sketches. I have to give that a try. (CDMotion’s own vade hacked his own solution, routing visuals between apps on Leopard — but, of course, better integration would be great.)

It’s also worth noting that this yet again demonstrates that “native” visual support isn’t always better — that is, OpenGL in this case trumped the Mac-only Core Image for blending modes. Obviously, you use whatever works best, and that is at least in some cases the cross-platform API.

As VDMX plows forward, it’s not alone. Just to mention one rival, <resolume 3 for both Mac and Windows should keep this category heated up. (See CDM’s previous preview.) Resolume is now on Twitter if you want to stalk — erm, follow — the creators.