A dancer celebrates OpenFrameworks … and we celebrate OpenFrameworks goodness meeting up with FreeFrameGL flexibility. Photo (CC-BY-SA) aniara.

The folks at Resolume have given us a fantastic gift: now, you can make your own FreeFrameGL plug-ins with OpenFrameworks.

Say wha?

Okay, so, first, let’s consider the problem. You want to create a cool visual effect. Right now, you can do that hard work for one platform (as with Quartz Composer and the Mac, a combination which, admittedly, does work pretty nicely). But what if you want to be able to port that visual between software or even between operating systems? Given that you’re running video cards that all support OpenGL, why not?

Enter FreeFrameGL. The 3D-accelerated, open, multi-platform format makes effects plug-ins work anywhere. (In fact, that’s something that doesn’t really exist even on the audio side.)

The downside has been that making the actual plug-ins can be tricky. That’s the gift. OpenFrameworks is the C++-based framework based on the design, syntax, and philosophy of Processing – meaning it’s a comfortable way for artists to code, (and even if you’re not terribly code-inclined by nature, it could get you hooked). With the new, fully free and open-source project from Resolume, you can make your own FreeFrameGL plug-ins using OpenFrameworks. And if you have OF projects already, you can build those into plug-ins.

It’s potentially a huge breakthrough; now I just have to clear some of my schedule to work with it. Of course, nicely enough, you can also easily drop the resulting plug-ins into the excellent Resolume live audiovisual software for Mac and Windows.

Here’s the project:

I can’t wait to dig into it myself, and to see what you’re doing.

And as Jaymis noted only yesterday, via a wrapper you can also port non-GL FreeFrame plugs to the FreeFrameGL environment. That means, yes, visualist developers, it’s time to add support for FFGL into more hosts – and for us users, 2010 could well be the year of FreeFrameGL.
Forward-Compatible Effects: Use FreeFrame Plugins in FreeFrameGL with fugWrapperGL

Calling developers: Got some basic proficiency with OpenGL, shaders, OpenFrameworks, etc.? Want to join in in a little informal free development group, perhaps with the occasional co-coding session online? Let us know in comments, and be sure to leave your email (visible only site admins), and we can put together a little virtual user group.