CoGe 1.0 Beta 2 Teaser and interactive Quad Warp demo from luma beamerz on Vimeo.

CoGe 1.0 is now in its second public beta, bringing this modular, Quartz-Composer-based visualist app to Mac users. 1.0 introduced a new rendering pipeline, new user interface, new UI, and richer Quartz Composer support. Every single element of the visual app — the player, the effects, the mixer modules — is based on Quartz Composer. That means that you can open up any module you see onscreen, and see an accompanying, visual patch you can modify. It really makes for a complete modular experience.

In addition to some of the expected VJ-style features (play, mix, effect), CoGe therefore supports some really unique, cool flexibility and functionality by virtue of being built with the Quartz Composer framework, including:

  • Photoshop PSD layer manipulation
  • Flash playback (in Quartz Composer – really)
  • The ability to modify any portion of the signal chain
  • Modular access to parameters like bpm/beat
  • GIMP palette support (I’m actually really starting to like GIMP, the open source image tool, as it has gradually matured – yes, early versions were awful, but new versions can feel like a faster, more flexible Photoshop)
  • Roll-your-own performance setups, effects and processing (see demos using vade’s plug-ins)

You can see more in the videos on Vimeo; see lumabeamerz’ Vimeo account.

Of course, the use of Quartz Composer does mean this is also deeply tied to the Mac platform, so they’ve chosen to drop 10.5 support in favor of supporting Snow Leopard only, as of beta 2. I think this decision makes sense on QC as a platform. Because improvements are added in conjunction with OS releases, maintaining support for one OS at a time is the best match for this development tool. (Tamas can probably comment more on specifics. vade notes in comments with some – erm, rather colorful words for me – that you can achieve backwards compatibility for QC plug-ins, so this would best be described as an aid to consistent support and testing.) Then again, if you don’t like this and it’s backwards compatibility you’re looking for, I think getting into Apple’s tools is probably not a good idea; you should look to free standards like OpenGL, compatibility with Windows and Linux as well as Mac OS X, Processing, OpenFrameworks, FreeFrame/FreeFrameGL and the like, and consider truly free software. The advantage of the standards approach is greater compatibility across platforms and versions; the disadvantage is, development time can be longer, and you likely have to sacrifice some of the latest-and-greatest features (especially anything OS-specific). Clarification added after a reader comment.

At top, a video look at what’s new.

Full change differences and details, plus a link to donate if you like this, at the official site. You can also grab tons of terrific Quartz Composer-based plug-ins.

When you’re ready to get going, there are plenty of tutorials, starting with this one on workflow.

CoGe 1.0 – Tutorial 1 – A simple worklflow from luma beamerz on Vimeo.