Media Browser – Loading and Organizing from Vidvox on Vimeo.

VDMX5 from Vidvox has really demonstrated what a semi-modular visual tool can be, with an open-ended set of live visual tools and powerful support for Mac features like Quartz Composer. It can be daunting to really wrap your head around, but once you do, it’s one of the most powerful live visual packages out there. VDMX5 is nearing a major milestone, with a ground-up rewrite for improved design, efficiency, and performance, one the developers say should help them better meet user requests. Ray and Dave write on the VDMX forum:

VDMX5 has been under continuous development for about four years; over the course of this project, we’ve received a lot of requests and suggestions which would require major changes to either the design or the backend of the app. When you get enough major changes on your “to do” list, you reach a point where it makes sense to stop making changes, and start rewriting the app to fit the revised set of design parameters…so that’s exactly what we did. About a year ago, Dave and I realized that the only way we could possibly meet even a fraction of the requests on our list was to throw everything out and then redesign and rewrite vdmx from scratch based on our experience and the huge amount of feedback we receive. We’ve been quietly working on this “update” ever since.

I’m happy to say that we’ll be making the b8 series of VDMX5 publicly available shortly after new years. If you’d like to play with it before then, we have a private beta group- just PM Dave or myself for consideration. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to post them on this thread and we’ll do our best to answer them. Here’s a series of introductory video tutorials we’re starting to put together that will begin to give you some idea of the layout and program flow:

Since this is a complete, ground-up rewrite, our goal for the initial public builds of b8 is to simply reproduce the functionality offered by the b7 series within the new architecture. There aren’t any crazy new plugins yet- any new stuff that b8 does is simply the result of it having a different layout and workflow. Once the public beta has been released and we’ve addressed any bugs or oversights in it, we’ll resume moving forward and adding new plugins and functionality. There are a lot of features that have been “on hold” for a long time because vdmx’s core architecture needed to be significantly altered, and we look forward to adding them immensely over the coming months.

Workspace Inspector- Asset Manager from Vidvox on Vimeo.

I’m curious to hear what readers think of b8, particularly among loyal VDMX users. Do you like the new direction?

To me, it does look largely promising. I also hope this new direction sees the VDMX team commit to a non-beta version 5 “stable” release; I think they’re up to the task, particularly with this new release, and I think given that we use these tools in “mission critical” performances, it can make some sense. Certainly, given the stability of some of the releases they’ve called “beta,” a full, stable release of VDMX could be something Mac visualists really value.