We’ve been waiting for some time to learn what was next for Jitter, the 3D, matrix data, animation, and video side of Cycling ’74’s Max 6 graphical multimedia development environment. (Phew!) The wait is now at its conclusion: Cycling has released details of what’s changed, as well as an extended video sneak preview above worth a full watch.

Jitter users will see new workflow improvements, usability, and features that help you figure out what the heck object you need and what the heck it does. But there are substantial new tools for actually creating graphics, too – arguably beyond even what’s changed on the sound side. Highlights:

  • Lots more eye candy: Image Effects, geometry, hierarchical rendering, lighting and cameras, materials.
  • More scriptability: Script Jitter and OpenGL via Lua, the lovely scripting language now popular in gaming development (among other places).
  • Get physical: An all-new built-in 3D physics engine means, for the first time, you have access to physics out of the box without having to build your own simulation.
  • Vastly-expanded animation: Animation and “hierarchical motion” (basically, a series of nodes in a scene-graph-like arrangement in the patcher, making it easier to animate characters and complex scenes). This could radically change the ability to use Jitter in animation.

There are also new vector graphics options for the UI, styled after the way you work with the HTML5 Canvas (though not actually the Web Canvas, sadly).

Aside from this, it’s worth a look at everything else. I go over the changes to the tool’s usability, and the news for people working with sound and music, on our sister site:

Max 6 in Public Beta; For Home-brewing Music Tools Graphically, Perhaps the Biggest Single Update Yet

Go grab the public beta to try Jitter for yourself, and experienced Jitter users, we’d love to see your impressions (and your work) here on CDM, so do get in touch.