Calling all GPU instrumentalists – Cycling ’74 is now significantly beefing up Jitter’s graphics engine with support for the latest 3D hardware, in GL3. The result: more eye-popping eye candy in Max.

To be fair, Max is a little behind some more graphics-focused rivals when it comes to latest-and-greatest GPU support. But Max and Jitter present a unique, familiar workflow and features that are in some sense beyond compare. GL3 moves Jitter a bit more in the direction of supporting cool, new features. In exchange, you’re going to need a newer graphics card – integrated-only machines are out, as is older hardware (GPUs from about five years ago or so). But my guess is, if you care about these features, you’re running a newer machine, anyway.

GL3 is the new graphics engine. It’s beta for now, but you can already have a proper play. And because this runs in Max, it also means the possibility of running a Max for Live setup with these graphics inside Ableton Live, which isn’t possible with other environments.

What’s new, to try out in this public beta:

Modern GLSL language support

GPU instancing with and

2D texture input directly to a face or 3D texture slice

Transform Feedback of vertex data via the new and objects. This feature allows you to preserve vertex or geometry shader output for future use as geometry data on the graphics card, opening the door to some highly efficient particle simulations and new creative possibilities that we haven’t thought of yet.

Do you need to be an expert shader coder to take advantage of this stuff? Nope, and even those who are aren’t above a little copy-paste action with Shadertoy, a site with tons of dazzling demos of what clever GLSL code can put on the screen. (I showed how to do this in another stalwart creative development tool beloved by artists, Isadora – see link at bottom.)

It’s nice to see the bleeding-edge stuff “just work” right in Jitter with GL3. That’s some impressive work.

Let us know if you make anything with this (or the previous Jitter engine). Sign up for the public beta: