While on the plane I decided to start learning Quartz Composer and this application is even better than I thought at first. As a reminder, Quarte Composer is a developer application you can install on MacOS X 10.4 along with Xcode 2.0. It is located in /Developer/Applications/Graphics Tools. This folder also contains the wonderful Core Image Fun House. So, for those who haven’t see my previous post, here is what Quartz Composer looks like:
Quartz Composer lets you create scenes by adding patches and linking them together. Each patch is either an operation or a renderer. You can for instance use the patch Image With String, give it a message by changing it’s String input value, and then link its Image output to a Billboard‘s Image input. That’s it, you got your message on screen.
More than hundred of different patches are available by default and you can mix them to create really impressive scenes. The following picture describes a scene in which you can see a rotating cube. Each face of the cube is textured with an animation. This animation shows a transition between two pictures, the transition being a Core Image ripple. Finally, there is a glowing message in the background.
That’s it! In just a few clicks you can create impressive scenes with 3D objects, Core Image filters and animation, Core Audio filters, you can also import pictures from a folder or a Spotlight search, import RSS feeds, etc. At last, your scene can be saved a QTZ document to be seen with Quartz Composer itself or QuickTime 7. You can also export the scene as a QuickTime movie. Finally, you can reuse the scene in your Cocoa application by using the right component.
If you wonder what my example scene looks like, here is a screenshot:
See the poor framerate? It means a PowerBook 12″ isn’t good at rendering heavy transitions on 1024×768 while blurring pictures while listening to iTunes :) If you are interested in Quartz Composer, visit the QuartzComps web site, which is a nice place to start at.
Oh and you can also download my stupid scene :)