Amazing Windows VJ tools

Posted by DUsX on 23 April 2012 | Comments

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If you are like me, you are still using a windows machine and are becoming frustrated by the massive number of new Mac applications for VJs, and you are wondering what is available for your windows PC. I am going to try to pull all the best windows video and interactive development resources I can find together in one place, I have come across some great tools during my search for a windows equivalent to Syphon, I you know of one PLEASE let em know.

Video performance tools:

  • SYSt3m Isadora based environment/framework for performance and interactive development
  • VPT great Max based output environment with many real-time options
  • LPMT openframeworks base video mapping tool. Available for Windows, Linux, and Mac

Video programming environments:

  • Isadora (my environment of choice) powerful and fast interactive development. Features a built in Projection Mapping tool, Freeframe + FFGL support, BlackMagic api support, Hap codec support for Mac and PC, Spout + Syphon video sharing, OpenSoundControl, Midi, Serial communication, DMX, Javascript (via Google's V8 engine),  and MORE.
  • Max Jitter wide range of visual programming options.
  • PraxisLive Open-source, graphical patching environment with UI. Java based. Supports live coding with Processing.
  • PD much like Max, PD is a open-source option
  • Derivative Touch I keep trying to get going with this system, but have been turned away by the learning curve more than once. I do like that it uses Python for internal scripting.
  • Processing java based coding environment
  • Processing.js javascript port of Processing
  • Movid modular computer vision system

Video generators:

  • Xaos fractal render and zoom [no save as video, so use Encoder capture]
  • Visual Jockey once my favorite for live performance, is now still very useful for creating content due to its great freeframe support (seems to run plugins that crash other software) and its amazing render to audio file feature.
  • NodeBox 3 with its new animate feature, this modular graphics program is pretty great. (uses python for scripting)
  • Alchemy live drawing project [no save as video, so use Encoder capture]
  • Genetica professional node based graphics for the gaming industry, includes EASY animating of almost every parameter.. highly recommended if you can afford it. It allows you to render to video or numbered frames. Since you can render upto 6000px square this software is useful for many graphic and video applications.
  • PaintingWithLight great live paint application from BigFug [Alex May] available for most platforms.
  • Magic modular interface to create interactive animation and video effects


  • Arduino very popular and accessible micro-processing units
  • VJacket wearable controller. Midi and OSC based jacket
  • PING ultrasonic distance sensor
  • LEAP motion, touchless system control
  • MYO arm band that relays electrical data from muscle movements 

Software Utilities:

  • Midi Yoke Midi patch cable driver (loop midi messages between apps)
  • MIDIloop record midi in real-time and send to host in sync
  • QT movie compress Free tool for QuickTime compression
  • Expression Encoder Free (or paid) Microsoft video encoding/compression software. If your live performance software supports native Windows media, this is probably your best way to output your video.
  • Extrawebcam turn your canon DSLR into a high end USB webcam
  • Visution FreeFrameGL plugin that gives you tons of video mapping options. [must be running software that supports FreeFrameGL]
  • Wyphon a DLL for sharing video textures between application on Windows machine. I believe that it only supports DirectX at the moment, so if you are like ma and work in an enviroment based on openGL you are still out of luck. You can find a description and more details here as well.
  • Spout a video sharing framework for Windows computers. It allows texture and memory sharing between applications on Windows machines. Think Syphon for the PC. READ MORE HERE

Mobile Tools

I am going to break out of windows only for the mobile section.. Tools for Android and Apple mobile will be included.


of course this list is not complete, but I am trying to include software that I have either tried or use. I will be adding more detail and more links over time.