The biggest problem I’ve faced is that there are many softwares in the internet but there are not many sources explaining them. I was trying to get an general idea of several softwares and I find an great blog about it. Here’s the information I found which is written by a person who tried them all;
The Setup – Software
Here is a pretty quick run down of a few programmes that I know of, and that I’ve used.
I’ve found Arkaos Grand VJ to be an excellent piece of software for creating live visuals. It is solid and reliable, easy to use, and it plays well with others. And because I use both a Mac and PC, it is my software of choice.
Each new iteration of the software adds useful and powerful features, further enhancing the overall performance. MIDI controllers are very easy to set up, and it also supports OSC (allowing control from ipod/iphone/ipads and probably Android devices too). For the Mac version it also utilizes Quartz Composer – an easy to use programming tool for OS X that allows you to create amazing effects, visuals, and visualizers. More on that later.
I’ve had a couple of helpdesk experiences with the team (based in Copenhagen I think) and they have been great to deal with.
You can download a trial version here to play around with.
I haven’t spent a lot of time with Modul8, but I have been impressed with I have seen. Because I primarily mess around on a PC I haven’t had a lot of time to explore its full potential.
At first glance it has some very powerful functions, and supports a number of features. It appears to have a strong mapping function, something that I think Grand VJ lacks (however I believe this can be rectified through plugins).
It is Mac only but since most VJ outputs require the dedicated graphics processor that Mac’s offer so it shouldn’t bother too many people.
Download a trial version here.
This software is good. Very good. It takes a lot of the features that I like about Grand VJ and builds on them. I found it a bit too advanced for me when I first started messing around with visuals, but now I think it definitely deserves another look.
On top of the VJ side of things (it supports Quartz/VST/OpenGL) it also has a strong video mapping component to map the output to an object of your choosing.
This is available for both Mac & PC. Trial available to download here.
Whilst not specifically a piece VJ software, I have become quite fond of it for what it can do – I am constantly amazed at how powerful this piece of software is. This is software for projection mapping first and foremost.
The most recent version (6.0) appears to be much more stable than earlier versions I’ve used and with a much friendlier interface. It has support for MIDI and OSC which is very handy when you are tweaking with the corners of outputs to map them exactly to an object.
And the full version is completely free to download and use here.
If you are new to this, I recommend downloading each of the available demos and having a good long play around with the features. Taking the step to purchase a full version (which will usually remove a watermark, and allow for saving) is one not to be taken lightly – at around $300-$400 at least for a license it is an expensive step.
As I mentioned earlier – this is by no means an exhaustive list. These are just those that I know of and are familiar with. If there are others out there that you know of and can recommend, post it below and I’ll check it out.