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Issue 4.2


Quartz Composer Video, QuickTime, and REALbasic

Building your own video editing application

Issue: 4.2 (November/December 2005)
Author: Erick Tejkowski
Author Bio: Erick Tejkowski has written numerous magazine articles and a half dozen computer books, including REALbasic for Dummies.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 15,103
Starting Page Number: 14
Article Number: 4209
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Excerpt of article text...

Apple recently released Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and QuickTime 7. This software combination adds some interesting features to the Mac OS of interest to REALbasic developers. In particular, Apple snuck a great new tool into Tiger, called Quartz Composer. Quartz Composer lets you do many different things, but foremost, you can use it to create OpenGL-powered animations. And importantly for REALbasic developers, you can use these animations in REALbasic projects very easily.

In this article, we'll get started with a basic Quartz Composer overview and then we'll look at how to create a basic Quartz Composer project. Finally, we'll use that project in a REALbasic project to do something useful, and dare we say, fun.

Before we get started, make sure that you have Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger with the Developer Tools installed, QuickTime 7, and a copy of REALbasic (4.5 or newer). A video camera would also be beneficial. Any camera will do, so long as it is QuickTime compatible. I did the tests for this project using an iSight and a MiniDV camera.

Introduction to Quartz Composer

Perhaps the easiest way to describe what Quartz Composer is about is to list some of the things you can do with it. You may already be familiar with some Quartz Composer output in the form of screensavers. Some of the fancy screensavers that Apple ships with Tiger are really just Quartz Composer projects. In fact, you can open and edit some of the screensavers for yourself. Besides screensavers, you can also create dynamic 3D animations easily with Quartz Composer. Animations can rotate and spin objects about the screen, change colors dynamically, draw text, display images, and apply Core Image filters.

What makes this tool especially friendly to novice users is the fact that you create animations with drag-and-drop ease. You simply drag building blocks to the workspace, connect them together, and watch the animation. Don't let the intial ease-of-use fool you though, because Quartz Composer is capable of some fantasticly complex visuals.

...End of Excerpt. Please purchase the magazine to read the full article.