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Cycling '74 Jitter

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Quick Overview

Jitter is a set of 133 brilliant new video, matrix, and 3D graphics objects for the Max graphical programming environment. The Jitter objects extend the functionality of Max4/MSP2 with f...

Jitter is a set of 133 brilliant new video, matrix, and 3D graphics objects for the Max graphical programming environment. The Jitter objects extend the functionality of Max4/MSP2 with flexible means to generate and manipulate matrix data -- any data that can be expressed in rows and columns, such as video and still images, 3D geometry, as well as text, spreadsheet data, particle systems, voxels, or audio. Jitter is useful to anyone interested in real-time video processing, custom effects, 2D/3D graphics, audio/visual interaction, data visualization, and analysis.

Since Jitter is built upon the Max/MSP programming environment, the limitations inherent in fixed purpose applications is eliminated. You are able to build the programs you want to use, rather than being forced to work around someone else's idea of how things should be done. This power is not to be underestimated, so please use it wisely.


Although the Jitter architecture is general, it is highly optimized for use with video data, and performs with breathtaking speed. A robust set of mathematical operators, keying/composition, analysis, colorspace conversion and color correction, alpha channel processing, spatial warping, convolution-based filters, and special effects deliver the building blocks for your own custom video treatments.

Jitter includes extensive support for Apple's QuickTime architecture, such as the playback of all QT supported file formats, real- or nonreal-time file creation, editing operations, import/export capabilities, integrated real-time QT effects, video digitizing, QTVR, file format conversion, and more. QuickTime audio may be routed into MSP to exploit MSP's powerful audio processing capabilities. For the production environment, Jitter provides support for digital video (DV) camera control as well as input and output via FireWire, and multiple monitor support for performance situations.

2D/3D Graphics

Jitter's integrated 2D/3D graphics support provides the tools to use hardware accelerated OpenGL graphics together with video, including the ability to texture 3D geometry with video streams in real-time, convert audio and video streams directly into geometry data, and render models, NURBS, 2D/3D text, and other common shapes. There is even low level access to geometry data and the majority of the OpenGL API for those who need to be closer to the machine.


Jitter's strength and flexibility comes from the use of a single generalized matrix data format when working with video, 3D geometry, audio, text, or any other kind of data. Jitter matrices may be composed of one of four data types: char (8 bit unsigned int), long (32 bit signed int), float32 (32 bit floating point), or float64 (64 bit floating point). Matrices may have up to 32 dimensions, and may have up to 32 planes.

This common representation makes the transcoding of information effortless. You can experiment with interesting text as an image, converting video images to 3D geometry, turning audio into a particle system, or playing video data as audio. The possibilities are unlimited.

Jitter has all the fundamental mathematical tools required to work with this numerical representation. The jit.op object alone provides over 60 arithmetic, bitwise, exponential, logical, and trigonometric operators. The multitude of operators in jit.op are particularly useful for experimenting with video compositing. And Jitter's support for linear algebra, particle systems, Fourier analysis and resynthesis, string processing, cellular automata, and Lindenmeyer systems allows for even further experimental possibilities.