Forums > Jitter

Differences between Quartz and Jitter

August 18, 2013 | 11:30 pm

I’m in early stages of studying Max/MSP/Jitter and only recently discovered Quartz. I’m trying to find tools for creating live visuals and right now I’m curious to better understand the differences between Jitter and Quartz. Hopefully that question isn’t too vague or tedious. If there are any big differences I should be aware of, let me know. Thanks in advance.


August 19, 2013 | 1:34 am

I used Quartz for a year and made "very" little progress as a starting out non-programmer. No tutorials, almost no vids, no built in help files.
With Max/MSP/Jitter I achieved more in 4 months with far better results.
Also a much more thriving positive community who have helped me so much, the quartz community has a bit more of a "don’t share techniques" attitude.
And last but not least, Quartz composer will be discontinued within a year or two, so that means only a very small select group of people will continue to keep using it.
After learning graphics and Open GL with Jitter I will never use another program again.
Semi steep learning curve, but if you learn how to use the forums AND do all the basic tutorials ;-) then you’ll be there in no time !


August 19, 2013 | 3:51 am

I only tried Quarz very shortly and have a similar impression as andro. Also (no offense!) everything I have seen made by quarz users were like circles rotating, changing color and things like that.
(I’m sure there are more advanced things one can do with it but I guess it takes time)
I think serious, very interesting alternatives to Jitter are vvvv and touchdesigner.


August 19, 2013 | 10:31 am

Thanks for the responses. Although I think the opinions on this forum will lean towards Max/Jitter, do you think Jitter and Quartz are equally powerful or is one exceptionally better than the other in terms of what can be developed? Do you know if there are things one can do that the other can not?


August 19, 2013 | 10:32 am

I am pretty familiar with both…

Quartzcomposer is great for simple tasks. But I quickly realized that whenever you try to build something more complex it becomes a painfully cumbersome environment to work in. As others have said, it is a visual language that is no longer being supported by apple. What little development is being done is by unofficial third parties who may stop doing so at any time.

I will say this, Quartzcomposer has a particular design aesthetic that comes from the way the language is put together. There is a simplicity to it that I really like. It is almost as if there is a higher level conceptual language there that helps your creative mind focus on composition instead of technical details.

I would suggest devoting your time to Jitter. Jitter really blows Quartzcomposer out of the water when it comes to environment and functionality. The Max community is vast and always ready to help.

But there is nothing that stops you from using both. With Syphon http://syphon.v002.info/ you send video from QC to Jitter and vice versa, that way you get the best of both worlds.


August 19, 2013 | 10:48 am

Thanks Anthony. I think that answers my question. I’ve only looked into QC because I saw some videos with people using it. I knew nothing about it before. Just wanted to better understand where to spend my mental resources.

Although I will focus on jitter now, I can’t find official word on support for QC being discontinued. Is that rumored or official?


August 19, 2013 | 12:46 pm

I don’t think it is being discontinued, but I do believe there is no new development being done on it. As far as I know, they are only maintaining it as various new versions of OSX come out.


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