Advanced Jitter Workshop at BEK

BEK Entrance

Last May I was invited by Trond Lossius to give an advanced Jitter workshop at BEK. I hadn’t given a workshop since Max6 was released, so I was super excited for the opportunity to dive into all of the fantastic new Jitter features, particularly the Gen objects. For me, the Gen objects are like a secret ingredient that can be used to spice up a patcher in interesting ways. They’re extremely versatile objects, useful in adding a unique touch.

screen capture by Rajan Craveri

The Jitter Gen objects are a portal to a vast world of creative possibilities but with that vastness one can easily feel overwhelmed. Gen patchers come with a new set of objects and operate according to a different logic than normal Max patchers. To really understand Gen requires shedding preconceptions and rewiring how you think about composing a patcher. As an entry point into the Gen world, the workshop curriculum focused on only a handful of Gen objects at a time, using them to explore a single visual technique:

  • Color Manipulation: understanding vectors and colors
    Key Objects: vec, swiz, concat
  • Mixing Video Streams: recreate jit.xfade and jit.alphablend, mixing at the image level v. mixing per-pixel
    Key Objects: mix, switch
  • Coordinates: generating spatial patterns using distance fields (distance from a point, from a line, from a circle)
    Key Objects: norm, snorm, cell, dim, length
  • Sampling: image warping using sample, applies knowledge about coordinate manipulation to image processing
    Key Objects: sample
  • Isosurface (3D distance fields): extends the previous work with coordinates to 3D, uses for visualization and rendering
    Key Objects: norm, snorm, cell, dim, length,
  • Particles: moving points through space using vector fields, vector math and quaternions
    Key Objects: dot, length, qrot, noise,
  • Materials: generating textures for use with
    Key Objects:
  • Surfaces: surface generation and manipulation
    Key Objects: sphere, torus, etc.,
  • Rendering: post-processing captured 3D rendering using and
    Key Objects: sample,


I often have the impression that the Gen objects are underutilized, particularly in Jitter. Only one or two people who attended the workshop had ever used Gen before. After spending some quality time with Gen and going through the curriculum, pretty much everyone had become enthusiastic Gen users. There was just too much goodness to be had.

Schermata 2014-02-17 alle 18.17.48
To spread the wealth, the patches developed for the workshop are being made available here along with the patches I made throughout the five days of the workshop itself. Have a look at the README in the download for info on the different folders. Feel free to borrow, steal, fork, and extend the ideas presented!

Download: BEK Workshop Files

Special thanks to BEK and all of the workshop participants for an amazing week. Credit for the images used in this post goes to:

Karl Kliem:
Rajan Craveri:
Oscar Sol:

Feb 26 2014 | 9:23 pm

Thanks for the share!

Feb 27 2014 | 2:29 am

Max crashes when I try to open any of the patches.  Any ideas?

Running Mavericks and Max 6.1.6

It’s working now. For some strange reason, it was Opening w/ another Max patch.

Feb 27 2014 | 6:41 am

Many thanks to Wes, Trond, BEK, and the other participants for a great workshop. Now to digest and incorporate all the new information!

@Aleatoric — I’m running 10.9.1 an 6.1.6 with no problems.

Feb 27 2014 | 8:20 am

thanks a lot, some gen-for-jitter tutorials are more than welcome !

Feb 27 2014 | 8:36 am

Sweet! Thanks!

Mar 02 2014 | 3:00 am

I saw info about his workshop. I am living in Finland so most of these workshops are quite far away. This was my one chance to get personal with a "jit guru" so im REALLY happy that this workshop is "downloadable". This looks like a really comprehensive package of jit.gen-knowledge! Thanks!

Mar 08 2014 | 11:55 am

I have used Gen with variable success (no codebox for now) after getting into Max three years ago. My main goal for now is extending the vizzable suite for MFL so this is HUGE ! Any chance for such a workshop in Europe ? France ?

Mar 08 2014 | 5:13 pm

Yeah, France ? (good question !)

Mar 09 2014 | 1:39 am


Mar 12 2014 | 9:56 am

Thank you!

Sep 23 2014 | 7:58 pm

ditto… been wondering why there seemed to be no jitter development… guess i just hadn’t looked hard enough…

i (we all) need to make our work available as high quality prints, and it’s not really possible without vector…

  • This reply was modified 1 year by  Bob.
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