Today Kosada announced the release of Vuo 1.0. Aimed at media producers, VJs, interactive artists, and media-making non-programmers, Vuo enables users to interactively create and mix audio, video, and 2D + 3D effects. It is designed for media production of heavy-duty graphics effects, professional stage production, multimedia installations, audio integration, and interactive data displays, while still being simple enough for casual experimentation.

Built for Mac OS X, Vuo is an alternative to Apple’s Quartz Composer, a popular visual programming tool, which is used in settings from live performances to studio post-production. Once focused on writing extensions to Quartz Composer, the Kosada team realized that to take full advantage of newer technologies, they would need to create their own visual programming tool.

Some of Vuo's example compositions

Steve Mokris, one of Vuo’s core developers, remarked, “We worked hard for years to produce Quartz Composer plugins and apps, but as we did so, it became clear to me that it was time to start anew. Developing Vuo has been an exciting challenge."

Jaymie Strecker, another core developer, said, “The hardest part of development has been that we're making something really new. Vuo does a lot of things that no other multimedia composing tool does. It's challenging but also exciting that we're opening up new possibilities for people at all experience levels to experiment and create.”

Designed for efficiency, Vuo implements CPU and GPU optimizations through automatic multi-threading and OpenGL graphics support, both features Quartz Composer lacks. Vuo is built using cross-platform frameworks to simplify future plans for Windows and Linux versions, and apps that run under iOS and Android.

Vuo supports several popular media hardware protocols, such as Open Sound Control (OSC) and Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) and, new with version 1.0, Art-Net for lighting and stage controls. In addition to media integration, users can experiment with other aspects of multimedia, such as stereoscopic vision and with Leap Motion and Kinect motion-capture devices.

The Kosada team has ensured that new users will have help getting started, creating a series of video tutorials, an extensive user manual, many working examples, and new with version 1.0, a free-trial version. After a year-long public beta period, Vuo has a user community who is active in asking and answering questions, starting discussions, and requesting features. With a public API, several Vuo users have already contributed extensions to Vuo’s core functionality. VJs have a working integration with Vuo through CoGe, a realtime media mixer.

Future plans for 2015 include developing the ability to export Vuo compositions as plugins for programs such as After Effects and Final Cut Pro X, movie export, integration with additional VJ software, and the ability to view and interact with compositions on an iOS device connected via Wi-Fi.

Kosada is an owner-operated company that specializes in multimedia software development, as well as developing desktop and mobile applications for Mac, iOS, and Android, and web applications using Drupal. Kosada has long been a supporter of the multimedia community though hosting Kineme, a site for Quartz Composer users.

Check out our video at http://vimeo.com/114212032

Team Vuo / Kosada employees

Team Vuo: Jean Marie Cackowski-Campbell, Melissa Egan, Karl Henkel, Steve Mokris, Travis Moles, Jaymie Strecker, Bradley Mellen (not shown), Matthew Radcliffe (not shown)