Reasonably priced or free video art software - and where to start?

Cheers, already own Ableton/Max, so that seems a good starting point.

Never thought about that option, Max doing video.

1 Like

video_waaaves is shaping up really nicely - it’s free live video synthesis software that’s in active development. It’s designed for working with analogue video and/or webcams, but you can use syphon (on osx) to pipe video through to it

the coder, Andrei Jay, has various examples and guides on his insta and youtube - his site is here


awesome thanks for sharing

1 Like

Cool might try too😎

I heartily recommend Hydra, if you don’t mind coding:

1 Like

If you want to get into the visual side of Max (jitter), there’s no better teacher than Sam aka dude837:


Touch designer is dope and there’s a free non commercial license for learning it.

This guy’s channel has some good fundamentals




Thanks for all the suggestions! Keep em coming! I have noticed that a lot of the software available requires a lot of coding/patching etc. I think I am looking for stuff that lets me import (my own) video /photo’s, let’s me draw stuff in a sketch module and then renders that with a ton of ways to let it morph/combine/change colours/react to audio.

Does something like that exist? I was playing with Max a bit this afternoon. Lots of options and templates, but still a bit too hardcore for me, since I am not very good at coding/math/technical stuff.

Sounds like VJ software would be more your thing then.

Yeah, I have been looking at VDMX5, but man!.. Those GUI’s all look like they were developed in 1999. So much clutter, menu’s, options and screens that I clicked it away in two minutes. :slight_smile:

I am really ready to invest some time, but I need a bit of an uncluttered, straightforward interface. A surrounding where you can get creative right away early on in the learning curve.

Again: all the feedback/tips much appreciated!

I follow the VDMX tutorials on Vimeo on ipad and the software on the MBP and I also was not really fond of the UI. After a few days I got used to it and now it’s not that complicated anymore!

update Lumen looks slick but is not as powerful (yet)


I use KodeLife:

Live GLSL coding that can react to Audio / MIDI, and you can easily port things from ShaderToy

I’ve used lumen for a while. Cool if you want old school stuff. I also like recording the feed from it when designing flyers. Or using photoshop as a camera with a syphon program that lets you share part of your window as a feed. Actually my pfp is made with that technique. Streaming my iphone cam


if you own Ableton and Max I suggest the Vj Modules by Fabrizio Poce, you’re going to get a modular videosynth for free.
Otherwise I used the software Magic Music Visual, same modular architecture with several connection possibilities for 40$ if I recall correctly

1 Like

Like 6000 miles out of my comfort zone…:cold_face:

Yea Syphon is really everywhere on Mac and … there are so much tools out there,… . . Difficult to focus when starting out, but I made it easy for myself by just picking something to get started and got some great help from @clrcdd to get going with VDMX5. Happy for now with this, also diving into cinematography it feels good to have a break from music making and gear pron. :totes: