Purchasing Vuo

Why does Vuo cost money?

Kosada is a small owner-operated company that has funded all of Vuo development out-of-pocket. We earned all of our Vuo start-up funds by doing consulting work and are not bound to any venture capitalist or shareholders. So that we can continue to rapidly develop Vuo on our own, we need revenue to sustain ourselves! Here's how we intend to sustain project Vuo:

Does Vuo offer a free trial?

Yes!

To access the free trial, go to our downloads page, and download the Vuo Editor. Our first quick-start video tutorial goes through the process.

With the free trial, you can open and edit compositions created by the Vuo community, and use nodes created by the Vuo community.

The free trial has no time limit — but saving, copying, and app exporting are disabled, exported movies are watermarked, and Pro features are disabled. The free trial does not include the SDK or the source code (but you can get the 1-year-delayed source).

After you have purchased Vuo, you can activate your copy of the Vuo Editor using its "Help > Activate Vuo…" menu item or the "Activate Vuo" dialog button presented each time the Editor is launched. You can even start editing a composition with the Vuo free trial, then purchase and activate Vuo without closing your Vuo Editor window, and you'll be able to save the composition you edited!

Which additional features does Vuo Pro offer?

Vuo Pro has additional features geared towards professional settings on a commercial scale:

  • Antialiasing and motion blur — When exporting a composition to a movie file (offline rendering via the File > Export > Movie… menu), Vuo Pro allows you to apply spatial supersampling (antialiasing) and temporal supersampling (motion blur)
  • Art-Net — Vuo's Send Art-Net Messages and Receive Art-Net Messages nodes enable your compositions to control stage lights, or to be controlled by a stage lighting system
  • 3D stereoscopic rendering — Vuo's Make Stereo Camera, Make Targeted Stereo Camera, Render Scene to Stereo Images, and Combine 3D Stereo Images nodes allow you to render and encode a 3D scene using an asymmetric frustum perspective projection, suitable for outputting to stereoscopic displays
  • Fisheye camera — Vuo's Make Fisheye Camera and Make Targeted Fisheye Camera nodes allow you to perform 3D fisheye projection, for use as an artistic effect or for projecting on hemispherical domes.
  • Projection warping — Vuo's Warp Image with Projection Mesh node enables you to project onto a dome with a spherical mirror, an inexpensive alternative to traditional planetarium projection systems. Besides warping images for dome projection, it can be used for any kind of image warping — for example: keystone correction, stereo image alignment, conversion between image perspectives, and projection mapping.
  • Advanced image processing — Vuo's Apply Liquid Resizing and Apply Liquid Mask nodes enable you to apply content-aware transformations to images, and Measure Sharpness enables you to numerically evaluate images
  • Advanced 3D object processing — Vuo's Union, Intersect, and Subtract 3D Objects nodes enable you to perform boolean operations, and Flatten 3D Object enables you to simplify a scenegraph hierarchy
  • Dark mode — Make Vuo Editor's interface dark

How do you determine which features are only in Vuo Pro?

Our philosophy behind offering two tiers in pricing, Vuo and Vuo Pro, is to fund Vuo's continuing development by selling products geared toward two main audiences. The lower-cost option, Vuo, is geared toward people who will use it for DIY and hobby projects and low-budget productions. The higher-cost option, Vuo Pro, is geared toward people who will use it in paid work, selling services or products made with Vuo. Vuo Pro includes additional features that professionals can take advantage of in their work.

Although determining whether a feature should be Pro or non-Pro can be somewhat subjective, we consider several criteria when making the decision. A feature is likely to be Pro if any of the following are true:

  • It requires the purchase of special hardware, such as stage lighting or a VR headset.
  • It requires multiple computers.
  • It interacts with advanced software, such as a database management system or a video editing application.
  • It enables advanced graphics, such as 3D stereoscopic rendering or a fisheye camera.
  • It enables exporting compositions to a format in which they could potentially be offered for sale.

When we open a feature request for community voting, we decide if it will be Pro or non-Pro. This is indicated on the webpage of the feature request.

Do you offer academic discounts? What about academic bulk licenses?

Yes! We offer a 20% discount for college/university students, and for staff and faculty at all grade levels. Just use your academic email address (.edu, .ac.*, etc.) and send a photo/scan of your ID card to info@vuo.org. This can be combined with our bulk discount. (This discount doesn't impose any additional restrictions, so it's OK to use Vuo for commercial projects if you like.)

What happened to subscriptions?

In 2013–2014, we sold Vuo subscriptions, but discovered that it was confusing. Our Vuo "free update" subscriptions let you keep using old versions of Vuo forever, even after your subscription expired. But since other companies offer subscriptions that don't let you do this, many people thought that a subscription meant that they'd only get to rent Vuo instead of getting a copy to keep forever. So, to make this crystal clear, we've switched to a simpler model.

Read on for details about how this may affect you.

Where can I get the open source version of Vuo? What can I do with it?

The open source version of Vuo is available on GitHub. It includes the Vuo Compiler and core nodes (but not Vuo Editor or Pro nodes), and it lags behind the current version by one year. Follow the instructions in README.md to build it (it'll take an hour or two).

Read on for more info.

Using Vuo

Can I use Vuo compositions inside VJ apps?

Vuo seeks to integrate with the software below:

Software Status
CoGe CoGe version 1.6 and later can play Vuo compositions!
VDMX VDMX version 8.5.0.4 and later can play Vuo compositions!
Resolume Vuo has a community feature request for exporting FFGL plugins. You'll be able to use these FFGL plugins in Resolume.
2V-P Exploring this option.
QLab Exploring this option.
Modul8 Exploring this option.
Millumin Exploring this option.
MixEmergency Exploring this option.
Bazik Exploring this option.
Serato Video Exploring this option.
Magic Music Visuals Exploring this option.

Integrating Vuo with VJ apps is an intricate collaboration between multiple teams. (This is why we're unable to post the timing of completion on our roadmap.) As soon as we know we are on track for full integration with another program, we'll post it!

If there's something you'd really like Vuo to integrate with, and you don't see it here, let us know!

How can I find out all the things Vuo can do?

There is a lot of detailed information in our node documentation, where you can find out what nodes are included in Vuo, and what they do. Vuo is continually growing, so check out our feature requests, to see what has been chosen to be implemented, and what the community is voting to implement.

What platforms does Vuo support? What are Vuo's system requirements?

Vuo currently supports editing and running compositions on Mac OS 10.8 and later, and requires a 64-bit CPU. Apps exported from Vuo have the same system requirements.

Vuo is being built on cross-platform technologies. Eventually, we plan to also support at least:

  • Running compositions on iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and maybe Haiku
  • Editing compositions on Windows, Linux, and maybe Haiku

Which input/output interfaces does Vuo support?

Vuo supports interfacing with many devices and protocols:

Protocol/Device/File Purpose
Art-Net/DMX control stage lights, receive commands from lighting consoles — supports controllers such as ODE Mk2 and ODE
Audio receive and process sounds from multiple audio channels, play/synthesize sounds, receive and process external sounds
CSV and TSV files load, manipulate, and save tabular data
Images load images from local filesystem and Internet, save images to file
Kinect depth camera, skeletal tracking with NI mate
Leap Motion track hand gestures in air
Meshes load 3D mesh files via Open Asset Importer
MIDI send/receive Note and CC commands to/from music sequencers, control devices, and synthesizers
OSC control Vuo compositions with music sequencers and control devices such as TouchOSC, use Vuo to control OSC synthesizers and other devices
RSS Feeds download feeds of web content
Serial (RS-232) interface with microcontrollers such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi
Syphon share video between applications on the same computer
USB HID use gamepads, joysticks, and other devices to control your Vuo compositions
Videos load moves from local filesystem — including H.264, H.265, ProRes, Hap, and many more formats — and save movies to file
Video cameras MacBook Pro's iSight and other cameras via QuickTime
XML and JSON files load, manipulate, and save hierarchical structured data

Check out the community feature requests to see what's coming in the future, and to add your own ideas!

I just purchased Vuo Pro. How do I upgrade or download it?

Both Vuo and Vuo Pro are contained in the same download. Now that you've upgraded to Vuo Pro, you should launch Vuo Editor, go to the Help menu, and click "Reactivate Vuo…". It will contact the vuo.org website to verify your new Vuo Pro license, and you'll then have access to the Vuo Pro features.

Will my previous Vuo compositions continue to work as new Vuo releases come out? Are Vuo compositions backwards compatible?

If you created a composition with Vuo 0.9 (October 2014) or later, your composition should work in any later version of Vuo. (We've been fixing bugs, so some behavior may have changed slightly. Though we thoroughly test each release, we might've overlooked something, so please file a bug report if you notice a regression. And if you'd like additional assurance that your composition will keep working, consider using our automated test rig.)

If you created a composition with Vuo 0.8 (August 2014) or earlier, please open your composition in Vuo 0.9 and re-save it — Vuo 0.9 will automatically upgrade it to the new format, and then you should be able to use it in any later version of Vuo.

Can I embed Vuo into my application?

Yep. Vuo includes a framework so you can write a C++ (or Objective-C++) app that can load a Vuo composition, start it running in the current process or as a separate process, control the composition, and receive data from the composition.

We're already working with the authors of several visual compositing systems to enable their software to play and control Vuo compositions. We'll be announcing more on this soon.

In what ways may I add on to Vuo myself?

Here are a few ways you may extend Vuo:

  • Create a new node by programming it using Vuo's C API.
  • Create a new node by turning a composition into a node.
  • Create a new data type for ports by programming it using Vuo's C API.
  • Create a new input editor — the user interface that lets a user change an input port value in the Vuo Editor — by programming it using Vuo's plugin API.
  • Add a user manual for a node set.
  • Add an example composition for a node set.

You may also use add-ons other people have shared.

How do I use Vuo's automated test rig?

You may submit your mission-critical compositions to our automated test rig for $35 USD per composition. Just email your compositions directly to info@vuo.org and we'll send you an invoice. (If a composition will require a significant amount of maintenance, we may need to charge extra — we'll let you know if that's the case).

Read on for details.

How do I deactivate Vuo on a computer?

After installing and activating Vuo on a computer, you may later want to deactivate it — for example, to make sure that your copy of Vuo is used on only one business computer at a time.

To deactivate Vuo:

  • Log in to macOS with the same user account that you used to activate Vuo.
  • Open Terminal.app.
  • Enter the following text and hit Return: defaults delete org.vuo.Editor

Supporting Vuo

How can I become a Vuo Contributor?

Thanks to our contributors!

There are many ways you can contribute to Vuo:

  • Make unique compositions and share them for free or for profit
  • Develop unique node sets and share them for free or for profit
  • Test Vuo and file verifiable bug reports
  • File constructive feature requests
  • Provide constructive feedback on other people's bug reports and feature requests, such as:
  • Teach people how to use Vuo, such as:
    • Answering questions users post to our Q&A forums
    • Writing or recording a tutorial
    • Teaching a class
    • Forming a local users group
  • Helping translate Vuo to your native language
  • ...or if you have more money than time, donate.

(*) Keep in mind that to contribute to the latest code base, you'll need to purchase the latest version of Vuo.

How can I get notifications of posts on the Vuo website?

The Vuo website sends email notifications for posts that you're following.

  • When you post a new topic or comment in the Discussions, Questions & Answers, Feature Requests, Bug Reports, Composition Gallery, or Community Spotlight areas, you automatically receive email notifications of further comments on the post. If you want to stop receiving emails for the post, you can go to the post and click the "Stop following" link.
  • If you want to receive email notifications for a post you haven't participated in, you can go to the post and click the "Follow" link.
  • You can follow all posts of a specific type (Discussions, Questions & Answers, Feature Requests, Bug Reports, Compositions, Community Spotlights, Newsletters, Polls, Tutorials) by going to your user account page, clicking the "Following" tab and the "Content types you follow" link, and choosing the types of posts you want to follow.
  • You can follow all posts by a specific user by going to that user's page and clicking the "Follow" link.

The Vuo website offers several RSS feeds that you can subscribe to:

What are votes for? How do I get votes?

What are votes for?

Voting is the way the Vuo community decides the future of Vuo. Here's how it works:

How do I get votes?

By contributing to the Vuo community! For example:

How do I find out how many votes I have?

  • Go to the feature request listing and check the "My available votes" box on the right side
  • Or go to your user profile page and click the "Votes" tab

How do I make a helpful bug report?

When you make a bug report, please:

  • Review existing bug reports and contribute more information to them
  • Provide precise steps that enable Team Vuo to reproduce the problem on the latest version of Vuo
  • Reduce the complexity of your composition and steps to reproduce the problem
    • Provide the simplest possible composition and steps that cause the problem to happen
    • If possible, remove custom nodes from your composition
  • Attach a crash report or process sample to the bug report
    • In the top of the crash report window, there's a file icon. You can drag this icon to your desktop, to save it in order to attach to your bug report.
      • If you've already closed the crash report window, or if Vuo disappeared without showing a crash report window, you can find crash reports by opening the Console app (in the Applications > Utilities folder), and looking under the User Diagnostic Reports list in the sidebar. Find the crash report for Vuo Editor or VuoCompositionLoader that matches the date and time the crash occurred.
    • If Vuo Editor or your composition hangs, open Activity Monitor, select Vuo Editor or VuoCompositionLoader (it should be red, with the label "Not Responding"), and select View > Sample Process. In the window that appears, click Save…, and attach this file to your bug report.
  • If you're experiencing performance problems, measure the framerate
    • Launch OpenGL Profiler.app — if you don't already have it installed, go to http://developer.apple.com/downloads and download "Graphics Tools"
    • Run your composition
    • In OpenGL Profiler, select "Attach to application", then find your composition in the list and double-click on it
    • In the bottom part of the window, you'll see two "Frame Rate" numbers. Post both numbers on your bug report.

How can I support people who share Vuo compositions? How can I get paid for Vuo compositions I share?

You can show your support to composition authors by making micropayments with Flattr or Paypal.

All transactions are made between two people through those payment services — Team Vuo does not collect any fee.

Read on for details.

I'm a programmer; how can I contribute code to Vuo?

Great! We welcome code contributions from the community.

Although we publish Vuo's source code on GitHub, the GitHub workflow isn't ideal for us. Here's the process we encourage you to use:

First, please read the Vuo Contributor Agreement and be sure you understand it and agree to the terms.

If you're developing a new node, follow the process in Developing a Node Class. In particular, follow the conventions described in the "Naming node classes and ports" section. When you're ready to contribute your code, create a feature request, and attach the .c file to the feature request.

If you're modifying an existing node, download the latest Vuo source code. Find the node you'd like to change, make a backup copy, make your changes, create a patch (in Terminal.app, run the command diff -u vuo.node.backup.c vuo.node.c > ~/Desktop/vuo.node.patch), and attach it to a feature request or bug report.

Please state on the feature request or bug report that you understand and agree to the Vuo Contributor Agreement, and that you intend for this code to be integrated into Vuo.

We'll then review your code and, if possible, integrate it into Vuo. Since Team Vuo is responsible for ensuring that all of Vuo's nodes work properly and are consistent and well-documented, all of Vuo's built-in nodes go through an extensive planning, review, and testing process — and contributed nodes are no exception. This process may take some time, but we'll do our best to get back to you as soon as we're able.

Vuo development and licensing

Who owns Vuo?

Kosada, as creator of Vuo, owns copyright on the Vuo Core (compiler, editor, and built-in node sets). Kosada also owns the Vuo trademark.

Things you make using Vuo — compositions, node sets, compiled applications, generated images — are all yours. You own copyrights.

In order to make contributions to the compiler and core node sets, licensing requires that the copyright of contributions be transferred to Kosada — so that we may incorporate your contributions into Vuo. (This enables Kosada to act as the single legal steward of Vuo — so that we may enact the license cascade, and so that you, as a contributor, will be shielded from potential legal action taken against Vuo.)

What is Kosada's role in the Vuo community?

Kosada (the company behind Vuo) plays the following roles:

  • Develops, publishes, and provides support for the Vuo Core (the compiler, editor, and built-in node sets) and documentation.
  • Works with the Vuo community to nurture contributions.
  • Develops and hosts the Vuo community website.
  • Markets Vuo, to grow the community.
  • Provides consulting services (using Vuo to produce bespoke work).

Why does Team Vuo provide source code to the Vuo Compiler and core nodes?

Being able to see the source means you can take Vuo apart to see how it works. Knowing how Vuo works can be particularly helpful if you're developing your own nodes for Vuo, or if you want to integrate Vuo into an application you're developing.

Having the Vuo Compiler and core node source code also means that you have access to the full stack of software used by your Vuo compositions — your compositions will not contain any black boxes that block your ability to understand what's going on.

Why are the Vuo Editor and Pro Nodes proprietary?

If we were to make all of Vuo source code available, it would be possible for a current copy of Vuo to be distributed free, Vuo revenue to be impacted, and for development to derail and fizzle from there.

So, in an effort to sustain Vuo (and Team Vuo) in the long-term, we’ve chosen an option that will both give you confidence in your investment in Vuo, and provide a little more security for our developers.

What license does Vuo use?

If you're a paying user, you get:

  • the latest binary of the Vuo Editor and Pro Nodes under our proprietary license
  • the latest source code of the Vuo Compiler and SDK under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) version 2 or later
  • the latest source code of Vuo example compositions and non-Pro Nodes under the MIT license

If you're not a paying user, you get:

  • one-year-old source code of the Vuo Compiler and SDK under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) version 2 or later
  • one-year-old source code of Vuo example compositions and non-Pro Nodes under the MIT license

What actions are permitted under my proprietary Vuo license?

  • Install the Vuo Editor on any number of computers you personally own
  • Install the Vuo Editor on one computer owned by the business you work for
  • Use Vuo for personal projects
  • Use Vuo for commercial projects
  • Distribute composition source code you create
  • Distribute apps exported from compositions you create — but see also:
  • Distribute rendered output of compositions you create
  • Distribute applications you create that link with the Vuo Framework
  • Distribute the Vuo Framework along with applications you create
  • Examine and modify the Vuo source code for your own use
  • Distribute applications you create using your modified Vuo source code
  • Develop new Nodes using the Vuo API
  • Develop new Nodes using code from Vuo Core Nodes and Vuo Core Types
  • Distribute new Nodes you create
  • Sell new Nodes you create

What actions are not permitted under my proprietary Vuo license?

  • Distribute the Vuo Editor
  • Distribute the Vuo Framework by itself
  • Modify the contents of the Vuo Framework
  • Distribute the Vuo source code
  • Distribute modifications to the Vuo source code

How might the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) impact what I create with Vuo?

The Vuo Framework and compiled Vuo compositions use the ZeroMQ networking library. This library is licensed under the LGPL, and its licensing terms explicitly state that the copyright holders permit it to be used in commercial applications without requiring source distribution or a dual license.

Some Vuo nodes use LGPL code:

These nodes (and compositions you create using these nodes) dynamically link to the LGPL code, so anyone is free to swap in a modified version of the LGPL code. If you create a composition using nodes that use LGPL code, you are not obligated to distribute your source code.

The Vuo Framework does not otherwise incorporate LGPL code.

How do export regulations impact the applications I create with Vuo?

If you plan to distribute an application made with Vuo, and you are based in the United States, your application may be subject to United States Export Administration Regulations if it includes nodes that can access files via HTTPS, such as "Fetch Image," "Fetch Scene," or "Play Audio File". With nodes that access HTTPS files, your application will include the OpenSSL library for decrypting files downloaded via HTTPS.

Read on for details.

What are the requirements for distributing Vuo apps that use Leap Motion?

The Leap Motion SDK Agreement allows you to distribute your Vuo compositions and exported apps, unless your apps meet Leap Motion's criteria for being a "Specialized Application":

“Specialized Application” means an Application which is: (i) sold, licensed, leased, or otherwise disposed of for a list price of more than US$500 or local equivalent, or more than US$240 per year or local equivalent if on a subscription, lease or similar basis; or (ii) sold, licensed, leased or otherwise disposed of as part of, or for use with, another application, system, machine or device (other than a personal computer), having a list price of more than US$500 or local equivalent, or more than US$240 per year or local equivalent if on a subscription, lease or similar basis; or (iii) designed for use, or that is primarily used, with or for control, whether direct or indirect, of industrial, commercial, military or medical equipment.

If your project meets those criteria, before you distribute your app, please contact Leap Motion to establish a distribution agreement.

Vuo and other visual programming languages

Is Vuo a remake of Apple's Quartz Composer?

No. Though Quartz Composer was an inspiring platform for us, we built Vuo from the ground up with a new philosophy. To learn more, check out our comparison of Vuo and Quartz Composer.

Is Vuo compatible with Apple's Quartz Composer?

No. Vuo and Quartz Composer are too different to be trivially compatible. Vuo does not import and edit compositions made with Quartz Composer.

However, we've created tutorials and other ways to make the transition easier. And we provide a Quartz Composer Translation Service.

Also, there are a couple related community feature requests:

Feel free to vote on the feature requests to help make them happen.

What do I need to know if I'm coming from a Quartz Composer background?

Although there are many differences from Quartz Composer, probably the most important is that Vuo explicitly uses events to send data through your composition, whereas in Quartz Composer events are implicit and partially hidden.

Read on for details.

What can Vuo do that isn't possible with Quartz Composer?

Quartz Composer has been great! We used it for years — and we're designing Vuo to do more. Vuo is rapidly adding functionality (see our roadmap for details), and here are some things that you can do that aren't possible with Quartz Composer:

Vuo

  • has step-by-step documentation and tutorial videos
  • exports your compositions to stand-alone apps with a single click (no need to learn how to use Xcode just to make your composition into an app)
  • exports your compositions to stand-alone movies, with optional high-quality spatial supersampling (antialiasing) and temporal supersampling (motion blur) (Pro)
  • has built-in support (no plugins needed) for many devices and protocols, including:
    • Leap Motion
    • Kinect
    • Serial I/O
    • Syphon
    • Art-Net DMX
  • has built-in support for reading barcodes in images
  • has built-in support for playing Hap movies
  • has built-in 3D perspective, orthographic, stereoscopic (Pro), and fisheye (Pro) cameras, with variable field of view, and which can easily follow objects through the scene (no trigonometry required; we took care of that for you)
  • has built-in 3D spotlights, which can either point in a specified direction, or point toward a specified object
  • has built-in support for rendering to multiple windows — QC can only output to a single window (unless you write a plugin)
  • has built-in support for loading a wide variety of 3D mesh formats — you can easily use 3D objects others have shared
  • has built-in support for loading, manipulating, and saving XML, JSON, CSV, and TSV data
  • has built-in support for boolean operations on 3D objects (Pro)
  • has built-in support for liquid image resizing (Pro)
  • has built-in support for warping images using projection meshes (Pro)
  • has built-in support for 16bpc (64bpp) and 32bpc (128bpp) images (QC is limited to 8bpc (32bpp))
  • has built-in support for multisampling, whether rendering to a window or rendering to an image
  • has built-in parametric 3D mesh generation — you can use math equations to make 3D objects
  • has built-in phase-accurate wave generator — you can make things move smoothly, even if you change the speed
  • has built-in Simplex noise generation — you can make things move naturalistically
  • has a modern shader-based OpenGL implementation (instead of QC's outdated immediate-mode OpenGL implementation) — giving you better performance (and paving the way for eventual mobile device support)
  • has a real 3D scenegraph with hierarchical transformations — you can build complex 3D scenes that behave realistically
  • has the ability to make any node synchronous (wait for results) or asynchronous (do it in the background) — giving you the flexibility to decide how you want your composition to work
  • can make nodes execute only when you want them to execute (instead of every time a parameter changes, like in QC) — your composition wastes less time and energy
  • compiles code (instead of continually interpreting it) — you experience faster execution
  • automatically generates parallel code — your composition takes advantage of your computer's multiple processors
  • has a first-class API for creating nodes and port types — you have full, documented support for making nodes and port types, without having to resort to the undocumented private API (like in QC)
  • includes source code for the compiler, and core nodes and types — you can learn how it works, make improvements, and have security that you'll still be able to use your compositions in the long term

Team Vuo:

  • values its users' input, and seeks it out to help chart Vuo's development direction
  • has a dedicated development team working many hours every week to improve Vuo
  • has a support team whose focus is helping you solve any problems that might come up — so you can focus on creating

You can read more about Vuo's features, how we compare with other visual programming environments, our plans for the future, and other Vuo users in the community. Please consider helping us continue to develop Vuo by buying a license or making a donation.