Using Vuo

Can I use Vuo compositions inside VJ apps?

Vuo can integrate with the software below:

Software Status
CoGe CoGe version 1.6 and later can play Vuo compositions!
VDMX VDMX version and later can play Vuo compositions!
Resolume Avenue and Arena Vuo Pro 2.0 can export macOS FFGL plugins that you can use in Resolume Avenue and Arena version 6 and later.
⇔ Vuo can already communicate with Resolume using OSC, MIDI, and Syphon.
Magic Music Visuals Vuo Pro 2.0 can export macOS FFGL plugins that you can use in MMV.
⇔ Vuo can already communicate with MMV using OSC, MIDI, and Syphon.
Isadora 3 Vuo Pro 2.0 can export macOS FFGL plugins that you can use in Isadora 3.
⇔ Vuo can already communicate with Isadora 3 using OSC, MIDI, and Syphon.
2V-P ⇔ 2V-P can't play Vuo compositions natively, but Vuo can communicate with 2V-P using OSC, MIDI, and Syphon
QLab ⇔ QLab can't play Vuo compositions natively, but Vuo can communicate with QLab using OSC, MIDI, Art-Net, and Syphon
Modul8 ⇔ Modul8 can't play Vuo compositions natively, but Vuo can communicate with Modul8 using Syphon
madMapper ⇔ madMapper can't play Vuo compositions natively, but Vuo can communicate with madMapper using OSC, MIDI, Art-Net, and Syphon
Millumin ⇔ Millumin can't play Vuo compositions natively, but Vuo can communicate with Millumin using OSC, MIDI, Art-Net, and Syphon
MixEmergency ⇔ MixEmergency can't play Vuo compositions natively, but Vuo can communicate with MixEmergency using MIDI and Syphon
Bazik ⇔ Bazik can't play Vuo compositions natively, but Vuo can communicate with Bazik using MIDI and Syphon
Serato Video ⇔ Serato Video can't play Vuo compositions natively, but Vuo can communicate with Serato Video using Syphon

We'd love to enable more apps to support Vuo. If you're an app developer, or if you'd like to see Vuo integrate with other software, 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 are Vuo's system requirements?

Vuo 1.2.8 supports editing and running compositions on Mac OS 10.9 and later, and requires a 64-bit CPU. Apps and plugins exported from Vuo have the same system requirements.

Vuo 2.0 will support Mac OS 10.10 and later.

Vuo is being built on cross-platform technologies. For info about possible future support of other operating systems, see our community feature requests:

Which graphics cards / GPUs does Vuo support?

We aim to make Vuo work well on any GPU supported by macOS 10.10 or later.

That said, GPUs have a wide range of capabilities. Here are the results of our testing with certain GPUs:

  • ✅ AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56, Vega 64
    • (no known issues)
  • ✅ AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, AMD Radeon R9 M370X
    • (no known issues)
  • ✅ NVIDIA 980TI
    • (no known issues)
  • ✅ Blackmagic eGPU (AMD Radeon Pro 580)
    • (no known issues)
  • ⚠️ AMD FirePro D500, ATI Radeon 7970, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650
  • ⚠️ NVIDIA 650M, NVIDIA 750M
    • Slow performance on macOS 10.13 (possible workaround: either downgrade to macOS 10.12 or set Multisampling ports to Off)
  • ⚠️ NVIDIA 9400M
    • Slow performance
    • Sporadic system crash when running compositions that use 3D object filter nodes and some image filter nodes while running other graphics-intensive applications — Fixed in Vuo 2.0
  • ⚠️ Intel HD 4000, Intel Iris Pro
    • Slow performance
    • On macOS 10.13 and 10.14, some 3D Object Filter nodes (Divide, Facet, Quantize, Trim) output empty objects. — Fixed in Vuo 2.0
  • ⚠️ Intel HD 4000, Intel HD 5000, NVIDIA GeForce 320M
    • Multisampling is not supported
  • ⚠️ Intel HD 3000

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 and ODE Mk2
Audio receive and process sounds from multiple audio channels, play/synthesize sounds, receive and process external sounds
Blackmagic receive live video from Blackmagic devices, and send live video output to Blackmagic devices
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
RTSP stream video over the Internet or a local network
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!

How do I update my compositions from Vuo 1.x to Vuo 2.0?

Any compositions that you created in Vuo 1.x, you can still open in Vuo 2.0. However, you may need to modify your compositions to make them work as expected. In summary:

  • If your composition contains community nodes, such as ones from the node gallery, you may need to download new versions of those nodes before you can use them in Vuo 2.0.
  • If your composition contains published ports or subcompositions, it will still run in Vuo 2.0 but may behave differently. You may need to modify the composition to restore its original functionality.
  • If your composition contains only built-in nodes, it will still run in Vuo 2.0, and should behave the same as in Vuo 1.x with the exception of 3D object lighting. However, we recommend that you modify your compositions to use the new versions of nodes and stop using refresh ports.

Read on for details.

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.

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 the Vuo editor or Pro nodes), and it lags behind the current version by one year. Follow the instructions in to build it (it'll take an hour or two).

Read on for more info.

Who is allowed to use Vuo Community Edition?

  • Individuals who use Vuo for personal use only.
  • Freelancers (self-employed) whose annual gross revenue from projects that use Vuo is less than $3,000 USD.
  • Businesses (corporation, GmbH, AG, Kft., LLC, Ltd., PLC, Ab, Oy, etc.) whose annual gross revenue is less than $50,000 USD.
  • Non-profit organizations whose annual gross revenue is less than $50,000 USD.
  • Non-profit schools (university, high school, etc.) whose annual budget is less than $50,000 USD.
  • Government agencies whose annual budget is less than $50,000 USD.

If you don't meet any of the criteria above, you must buy Vuo Pro. Educational discounts and bulk discounts are available.

We understand there are gray areas. Please use your honest judgment. Feel free to contact us if you have questions.

Purchasing Vuo Pro

Does Vuo offer a free trial?


To access the free trial, go to our downloads page, and download Vuo. 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. You can explore many of the things Vuo can do by trying out the included example compositions. If you want to dig deeper, you can review the manual, read the node documentation, or watch a tutorial.

The free trial has no time limit — but saving and copying a composition is disabled, app exporting is disabled, exported movies are watermarked, and Pro features are disabled. You can save images and data. 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 Pro, you can activate your Vuo license using its "Help > Activate Vuo Pro…" menu item or the "Activate Vuo Pro" dialog button presented each time you launch Vuo. You can even start editing a composition with the Vuo free trial, then purchase and activate Vuo without closing your 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 creative professionals:

  • Export FxPlugs for Final Cut Pro X.
  • Export macOS FFGL (FreeFrame) plugins.
  • Export macOS screen savers.
  • Face detection — Find human faces in live video, and identify their locations and sizes in the image.
  • 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.
  • Blackmagic — Vuo's Receive Blackmagic Video and Send Blackmagic Video nodes enable your compositions to get video from and output video to Blackmagic devices.
  • 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. See the "Make Stereo Camera" and "Combine 3D Stereo Images" demo apps in the Composition Gallery.
  • 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. See the "Make Fisheye Camera" and "Make Targeted Fisheye Camera" demo apps in the Composition Gallery.
  • 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. See the "Warp Image with Projection Mesh" demo app in the Composition Gallery.
  • 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. See "Apply Liquid Resizing" and "Apply Liquid Resizing with Mask" demo apps in the Composition Gallery.
  • 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 and compact toolbars — Make Vuo's interface dark and more streamlined.

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 educational 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 fill out this form.

This discount can be combined with our bulk discount. (It doesn't impose any additional restrictions, so it's OK to use Vuo for commercial projects if you like.)

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

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

Where do I find my activation code / license key / serial number?

When you launch Vuo, if you haven't activated your license yet, Vuo will show a dialog. Click the Activate Vuo button. This opens a page in your web browser, telling our server that you want to activate Vuo.

With some web browsers, Vuo is able to activate automatically when the web page opens. Vuo shows a dialog saying that it's activated.

Other web browsers require one extra step. Vuo shows a dialog asking you to enter an activation code. You can find the activation code on the page that was automatically opened. Copy the activation code from that web page and paste it into the dialog.

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
  • Enter the following text and hit Return: defaults delete org.vuo.Editor

Can I use Vuo Community Edition as a free trial of Vuo Pro?

Yes, you may use Vuo CE temporarily for evaluation. But if you're not otherwise eligible to use Vuo CE, you must purchase Vuo Pro before using Vuo to create any distributable or otherwise production-ready result.

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, 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, 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:

How can I help decide which features will be in future versions of Vuo?

As a member of the Vuo community, you can tell the Vuo developers which features you want most through community feature requests.

Feature requests

  1. You request a feature that you'd like to see in Vuo.
  2. Team Vuo reviews the feature request and usually opens it for voting.
    • If your feature request is similar to another, we might merge them (so that both are tracked on the same feature request page).
    • Occasionally, if a feature request is far from the direction that we'd like to take Vuo, we'll table it (choose not to implement it).
  3. You and other community members can vote for the feature.
  4. Team Vuo may choose to implement your feature request.
    • With each release, we implement some of the community feature requests.
    • We choose the features to implement based on how many votes they have, how much time they'll take to develop, and how much potential they have to expand the community.
    • You can browse the features chosen for an upcoming release and already released.

If you're on a tight schedule or need a niche feature, consider hiring us to develop it.


Each community member has a certain number of votes that they can use on feature requests.

You can "spend" all of your votes on your favorite feature request, or you can "spend" a few votes each on many different feature requests.

To vote for a feature request:

To see how many votes you have:

  • Go to the community feature requests and look at the "My available votes" box on the right side.
  • Or go to your user account page and click the "Votes" tab.

You can earn more votes by contributing to the Vuo community in various ways.

How can I get more votes to use on feature requests?

You can earn more votes to use on feature requests by helping sustain Vuo financially or contributing to the Vuo community in other ways.

Action Votes
Buy Vuo Pro 100
Share your first composition in the gallery 50
Share a subsequent composition in the gallery 5
Get an upvote for your composition in the gallery 1
Post a helpful bug report 10
Start your first discussion 20
Provide a helpful answer in a discussion 10
Make a tutorial that we add to our tutorial page 50
Share nodes to the gallery Depends on the nodes
Contribute source code Depends on the code

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 the Vuo editor or VuoCompositionLoader that matches the date and time the crash occurred.
    • If the Vuo editor or your composition hangs, open Activity Monitor, select Vuo 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 — if you don't already have it installed, go to 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, 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 Pro nodes proprietary?

We sell licenses to Vuo Pro in order to bring in revenue to enable us to continue developing Vuo (both the open-source parts and the proprietary parts). We do not release the source code for Pro nodes because that would make it much easier to distribute free copies of those nodes, which would reduce revenue and thus reduce the time we can spend developing Vuo.

What license does Vuo use?

If you've purchased a Vuo license, 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 haven't purchased a Vuo license, 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

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 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:


  • 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
    • Blackmagic
  • 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 audio beat detection
  • 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.