“Oooh, me me me. I wanna try that!”
That was my response to Mike Creighton’s post about his experimentations with Quartz Composer. For those that don’t know, Quartz Composer is, and I quote, “a node based visual programming language provided as part of the Xcode development environment in Mac OS X v10.4 ‘Tiger’ for processing and rendering graphical data.”
Without getting too technical, I would describe it as MaxMSP/Jitter meets Bryce 3D. Okay, so why is it like Max? Because it is a “node based visual programming language” just like Max. You drag wires between various boxes and eventually you create something that runs. No biggie, right?
Well, if you are like me, that is a huge biggie. I want to see my code as lines of text, not as a jumble of tangled cords.
In all fairness, this is before I discovered the node-draggy equivalent of a for-loop, but still, it can get out of hand really quickly. Not to mention that I spend about half the time moving the boxes around to get a nice composition. I am detail driven so I want all the boxes to be equally spaced and aligned.
I say QC is like Bryce 3D because if any of you played with B3D before actually sitting down to learn a proper 3D application, you know just how easy it is to make something distractingly beautiful. I remember my first crystal sphere floating in a fractal-mountain lake like it was yesterday. It was easy to make, the reflections and refractions happened like magic, and I felt like I could make the next version of Myst all by myself.
QC is this way. Within minutes, I was able to make a kaleidoscope of live webcam input, apply it to a particle engine, throw in a textured rotating cube, and voila!
So I really dont know how to feel about it. Let me think about it for another week and I will get back to you.