Getting to know: VVVV

What’s VVVV, I hear you ask. VVVV is a great tool, I reply. VVVV is pretty awesome way to prototype – visually. What does that mean? VVVV is based on nodes and connecting nodes. A node can be a a numeric input, a serial monitor (to connect vvvv with your arduino), a Kinect-Interface (to read what the Microsoft Kinect sees), a button, a DirectX Renderer and more. Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Let me tell you what I did with VVVV so far.So far I learned how to write your very own nodes in plain C#. C# is used for nodes because VVVV is based on .NET – you can even use the built in C# IDE for developing nodes. I followed this guide while making my first coded node. But first, let me tell you, why I thought I had to make my own node.

Sometimes, when you use VVVV it might not be too clear how to realize an idea with only nodes in patches. And since I’m not too patient, I soon thought “oh, f*** it, I’ll just write a node that does what I want” – I was later told that that specific functionality could have been patched (that’s what you call placing nodes and connecting them) in less than a minute…

So following the tutorial, I entered Template in the node browser, hit CTRL + Return, entered the desired values and selected a path on my hard drive. Then I finished the code and sure enough, as soon as I hit CTRL + S the newly written node did what I expected it to do. Great!

As you move on doing stuff with VVVV you’ll soon end up creating subpatches. A subpatch is just like a node that I’ve written before, but instead of writing it, you’re patching it. However, while a written node (written in C#) just has to be placed inside the correct directory, distributing patched nodes gives you two options.

You still can just distribute the plain patch. By following this guide, the receiver will be able to use your patch. However, it’s also possible to create an addon pack. That’s actually simpler than I thought once you know how it’s done. Here‘s how:

  1. Open the subpatch
  2. Press CTRL + M
  3. Enter as desired
  4. Rename you file to something like PatchName (Categorie Version).v4p
    1. Adding “(Category)” is important – otherwise your plugin won’t show up in the node browser
  5. Place “PatchName (Category Version).v4p” inside a directory path that looks like this: Packname/nodes/modules/
  6. Finally place the folder “Packname” with its contents inside the packs directory in vvvv’s root (create “packs” if needed)

VVVV is pretty great as you can see and very versatile. Go check it out!

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