Quartz Composer lets us dive into the future of OS X.

Quartz Composer is a program found in the XCode Developers Tools that comes on every copy of OS X Tiger 10.4. You can find Quartz Composer in hidden in the Tiger install disc in Developer/Applications/Graphics Tools/Quartz Composer.app.

You can install XCode from the Tiger Install Disk, or download it from Apple’s developers site. This requires you to login with your Apple ID and password to register as a developer (totally free). XCode can be downloaded here. It is 1 Gigabyte and could take a while to download.

In Quartz Composer, you can design visualizations that can be output as screen savers, autonomous movies, or integrated into any Cocoa design. Quartz Composer is an Application found in the XCode Developers Tools that comes on every Tiger Disc.

Quartz is the backbone for everything Apple will be doing with new user interfaces in OS X Leopard. Apple is developing a whole new user experience for OS X, much like they did in 1984 and in 2001 with the iPod, and now the iPhone. Apple is extremely adept at creating good user interfaces. The change will come with Applications that do not use multiple windows, but instead single panes. Think about it… how many Applications on a Mac already only have one window? iTunes, iPhoto, even Final Cut Pro has panes that do not overlap. This is to direct the users attention to the task at hand. In OS X Leopard, Apple is developing interfaces like Time Machine and Spaces that will use what is known as Core Animation, to bring a new and simpler level of interaction on a Mac.

What can I do with Quartz?

  • Create iTunes Visualizations
  • Make user interfaces, in conjunction with Cocao.
  • Use for art making
  • Create screen savers
  • And much more!

Quartz Composer is a node based sequencing language that takes advantage of the Core Image and Core Video devices built into OS X. It resembles Max/MSP, a nodal sequencing language created by Cycling74.

Here are some links to get started with Quartz Composer:

Introduction to Quartz Composer Programming Guide