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What Is Quartz Composer and Why Should I Learn It?

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Quartz Composer (QC) is a node-based graphical programming language. Learn how Quartz Composer differs from other applications you may have used before, and the many different end products you can create with it.
This chapter is from the book

Welcome to the first chapter! Are you ready to discover a whole new world? This chapter introduces Quartz Composer, explains how it differs from other applications you may have used before, and describes the many different end products you can create with it. We’ll explain just how flexible it is and why you should always experiment, experiment, experiment!

Play Video Introduction to Quartz Composer

Still not really sure what Quartz Composer is? Quartz Composer (QC) is a node-based graphical programming language. If that sounds complex, it simply means that you will be connecting boxes with squiggly lines instead of editing a timeline or using a drawing tool (see Figure 1.1). QC allows you to build up things—for example, you can take a QuickTime video, pass it through a filter, combine it with shapes, and display that on the screen. It takes some getting used to, but between reading this book and viewing its DVD, you’ll be a QC ninja in no time.

Figure 1.1

Figure 1.1 Quartz Composer interface versus Photoshop and Final Cut Pro

If you haven’t done so already, pop in the DVD and check out a few examples to see what’s possible with Quartz Composer.

At this stage, if you haven’t already set up Quartz Composer, you need to get it on your machine. This is a painless process, but it will involve digging out your original Mac install disks, (or rocking over to Mac dev at http://developer.apple.com, setting up an account, and downloading the installer).

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