Syphon video input device

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    Is there a way that a syphon server can be seen as a mac video input device. I’m thinking of how CamTwist shows up in the list of video input devices for other programs. I’m not sure how they pulled that off.


    Theoretically, it is possible.

    That said, it will be slow compared to properly implementing Syphon natively in the app, as camera drivers do not spit out OpenGL textures, but rather CPU side buffers, and the goal for Syphon is to keep video on the GPU, in OpenGL, where it will remain fast.

    Is there something in particular you are trying to do, or just musing?


    Thanks, I think I understand. I guess it wouldn’t work so well then. Here’s why I was looking…

    I work at a church and we use some software called ProPresenter for running lyrics to the songs. I would love to have the ability to easily get Quartz Composer stuff into ProPresenter.

    I’ve requested syphon support but it doesn’t seem like it will ever happen. They support live video in from mac video devices.

    I’ve actually got the setup working using CamTwist but it’s not ideal since I have to get the QC to work correctly in CamTwist and then pipe it into ProPresenter. Dealing with unsafe plugs, other weirdnesses, etc… ProPresenter actually will play QC docs but it’s the same story with limited functionality. Syphon works so well for me, I was just wondering…

    Brian Chasalow

    i’ve tried this before and determined that syphon does not support church environments



    But seriously, if you can get ahold of the devs from ProPresenter, I’d be happy to help them.

    Another option would be to go DVI out of one Mac, and then use a capture device in the ProPresenter Mac. You’d have a touch of latency but not much.


    Yeah, if I’m gonna use two computers, I’m gonna ditch ProPresenter and just run QC on the second and use a switcher to key lyrics. I’ve actually got a sweet Artnet setup to control the video stuff/parameters in QC from our light board. Sort of a build your own “free” media server. Yay…

    Our smaller campuses only have one computer and I was hoping to extend ProPresenter’s functionality a little through QC. I really just wanted to add an RSS feed on top of everything.

    Honestly, I doubt anyone but me wants the capability to suck Syphon into ProPresenter. But I’ll ask again and see what happens.

    Thanks for the offer, you have created a lot of useful stuff and I appreciate your willingness to help.



    You mentioned that ProPresenter can run QC comps (albeit, not natively loading QC Plugins). This leads me to believe it is using the Quicktime layer to read QC comps.

    Modul8 does something similar, but with a 3rd party, non official, “skank” QCPlugin named QCRehab you can actually get Modul8 (and other apps) to load 3rd party plugins.

    Try installing QC Rehab, and making a QC Comp that loads a Syphon Client and listens for a specific named server, which you could run from another QC Comp.

    I’ll bet you it works.

    Let us know.

    Keymaster this URL might be helpful to look at in regards to QC Rehab, etc.


    Works great. Thanks so much


    We’ve done quite a bit of work in this exact field developing our own VJ software built on top of Unity that explicitly supports ProPresenter.

    Our first step was to try to support pre-PP 4.2 by developing a “video input device” Unity plug-in, which in developer-terms is referred to as a video digitizer or VDig. The result was pretty bad. It worked ok only in about 640×480 res, and even then wasn’t that great.

    It’s important to note that a VDig uses the “old QuickTime”, which is 32-bit and gets translated to 64, and there doesn’t even seem to be any plan in sight to make a VDig use the new QT.

    After making a Unity VDig, Syphon released a first beta, and we knew right away it was worth scrapping a couple weeks of work to use it instead. So now, to plug in to ProPresenter, we just use the Syphon Quartz client with PP 4.2+ and it works fine.

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