It’s 2017, the age of multiscreen media and stock footage. Creative set designs are everywhere and almost every touring artist, corporate event and entertainment gathering seems to be incorporating video. The encouraging part is that more and more of these types of events are incorporating multiscreen. It may be an ultra-wide edge blended video wall, a multiscreen TV display or a triple-wide video wall. Regardless the technology is becoming more accessible and the movement is growing.
There are a wide variety of programs to use with multiscreen media, sometimes referred to as VJ software (video jockey). Here is our quick overview of the top 6 VJ software you need to know about as you begin to implement more of these ideas, test out new concepts and explore the world of multiscreen video content.
The Top 6 VJ Softwares
This program has been out for a while and it’s among the most powerful software systems in the world. However it comes with it’s complexity as well. As a program that both allows and somewhat mandates the user to design its own user interface, it can be a steeper learning curve compared to some of the other programs. VDMX has been around since 1998 when VidVox tried out a new concept of a visualizing software that do a whole lot more than anyone else in the market. Powerful, complex and integrates with nearly everything under the sun. With live video input, quartz compositions incorporated and custom layouts, VDMX 5 is another top VJ Software.
Free Trial: Yes (can’t save project)
Price & License: $350 (includes 3 licenses)
2. ProVideoPlayer 2
Renewed Vision (makers of ProPresenter) have recently released ProVideoPlayer 2, a easy to use and clean interface with powerful advancements under the hood. PVP 2 adds an incredible multiscreen layout tool that makes utilizing multiple displays through multiscreen processors as easy as drag and drop. The newest version also integrates with a world of other technological interfaces which makes projection mapping, edge blending, control from a switcher or lighting console a heck of a lot easier. The biggest benefit of PVP2 is it’s ability to create easy to fire Macros controlling multiple surfaces with multiple different pieces of content with the single click of a button.
Free Trial: Yes (watermarked output)
Price & License: $999
Possibly the most utilized software on the market and a bit of a hybrid between the power of VDMX and the simplicity of ProVideoPlayer… but of course exceeds both of those respectively. One of the key features in Resolume is the ability to do screen warping and video mapping within the actual output of the software. Rather than using an interface like Syphon to get video from one software to another, Resolume will do it all internally saving key processing power and limit the amount of pixel pushing internally. The key to it’s success with pixel manipulation is in how Resolume footage is run via the DXV codec. With the addition of their version 5, Resolume arena will control LED Lighting as well.
Free Trial: Yes (15 days)
Price & License: ~$400 (Avenue) – $950 (Arena)
MadMapper is more of a mapping software and pixel manipulation software than it is a visual mixing or VJ software as it will take video inputs and warp pixels, convert to ArtNet (for video to control lighting instruments) or video map your surface. It was designed to “shape video” between applications and that’s exactly what it does best; a great accompaniment with any of these other pieces of software.
Free Trial: Yes (Watermarked Output)
Price & License: ~$400 (2 licenses)
Though this is the software our team is most unfamiliar with we are well aware of it’s power and uses in various multiscreen video applications. Designed to be used in a live environment and live manipulation of media it acts the most like a “VJ” program much like a disc jockey would use turn tables. It’s got most of the same features as the rest of these and the interface is a bit clunky, but it’s laid out in a manner a bit friendlier to a lighting operator or programmer. Moudl8’s unique factor is it’s ability to build and share modules of the program with other users. Easily install modules you download from the user database of previously built module’s and never be left behind with new and advanced development. V3 is expected soon, and it’s rumored to support up to 8k video with syphon, live video inputs and a brand new UI.
Free Trial: Yes (no saving & watermarked output)
Price & License: ~$400 (2 licenses) *discount available for MadMapper purchasers
6. Arkaos GrandVJ
One of the more tenured of the players in the market and another one who recently released a major update (let it be noted that it was a free update and includes an additional piece of software). With a much better user interface and layout and the addition of an additional piece of software that allows you to do “MadMapper-like” mapping, alignment, bending and shaping, you’ve got a product that is a powerful tool to use in almost any multiscreen video setup. That’s pretty neat to know you don’t have to buy the additional MadMapper if you’re looking for that flexibility. Now with GrandVJ XT (add on extension) you can control multiple screens much easier. Another Top VJ Software to check out.
Free Trial: Yes (watermarked output)
Price & License: $349 (Basic Version), $799 (XT Version)