PixelConduit is a free realtime video app for Mac OS X.
It's the "swiss army knife" of a compositor's toolkit — a lightweight app that launches fast and renders faster. PixelConduit does realtime effects with multiple video inputs, and has the ergonomic and flexible node-based Conduit user interface. It includes simple keyframing, deep file format support and batch rendering, so you'll be rendering out dozens of files while others are still waiting for their compositing application to start up...
But that's not all — PixelConduit is also a professional-grade video capture and live performance tool that works with live video streams even at HD resolutions.
PixelConduit can capture video from multiple capture sources, even simultaneously. You can access both consumer devices like iSight and FireWire DV and HDV as well as professional capture cards such as AJA Kona through the standard QuickTime interface. Additionally, PixelConduit has special support for BlackMagic capture products (DeckLink / Intensity / UltraStudio). This ensures the best quality and performance available from the BlackMagic devices.
There's no limitation on the resolution of the video feed. Conduit's effect engine has a unique node-joining capability that fuses complex effects together so that they can be rendered all in once on the GPU. This means visual effects and composites can be rendered in realtime even with high-definition 1080p sources or better. There's no limitation on resolution or frame rate, so mixing NTSC, PAL and HD sources is possible.
Recording to disk offers a unique non-destructive mode. In this mode PixelConduit records the original video streams exactly as they were captured, and stores the effects separately as a .conduit file that can be loaded in the Conduit plugin during post-production in any supported application (Final Cut Pro, After Effects). This recording mode offers excellent performance, fidelity and flexibility, as the rendering can be finetuned later.
PixelConduit has an industry-standard set of realtime video scopes (Luma, Y'CbCr Parade, RGB Parade and Chroma Vectorscope) that can be used to monitor any incoming feeds or the rendered output.
The latest version of PixelConduit includes batch actions that can automate much of the application and render out the results to any number of destinations. You can use PixelConduit to rapidly crunch through a folder full of files... But just as easily you can apply several effects to several video files, and export out to multiple formats at once.
It's even possible to package your custom scripts into binary plug-ins. This way, they appear just like Conduit's built-in nodes and can be easily distributed.
PixelConduit is a great platform for high-quality video performances and other live video deployments. For the first time ever, the same toolset that is used for high-quality film visual effects can be also used for realtime video. Floating-point color, HDR, advanced keyers and color spaces — it's all at your disposal without compromises.
For advanced live applications, PixelConduit supports multiple full-screen video outputs. There is built-in support for Matrox DualHead2Go and TripleHead2Go graphics extension modules, which makes it possible to drive up to three projector outputs from a single Mac laptop or iMac. With a Mac Pro and multiple video cards, it's possible to output on up to 9 projectors.
For more comfortable live use, the sliders and color pickers in Conduit can be driven with an external MIDI controller device.
We've placed a serious emphasis on stability to ensure that PixelConduit is up to the demands of large-scale video performance. The Finnish National Theatre is pleased with the results:
“Tuntematon sotilas (The Unknown Soldier) is the hottest play in Finland right now. Hailed by Finland's leading newspaper as the cultural event of the decade and instantly sold out for the entire season, this clever and engaging modernization of a national classic appeals to a whole new generation of theatre-goers and makes innovative use of modern technology. Live video is in a central role, as many scenes are conceived entirely around it. If the video crashed, 800 spectators would be left with nothing to watch.
All the video material goes through PixelConduit. This software does everything — color correction, compositing, multiple video inputs, multiple hi-res outputs — with impeccable stability.”
The Finnish National Theatre uses PixelConduit equipped with Stage Tools.
Would you like to find out more about how Conduit is being used in the real world for performance and HDTV broadcast applications? Check out Case Studies.