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Developing Applications that Use Vuo

If you're developing an application, library, or other project, your code can build and run Vuo compositions. One way is by invoking the Vuo command-line tools (see the Vuo Manual), but you can also interact with Vuo programmatically through its API.

To learn how to develop an application that uses Vuo, see:

Choosing an API

Cocoa API

If you plan to use Vuo within a Cocoa application, and the compositions you'll be using it with conform to the Image Generator or Image Filter protocol, then consider using the Cocoa API. It provides a simple Objective-C interface for retrieving images from compositions (VuoRunnerCocoa.hh) and methods for converting between Vuo types and Cocoa types (VuoRunnerCocoa+Conversion.hh).


Otherwise, you should use the C++ API (VuoRunner.hh). It offers much more flexibility for running and interacting with compositions.

32-bit and 64-bit

The Cocoa API and the C++ API can be used in both 32-bit and 64-bit applications. The Cocoa API is available in its entirety on both architectures. In the C++ API, some classes and functions are available only in 64-bit mode — specifically, classes whose names begin with VuoCompiler, and VuoRunner functions that involve running a composition in the current process.

When running a composition from a 32-bit application, the composition always runs in a separate (64-bit) process. When running a composition from a 64-bit application with the C++ API, you have the option to run it in the current process or a separate process.

Setting up your application

To use Vuo, your application needs to link to Vuo.framework, which comes with the Vuo SDK.

Xcode 4 and 5

If using the Cocoa API or the C++ API:

If using the Cocoa API:

If using the C++ API:

Qt Creator

See the example Qt projects included with the Vuo SDK.

Extra libraries

Vuo.framework includes the basic functions you need to build and run a Vuo composition. For additional functionality, you can optionally link in these dynamic libraries:

See the RunImageFilter example projects (included with the Vuo SDK) for examples of using these libraries.

Using the C++ API

Compiling and linking a Vuo composition

If you want to run a Vuo composition, you first have to compile and link it.

The easiest way to do that is with the factory methods VuoCompiler::newSeparateProcessRunnerFromCompositionFile and VuoCompiler::newCurrentProcessRunnerFromCompositionFile. These compile and link your composition and return a VuoRunner that's ready to run it.

The VuoCompiler class also provides functions for separately compiling a composition, linking a composition, and compiling a node class, port type, or library module.

Running a Vuo composition

Using the VuoRunner class, you can run and interact with a composition. The composition can run in the same process as the VuoRunner or in a separate process.

The VuoRunner::start and VuoRunner::stop functions allow you to start and stop a composition. While the composition is running, you can use other VuoRunner functions to control it and query it (such such pausing the composition, setting the values of published input ports, and getting the values of published output ports).

You can receive notifications from the running composition (such as when a published output port receives an event) by creating a derived class of VuoRunnerDelegate or VuoRunnerDelegateAdapter. Use VuoRunner::setDelegate to connect your class to the VuoRunner. Your class's VuoRunnerDelegate functions will be called whenever the VuoRunner receives messages from the running composition.

The Vuo framework contains encryption

The Vuo framework contains OpenSSL libraries, which are needed by nodes that support downloading files via HTTPS. If you plan to distribute an application that uses the Vuo framework, your application may be subject to export regulations. For more information, see How do export regulations impact the applications I create with Vuo?.