The Plugin SDK
The Plugin Software Development Kit (SDK) allows you to build your own image effects and generators with
- an interface in Max For Live (MFL),
- an engine in GL Shader Language (GLSL),
- following the Interactive Shader Format (ISF) standard.
This section is a step-by-step tutorial that describes working with the SDK. It will not cover GLSL or Max programming, but should allow you to start experimenting even if you are not familiar with those languages. It does assume some experience with programming in general.
To build Videosync plugins, you need an active license of Ableton Live with Max For Live.
To get started, Download the Plugin SDK and extract the contents of the zip to a convenient location on your disk.
Before launching Videosync and jumping into developing plugins, we need to make sure Max can find the dependencies that are in the SDK. Here is how:
- From the Examples folder, drag any plugin, for example
Lines.amxd, into Live.
- Open the plugin by pressing the Edit button
- After Max has launched, open the Max Console (from the menu, choose Window > Max Console or press Cmd + M).
- The Max Console will say that a component,
videoDevice.maxpat, is missing. Max can’t find this file yet.
- From the menu, choose Options > File Preferences. You will see the list of paths where Max looks for files when opening a patch.
- Add the Plugin SDK folder (not just the Examples folder!) and make sure the Subfolders toggle is on.
If you edited Videosync plugins before, make sure there are no older copies of the SDK or residues of unfrozen Videosync plugins in the Max search path. The easiest way is to search for
videoDevice.maxpaton your disks and making sure that the only one found is in the Plugin SDK folder you are currently working from.
- You can now close Max and restart Live.
You are ready to build your first plugin! To start the action, read on!