Support for Matthew Haber's User Actors

  • Beta Tester

    Hi Everyone,

    I get a few emails per day asking for help with my user actors as well as Isadora in general and, while I am thrilled to be able to help out, I'm also pretty busy and sometimes I can't answer these as quickly as I would like to be able to. Additionally, since many of these emails address similar or even identical queries, repeatedly answering the same question for different people isn't really the most efficient way for me to help my fellow Isadora users. One of the great qualities of Isadora is the strength of its user community and, in particular, the level of engagement with this forum so I have decided that it is going to be in everyone's best interested for me to handle all future support through the forum. I have created this thread so that we can have one thread that encompasses all of the common issues users encounter when trying to work with my actors. This way, when users encounter them again in the future, the answers will be all ready to go. This will also allow other users to help answer some of the questions so that when I am too busy to answer them myself promptly, there doesn't have to be a big delay in receiving aid. I'm also going to start off by providing some answers and example patches for some of the more common questions that I have fielded in the past. I am eternally appreciative of everything that the Isadora community has given to me over the past couple of years and I look forward to being able to continue to do my part to contribute to our overall wealth of knowledge and resources.



    Installation Instructions

    My actors can be broadly split up into two categories: those that utilize Quartz Composer and those that do not. The installation process for the former is a little bit more involved but neither is particularly tricky.

    Installing the .iua file:

    This file is the Isadora User Actor itself. You should place this in your Global User Actor directory or you can use the Place User Actor command from within Isadora. For more information on using User Actors in Isadora, please see page 98 of the Isadora Manual.

    PLEASE NOTE: The following actors should not be placed in your Global User Actor folder and, instead, should be added to your project using the Place User Actor command if you are using any version of Isadora BEFORE 1.3.0f25:

    -All Isadora Timeline Toolkit Actors

    -Cornerpin Projector MK2

    -Cornerpin Mask

    -Bezier Surface

    -QC Cornerpin

    -Quad Grabber

    -Absolute Quad Distort Projector

    Installing the .qtz file:

    This file is the Quartz Composer composition. It should be copied to the following directory:

    /Macintosh HD/Library/Compositions/

    Installing the .plugin file:

    This file is a Quartz Composer Plugin. It should be copied to the following directory:

    /Macintosh HD/Library/Graphics/Quartz Composer Plug-Ins/

    If that directory does not exist you should create it.

    Isadora vs. IsadoraCore vs. IsadoraCore with Core Video Upgrade

    User actors that only include a .iua file in the download are compatible with Isadora for both OSX and Windows. User actors that include a .qtz file are only compatible with Isadora Core Video Edition. Just because your install is called IsadoraCore does not mean that you have the Core Video upgrade. If you're not sure which you have, launch IsadoraCore and check to see whether your actor Toolbox includes "Core Video Effects" and "Quartz Composer" as options. If it does not, then you will need to purchase a Core Video upgrade before you will be able to use these actors.

    Other Useful Info

    Notes on Syphon

    First of all, Isadora will only publish the Syphon Server or Client when you also connect them to a projector actor and show the stage. 90% of the time I hear about issues with Syphon, the issue can be traced back to this.

    The other common issue people tend to encounter when using Syphon output from Isadora is visible artifacts on scene changes and an inability to fade between scenes. Both of these issues are addressed by the same patch that I have posted here. You should be able to use that as the basis for your patch. Don't forget to insure that you never are trying to fade between two scenes that are broadcasting on the same channel or that patch won't really work.

    Notes on Mapping Actors

    Due to some quirks with Quartz Composer, some of the mapping actors will occasionally initialize with weird values when you place them into a patch. Simple hit the reset trigger input and that should be cleared up.

    More useful info to come...

  • Thank you Matthew..
    Isadora is a beautiful piece of software, but this forum-community is a big part of the power izzi has. 
    Thanks for sharing !

  • thank you!!!

  • Thanks Matthew! Your work is super great and makes our lives easier. Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks Matt... your great work is much appreciated.

    Quick Question.  I assume then, that one cannot use both the QC Syphon Server and the Madmapper server at the same time.  It looks like it is an either/or input on the Madmapper side.  Is there any way to have both go into Madmapper?
  • Beta Tester

    The only way to use both is with the MadLabs MAD_Doubler app.

  • Beta Tester

    Hi All,

    In light of the recent release of the Current Scene Number actor, I have tweaked the multi-scene syphon fading actor to make it automatically handle assigning odd and even scenes. Please download the Current Scene Number actor from the forum and then see the attached patch for an improved experience.


  • Hi Matthew,

    thanks for sharing the patch and all the work you have done to make Syphon work in Isadora! I have just started to work with Madmapper for a theatre show and I built a project based on the first syphon scene change patch that you submitted here. The only problem was that if you insert a scene you would have to change the broadcast channels of all the scenes that follow. Greatly you provided us with version 2 which makes things a lot easier. But apparently there's a problem with the mix amount of the video mixer in the master scene actor. I integrated this in my patch and it would fade in the correct scene, but then let the video disappear again. I looked into your user actor to understand how it works and apparently the video mixer fades in the wrong direction. 
    Example: If I have an odd numbered scene, the mix amount should be 0, i.e. showing the first video input (broadcast channel 2). Instead, when I look into let's say scene number 3, the actor chooses video output 2 but the mix amount is at 100, which means video channel 3 is open.. I just switched the input numbers on the master scene fade actor and now it works perfectly. Same problem if I use your example patch and hook up a movie player to the syphon sender. I would suggest to either change the number of the video inputs in the master scene actor, or exchange the inputs for the selector in the sender actor so that the mix amount goes into the correct direction. See the attached patch..  Btw, it's perfect timing that you released this just a couple of days ago, because I have rehearsals again tomorrow and if the director wants to have changes in the order of the videos, I can do this far quicker than before. Huge thanks to you for making this possible! 


  • Beta Tester

    Hi Daniel, I threw the version 2 example patch together based on something that I had done for a different project recently and I am embarrassed to say that I may not have tested it all that thoroughly. Good catch on that.

  • Hi Matthew,

    no need to be embarassed, it happens to all of us. I am not so experienced as an Izzy user yet, but I come from Max/MSP and these tiny bugs are everywhere! And it doesn't matter who finds them as long as the result is fine :)
    Now I'm testing my patch with the new syphon actors and have another problem: scene fades are sort of bumpy, there are like 50 black flashes in between, until the video jumps to the movie of the next scene. When a scene is running, everything is fine.. when it fades, it looks kind of flashy. Running Isadora 1.3.0 f24 here with the latest version of your syphon actors (downloaded last week or so), running on a retina macbook pro with 10.8.2 and an 1920x1200 external display hooked up via HDMI.The videos are 1024x384 pixels, photo jpeg compressed. I have no Idea what is causing this problem.. Do you have any idea? I hope they won't kill me at the rehearsals tomorrow.. my fault for trying this but I couldn't think of any other solution yet.. 
  • Beta Tester

    Hi Daniel, I have not experienced that issue you are describing so I'm not sure what could be causing that.

  • Hi Matthew,

    my fault! While testing, I had been using the old and the new version of the multiscene sender actor in the same project, so the mixer was jumping between different percentages I guess..  Replaced everything with the new version and everything works nicely! Thanks again, this is a great community!
  • Beta Tester

    In response to a user request, I have done up a version of the multiscene syphon example patch that uses entirely core actors for those interested in an entirely GPU based signal pipeline. I tested this one pretty thoroughly so it should work fine out of the box but it is a little more complicated under the hood than the non-core version so depending on how you implement it in your project there might be some unforeseen hiccups. The issue is that the CI Dissolve actor, unlike the Video Mixer actor, requires both inputs to simultaneously be receiving signal in order for anything to be output so it would only work during when multiple scenes were active. I spent a little bit of time trying to come up with a more elegant solution than the one I have implemented but this seems to work well and isn't super crazy. I would love to hear if anyone checks out the patch and comes up with a better workaround for this issue. Anyway, download away! 6cb4d5-ci-syphon-scene-change-v2.izz

  • @Matthew et all,

    I have designed my scenes on a laptop in the full version of Isadora. I used Matthews Cornerpin Mask v1.1 . I've laid it out as follows MOVIE PLAYER > CROP > CORNERPIN MASK V.1\. > PROJECTOR. It was working when I was laying it out on my laptop, but we moved the entire project to a desktop computer and used the USB Key I have (which I believe should have the Core Audio/Video on it.... not sure if I need it in this instance.) However, when I go to SHOW STAGES I get nothing. If I go to edit mode in the CORNERPIN MASK the red circles do show up, but I can't see any image/video I've placed there. 
    I'm suing ISADORA 1.3of24 on USB KEY. 
    Could you please help? Any troubleshooting ideas? 
    thanks everyone.


  • Has anyone got all the original Haber actors as the site has changed and the links even from the madmapper site for example no longer work. i used to have them on my older machine

  • Beta Tester

    All the actors will soon be hosted on a lovely new site but in the meantime if you send me an email at I will send you download links for whichever ones you need.

  • Beta Tester

    As promised, there is now a new home for all of the actors that have been historically available through my website. Please download them from the Imaginary Media Artists software resources page here:

  • Izzy Guru

    Brill thanks :)

  • Hello,

    I'm working on a gallery installation and am trying to use the Bezier Surface actor but am not having any success.   I can get the corner circles to appear but they're not changing anything on the video.  I followed the installation instructions above and have upgraded to Core video 1.3.1f06.
    I've also downloaded the Cornerpin Mask and am not having any luck either.  
    Have I missed anything?  
    I'm working on 10.9.2 on a Mac Mini 2.5 Intel Core i5.
    Many thanks,
  • Izzy Guru

    Sounds like the .plugin is not in the right place - but I am not 100% will wait for Matthews reply.