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Important Information about 64bit vs. 32bit plugins in Isadora 3



  • Dear All,

    There has been some confusion about plugins becuase of Isadora 3's switch to a 64 bit program. I've tried to make the necessary information as concise as possible below to help smooth the transition.

    The most important thing to understand: on both MacOS and Windows, is impossible for a 64 bit program to use 32 bit plugins. That means older plugins that are 32 bit only will not be seen by Isadora 3. This may include custom, third-party plugins compiled for Isadora 2, 32-bit FreeFrame plugins or 32 bit CoreAudio plugins.

    Unfortunately, you can't immediately tell from the outside if a plugin is 64 bit or 32 bit. We'll update these instructions in a couple of days with some command line tricks to inquire whether a plugin is 64 bit or 32

    To help you handle this 64-bit/32-bit distinction, we've changed the external plugin folder paths for third-party Isadora plugins and FreeFrame plugins. Below is a summary for each type of plugin Isadora handles.

    ISADORA PLUGIN PATHS -- WINDOWS

    On Windows, at C:\Program Files\Common Files\TroikaTronix\, you will find these five folders

    -- GLSL Plugins -- for GLSL Plugin Text files
    -- Isadora Controls -- Third Party 64 bit Control Plugins
    -- Isadora Plugins -- Third Party 64 bit Actor Plugins
    -- PluginIndexes -- used to efficiently index the all plugins; not something users need to access
    -- Themes -- Visual Themes (skins) for Isadora 3

    On Windows, the dinstinction between 64 and 32 bit programs is made by the path: 64 bit programs are in C:\Program Files and 32 bit programs are in C:\Program Files (x86). Thus there is no special indication of "64 bitness" in the above folder names because the C:\Program Files location implies that these are 64 bit plugins.

    Isadora 2 or Isadora 1, since they are 32 bit, are installed inside the C:\Program Files (x86) path and so it's third-party plugin folders totally distinct from the 64 bit version.

    ISADORA PLUGIN PATHS -- MACOS

    On MacOS, at /Library/Application Support/TroikaTronix you will find these seeven folders:

    -- GLSL Plugins -- for GLSL Plugin Text files
    --Isadora Controls -- Third Party 32 bit Control Plugins
    --Isadora Plugins -- Third Party 32 bit Actor Plugins
    --IsadoraControls_x64 -- Third Party 64 bit Control Plugins
    --IsadoraPlugins_x64 -- Third Party 64 bit Actor Plugins
    --PluginIndexes -- used to efficiently index the all plugins; not something users need to access
    --Themes -- Visual Themes (skins) for Isadora 3

    You should put your third party 32-bit plugisn in the "Isadora Plugins" or "Isadora Controls" as appropriate. The 64-bit plugins should go the "Isadora Plugins_x64" or "Isadora Controls_x64" as appropriate

    FREERAME PLUGINS

    These are the paths for FreeName

    macOS

    /Library/Application Support/FreeFrame_x64 -- 64 bit FreeFrame plugins
    /Library/Application Support/FreeFrame -- 32 bit FreeFrame plugins

    Windows

    C:\Program Files\Common Files\FreeFrame -- 64 bit FreeFrame plugins
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\FreeFrame -- 32 bit FreeFrame plugins

    All of the FreeFrameGL plugins produced by TroikaTronix have been updated; you can download them here.

    On Windows, the updated versions of plugins are 64 bit only. On MacOS, all programs/plugins can be a "Universal Binary" -- this bundles the 64 bit cpde and a 32 bit cpde into the same binary. So the Mac version of these plugins will work on both 32 bit and 64 bit platforms. Because Isadora 2 only looks in the 32 bit folder, and Isadora 3 only looks in the 64-bit folder, you'll need to place a copy in both the 32 bit folder and the 64 bit folder if you want both Isadora 2 and Isadora 3 to see them.

    Older, CPU based plugins like the third-party "Pete's Plugins" that we've offered will not run under Isadora 3 because they are 32 bit. We do not have the resources to convert these CPU based plugins to use the GPU natively. So you won't be able to use that specific plugin pack with Isadora 3.

    For other FreeFrame plugins you want to use, you'll have to contact the manufactor/creator to see if they offer a 64 bit version of their plugin.

    (Note: We actually went on a big hunt to find 64 bit CPU-based FreeFrame plugins so we could test them with Isadora 3; but, after and extensive search, we found a grand total of exactly zero. That said, if you do find one, it should work.)

    QUARTZ COMPOSER / CORE IMAGE PLUGINS (MACOS ONLY)

    All of Apple's Core Image plugins are "universal binaries", meaning they have the binary code for both the 64 bit and 32 bit versions bundled together as one. So all of these are availble on both Isadora 3 and earlier. (We do have a few odd crashes with specific plugins listed in our bug database, but for the most part all of these plugins work well.) These are stored in a specific path within MacOS, so you don't have to worry about the path for these plugins.

    The Quartz Composer plugins we tested all work well, but of course there may be exceptions given that there are 1) millions of them out there, and 2) Apple stopped working on Quartz Composer and it's underlying technology some years ago now. For this reason, it would be a reaonsable to assume that that these plugins will stop working some day in the future when Apple updates macOS. But for the moment they work fine.

    The paths for Quartz Composer plugins remain the same in Isadora 3 and Isadora 2:

    /System/Library/Compositions
    /Library/Compositions
    ~/Library/Compositions (i.e., within your home folder.)

    CORE AUDIO PLUGINS (MACOS ONLY)

    All of Apple's Core Audio plugins are "universal binaries", meaning they have the binary code for both the 64 bit and 32 bit versions bundled together as one. So all of these are availble on both Isadora 3 and earlier.

    As for third-party Core Audio plugins, the same caveats about FreeFrame plugins holds true: if the CoreAudio plugin is 32 bit, Isadora 3 won't be able to use it. Check the webpage of the manufacturer to find out if they have a 64 bit version of your CoreAudio plugin.