The basics

The previous section walked you through the steps of creating a simple composition. By now, you may know a bit about the process of composing with Vuo, but you may not understand exactly how compositions work or how make your own from scratch. This section introduces the major concepts you need to understand when working with Vuo.

If you prefer to learn by doing, we recommend that you read this section and then experiment with Vuo’s example compositions to learn how to create your own. If you prefer to have a deeper understanding of the concepts underlying Vuo, we recommend that after this section you continue to the next sections, which cover the concepts in more detail — How events and data travel through a composition, How compositions process data, and How nodes can be used as building blocks.

A composition is what you create with Vuo

When musicians create a piece of music, they call it a composition. When you create something in Vuo, that’s also called a composition.

In the Quick Start section, you saw how to create a composition that displays a moving twirly stripy design. That’s one type of Vuo composition — an animation that displays in a window. Vuo can be used to create much more complex and interesting animations. It can also be used to create many other types of compositions. A composition could be a game. It could be an art installation. It could be a controller for stage lighting. It could be digital signage. It could be a plug-in for other software. Those are just some examples of what a composition could be.

A composition is a program whose source code is a visual representation of the program's data flow. It's compiled and linked to create an application or library.

One thing that all compositions have in common is the process of creating them in Vuo. You start with either a new canvas or an existing composition, and you pick out building blocks and connect them to make many smaller pieces work together as a larger whole.

Another thing that all compositions have in common is the way that they run. When you click the Run button, all of those building blocks and connections that you laid out as a blueprint get turned into a running application.