This is brush, a small Max/MSP/Jitter patch that I’ve compiled as a standalone application. I made it in 2005 and have not touched it since — it’s in need of an update. If you’d like to check out an updated version, let me know and I’d be happy to update it for you. It’s aimed at visualists who are just starting out and looking for software to play with. Programmatically, it’s very simple. Video from a live camera (or a movie file) is fed back on itself so that light stays on the canvas (screen). Thus, you can paint with the light in the room you’re in. Decay (fade time), tolerance (lower luma threshold) and color inversion are adjustable so you can adapt your performance to any lighting conditions.


  • Download brush 0.1.2 and unzip it. Drag the application to your /Applications folder if you so desire and open it. The source files are in the source folder. You can edit them if you have a full or demo copy of Max/MSP/Jitter.
  • Read a brief tutorial
  • See video and stills of a brush performance

image: still from a brush performance
I developed the patch in Keyworx last winter and ported it to M/M/J over the summer with the generous help of vade and other friends. The effect I was looking for turned out to be in one of the Jitter tutorial patches so, again, this is not a complex patch. It’s all in the performance — so get out there and use it!

image: still from a brush performance The patch is under the same CC license that’s at the bottom of this blog. Of course, that doesn’t apply if you just rebuild it from the same tutorial patch I used. 🙂

The application only works on Mac OS X because Max for Windows uses a different camera feed object. Sorry. I’ll see if I can get a Windows Max user to port it. Interested in going further? (Get the fully functional Max/MSP/Jiitter demo for Mac and PC).

Future features
  • processing on the GPU (and the choice to use CPU or GPU)
  • multiple videoplanes in OpenGL
  • Windows compatibility
Old versions