Getting Started
File Browser
Freeframe plugins
Audio analysis
Network streaming
Live camera input
Screen setup
BPM Clock
Preparing media
PICvideo M-JPEG Codec
Keyboard shortcuts

Feedback tutorial


The concept of Resolume is very simple. By pressing keys on the keyboard you trigger and scratch video clips and apply effects. Enabling you to quickly improvise video playback.



To install Resolume simply download the latest version from our website. We recommend the one that includes demo footage. Once downloaded simply double-click the installer and follow the installation wizard.

Before you run Resolume make sure:
- Your display resolution is set to 1024x768 or higher or preferably to 1280x1024.
- You have installed directX 9.0 or higher.

If you would like to use Flash files you should also have the Shockwave Flash plugin installed in Internet Explorer. You can get the Flash plugin on the Adobe website. If you can view flash files with the Internet Explorer browser you can use flash in Resolume.

Advanced installation

To ensure maximum stability it is best to have as little software installed and running next to Resolume as possible. It is therefore recommended to install Windows twice and use one partition for your daily work and one partition for live performances only. Software like a firewall, virus checker, Google desktop, etc are useful utilities for regular computer usage but when you are doing a live performance your computer is usually not connected to the internet so you do not really need all those utilities.

Microsoft has published a multi booting guide on their website to help you install Windows more then once on the same computer.

If for some reason you can not create a separate Windows partition for live performances you can also create a separate user in Windows that is configured to run less software. This is not a ideal as a separate partition because it is not completely separate but it's useful nonetheless. To manage users, open Control Panel from the Start menu, and then double click User Accounts. Make sure that the User account you create also has Administrator rights!


Getting Started

Step 1: Loading media files

Open the files tab in the interface and browse your hard drive for files that you would like to use. You can load the following media types. Movies:avi, mov, qt, mpg, mpeg. Flash:swf. or Pictures:bmp, psd, gif, jpg, jpeg, wmf. Drag one or more files to one of the channels in the middle. If you drag more than one movie or flash files, each file is inserted in a new channel. If you drag more than one picture files to a channel, a picture sequence is created in that channel. Activating that channel will play all the inserted picture files as an animation.

In depth: Browser, Channels

Step 2: Mixing!

Once you have loaded media files into the channels. Start pressing the following keys on the keyboard. (This layout corresponds with the layout of the channels)

1 2 3 4 5




Yes folks, live video mixing is that easy! You can also activate a channel by clicking on it. To configure a channels' properties, right-click it. To empty a channel press ALT & 'channel shortcut'. (so ALT & 1 clears the top left channel)

In depth: Channels

Step 3: Scratching

You can play the media in a channel forwards, backwards, pause and random. Random will play the frames at random order. Can't do that with your VCR can you? You can use the buttons  in each layer or you can use the buttons  on each channel but its faster to use the keyboard keys. The key 'N' is configured as the forwards/backwards toggle. 'M' is the magic key to press if you want to play random. And ',' is pause. You can also scratch the video by grabbing the playhead in the timeline on each layer and moving it left/right.

In depth: Layers

Step 4: Layering

You can overlay up to three layers with resolume. When you switch channels this happens in the active layer. By default the bottom layer is active (as the pink border indicates). Now select the middle layer and then select a clip from the grid of channels. The channel is inserted in the now active middle layer. Use the shortcuts F1, F2 and F3 to quickly select layers.

By default the overlay mode of a layer is Alpha blending because it is the most neutral of them all. Resolume supports many different overlay modes and they can be selected from the overlay modes palette. Note that the bottom row of buttons in the overlay palette each contains a list with more items.

In depth: Layers

Step 5: Effects

Open the effects list by clicking the effects tab. There are two places you can apply effects: on the global output or on an individual channel. You can apply three effects to the global output but only one effect to a channel.

Depending on your screen resolution you will find the three global effect panels either tabbed above the file browser or separated left of the file browser. Now you can activate effects by dragging them from the effects list to one of the global effect panels or a channel but it is a lot faster to assign a shortcut of midi note to an effect. You do this by double clicking an effect and then assigning either a keyboard key or a midi note. Pressing an effect shortcut triggers it into the active global effect panel. Press CTRL & 'effect shortcut' to apply the effect to the active channel.

An effect can have up to four parameters whose values can be changed by using the slider by hand or by automating it with one of the parameter automation modes.

Change the opacity of an effect by dragging the opacity slider. Select the overlay mode of an effect from the list left of the slider. Any (slide-able) overlay mode that you also find on the layers can be used on the opacity of the effect.

In depth: Effects

Step 6: Screen setup

We recommend running Resolume on a dual monitor system. This way you can have the interface visible at all time on display 1 and send the output fullscreen to the projector trough display 2 (and display 3 and 4 if you have more displays). To setup Resolume on your displays you have to click the “Screen setup” button. This opens (not surprisingly) opens the screen setup window. Here you see your displays listed and you can configure your display setup. We recommend running the process resolution to 400x300 (and to also render you video clips to this resolution) and the output resolution to 800x600 fullscreen.

In depth: Screen setup


File Browser


On the left side of the interface you see what we call the browser. The browser is used to locate media files on your hard drive. With the dropdownlistbox on the top you can select one of your drives. Beneath that the directories are listed on the selected drive. And beneath that you see the files inside the selected directory. Note that it only displays file types you can actually use. On the bottom of the browser is a preview area, this previews the media file selected in the browser. By default this preview is turned off to speed up the browsing process. Click on the little icon that looks like an eye to turn the preview on.

Note that if your cursor is inside the browser you can safely press for instance 'v' to jump to the directory or files stating with a 'v'. As long as your mouse cursor is in the browser it will not switch to the channel that has shortcut 'v' assigned.

It is possible to load files through a network that are on an other computer. To do this you first have to map a network drive to a drive letter. To map a drive letter to a network computer or folder, open Windows Explorer. On the Tools menu, click Map Network Drive. In Drive, select the drive letter to map to the shared resource. In Folder, type the server and share name of the resource, in the form of \\servername\sharename. Or click Browse to locate the resource. The mapped network drive is now listed among your other drives in the dropdownlistbox in the top of the browser. Although it is possible to load files from a network or cd-rom. We strongly recommend copying the files you want to use to your computers' hard drive because the data rate of a network or cd-rom drive is not very fast.

Once you have located one or more files you would like to use simple select them and drag them on a channel. Or select them and press Enter. You can use movies:avi, mov, qt, mpg, mpeg, flash:swf, pictures:bmp, psd, gif, jpg, jpeg and wmf files. If you drag multiple flash or movie files to a channel each file is inserted into a new channel. If you drag multiple picture files to a channel each file is inserted into that channel and a picture sequence is created. Activating this channel will play all the inserted picture files as individual frames. Drag a folder with pictures to a channel to insert all it's containing picture files into a channel.



Channel popup window

The main interface holds 20 channels. In the channels you load media files. By activating channels you play the media files. You load files into the channels by dragging a file from the file browser or the sources tab to the channel of choice. Then by activating a channel it will start playing the inserted media file(s) in the active layer. Each channel can be activated either by clicking on it, or pressing the assigned key on your keyboard. You can also switch channels using the arrow keys on the keyboard. You can see which a channel is activated by an orange border around it. The top left corner shows the shortcut-key to activate that particular channel.

The bottom right corner of a channel shows how the media in the channel will play. Backward, pause, random or forward. Right-click it and a little pop-up with these four options appears, click one of the four buttons to set it to that mode. You can also just click it and it will cycle though the four options.

On the left side is a slider that sets the speed. If you set this above 40 it will start skipping frames to make it go even faster. The speed can be set by dragging the little knob on the slider or by pressing - or + on your keyboard. Do we need to explain that + increases the speed and - decreases the speed? No I don't think so ;-)

The channel preview shows the first frame of the media it is holding. If you change the in-point of an animation it will show the frame at the in-point. (more about in- and out-points in Timeline)

You can sort of scratch the media by pressing 'N' on your keyboard this toggles the play direction of the active channel to forwards and backwards. Press 'M' to pause. And press ',' to play random. In random play it continuously jumps to a random frame. This gives a nice wild look but can be too chaotic, slow it down with the speed slider to ease it back.

If you right-click the preview of a channel a big pop-up appears with even more options. Here you can set the play mode. Loop will make it well eeh ... loop. If it reaches the end when playing it will just start again from the beginning. Loop is the default play mode. Set the play mode to bounce and it will play forwards-backwards-forwards-backwards-forwards-etc. Play once will do just that, play it once and then pause.

If you activate a channel, by default if will play from the beginning (or from the end if it's set to play backwards). That's because the 'on activate' is set to 'start over'. If you set this to 'continue' it will play from the frame where you left it. This way a channel will pause if you deactivate it by activating an other channel and continue from that point if you activate it again.

It is possible to load a media file in more channels. You can then switch or overlay channels with the same file, maybe with a different effect, speed, play direction or whatever.

By assigning an effect to a channel it is directly applied to the media in that channel. You can assign an effect to a channel by dragging it from the effects list to a channel. Or you can press CTRL & ‘effect shortcut' to assign an effect to the active channel. This works like a toggle so press it again and the effect is removed. When you right-click a channel with a effect hooked on to it the channel pop-up appears with an extra tab that shows the effect with its parameters.


The timeline is used for two things. 1. Scratching 2. setting in- and out-points.

To scratch the video by hand you simply grab the playhead and move it left and/or right. Notice that the cursor will always snap to the playhead if you click somewhere along the timeline. This way you don't have to securely aim for the playhead itself. Just click an start scratching!

The timeline is also used to define in- and out-points. These points determine where an animation should start and end. This way you can shorten a loop, make a loop start later, stop earlier or both. On the far left and right of the timeline you see two very small buttons. The left is the in-point and the right the out-point. Simply slide those little buttons to there you want them and you're done. You can also set the in- and out-points with the keyboard which it even more simple. Just press i and o to set the in- and out-point at the point where the playhead is at that time. To reset the points you press ALT & i and ALT & o. use SHIFT & i and SHIFT & o and CTRL & i and CTRL & o to shift the points left or right.

The timeline can be linked to the audio FFT analysis values just like an effect parameter can. It can be linked in 4 different ways.

=>  The timeline is directly linked to the audio, the timeline will peak to the right.

=<  The timeline is directly linked to the audio, the timeline will peak to the left.

+>  The audio values are added to the timeline value. If the timeline value reaches its maximum value it is reset to the beginning (usually 0).

-<  The audio values are subtracted from the timeline value. If the timeline value reaches its minimum value it is set to its highest value.

 Use the in- and out-points to set the range of frames on in which the audio analysis values should work. This is a very powerful feature to fine-tune the scratching result of the audio linked timeline.



Resolume can overlay up to three videos. This is done using the three layers. Each layer has many different overlay modes and an opacity slider to determine how the pixels of the video in a layer should be combined with the layer beneath. You a insert a video channel in a layer by first activating the desired layer  -you do this by pressing it’s keyboard key (F1,F2,F3) or midi note or by clicking on the layer preview box- and then trigger the desired video clip from the channel deck. With the opacity slider you determine how visible a layer should be. Sliding the opacity of a layer to 0% makes the layer completely invisible and set to 100% it is completely visible without combining it’s pixels with the layer beneath. A layers’ opacity set to any value between 1 and 99 will cause its pixel information to be combined with the pixels of the video in the layer beneath it. The pixel information can be combined in many different ways to achieve different visual results. We call them the overlay modes. By default the Alpha overlay mode is selected because it is a very visually neutral way of combining layers of video.

To empty a layer; click the X button. Use the up and down arrows swap a layer with the layer above or below it.

Note that the overlay buttons on the bottom row of the group can be right-clicked to open a list with even more different overlay modes.

The R G B buttons are used to activate/deactivate the three different colour channels (Red, Green and Blue). Default all three are active thus visible. When deactivated a colour channel is made transparent allowing the video in the layer below to shine through.

Freeframe mixer plugins

All the freeframe mixer plugins can be found by right-clicking the little button in the bottom left corner of the overlay modes palette on any of the three layers. Select a mixer plugin by clicking one in the list. Use the opacity slider of the layer to put the mixer in effect.


A transition is a grayscale image. The grayscale values of the bitmap are used as a 1 bit alpha layer between to layers. Black is transparent and white isn't. According to the value of the opacity of a layer more pixels will be made transparent. You can make your own transitions by creating a grayscale image. This image must be a 24 bit .bmp (bitmap) file with a width of 320 and a height of 240 pixels at 72 dpi. In the transitions folder of resolume you can find some samples that we made. Your newly created transition should be copied to this directory or you can drag a .bmp file when running resolume on the transition icon of any layer.

Layer masking

Use any grayscale image to create a mask on a layer. A mask is a grayscale image, the grayscale values of the bitmap are used as an alpha layer between to layers. You can make your own masks by creating a grayscale image. This image must be a 24 bit .bmp (bitmap) file with a width of 320 and a height of 240 pixels at 72 dpi. In the masks folder of resolume you can find some samples to give you an idea of what is possible. Your newly created mask should be copied to this directory or you can drag a .bmp file when running resolume on the mask icon of any layer.

Alpha opacity (A)

Alpha opacity makes a layer translucent so that the layer beneath becomes visible. Use the slider left of the layer preview to set the alpha blending value. 0 is completely translucent (thus you don't see that layer, only the one beneath) 100 is not translucent at all (thus you only see that layer, not the one beneath).

Lumakeying (Lk)

Lumakeying makes a layer transparent by filtering out the dark parts of the image. Use the slider left of the layer to set the lumakey value. 0 is completely transparent (thus you don't see that layer, only the one beneath) 100 is not transparent at all (thus you only see that layer, not the one beneath).

Inverse Lumakeying (iLk)

Works just like Lumakey but filters not the dark but the light parts of the image.

Darken (Da)

Looks at the RGB colour information and selects the colour in the bottom layer or the colour from the overlaying layer (whichever is darker) as the result colour. Pixels lighter than the overlaying colour are replaced, and pixels darker than the overlaying colour do not change.

Lighten (Li)

Looks at the RGB colour information and selects the colour in the bottom layer or the colour from the overlaying layer (whichever is lighter) as the result colour. Pixels darker than the overlaying colour are replaced, and pixels lighter than the overlaying colour do not change.

Autotransparency (T)

With autotransparency one colour is made transparent. Resolume automatically picks the colour, it takes the first pixel in the top left corner of the image.

Note that only one RGB colour value is made transparent. For instance colour r128 g128 b128 (gray) thus colour r129 g129 b129 is not transparent. Although your eyes won't see the difference between those colours. So it appears as if the autotranparency is not working properly. Therefore make sure you use autotransparency with footage that has very flat colours. This works best with flash movies with a flat background colour.

Difference (Di)

Looks at the colour information in each channel and subtracts either the overlaying colour from the colour in the layer beneath or the bottom layer colour from the overlaying colour, depending on which has the greater brightness value. Blending with white inverts the colour values of the layer beneath; blending with black produces no change.

Multiply (Mu)

Looks at the RGB colour information and multiplies the colour of the bottom layer by the overlaying colour. And then divides that with 255. The result colour is always a darker colour. Multiplying any colour with black produces black. Multiplying any colour with white leaves the colour unchanged.

Screen (Sc)

Looks at the RGB colour information and multiplies the inverse of the overlaying and bottom layers' colours. The result colour is always a lighter colour. Screening with black leaves the colour unchanged. Screening with white produces white. The effect is similar to projecting multiple photographic slides on top of each other.



To show the list of available effects click the effects tab on the left-hand side of the interface. This list shows all the build-in effects but also all freeframe effect plugins. An effect can be applied to one of the three available global effect slots or directly to one of the channels. If you apply an effect to one of the global effect slots it is applied after the three layers with video have been blend together. When en effect is applied to a channel it is directly applied to the clip in that channel. Only one effect can be applied to a channel but you can apply a total of three effects globally.

An effect can by activated by dragging it to one of the global effect slots (or a channel) or by pressing it’s associated keyboard or midi key. To configure an effects’ shortcut key double click it in the effects list. A small window appears on the bottom of the list. To add a shortcut click the small box (it will highlight in pink) and press a key on the keyboard. Same goes for a midi key. The midi note velocity can be use to set the initial opacity of an effect when the midi note it triggered.


This small slider beholds a world of creative possibilities! With this slider you can fade the effect. The effect is overlaid to the original image the same way two layers are overlaid. It is therefore possible to use the same overlay modes you find in the layers. (Alpha, Lumakey, Inverted Lumakey, Lighten, Darken and Additive-blend). Right-click the 'A' button and choose the desired overlay mode. You can apply an effect with the slider directly set to zero (so you can gently fade it in) by activating an effect in combination with the ALT key.


The three R G B buttons enable you to apply the effect only to the activated colour channel(s). Default all three channels (Red, Green, Blue) are active so the effect is applied to all the colour channels. When the Red is deactivated the red channel is left intact thus not distorted by the effect. When for instance only the Blue is activated the effect only applied to the blue colour channel.


An effect when it is applied can show up to 4 parameters to adjust the result of the effect. Simply drag the slider of the effect parameter to change its value. The value of a parameter can also be automated in different ways:

  1. Timeline
  2. Audio
  3. Active layer
  4. Mouse position

Select one of these options by right-clicking the left most button above a parameter slider.

1. Timeline

With the Timeline automator the effect parameter can be manipulated like you manipulate the timeline of a video. Play it forward, backward, pause or random. Loop it or bounce. And adjust the speed. In addition the step value can be set to make it go even faster.

2. Audio

With the audio automator the parameter is linked to the Low, Middle or High frequency of the audio TFT analysis. It can be linked in 4 different ways.

=>  The parameter value is directly linked to the audio, the value will peak to the right.

=<  The parameter value is directly linked to the audio, the value will peak to the left.

+>  The audio values are added to the parameter value. If the parameter value reaches its maximum value it is reset to the beginning (usually 0).

-<  The audio values are subtracted from the parameter value. If the parameter value reaches its minimum value it is set to its highest value.

3. Active layer

With the active layer automator the effect parameter is directly linked to the timeline of the clip playing in the active layer. Activate the I button to invert the link value causing the parameter value to do the opposite of the active layers’ timeline.

4. Mouse position

With the mouse position automator the effect parameter value is linked to the either the horizontal or the vertical mouse position.

Note that not all effects have a parameter. The invert effect for instance. (this effect inverts the RGB colours) There can be no parameter with invert, colours are either inverted or not. The zoom effect of course has a very strong result when the parameter is changed.

To save the initial parameter and opacity values of an effect click the little button that resembles a floppy right of the opacity slider. Right-click this button to reset the initial values to the ‘factory’ defaults.


Freeframe plugins

Freeframe is an open source multi platform video effects plugin system that we developed together with a group of people including the creators of VJamm and Pete Warden. Anyone can implement the freeframe plugin API in his application and anyone can write plugins because the framework is open source.

A freeframe plugin can be an effect that manipulates the video that you feed it but it can also be a source that generates a video stream. And because a freeframe plugin can have multiple inputs it is also usable for programming transitions and overlay modes. We call the later mixer plugins.

To make a freeframe plugin work in resolume you need to copy it to the 'C:\Program Files\Resolume-2-0\plugins\' directory. Do not put it in a subdirectory.

When you start resolume you will find the effect plugins on the effects tab under the 'freeframe-effects' category, the source plugins are listed on the sources tab and the mixer plugins are available by right-clicking the little button in the left bottom corner of the overlay modes palette on each layer.

For more info about freeframe visit


Audio analysis

Resolume can do full 18 band (Left 9 and Right 9) FFT (Fast Fourier Transformation) audio analysis to make various parameters bounce to the music. Audio analysis can be used to drive effect parameters or automatically scratch a video to the beat.

The full audio analysis data is also available for scripting in flash files. This enables you to build advanced audio visualizations in flash.

The FFT data is split to Low, Mid and High. This makes it easy to quickly select the desired band range when linking effect parameters to the audio. Each band range can be fine-tuned when desired by selecting which band the low mid or high actually uses. Default the Low range represents the average of bands 1 to 30 on the left and right audio channel. The Mid is the average of band 3 to 6 and the High is 7 to 9 by default.

The Gain is used to multiply the data with a factor to increase or decrease the values. The Fall makes the values bounce more or less aggressive. With a low Fall the audio values slowly slide down until a higher value in the audio makes is bounce up again.

For the audio analyzer in Resolume to work properly you need to have your audio device and volumes setup correctly. To do this open the 'Sounds and Audio Devices' in the Control Panel. then on the Audio tab select the correct default device for sound recording. Then click on the 'Volume..' button to set the volumes of the recording device. Now select the source for the audio that you want resolume to analyze and set it,s volume to maximum. If you do not know what source you need or you need multiple sources then it's safe to just select 'Stereo Mix' and set that volume to maximum.



Record Settings

The record function directly records the video output to disk and immediately imports this movie into resolume as a new channel. All this is done without interrupting the video output.

To start recording press the 'record' button. To stop recording press it again. That was pretty simple huh? The movie you just recorded is automatically inserted in the first empty channel so you can directly use it again in your mix. It is even easier if you use a keyboard shortcut. The 'Insert' key is the default magic key. Note that recording does not interrupt your mixing or the video output so go ahead and go crazy on the effects and layers while you are recording. If resolume can't find an empty channel to insert the recorded movie it is not inserted but you can find the file in the output directory.

There are various settings to change the behaviour of the record function. Right-click the record button to bring up the record settings window.


Here you can set the record speed in frames per second.


Here you can set a maximum number of seconds or frames it should record.

When finished recording

By default resolume will insert the recorded file into the first empty channel but you can also force it into a fixed channel by setting the channel number. Or you can set it to do nothing with the freshly recorded file. It is just written to the output directory.

Note that the record function records the output into an avi file with raw uncompressed frames. And that this puts very high demands on the data-rate of your hard-drive. Not only while recording also during playback of the sampled files. An average 320x240 resolution Cinepak compressed avi file has a data rate of 500-600 Kb per second. An avi recorded by resolume with uncompressed files at 320x240 has a data rate of 5-6 Mb! The average maximum data rate of a laptop had drive is 7-8 Mb per second. So if you have recorded files that you would like to use more often you will need to recompress these with the cinepak codec for better playback results.


Network streaming

Any computer running resolume can send the output stream to another computer running resolume when they are connected over a Local Area Network. This enables resolume to function as a video mixer combining the image stream created on one peer with footage on a second peer.

To start streaming from one computer to the second make sure you are running resolume on both and make sure they are connected trough a LAN. You will see all the resolume peers listed under ‘VIDNET servers’ on the sources tab. Now drag a computer name from that list to a channel to input the output stream of resolume on that computer.

Resolume sends uncompressed video frames over the network at 25 frames per second at the ‘process resolution’ that you set in the ‘screen setup’ window. To send a video stream of 320x240 at 25fps you need at least a 100 Mbit LAN.

A nice option for high speed point to point networking is using a firewire cable. Windows has TCP/IP networking build in to work over firewire and this enables a very high bandwidth connection between two computers. Setting up a firewire network is as easy as connection two computers with a firewire cable.



Using flash files is resolume is great! Because flash is vector information it scales to any resolution without loss of image quality. And flash content can be made interactive using the variables resolume can send to it, this opens a whole world of possibilities that are simple impossible with other file formats. Flash files are (usually) small so they do not require a big and fast hard-drive either.

A flash movie can be played like any other movie format enabling you to control the speed, play direction, loop, bounce, scratch etc. By ignoring the actions scripts in the flash frames we can give you this interactive control. If you want to control the playback using flash action scripts in the frames you have to set the “Timeline control” to “Flash”. Now you can not control the playback from resolume anymore but the action frame scripts are no longer ignored so you can take full interactive control of the playback with scripting.

The render quality determines if the vector lines should be anti-aliased (high quality) or not (low quality). By default the render quality is set to high because it gives round edges in a smoother (better) look. If you disable it however the movie will render faster and it can be made transparent better.

The colour picker allows you to custom pick the background colour of the flash movie. To select a colour click any position in the coloured box, drag and the background colour will be updated immediately. If you need more precise colour picking control you can use the three sliders. One for Red, Green and Blue. The X button resets the background colour as it is defined in the flash movie.

Flash variables

Resolume sends variables to flash files that you can pick up in the flash movie using action script. You can use these variables to interactively manipulate the content of the flash movie. Resolume can send a text variable, four numeric variables and the full FFT audio analysis data to flash.

The variables are named as follows:









RAudioLeft1                RAudioRight1

RAudioLeft2                RAudioRight2

RAudioLeft3                RAudioRight3

RAudioLeft4                RAudioRight4

RAudioLeft5                RAudioRight5

RAudioLeft6                RAudioRight6

RAudioLeft7                RAudioRight7

RAudioLeft8                RAudioRight8

RAudioLeft9                RAudioRight9

RAudioLeftLow           RAudioRightLow

RAudioLeftMid            RAudioRightMid

RAudioLeftHigh           RAudioRightHigh

There are various methods in flash actionscript to handle these variables. Please see the files bars.fla and resolumeVariables.fla in the ‘flash’ folder where you installed resolume. (usually: C:\Program Files\Resolume-2-0\flash\)

Text variable

To feed the text variable (RText) right-click the channel that has a flash file loaded and open the “Text” tab. Here you see a big field where you can type your text. Every line in the text field is send to flash separately. So every line is a new frame. With the slider on the right (that looks surprisingly similar to the channel speed slider) you can control how fast resolume should loop trough the lines of text and with the buttons below the slider you can set it to play forward, backward, pause or random. Just like you do with the playback of any other clip. Please do note that for this text feature to work you do need to use a flash movie that actually uses the text variable and displays it.

Creating a flash move that displays the text variable is quite simple. Create a text field with the text tool. Then edit its properties making sure you set it to dynamic text and name the Var: “rtext”. That’s it! Well … that’s all that is required to make it work. Now it’s your job to animate at and make it look pretty. This is a very important last step that should not be underestimated if you ever want to become a famous VJ.

Flash parameters

Resolume can send four variables to flash that can be handled much like you do with the parameters of effects. A parameter can be set by hand with the slider or it can be animated by linking it to the timeline of the flash clip (see parameter 3 in the picture below), or it can be animated by playing it forward, backward, etc. , or it can be animated by linking the parameter to on of the audio FFT feeds (like with parameter 2 in the picture below). The values of the parameters range from 1 to 100.

You can use the values of these parameters in flash action scripts to do pretty much anything you like. You can do simple things like setting the size, position or opacity of objects but also to jump to frames or even jump to different move scenes.

FFT audio variables

After we implemented the four flash parameters were we playing with it, thought it was quite nice and we were quite content about ourselves and our achievement. But after playing with it for a bit we had another “Wouldn't it be cool if … -moment”. Wouldn't it be cool if we could just use the whole FFT audio data in flash action scripts? At first we were worried that sending so many variables at 25 fps would slow everything down but we tried it and it provided hardly any overhead! So there you have it, the whole resolume FFT audio analysis data at your disposal in flash action script. Now it’s up to you to find something useful to do with it. See the flash demo files in the ‘C:\Program Files\Resolume-2-0\flash\’ folder to get you started.



A deck is a collection of 20 channels that can be saved to be loaded at a later stage. The interface has 8 tabs at the bottom, each tab represents one deck. Because all properties of the 20 channels are saved (including the applied effects) decks are really handy to prepare your show beforehand.

To save a deck; click the ‘save deck’ button in the right top corner above the grid of channels. The decks list is focused and a new item is created. The focus is on the new item and is in edit mode you can immediately type in a name for the newly created deck.

You can find all your created decks in the decks list on the left-hand side of the interface. To load one deck from the list; select one item and drag it to one of the eight tabs in the bottom of the interface below the channels. To load multiple decks you can either double click a deck’s category or you can select multiple items in the decks list and drag those to the deck tabs below the grid of channels.

All the deck files are saved on the hard-drive in the sub folder ‘decks’ in the ~My Documents/Resolume/ folder.


Live camera input

Resolume can use any capture device available in your computer. A capture device can be a TV-tuner, a webcam, a DV camera through firewire or USB or an analog input like s-video.

To load a capture device open the sources tab. All available capture devices are listed under the category named ‘capture drivers’. Drag one of the items to a channel. Click on the channel to activate the capture device.

If you need to configure a capture driver, double click the driver in the list and a group of buttons appear in the bottom of the list. The buttons open various options that the driver provides. Some drivers have more options then others.

Note that you can drag a capture driver in multiple channels. This enables you to easily display the same live input with different effects when you apply an effect to that channel. A nice trick is to use the mirror horizontal effect on a live source. This will make it look as if the same image was shot from a different camera angle.


Screen setup

Resolume is most often used on a computer that can output to two screens. One display is used to show the interface and the second display is used for the fullscreen video output. Before you can setup the displays in Resolume you first need to make sure your displays are setup correctly in Windows. To set up the displays in windows, open the Display panel in The Control Panel. On the settings tab make sure you have at least 2 displays visible and active. Set the screen resolution of display 1 to 1024x768 or higher. Set the screen resolution of display 2 to 640x480 or 800x600. The second screen is going to output the fullscreen video to your projector or videomixer.

Now that your screens are correctly setup in windows you can start Resolume and open the screen setup window with the button called 'Screen setup'. Here you see your 2 (or more) displays again. Set the second screen to fullscreen. Set the Process resolution to the resolution of your footage. We recommend 320x240 or 400x300 or 640x480 depending on the speed of your computer. Then set the output resolution to 640x480 or 800x600. Press Apply and you're good to go!

For optimum performance and image quality make sure that all your footage is rendered to the same resolution as the Process resolution! If it is not, Resolume needs to first scale the footage to the process resolution resulting in loss in speed and image quality.

Resolume can use multiple displays to show different content on different screens. You can show different content on the displays by routing different layers or layer combinations to different displays. This way you can for instance show the resolume interface (with a small preview) on a monitor in front of you. And then show the combination of layer 1&2 on projector 1 and show layer 3 on projector 2. Or if you have 4 displays you can use one for the interface and send the 3 different layers to 3 different projectors.

Note that only one display can used to show the interface. The video output on a display can be set to ‘window’ or ‘full screen’. We recommend running the output display(s) full screen because this is much faster then windowed.

Open the advanced options to display the layer routing setup per display. These settings are usually only useful if you use two or more output displays.



All the keyboard shortcuts in resolume can also be triggered with midi notes. And you can assign sliders to midi controller.

To adjust any slider in Resolume with a midi controller you first have to assign a midi controller to a Resolume slider. Click on Preferences button. This (surprisingly enough) brings up the Preferences window. Then click on 'midi-notes'. On the right of that window you see the sliders in resolume listed. Click on the slider you want to assign a midi controller to. Then click on the box beneath the list. Now move the midi controller on your midi device. Resolume picks up this signal and assigns that controller to the slider. You can assign one midi controller to multiple sliders in resolume so you can maybe scratch the playhead and adjust the layer slider at once.

Click on 'midi general' in the preferences window to adjust what midi channels and midi input devices you want resolume to listen to. By default all devices and channels are activated.



Similar to MIDI, DMX is a signaling protocol that can be used to make hardware talk to software and vice versa. Where midi is the standard protocol for electronic musical instruments, DMX is the standard for lighting equipment like moving heads, stroboscopes and our all-time favourite; the disco ball (well only very advanced disco-balls are DMX controllable).

Resolume is capable of receiving DMX signals and can send DMX signals using actionscripts in flash movies.

DMX preferences

Receiving DMX

By default the first twelve DMX channels are configured to the following functions in Resolume:

DMX #   Resolume Function
1 Opacity bottom layer
2 Opacity middle layer
3 Opacity top layer
4 Assign channel 1 to 20 to bottom layer
5 Assign channel 1 to 20 to middle layer
6 Assign channel 1 to 20 to top layer
7 Speed bottom layer
8 Speed middle layer
9 Speed top layer
10 Timeline position bottom layer
11 Timeline position middle layer
12 Timeline position top layer

Note that this is only a basic default setup and that all functions in Resolume can be controlled with DMX and that you can use as many DMX channels as you like. To configure the DMX settings in Resolume open the DMX tab in the preferences. In the preferences you’ll find two lists with Resolume functions. In the list on the left are all the available functions that can be controlled via DMX and in list on the right are all the functions that are already configured. This way you have a direct overview of all the assigned functions. To assign a function to a DMX channel select it in the list on the left and click on the >> button to move it to the assigned functions list and with the buttons on the bottom of the list set the function to the correct DMX channel. Selecting the correct DMX channel can be done manually but by pressing DMX learn Resolume will automagically pick the DMX channel where it sees a changing value.

Sending DMX

Resolume can send DMX signals from actionscripts in flash movies. This enables you to synchronise DMX controlled hardware like lights, strobes, moving heads and LED panels to your visuals.

To send DMX signals make sure that you have selected the correct "DMX output device" on the DMX tab in the preferences.

Here is an action script example to send DMX signals through Resolume. For a more thorough explanation see the file dmxExample1.fla in the demo footage folder of Resolume.

Frame 1:

#include ""

var dmxObj = new dmxObject();

Frame 2:

dmxObj.setDmxChannel(1, 128);
dmxObj.setDmxChannelRange(10, 20, 128);




BPM Clock

In version 2.4 we added a BPM (beats per minute) clock in Resolume, we love it so much we wonder why we did not implement it earlier. With the BPM clock you can synchronize clip playback and animate effect parameters to exactly the speed of a soundtrack.

The BPM clock can be set manually or by an external midi clock. To set the speed if the BPM clock manually you can tap the tap button along with the beats of the music you are hearing. You need to press this button at least twice so it can calculate the BPM by measuring the time between the two clicks. The more you click the button (or press the associated keyboard key) the more precise the calculation of the BPM gets (given you are indeed tapping correctly to the beat of the music). We recommend you tap it at least 4 times to get an accurate calculation. Now that the BPM clock is set at the right speed and is running in sync with the music you can start synchronizing clips and effect parameters to this beat.

Clip playback

To make a clip play at the speed of the BPM set the timeline into BPM mode, Resolume will automatically calculate how many beats the clip is likely to be by looking at the length of the clip, but you can set it to any value you think first best. Usually a value that falls in a 4th note works bests like 1, 2, 4, 8, or 16 but it is freely assignable if you need to synchronize your visuals to more complex structured music. By setting the clip to play in 1 beat Resolume will play it from start to end in exactly the time of one beat. So it will be played 120 times if the BPM is set to 120. When set to 4 beats it will play the clip in exactly the time of 4 beats (one bar). By giving two examples you can probably by now imagine what will happen when it is set to any other number of beats.

If you are using the BPM clock for a long period you,ll notice it will inevitably run out of sync to the music. This happens because you can never set it to exactly the right speed or because there are minute (tempo) changes in the music.  Even a small skip in the music, (not uncommon if a DJ is playing from vinyl) can cause the BPM clock to run out of sync to the music. If the BPM clock is our of sync it is not necessarily running at the wrong speed. As an example think of two cars driving at exactly the same speed down the freeway. One car is the speed of the music and the other car is the speed Resolumes' BPM clock. If they are driving next to each-other they are perfectly in sync but of one is driving slightly in front of the other they are out of sync. To make the two cars drive next to each-other you can use the resync button, if you press it at exactly the moment a beat drops in the music it will run synchronized to the music again. This will probably take some time to master if you are not used to synchronizing to the beat of the music, you really need to feel the flow of the music and time your resync exactly on a beat.

You can probably imagine what exactly the pause button does but just for the completeness of this manual here is how it works: Press the pause button once and the BPM clock pauses (effectively pausing all clips and effect parameters that are linked to the BPM clock), press it again and it will continue. Easy, but extremely useful when the DJ decides to rewind (or messes up by accidentally grabbing the playing record from the turntables).


The BPM clock can not only be used for synchronizing the playback of clips but it can also be used to animate effect parameters in sync to the music. To do this set the desired effect parameter into the BPM mode and set the number of beats you want it to play. Default it plays forward but it can also be set to play backward. There is an extra playmode available for parameter animation with the BPM clock called min-max. This mode jumps from the minimal value to the maximum value at the number o beats it is set to. So when set to min-max on 1 beat it will jump to the minimum value when the first beat drops, on the second it jumps to maximum value of the parameter. It’s quite hard to visualize what exactly the use for this play mode is now that you are reading this so try this in Resolume: Set the zoom effect to animate on 1 beat in the min-max mode. You should see it alternate from completely zoomed out to completely zoomed in on every beat. Now set the in- and out-points of the zoom level to tweak how for it zooms in and out. The zoom effect is used here to because it illustrates the min-max mode very well, you probably do not want to bore you audience with this, it can become really annoying when watched for more then a couple of minutes.

For more information about effects and parameter animation see the effects chapter of this manual.

Layer opacity

Also new in version 2.4 is the ability to animate the opacity slider of all three layers. The opacity slider can be animated like all the effect parameters, it just looks a bit different because of the vertical alignment of the buttons.

BPM quantized clip triggering

Clips that are set to the BPM can be triggered in the beat. When BPM triggering is enabled a clip (when triggered) will wait with playing until the set beat quantization has passed.

BMP quantized clip triggering is set globally on the BPM tab and can be set to 1/4 bar (1 beat), ½ bar (2 beats) and 1 bar (4 beats).


Preparing media

Although resolume plays mpg and mov files, for the best playback result of movies you should use the avi file format encoded with the Cinepak, Indeo or MJPEG codec.

The resolution of the files that you can use depends on the speed of your computer, on the number of layers you mostly use, the number of effects, etc etc. We would recommend that you first try it at 320x240 or 400x300 and if that is running smooth try it at 640x480. Make sure that you render all your footage to the same resolution as the Process Resolution in the Resolume screen setup.

You should render every frame a keyframe if you want to play your files backward or if you do a lot of scratching. Rendering every frame a key frame reduces seek time so that the forward and backward playback speed is the same and that scratching will be faster.

Export movie in Premiere Pro 2

Here is how you need to render your footage for optimum playback in Resolume with Adobe Premiere Pro 2. Edit your video in Premiere like you normally do and when you are done you export the movie to an avi file. To do this first select the timeline and then in the menu click file > Export > Movie. This window should appear:

Premiere export
On this window, click on Settings and this Export movie settings window should appear:

Premiere export

In the general settings make sure you select Microsoft AVI for the file type. Make sure that Export Audio is not checked. Resolume does not play the audio so it's best not to add it to the video file. Also make sure that Beep When Finished is checked (this is important). Then select Video on the left:

Premiere export

Here you select the right compressor. We recommend Indeo, Cinepak or an MJPEG codec. When you use Indeo or Cinepak the quality should be 100%. When you use an mjpeg codec then the quality should be as low as possible, like 70%. The lower the quality the faster playback you will get in Resolume.

Make sure you set the pixel aspect ratio to square pixels and uncheck any Data rate limiting options. Now select Keyframe and Rendering on the left:

Premiere export

If you used DV footage captured from your camera in your movie then make sure you select Deinterlace Video Footage otherwise you get ugly stripes in your footage. Set Keyframe to every 1 frames, this will make scratching and reversed playback a lot faster. There is no need to do this when you are using an mjpeg codec beacause that always stores full frames anyway.

Ok were done here. Press OK and then in the save window type in a filename and press Save. Premiere will now render your video and beep when it's done.


PICvideo M-JPEG Codec v3


If you have purchased the PICvideo M-JPEG codec via the Resolume website you'll receive and email with no less then four serial numbers. All these four serial numbers need to be entered in the codec's configuration screen. To open the configuration screen click on: Start > Programs > Pegasus Imaging > PICvideo M-JPEG Codec > Codec Configuration Tool.

Codec configure tool

In the codec configuration window select the PICvideo M-JPEG 3 VfW Codec from the list and press Configure.

PICvideo Codec settings

In the PICvideo M-JPEG codec configuration windows you'll need to enter the registration code and serial number for the decompressor and the compressor. If you do not enter any numbers here you can still use the codec but some text will be watermarked onto the video. Once you have entered the serials press OK and the watermarks are removed.

Compression settings

Do not use the default compression settings! For an optimum image quality and playback speed balance, use a quality setting of 17 or 18 with 1:1:1 subsampling. Playback speed will be slightly faster with a subsampling of 4:2:2. The best image quality is achieved by setting the quality to 20 and the Subsampling to 1:1:1 but at this setting the playback speed is compromised. Also make sure you deselect the "2 fields of more then 240 lines" option. When this is checked then interlacing will be applied if the image is higher then 240 pixels but this reduces image quality and is not required.

Decompression settings

Turn off "Advanced Deblocking" in the decompression settings! With the deblocking off you get a much better video playback speed in Resolume.

Real-time recording compression settings

The M-JPEG codec is also great for the record function in Resolume. Because the recording is done in real-time, the compression needs to be as fast as possible. Set the compression quality as high as possible: 20 with 1:1:1 subsampling.

Record compression settings

To set the M-JPEG codec to be used for the record function, right click the record button and select the codec conveniently named 'mjpg PVMJPEG30' from the dropdownlistbox.



The chaos function is like an autopilot. By clicking the chaos button you activate it and resolume will start switching channels and layers at random. This is great if you are a lazy VJ or if you have to sign autographs for the groupies.

You can control the chaos by right-clicking the chaos button. A popup appears with a lot of buttons. Don't panic just yet it's really quite simple. With this popup you can select per layer what channels should be used. If a layer should be used at all. And at what speed the layers and channels should switch. For the speed you give a min and max value. Resolume will pick a random value between min and max for the speed. The min and max values are in milliseconds. If you give min and max the same value it will always switch at exactly the same time. For instance. To switch channels every second you give min and max a value of 1000. Or if you want to randomly switch channels at a random speed between half a second an 4 seconds you give min a value of 500 and max a value of 4000.


Keyboard shortcuts

Activating channels

1 2 3 4 5




Clearing channels


1 2 3 4 5




Activating layers




Clearing layers

ALT & F3

ALT & F2

ALT & F1

Toggle play forwards/backwards: N

Pause: M

Random: ,

Increase layer slider: SHIFT & +

Decrease layer slider: SHIFT & -

Increase channel speed: CTRL & +

Increase channel speed: CTRL & -

Toggle between the browser and the generator: CTRL & TAB

Set current window to display 1: CTRL & ALT & 1

Set current window to display 2: CTRL & ALT & 2

Set current window to display 3: CTRL & ALT & 3 etc.

Reset the in-point: ALT & i

Reset the out-point: ALT & o

Shift the in-point left: SHIFT & i

Shift the out-point left: SHIFT & o

Shift the in-point right: CTRL & i

Shift the out-point right: CTRL & o

Set in-point: i

Set out-point: o

Dismiss a (pop-up) window: ESCAPE

Note that ALT & 'some shortcut' is always used to remove or clear something.

DirectX is a Microsoft registered trademark.

Macromedia and Flash are trademarks of Macromedia, Inc.