Realtime datamosh/compression-artifacting plugin for Quartz Composer.

Download Datamosh Plugin (version 1.1b6, 8 October 2012)

The original version is also available (1.01, 25 August 2010).

Instructions are included in the download. If you prefer you can watch a video which demonstrates installation.

datamosh patch in Quartz Composer


datamosher’s YouTube videos, Create Digital Motion.

In Use

Man of Steel, Warner Bros
April 2013

Live Visuals for MGMT, Alejandro Crawford
2010 to present

Advanced Enterprise Research Office by Bryan Newbold and Toby Schachman
January 2010

having a different kind of facial by oneseconds
July 2009


Licensed under a Creative Commons, Attribution – Non-Commercial – Share Alike 3.0 License.

This permits any use other than commercial use. Using the plug-in for paid live performance is fine, using it for commercial work including music videos or including it in a commercial product is not. For queries about commercial use contact

87 Responses to “Datamosh”

  1. jean poole Says:

    thanks for sharing Tom : )

  2. netchaiev Says:

    Awesome Thanks!!!

  3. Matea Says:

    this is awesome. thanks!

  4. franz Says:

    thank you for sharing this great plug !

  5. Ciabba Says:

    thanks for this big lovely and insane things

  6. Timesquid Says:

    Please tell me difinitavely if It is possible to get this plugin to work as a composition in modul8

  7. Timesquid Says:

    I guess there is a chance it will work, but I needed to upgrade to Quartz 4.0, and now the plugin does not work at all. Any chance an update is in store?

  8. tom Says:


    The plugin doesn’t require Quartz Composer 4.0, but it will only work in 32-bit. In the Finder, select whatever application you want to use it in (eg Quartz Composer Editor), and check the “Run in 32-bit” checkbox in the File > Get Info panel. If the checkbox isn’t there, the application will run in 32-bit anyway. It should work fine in modul8, which is a 32-bit app.

    I might get around to an update some day ;)

  9. Timesquid Says:

    anyidea how I can get it working, no quartz patches with video input work, and yes I have the safe video input patch installed… Just curious if you would know how?.. If I can get it to open in quicktime Itll work in modul8

  10. cybero Says:

    Just picked up on your plugins and am running DataMosh and Video Delay in 32 bit mode – really like the codec switching in the DataMosh. They mix up really nicely with v002’s Movie Player [32 bit] and also the Optical Flow patches. Sweet. Happy New Year to you and yours – any chance of a 64 bit build soon?

  11. cybero Says:

    Just discovered the offline rendering mode :-) what about syncing this in with Quartz Crystal – or is that overkill or unnecessary ?

  12. tom Says:

    Thanks cybero

    64-bit Datamosh is a fairly low priority. I think most people performing with it are probably doing so in 32-bit apps anyway, and the 64-bit version will not improve performance, but yes, it is on my list of things to do.

    Offline mode for datamoshing should work fine in Quartz Crystal, plus give better results than Performance mode – that’s exactly the sort of use I implemented it for. Any specific problems, drop me an e-mail.

    Cheers – T

  13. tom Says:

    Just a note to Timesquid and anyone else wanting to use this in modul8: limitations in modul8’s Quartz Composer support mean you can’t use datamosh (or any third-party QC plugin). I’ll look into an alternative solution for modul8 for the next version.

  14. typo-moshing, altération typographique live et aléatoire par le code « Says:

    […] typo-moshing, altération typographique live et aléatoire par le code Posté en Uncategorized par jakob à mars 11, 2010 Un début de recherche sur de la modification typographique aléatoire et live… voici quelques essais de datamoshing et de « typomoshing » réalisé en quartz composer grace au plugin datamosh de Tom Butterworth. […]

  15. kjell Says:


    Can you please say a few words on how the “Insert Key_Frames” and “Drop_Spare_key_frames” actually works?

  16. tom Says:


    A key frame is a frame with full image information, so inserting one will restore the output to the currently selected Video Frame Source. Insert Key Frame will insert a key frame for every frame it’s set to true, so connecting it to a keyboard or controller will restore the picture (unmosh it) if you tap it.

    Drop Spare Key Frames will suppress key frames (except those inserted by Insert Key Frame) which the codec naturally inserts which would undo the datamosh effect. For uninterrupted datamoshing, you want to leave this set to true.

  17. stuart Says:

    thank you for sharing! really great!

  18. djfil Says:

    QC is having trouble loading this plugin.
    I’ve used it before and was working.
    But now i can’t understand why it stopped.

    Running 10.6.3

    Video with more details…

  19. djfil Says:

    well it’s solved.
    32bit 64bit
    anser was given by tom on January 9th, 2010 at 5:52 pm


  20. Tom / bangnoise» Blog Archive » Datamosh 1.01 Says:

    […] Datamosh 1.01 […]

  21. Aaron Says:

    This is so much more than just a plugin. Thank you so much!

    This might be off topic but could someone possibly tell me how to render the live datamosh mix of the two vidoes? I have looked everywhere and can not find a thing about it. I’ve tried opening the .qtz in quicktime then exporting it and it ends up with a black screen video. I’ve tried exporting in quartz and its the same thing. So far my only solution is to use screenium to screen grab whatever I make in quartz.

    Thanks again

  22. Rune Brink Says:

    beautiful, thank you so much!

  23. Weirdcore Says:

    hey Tom,, great plug-ins
    but i can’t seem to get the datamoshFX patch to work in VDMX,, it crashes/freezes everytime
    i change the QC in finder to 32bit,, but is there another setting to change to load it in VDMX?
    also can this plugin work with video-in?

  24. tom Says:

    @weirdcore – I take it you’re getting the crashes with the beta version? This is a bug which only affects the most recent VDMX release. I’ve just updated the qcFX in the beta download to work around it. A proper fix will be included in a future release.

    Yep, it will work with video-in.

    Let me know how you get on, or if you’re seeing crashes in the “release” version.

  25. shado Says:

    The datamoshFX is absolutely wicked fun to use within VDMX. Brilliant work!

  26. tiara Says:

    Thanks heaps for this plugin… loads of fun!

  27. greg desgouttes Says:

    Hi Tom,

    I love this plug-ins but is the update available for CoGe?

  28. tom Says:

    greg, what’s the problem with CoGe?

  29. greg desgouttes Says:

    Well it doesn’t work in the mixer as it need a second input of course.

  30. tom Says:

    I’ve just added CoGe mixers to the beta download.

  31. greg desgouttes Says:

    Thanks! bravo!

  32. nick Says:

    Can i add other codecs to the list? is that easy? I have Xvid installed for the Avidemux method.. would be nice to experiment with a few others.

  33. tom Says:

    nick – it needs an update by me to enable other codecs. I’ll get to it when I can… want to nominate a list?

  34. nick Says:

    i’m trying to test some but not found a workflow that makes it easy. I should think DV would make a mess and 16 color bmp for some gif type fringing could be interesting. jpeg2000 isn’t a blocky one so may yield something. Lowest quality f4v is rather nice, in fact i use that to glitch out video.

  35. Claire Says:


    I try to install Datamosh plugin for quartz composer on snow leopard. It doesn’t work
    The message : > (null)
    : Patch with name “QCPlugInPatch:DataMoshPlugIn” is missing

    Could you help me ?

  36. tom Says:

    Hi Claire – you should take another look at the Read Me. Sounds like either you haven’t installed it, or you’re trying to use it in 64-bit mode.

  37. Claire Says:

    I install Datamosh plugin in User/Library/Graphics/Quartz Composer Plug-Ins
    I haven’t option to open Quartzcomposer in 32bit on snow leopard. I can open it only with Rosetta.
    How can I do so ?

    Thanks for your help

  38. tom Says:

    Claire, not sure what to suggest. Maybe your dev tools aren’t up to date?

  39. Claire Says:

    Can you send the Xcode for datamosh plugin ?

  40. Claire Says:

    developper source datamosh p-l-e-a-s-e °°-°°)
    Thanks for your help!!

  41. kero Says:

    thanks for this!!!! u just wont the internets.

  42. ianc Says:

    Hmm, this still crashes coge every time I try to turn it on… saying

    -[QCRenderer setValue:forInputKey:]: There is no input port with key “inputImage”

    I can’t seem to switch coge to use 32bit mode either (no checkboxes!)

  43. John Knott Says:

    I love this plugin!!! I have it running in Isadora 1.3.of 21core and it’s awesome. I would love to know how the possibility of other codecs was coming along as it would only add fuel to this fire of total complete awesomeness!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s pretty processor intensive on my machine but I’m sure there are ways to make it run faster. What codec is best to fead into the datamosh plug?
    Thanks for your work
    – John –

  44. tom Says:

    ianc – the non-beta version shouldn’t crash CoGe, use that, or wait for an update

    John Knott – the plugin receives decompressed images, so use something that’s fast to decode like Apple Intermediate Codec. Because of what it’s doing (compressing two or more streams, decompressing one) it’s always going to be fairly processor intensive. Experiment with setting it to use different codecs – some are faster than others – MPEG-4 is usually good for interesting artefacts at a reasonable frame-rate.

  45. John Knott Says:

    Thanks for the hints;-) I had good luck with MPEG-4, Photo-JPEG, though I haven’t gotten to Apple Intermediate Codec yet. How hard is it to add more codecs to the 5 that are already there?
    Thanks again;-)
    – John –

  46. tom Says:

    John Knott – what codecs have you in mind?

  47. John Knott Says:

    I was just reading through the comments and I saw nick : July 6th, 2011at 9:59 am and I was just wondering what you thought of those selections and possibly something that taps into all the codec options on your computer through quicktime;-) I have no Idea how hard it is so please forgive me if what I’m asking is out of control hard;-) But that many more options would just take a good thing and make it even better!!!!
    What do you think;-)
    – John –

  48. tom Says:

    John Knott – none of nick’s suggested codecs perform inter-frame compression.

  49. John Knott Says:

    Thanks for sending me in the right direction. I didn’t know inter-frame compression was what that type of conservation was called;-) I guess the only other codecs I could even find was Ogg Theora and maybe MPEG-2.
    Do you know of any other inter-frame compression codecs other than that?
    – John –

    This was helpful

  50. John Knott Says:
    This Video is what made me suggest Ogg Theora;-)

  51. tom Says:

    Theora actually performs alright, and does have some unique characteristics – thanks for the suggestion. Other ones I’ve tried in the past but which are too slow or otherwise don’t work for realtime use were the Sorenson codecs, Cinepak and H261. H263 is similar to H264, with a softer bloom, I’ll probably add it and Theora when I get around to an update. I don’t think I own an MPEG-2 encode-capable codec to try.

  52. jordon Says:

    Does this work in vdmx 5 b0. It is not for me :(

  53. tom Says:

    jordon: Yes it does. Have you exactly followed the instructions in the Read Me?

  54. jordon Says:

    Yes, as far as installation is concerned. I’m not exactly clear whether or not I need to be operating Quartz Composer simultaneously. I am not familiar with using Quartz Composer, though I do have it set to 32-bit.

    As far as using this as a qcfx within vdmx, I do have it installed in the proper folder and I am able to allocate it as a filter to a given layer. However, I am unable to receive any information from the effect other than a black screen no matter what input I select for Video #1 and which channels I select for Active. I may very well be doing everything wrong so any pointers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  55. jordon Says:

    And of course not a second after I send that I get it to work.

    Not sure what I was doing wrong before. Thank you for your time and assistance.

  56. plius + plus + en plus + « realtime render Says:

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  58. Bill Says:

    Hi, will this work on quartz composer 4.5 on lion os? Thanks

  59. tom Says:

    @Bill: yes

  60. .lov. Says:

    The beta version of this plugin should working well with CoGe or later.

  61. datamosh_beta1.1b4 « Hipnosia's Blog Says:

    […] info: Me gusta:Me gustaBe the first to like […]

  62. orion Says:

    For the record there is a work around to get datamosh to work in modul8 as a plugin. Here are some .qtz files you can drop on a top layer and it’ll effect output as long at you’re out putting to syphon in modul8. If you’re sending video to mad mapper this is the best solution thus far.

    for the record/credit this idea came from here:

  63. minuek Says:

    Thanks for the update.

  64. William Says:

    Great plugin, but nobody answered Aarons question from two years ago… Is there an offline quicktime pro render solution? It shows up black. Is anyone able to render this from quartz composer?

    “This is so much more than just a plugin. Thank you so much!

    This might be off topic but could someone possibly tell me how to render the live datamosh mix of the two vidoes? I have looked everywhere and can not find a thing about it. I’ve tried opening the .qtz in quicktime then exporting it and it ends up with a black screen video. I’ve tried exporting in quartz and its the same thing. So far my only solution is to use screenium to screen grab whatever I make in quartz.

    Thanks again”

  65. tom Says:

    William – try google for help rendering QC compositions. Note the conditions of the license above.

  66. William Says:

    Hey Tom,
    I can get quality renders through QuickTime pro for most patches, but the datamosh patch comes out black (if it doesn’t crash). It’s really bumming me out.
    Sorry if I missed something. I only commented here as a last resort. I’ve been working/googling on this topic for a week. Could you perhaps recommend a standard/easiest method to render?

  67. tom Says:

    If you’re getting crashes, please mail me with details. Trying to use QuickTime Player on recent OS versions is a dead-end as Apple restrict its access to third-party QC plugins. Various other solutions exist.

  68. JT Says:

    Any chance I can get this to work on m,y mac G5 ppcon 10.5 os in quartz or in VDMX? Most imoortantly, how about an app for the ipod/phone to do same?????
    All the best and Tjhank You very much…

  69. tom Says:

    JT – I don’t have a ppc compiler, sorry. Ha iOS maybe someday?

  70. thinking out loud // credit / author . digital / analog | snowblood's parasol Says:

    […] a bunch of troubleshooting, I adapted, retaining Avidemux with different codec approaches, and also adding bangnoise’s datamosh Quartz Composer plugin to my […]

  71. freja Says:

    any chance getting this to work on 10.8.4 ??

  72. tom Says:

    freja – it works, see the read me and/or video

  73. freja Says:

    my mistake, i was still running QT in 64 bits …. thank you! have a lovely day!

  74. Keydam Says:

    Thanxxx! good job!

  75. datamoshing | Intro to New Media Says:

    […] a little digging, I found a plug-in for Quartz Composer that does all the work for you. QC was Apple’s in-house tool for creating motion graphics – like screen savers, the […]

  76. Oleg Says:

    I have this error. Quartz v4.6

    > (null)
    : Patch with name “QCPlugInPatch:DataMoshPlugIn” is missing

    > Macro Patch
    Cannot create node of class “QCPlugInPatch” and identifier “DataMoshPlugIn”

  77. tom Says:

    Oleg, see the installation video

  78. Thesis ideas & more Says:

    […] […]

  79. Kevin Says:

    Great plugin! I don’t want to do live moshing. I want to be able to keyframe when the effect comes in and how much (bloom etc), and then I want to be able to drop it in Quartz Crystal to render out. The keyboard control is great for live but how do you set keyframes for this like traditional animation. Is this possible?

  80. tom Says:

    Hi Kevin – you could use Timeline patches in the composition to keyframe parameters.

  81. florian Says:

    how can i switch to the offline render mode?

  82. tom Says:

    florian – select the patch in the QC editor, hit cmd-2 to bring up the Settings Inspector, use the menu there.

  83. florian Says:

    wow that was fast! thx! found the settings inspector – trying to render out the thing…kind of stuck here. sorry for anoying you with those questions, i’m new to quartz composer.

  84. tom Says:

    florian – mail me

  85. florian Says:

    sent you a mail (to: hope this is right.

  86. Adrian Says:

    I was using this Datamoshing qc in VDMX before, but now it seems not working (i guess new OS: Yosemite). I’ve turnded QC to 32 bit mode. And the qcFX still only sends a black image (or no image at all). The same if I use the .qtz example…

    Is there a way to make it work?

  87. tom Says:

    Yo Adrian, this plugin’s rather old and requires a 32-bit app. You’re probably using the new 64-bit VDMX beta.

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