Best Free Open Software for VJs: Top 10 Picks

Open-source goes beyond being merely free software. It represents a whole new universe brimming with powerful tools crafted and upheld by thousands of individuals worldwide.

Within this realm, you'll discover valuable resources for video design, encompassing concept design, raster graphicsvector graphics, 2D animation3D animation, compositing, VJing, streaming, screencasting, and video editing.

Developing a Strong Concept with Krita: Unlocking VJ Loop Creativity

To create mesmerizing VJ loops, establishing a solid starting concept is paramount. Enter Krita, the go-to program for this crucial task.

As open-source software, Krita offers a comprehensive suite of art tools that empower you to design your concept art from scratch with a strong foundation.

With Krita, you can unleash your creativity and breathe life into your VJ loops without feeling overwhelmed. Prepare to embark on a captivating visual journey that will leave your audience spellbound.

Professional Image Editing with GIMP: Elevating Your VJ Loops

Unlock the true potential of your images with GIMP, the versatile raster graphics and photo editing application. Whether you need to manipulate visuals for your VJ loops or enhance your photos professionally, GIMP has all you need.

With a wide range of plugins and scripts, this software empowers you to handle color correction, apply filters, create animations, extract frames from videos, save in various codecs, optimize for the web, and much more.

While GIMP's intuitive interface ensures ease of use, it's important to note that it may require some additional plugins for specific tasks like exporting .exr files or opening video files. Nevertheless, comprehensive documentation is readily available to guide you along the way.

Compatible with GNU/Linux, OS X, and Microsoft Windows, GIMP seamlessly integrates with Blender through an extension, facilitating interoperability with .xcf or .xjt files.

Elevate your VJ loops to new heights with GIMP's powerful image editing capabilities and take your audience on an unforgettable visual journey.

Masterful Vector Design with Inkscape: Empowering Your VJ Loops

Inkscape is one of my favorite tools when designing vectors for my VJ loops. This outstanding software provides a smooth vector design experience that resembles the familiar tools and interfaces found in Illustrator.

With precision, path and text tools, 3D extensions, filters, and remarkable pattern generators, Inkscape equips you with everything you need to bring your vision to life.

Inkscape Screenshot

Export your creations as .svg or .eps files, ready to be seamlessly integrated into any 3D or motion graphics software, amplifying your DJ logo vector path. Compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X (requires XQuartz), Inkscape ensures accessibility across platforms.

Whether you seek to manipulate vectors or embark on complex design tasks, Inkscape is a robust and professional software option, all at no cost.

Unleash your creative prowess and elevate your VJ loops with Inkscape's powerful vector design capabilities. Your visual creations are limited only by your imagination.

Unleashing 2D Animation Excellence: OpenToonz and Pencil2D Animation

While 3D animation and motion graphics dominate the VJing community, the realm of 2D animation remains a captivating alternative for crafting unique and original VJ loops.

Enter OpenToonz, perhaps the pinnacle of 2D animation software. Developed on the same foundation as its commercial counterpart, Toonz Premium, OpenToonz offers unparalleled features that propel your creations into new dimensions.

Notably, pro studios have harnessed OpenToonz's power to bring iconic anime movies and series like Spirited Away (千と千尋の神隠し) to life. By embracing the craft of 2D animation, you can gain a unique advantage in the VJ loops industry, owing to its organic and visually captivating outcomes.

For those seeking entry into the world of 2D animation, Pencil2D Animation may be the answer. Though less versatile than OpenToonz, Pencil2D Animation provides an accessible platform for beginners, allowing them to dive into 2D animation with ease.

Embrace the world of 2D animation and unlock new dimensions of creativity with OpenToonz or take your first steps with Pencil2D Animation. The canvas is yours, and the possibilities are endless.

Unleashing the Power of 3D Animation with Blender: Your VJ Loops' Ultimate Companion

Gone are the days of splurging on expensive 3D applications. Thanks to Blender, I can create my VJ loops and keep prices low for my clients.

It includes powerful modeling and texturing tools, photorealistic and real-time rendering engines, a node-based shader editor, dynamic simulations, a versatile compositor, a video editor, and motion graphics addons.

While it may not boast the same level of intuitiveness as Cinema 4D, Blender's capabilities make the learning effort worthwhile. Moreover, a vast documentation is available to guide you along the way.

What sets Blender apart is its vibrant community of skilled developers worldwide. If there's a specific task you're struggling with, rest assured that a talented developer has likely created a plugin to address it, making it accessible to everyone.

Embrace the boundless possibilities of 3D animation with Blender as your trusted companion. Unleash your creativity, create awe-inspiring VJ Loops, and join the ever-growing community of Blender enthusiasts.

Seamless Compositing with Natron: Open-Source Power at Your Fingertips

Assembling your image sequences and adding captivating effects to bring your VJ loops to life requires powerful compositing software. If After Effects is not in your toolkit, use Natron, an open-source alternative.

Natron is a cross-platform node-based tool for compositing. Its user interface bears a striking resemblance to Nuke, providing a familiar environment for artists. With Natron, you have a wide range of effects, including motion blur and color correction, enabling you to elevate your VJ loops with top-notch quality.

Unleash the power of Natron, the open-source compositing tool, and take your VJ loops to new heights. Seamlessly blend your visuals, apply stunning effects, and captivate your audience with an immersive visual experience.

Elevate Your VJ Performance with Open-Source VJing Tools

As a VJ, a powerful video mixing tool is essential to elevate your live performances. Fortunately, there are several open-source options available to unleash your creativity. Two notable choices to kickstart your VJ journey are GLMixer and vimix.

GLMixer is one of the best and most updated open-source and free VJ software options. With this versatile application, you can seamlessly import and mix different visual elements, including VJ loops, stock footage, image files, vector graphics, algorithmic patterns, and GPU plugins (FreeFrame and Shadertoy). The circle UI facilitates effortless file management. Besides, GLMixer runs on Linux, OSX, or Windows.

For those interested in video mapping, MapMap is a preferred option. This dedicated software enables you to create stunning projections and interactive installations, expanding the possibilities of your VJ performances.

For more information, don't forget to explore the video tutorial "Unleash Your Creativity with GLMixer: A Free VJ Software Overview."

Elevate Your Live Visuals with Seamless Streaming: OBS Studio Leads the Way

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of live streaming, providing DJs and VJs with a means to overcome the restrictions that once affected the world of live visuals. During this transformative period, streaming platforms became a lifeline for artists seeking to share captivating visual experiences with their audiences.

In this regard, OBS Studio emerged as the preferred option to stream through platforms like Twitch or YouTube Live. OBS Studio's appeal lies not only in its cost-free nature but also in its remarkable flexibility.

Artists can enhance their live streams by installing amazing third-party plugins. These allow you to add interactive overlays, create virtual stages, or seamlessly integrate VJ loops from software like Resolume.

As the world gradually adjusts to a new normal, the impact of live streaming on the DJ and VJ community remains significant. OBS Studio continues to be a reliable tool, empowering artists to share their artistry and captivate audiences worldwide.

Effortlessly Capture and Share Your Screen with ShareX

Who doesn't need to record their screen? ShareX stands out as an incredible and comprehensive software in this sense. This essential tool seamlessly integrates into any production workflow, allowing you to capture screenshots and record engaging VJing tutorials. The best part? It won't cost you a dime.

With ShareX, you can capture specific regions of your screen, create GIFs or high-definition videos, and take advantage of regular updates to enhance your screencasting experience.

Whether you're a VJ looking to share your techniques or showcase your work, ShareX provides the features you need.

It's important to note that ShareX is exclusively available for Microsoft Windows. However, if you're using Linux or Mac, you might want to consider Dahu as an alternative screencasting solution.

Empower your creative journey with ShareX and effortlessly capture and share your screen, bringing your VJing tutorials and visual demonstrations to life.

Streamline Your Video Editing with OpenShot Video Editor

When it comes to video editing, simplicity and efficiency are key. While Blender offers robust editing capabilities, sometimes you need a more streamlined solution without the additional 3D design and animation tools. That's where OpenShot Video Editor shines.

OpenShot Video Editor is the perfect option for video editing tasks. It allows you to add simple video transitions, apply effects, and utilize keyframes to edit your footage. Additionally, you can create captivating titles to complement your video content. It's worth noting that OpenShot requires Blender for full functionality.

In a nutshell, OpenShot provides a clean, fast, and free video editing experience for your simple projects. It offers the essential tools you need without overwhelming you with unnecessary features.

If you're looking for an alternative, Shotcut is another open-source and free video editing option worth exploring.

Simplify your video editing workflow with OpenShot Video Editor or Shotcut and embrace the power of accessible and intuitive tools to bring your video projects to life.

Final Thoughts

Open-source tools offer a range of powerful options for VJs, including Krita for concept creation, GIMP for image editing, Inkscape for vector design, OpenToonz and Pencil2D Animation for 2D animation, Blender for 3D animation, Natron for compositing, OBS Studio for live streaming, ShareX for screencasting, and OpenShot Video Editor for streamlined video editing.

These tools empower VJs to unleash their creativity, captivate audiences, and bring their visual performances to life.