CamTwist: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

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I just wanted to take a moment to (finally) publish some history behind the creation of CamTwist and where it is going in the future.

In late 2006, I was spending a lot of time on what was a relatively new site called Stickam.  Before long, I started seeing my chat mates having fun with video effects.  They were using PCs and a software product called WebcamMax.  At that time, there wasn’t anything available for the Mac so I set off to creating something.  In a few weeks I had a simple prototype going and CamTwist 1.0 appeared shortly thereafter.

Over time I added more effects and other features but CamTwist was never intended to be much more than just a toy.  To my surprise, I started receiving email from people who were trying to use CamTwist for more serious broadcasting and they were asking for features.  I resisted the idea of turning CamTwist into a video switcher but eventually it seemed like the right direction to go.  The Studio interface was then added.

Today’s CamTwist has seen a bunch of revisions and performance improvements.  Unfortunately for CamTwist, family life has taken over my free time and the development of CamTwist has slowed to a crawl.

While CamTwist functions well enough for a lot of people, admittedly CamTwist suffers from its history.  Not a whole lot of up-front thought went into the design and even less thought went into some of the code.  Furthermore, MacOS X is evolving and there are several new technologies that CamTwist could benefit from.  To that end, I’ve started a significant upgrade to the internals of CamTwist.  The implication of that means the next major revision to CamTwist will require MacOS X Lion or better.

Despite the pace of my development, my Lion build is coming along nicely.  I couldn’t possibly predict a release date but what I have is almost ready enough to be considered an alpha.

Stay tuned..

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