Release: Heightfield_gt

Heightfield_gt is a customized version of the v002 Rutt Etra.plugin that offers a variety of extra features, and can run fine in Q.C alongside the Rutt Etra. I've long loved the v002 Rutt Etra, but also have certain features I've wanted in it that I've taken the time recently to add into the project. I really appreciate Vade having shared source with this plugin. If you enjoy this, please donate at

From Bill's note, at Vade's page:

I’m Bill Etra and this is the Mac version of the Rutt/Etra Video Synthesizer.

In 1970, I spent a year with my partner Steve Rutt building a video synthesizer that let me have complete plasticity with the raster, (which will disappear in february when analogue television broadcasts cease). After two years of very hard work, we had built the Rutt/Etra video synthesizer. I was sure after some work with Bill Hearn on the Videolab (at the Electronic Associates of Berkeley) to colorize the Rutt/Etra’s black and white signal, that I would be finished and have the tool I wanted. It’s now forty years later and, thanks to Anton Marini and others who are kind enough to assist and do all the hard work, we have the beginnings of what I had dreamt of.

The dream was to create a compositional tool that would allow you to prepare visuals like a composer composes music. I called it then and I call it now “the visual piano”, because with the piano the composer can compose an entire symphony and be sure of what it will sound like. It was my belief then and it is my belief now after 40 years of working towards this, that this will bring about a great change and great upwelling of creative work once it is accomplished. This software is one step closer to that since, once we’re on the computer, things can be developed and repeated reliably.

I now live on disability and we no longer have corporate budgets working on this development. I would like to spend the rest of my existence working on the project that I thought I would finish in 1972. if you find this software useful, please make a donation in whatever amount you feel is appropriate.

– Bill Etra, October 26th, 2008, in a Starbucks on Broadway in Chinatown

When we have great innovators like Bill Etra, it is important to give back to them. Again, please follow this link to donate :

Main differences are:

Custom Features :
- Stipple pattern and repeat count for line type Draw Modes.
- Polygon stipple dithering for Image Plane method available via Polygon Stipple parameter.

Note:Polygon Dither 1 is equivalent to drawing nothing, and Dither 17 is equivalent to drawing everything (They are somewhat redundant, but part of the Hall dithering patterns, so I've fully represented them). Polygon dither is typically used for screen transparency type effects.

- Translation and Rotation of heightfield.
- Blend modes independent of Draw Modes, and some custom Blend modes. Alpha blend equivalent to Kineme Alpha Blend.
- Depth testing control.
- Face Culling conrol.

Special thanks to Anton Marini, Bill Etra, and also Chris Wright, Steve Mokris, Bradley Mellen, Jaymie Strecker, and Matthew Radcliffe.


From Vade's original note:

Please note that while the v002 Rutt Etra is freeware, Bill Etra and I accept donations and proceeds go to help support Bill. Every bit helps. Thank you.

This is beta-ware. Please let me know if you have any issues.