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Patches is a visual programming environment for WebGL, WebVR and other HTML5 APIs. It features live preview, data flow visualization, network communication, publishing, unlimited undo, and a catalog of ready-made patches that can be used as modular building blocks. Complex logic can be nested in subgraphs and they can be rendered directly to a specific render target, or simply used as a texture. Loops are modeled as nested graphs that are evaluated once per loop iteration.

Try the cloud version of Patches now at

Be sure to watch the tutorials, read the documentation and read tutorials on Patches. Plugin API documentation is available, but unstable.

Installing on macOS/OSX

Installing a local instance of Patches requires MongoDB (MongoDB Server should be 3.2.12), Redis, node.js (Get v6.11) and graphicsmagick. To install the required packages, issue the following commands (on Mac using Homebrew):

    $ /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"
    $ brew install graphicsmagick
    $ brew install mongodb 
    $ brew install redis
    $ brew services start mongodb
    $ brew services start redis
    $ npm install && npm install -g gulp
    $ gulp

NOTE: Currently using Web Sockets or OSC requires running Patches locally.


To build the LESS, plugins, etc [continuously]:

    $ gulp [watch]

Running the tests:

    $ npm install -g mocha
    $ npm test

Quick list of versions for running with Ubuntu Linux

OS: Ubuntu 16.04.2 MongoDB shell version: 3.2.18 Redis server v=3.0.6 Node v6.11.5 NPM 5.5.1

Also, if you do not want to downgrade your node version then upgrade the mongodb package to 2.2.24 and the gridfs-stream package to the latest version.

One more detail, the exiftool can be installed like this sudo apt-get install libimage-exiftool-perl

How to run Patches locally using Windows

Please consult

Running Patches

  1. Make sure you have the right export for ENGI_BIND_IP configured in your .bash_profile
    export ENGI_BIND_IP=
  1. Make sure MongoDB and Redis are running.
    $ brew services start mongodb
    $ brew services start redis
  1. Gulp one more time, then run the server:
    $ gulp
    $ npm start
  1. Open in the browser: http://localhost:8000/edit

If you have access to an Oculus Rift DK1 or DK2 and want to play with the VR features, you currently need one of Toji's special Chromium builds. You can find them here:


We welcome your contributions! Please create and work in a fork, submitting a pull request when (and if) you're ready for a review. Contributors may note some inconsistencies in style. We're in the process of migrating; new work should be done in JavaScript ES5 using Airbnb code style (exception: tabs instead of spaces).

A note on plugins

Patches features hundreds of plugins, including ways to obtain or create data:

  • Cameras: Perspective, orthographic and screen space. Obtain aspect radio and viewport size.
  • Input: Gamepad, VR headset, keyboard, mouse position, button state and scroll wheel.
  • Loading assets: HTML5 audio, images, JSON, 3d scenes and HTML5 video. Select files directly from UI or provide URLs to load as strings from the graph.
  • Matrices: Translation, rotation, scale and planar projection.
  • Meshes: Cube, grid, null (transform visualization), plane, quad, sphere and user defined (Blender exporter is included).
  • Open Sound Control: Receive float / xy float.
  • Shaders: Diffuse only, automatically generated from mesh and material, user defined, normal as color and texture with UV-transforms.
  • System state: Initialized, assets started, failed, and successfully loaded. Graphs can emit these signals via plugins to integrate with the global asset load logic when procedurally generating data.
  • Text rendering.
  • Time: Absolute, frame delta.
  • Typed array generation.
  • Web Sockets.
  • Crypto: Check the current balances of a named CounterWallet.
  • Virtual Reality: Camera / MHD / Sensor info. Sensor velocity / acceleration. Full Oculus Rift support.
  • Various plugins to provide UI for direct manipulation or input of values: Knobs, sliders, input fields for labels and constant values, toggle and action buttons, color pickers, text editors, PRNGs and many other similar plugins for providing data directly from the graph view.

...Ways to modify data:

  • Audio: Get duration and current playback position. Analysis (FFT), gain, buffer source.
  • Color: Add, mix, multiply and set alpha.
  • Data type conversions. Format or parse strings, compose complex types from primitives, convert between primitive types and split / merge cameras to / from constituent matrices.
  • Curves: Looping cubic interpolation of keypoints.
  • Filters: First order low pass, sample and hold, toggle.
  • Instanced meshes: Clear transforms, rotate, scale, translate.
  • Light sources (point, directional): Diffuse color, direction, intensity, position, specular color and type.
  • Logic: And, equals, if, if...else, less than, more than, nand, not, or, switch and xor.
  • Materials: Alpha clip, ambient color, blend mode (none, add, sub, mul, normal), diffuse color, double sided, attach lights, shininess, textures (diffuse, emission, specular and normal maps), z-buffer (use / write).
  • Math: Add, clamp, divide, module, multiply, negate, subtract, delta, abs, cos, exp, log, max, min, sin, sqrt, tan, ceil, floor and round.
  • Matrix: Concatenate, get component, invert, set component and transpose.
  • Mesh: Primitive type (points, lines, line strip, line loop, triangles, tristrip, trifan). Obtain or set the maximum primitive count to render.
  • Object: Convert named member to float, bool, string, object or typed array. Access any array item of the those same types by index and object member name.
  • Oscillators: Cosine, sawtooth, sine, square, triangle.
  • Scene: Get bounding box, get mesh, get mesh count.
  • String: Concatenate, parse JSON.
  • Tweens: In / out (circular, cubic, exponential, quadratic, quartic, quintic and sinusoidal).
  • Typed arrays: Array to mesh, array to texture, get element, get element as type, length, set element, set element as type.
  • Virtual Reality: Create Oculus Rift compatible left / right camera from an input camera.
  • Vector: Add, cross, dot product, magnitude, multiply, normalize, scale and transform.
  • Video: Current time and duration.

...Ways to utilize data:

  • 3D: Render scene, render mesh, create instanced meshes (arrays, cubic volumes, using iterated function systems or distribution textures) and record the current framebuffer.
  • Audio: Player / Source player.
  • Debug visualization: On-canvas visualization of booleans, colors, arbitrary data, floats, matrices, objects, function plots, text and vectors.
  • Sequencing: Stop playback.
  • Video: Player.

...And ways to structure logic or store state:

  • Create infinitely nested sub-graphs or loops.
  • Create named in- and output proxies in a graph to have them automatically reflected as a slot on the parent node of the graph the proxy is in.
  • Create named registers to store values of any supported data type between graph updates as state storage or feedback loops.

Created sequences can be imported and exported as JSON, embeddable into any context with the included standalone player, or simulated in a bare core instance. The latter permits sequences to be leveraged in other JavaScript projects as a domain-specific visual scripting language by providing the embedded graph with appropriate values from its host, updating the graph and acting on the emitted output values. Created sequences can be automatically exported to an optimized file set, ready to deploy to any Web server.


Patches is released under the MIT License

Contact Us

@vizor_vr on Twitter @VizorPatches on Twitter