OpenTZT is an Open Source VJ tool for the Win32 platform. Utilizing DirectX, the tool is optimized to allow keyboard or mouse driven video mixing of up to 6 simultaneous clips. It also includes MIDI support. OpenTZT supports quite a few file types (avi, mov, mpg, mv1, swf, jpg, bmp) and can be extended by plugins. It supports openTZT specific and FreeFrame plugins. The project is hosted at

Main Window (visible in the output window (top/left) is the output of the upper 3 players)


If you haven't yet, download openTZT from SourceForge.
The installation of openTZT consists of unzipping the distribution file into its own subfolder. No install program is needed.

Important Basics

Note: this documentation is still under construction. If you don't find a particular information here, please request it in the SourceForge project forum.

In order to do any first tests or tryouts with openTZT you should read the section File Organization. Otherwise you may not be able to do anything useful with openTZT.
Consider also to switch you system color depth to 16bit (HiRes), otherwise some effects may not work.
To understand the following documentation it's good to know some basic "tzt language". The terms "material" and "clip" are mostly used interchangeably and describe either a movie clip (avi, mov, flash), a still image (bmp, jpg) or a special input function (DV-Grabbing, Through-Material, Generator Plugin). In any case it describes something you can put in a so called "player". In a player you can also apply one or two effects (short: efx) to manipulate the running clip.

File Organization

Unlike other programs openTZT doesn't have any project or session files which reference the actual video files. It requires that all files that are intended for use be placed in a somewhat fixed folder structure. Files cannot be added at run-time.
Many users become confused about this, but it is actually quite simple. Please review the following sections to understand this basic structure.

The least required folder structure is already provided with the distribution. What you need to do is copy some clips in the <openTZT_Root_Dir>\Material\Bank0\F1\.
Any of the \F1\ to \F9\ directories in every \Bank*\ folder (ranges from \Bank0\ to \Bank9\) can hold up to 17 clips. Reading the content of the directories is done alphabetically, openTZT just ignores all clips beyond 17.

Read section OpenTZT Folder Structure for further details.

Starting openTZT

During the start openTZT first reads the tzt.ini file which is provided with the distribution. It contains the whole set of openTZT's options, set to it's default values. After that openTZT scans the \Material\, \Effector\ and \Record\ directories. As soon as the GUI shows up you can start going crazy. Try to hit some letter-keys or click on the thumbs shown in the material palette. Read the following text for a detailed description of openTZT features and control methods.


In the late 90' a Japanese programming god with the handle Triplet wrote TranZendenT, a wickedly cool VJ(Video-Jockey) app and distributed it (with all Japanese documentation) as freeware. Being barely known by the VJ scene, MoRph, an australien VJ, wrote a tutorial on that got people excited. Esotic, an VJ/Programmer from North Carolina (USA), wrote some wicked effects for it and it started getting real attention.

Eventually Triplet wanted to write a new app (FireFly) and agreed to release the C++ source code for TranZendenT under the GPL. MoRpH got everyone cracking. WYSIWYG wrote a python translation tool and translated the comments in the source into English and a couple of programmers from around the world, lead by Esotic, started adding new features and fixing bugs. Soon a new release, with improved MIDI and other functionality was put out on SourceForge under it's new name openTZT.