Eric Wenger’s apps are unique. If you are just getting started with his software, make sure to read the Online Help->Online Documentation within the CTX applications.
We also have video tutorials on our YouTube channel. Most are in English but some are in French based on the English online documents. For those, turn on the YouTube Closed Caption translator to read along in English.
Additional support information can be found below. The categories include:
- Training and Documentation
- Software Installation
- Product Updates
- Accessing Your Account
- ArtMatic Products
- MetaSynth Products
- Legacy Products
- MacOS Version Notes
Submit a Question
If after reviewing these sections, you still have questions, please contact us via the form below:
Report a Technical Issue or Suggest a Product Feature
Did you encounter something unexpected in our software? Click below to submit an issue report directly to our developer. Also, if you have a feature request, enter it here.
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Product Training and Documentation
Training: Click on the Learning page to access hours of videos and a community of expert users.
Documentation: We are working to improve and update product documentation at U&I Software. The new Cocoa applications (CTX) now have online documentation you can launch from within the applications.
To install on MacOS X 10.10 through 10.14.6 simply double click on the installers to run. On 10.15 (Catalina), and 11.x (Big Sur), hold down the Control Key, click once on the installer and select Open, then approve installing.
When installing a software update you have two options: 1. Run the installer to only update the application and associated new files. 2. Perform a “clean install” by updating the current application folder’s name before running the installer – useful if you want to retain earlier versions for older project files.
- Designer CTX: Version 1.2.2 for Cocoa MacOS X 10.10 through MacOS 11.x (M1 compatible)
- Voyager CTX: Version 1.2.2 for Cocoa MacOS X 10.10 through MacOS 11.x (M1 compatible)
- Explorer CTX: Version 1.2.1 for Cocoa MacOS X 10.10 through MacOS 11.x (M1 compatible)
- MetaSynth CTX: Version 1.2.3 Cocoa MacOS X 10.10 through MacOS 11.x (M1 compatible)
- Xx CTX: Version 1.0 for Cocoa MacOS is in testing for release end of September 2021.
- vQuartz: CTX: Version 1.0 for Cocoa MacOS is planned for development in 2022.
Accessing Your Account
To download the latest update, 1. request a 24hour access link email here. 2. click on the account link in the email. 3. After accessing your account click, on the link ending in .pkg link and the updated installer file will download.
The .pkg link in your account might display the product version from the time of purchase, ignore this, click anyhow. To verify the version, look at the About in the application menu.
If an “account access” email does not arrive with a link: 1. Make sure you entered the email you set as your ID when purchasing. 2. Clear your browser’s cookies or try a different web browser. 3. Double check your email spam filter.
If it still does not arrive, please open a ticket with FastSpring Support firstname.lastname@example.org and they will manually send you a link. If you’ve changed emails or used two different emails as IDs they can merge your accounts.
NOTE: If you are a Legacy Customer (have not purchased since December 2018), please contact U&I Software via our support page to obtain older serial numbers and downloads.
Voyager Render Time: It is not uncommon for 3D rendering to take up half an hour or more for a single frame. Voyager is entirely procedural and offers infinite terrains with infinite details which is CPU intensive. In Voyager 4.5.3 set the Preferences->Max Proc(essors) to the highest available for your computer. Voyager CTX 1.0 uses all available processors and includes rendering time optimizations. Pro User Tips: 1. The “Better” setting is a much faster at rendering than “Best”, which is rarely needed. 2. Rendering to a “List of Images” is much faster than to a QuickTime movie. Use this method then compile them in your video editor.
Designer Version Support: Not all versions of ArtMatic Designer can open older versions. The ability to open does not equal compatibility with later versions as components may have been changed or added.
- Version CTX 1.1 opens CTX 1.1, CTX 1.0, Legacy 7.5
- Version CTX 1.0 opens: CTX 1.0, 7.5, 7.2 (when using Normalized Colors).
Files from 6.0 may need to be modified for changes in colors and alpha ranges, or components.
- Version 7.5, opens 7.5, and 7.2, 6.x, 5.x but colors may change;
- Version 7.2 opens: 7.2, 6.x, 5.x;
- Version 6.x can open: 6.x, 5.x, 4.x
- Versions 3.x, can open 2.x, 1.x (PowerPC Only).
Designer File Loading: Double-clicking on an ArtMatic file while Designer is not running, loads a default file. Make sure to open Designer and use the Browser or File Open to load files.
Designer vs,. Explorer Keyframes: Working with keyframes in the Explore room of Designer, and Explorer application, works differently. Eric Wenger has stated “The Explore room provides direct access to published keyframe parameters values so you can edit KF data directly. It is a different approach to the Design room. Its advantages are you don’t have to record keyframes and envelopes values as they are reflected consistently in the parameters sliders. You wouldn’t have theses abilities if the parameters sliders reflected current state instead of KF states. Parameter sliders can be used to make slight adjustments of envelopes values which would be impossible if they are linked to the current state as in the Design Room. Meaning, if I use the Design Room approach there won’t be any way to adjust the envelope data numerically. Also the same logic applies for Voyager “edit artmatic param” inspector which does not use the keyframe selection & display and where direct editing of KF values is necessary. Once you know how it works, it is actually quite efficient and makes animation parameters editing faster.”
Unique File Saving Process: “ArtMatic and Voyager now lets you set the directory for saving separately so you don’t have to do it everytime. While this departs from Apple’s standard, it has the strong advantage of allowing you to select a working directory only once – which saves users a huge amount of time. Just click on the path to change/rename it when needed. But note, if you make a lot of modifications in a (ArtMatic) system it is best to save the system under a new name, so the issue of overriding a render won’t happen, as the picture will have a new default name.” – Eric Wenger
Installing MetaSynth 1.x: If you are having problems installing or launching MetaSynth after install, your MacOS has a permissions challenge. This is caused when the installer can’t access the Documents folder to place the three demo projects there. Make sure to select YES to granting permissions during the install. If you click NO by accident, go to System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> Privacy -> Full Disk Access -> Unlock the panel and click + and add the Installer App. This should bypass all blocking and allow the installer to work.
If you are still having trouble installing, check “Get Info” on your Documents folder to ensure your permissions are correct. MacOS installs can become corrupted when ran via VMware blocking access. Lastly, do a search for the following folders and ensure they are in the Users->[Account Name]-> documents folder. iCloud may have moved them.
Updating MetaSynth 1.x Preferences: You may need to delete the “MetaSynth CTX 1.0.prefs” file for a number of reasons. It can be found in the MetaSynth CTX application folder. If you need to reenter your serial number, if you change your MacOS User Account name, simply delete this file and relaunch MetaSynth and re-register, it will be recreated with updated info.
Xx CTX 1.0: [MIDI and MetaSynth Integration] Audio Unit management can be challenging today. A third-party AU manager might be needed. Audio Unit Manager is an older app (must approve running via Control+Click->Open) but can help. We’ll post links to more tools as identified. If you need to manually manage, see this Apple article.
If you missed it, Apple discontinued their Carbon application platform with the release of Catalina (2019). CTX programs were recreated for their AppKit platform. You can’t use Carbon plugins in AppKit programs, only ones made for AppKit. Think of Carbon and AppKit as two different Operating Systems.
Saving to .WAV: MetaSynth does not currently support 32-bit Float in .wav files. This is due to .wav historically not supporting this format. We are considering adding it in future releases.
Image Synth vs. MIDI: “In the Image Synth, synthesis does not really have any ON/OFF, each playing note has a variable volume envelope given by pixel brightness that can change over the course of the note, and a note that can be any pitch in double precision (64 bits). You can imagine how the paradigm differs (from MIDI). When people ask about using any Audio Unit (AU plugin) for Image Synth synthesis they have no idea how unrealistic that is. One has to stress the power of the Image Synth principles and also to explain why MetaSynth instruments have to stay internal (limits of complexity) for this massive synthesis strategy to work in real-time.” – Eric Wenger.
Legacy Customers Store: In 2018 U&I moved to a professional and secure eCommerce store platform (FastSpring). Customers were notified to re-register their current products (Designer 7.2, Voyager 4.2, MetaSynth 6.0.1, Xx 5.5) in the new store. If you did not have the opportunity, this can be done on here.
Legacy Customer Products: Upgrades to the final versions of our obsolete products is no longer being offered. CTX programs are backward compatible on MacOS X 10.10-10.14 to ensure customers can use the latest features. Visit our store for more details.
Legacy Wiki Site: When moving to the new site, it was more difficult to keep this working than expected. We now provide video tutorials and product experts to help. We’ve copied the old Wiki information into these two unformatted documents ArtMatic Wiki data or the MetaSynth Wiki data for legacy purposes.
MetaSynth 6.0.1 Montage: If you use MS6, you may need to use a template to create new Montage files (MacOS 10.14). Download one by clicking here.
Xx 5.5 Install Error: During the install of Xx the following error screen may appear: This is due to incorrect disk permissions. It doesn’t usually impact the application. If it does, repair permissions and reinstall. Here are the instructions MacOS 10.14.
Videodelic (MacOS 9.x): Classic Extensions must be On to run.
MacOS Version Notes
MacOS 11 Big Sur: The ArtMatic CTX 1.x and MetaSynth CTX 1.x passed testing with Big Sur on Intel Macs and M1 Macs. Make sure to click Yes when installing. Watch for release updates in the ArtMatic User Group and MetaSynth User Group. Make sure you are running a CTX 1.2.x version for full graphics compatibility.
Installing Third-Party programs on MacOS 11.0 (Big Sur) and 10.15 (Catalina): Apple requires customers installing Third-Party applications to Control+Click or Right Mouse click on the installer and select Open. Then accept that the app is not from the Apple Store. 10.14 Mojave does not require this.
Designer CTX and Sound in MacOS 10.15 (Catalina): Designer uses a 44.1 khz sample rate. Mojave (10.14) defaults to 44.1 but Catalina defaults to 48 khz. This causes audio distortion and tempo changes when previewing audio (rendering works fine). To resolve this, change your Mac’s audio output setting to 44,100 hz when using Designer. This can be done with Apple’s Audio Midi Setup program found in the Utilities folder. Recent builds of Catalina appear to have returned to 44.1 khz as a default.
Running 32 bit applications on MacOS 10.14 (Mojave): An Apple Error Dialog may appear when any Carbon application is launched. This impacts all software companies.
Apple Has Discontinued Their Carbon Software Platform after MacOS 10.14 (Mojave): Carbon was MacOS as we knew it, but starting with MacOS 10.10 MacOS was really two operating systems in one – it also included MacOS AppKit. Carbon was more powerful, flexible, and reliable so U&I products remained on that platform. iOS, like AppKit, is Cocoa based and Apple is moving to merge the two OS’s and also move the Mac to the same processors that run iPhones, iPads, and iWatches. This meant Carbon had to be discontinued. Starting with MacOS 10.15 Carbon is gone and so customers can’t run Carbon applications. We all have three options: 1. Run a dual boot system with Catalina 10.15 and Mojave 10.14 (restart required). We use this tool to download different OS versions. 2. Run Mojave 10.14 “virtually” on a Catalina 10.15 system by using a program like Parallels (no reboot but less rendering processors). 3. Remain on Mojave 10.14 or an earlier MacOS version. Many recording studios are doing this as many third-party plugs are Carbon. But, for many folks this isn’t practical so options 1 or 2 are the better ways to go. If remember the transition from MacOS to Unix (MacOS X), and the transition from PowerPC processors to Intel processors, this will all be familiar.
Apple File Format Changes 10.14 (Mojave) – 11.0 (Big Sur): Apple changed its MacOS file format in 10.14 from HFS+ to APFS. This strips away your file’s Application Type information and can impact them knowing which application they are associated with. If you have older Designer files and update your Mac to 10.14 opening them will no longer work. To work around this, select Parent in Designer CTX 1.0’s Browse view, and select a folder to import, the folder will become an item on the list with its files appearing in the library, then you can select Modernize Folder (gear icon top right). If you import multiple folders, you can select the Modernize Library to update all of them. Make sure to back up your work before importing it. Other options are: 1. Try using Open With… in the MacOS context menu. 2. If a file fails to import add an .artm extension to the file. This will force MacOS to associate the file with Designer.
Accessibility Compliance – Please find out 508 Conformance Report Here.