Millumin, a product out of Anomes, was recently chosen as one of Live Design’s Projection Products of the Year in the software category. The software, released on the later side of 2012, packs a lot of punch into one fairly affordable package. Millumin was released on the later side of 2012 and provides an extensive video toolkit that can fit many purposes, from basic playback to intricate video experiments, all in an intuitive user interface.

The first place you land upon opening Millumin is the dashboard, a departure from the user interface many of us are accustomed to, but it makes a video playback setup quite versatile, especially for live events. The dashboard (the default “board,” of which you can have several) is first comprised of layers. You can use these layers in many ways, but what made sense to me was to treat them each as a video surface, especially if you are projecting onto multiple surfaces out of one output. Each layer is then split into cells. Each cell is more or less like a “cue” that you can use to place discrete video events on each layer. You fill each cell for each layer with an item from your library. This can be an image, a video clip or a composition.

A video or an image can be dropped in quickly. If you need something more intricate, this is where compositions come in handy. Compositions are exactly what they sound like, and most of us are used to this concept. You have multiple layers, and you can sequence and position media files in different layers over time. Playback then moves through the composition in a linear manner.

You can also place cue points in a composition and specify a cell to play to or from any specified cue points. This allows you to do many things, one being similar to a pause cue in Dataton Watchout. (However, I tried creating pause cues via this method and found some stuttering when resuming playback.) With these tools, the concept of boards gives you a lot of flexibility in how you cue a show. It is capable of duplicating the playback functionality of similar software, though it might not always be apparent at first.

Millumin has a strong feature set that can be applied to active media.

It can do complex warping, video effects, color adjustments, cropping, alpha, and playback speed, to name a few. One disadvantage is that all your media is stored in the library panel. If you are working on a large project with many media files, it can get disorganized quickly. There is no ability to sort your files into folders; you are left to the mercy of an alphabetical sort.

Configuring outputs is pretty straightforward, and it plays nicely with Matrox DualHead2Go or TripleHead2Go. It even has built-in edge blending, which has improved greatly in recent versions. This allows you to do discrete corner pinning of each corner to get a strong, clean edge blend. Millumin has a robust feature set that allows it to interact with many other devices, programs, etc. It provides support for MIDI, OSC, Art-Net, Syphon, Quartz, and live video input.

There are a couple idiosyncrasies within the user interface. For instance, it can’t shift select media items in the library. This makes removing several files quite time-consuming. You can’t easily drag a media file from one layer to another within compositions. You can do this within boards but only if you are in the “edit” mode. These are only minor setbacks, and with the rate that the development is racing along, I wouldn’t be surprised if this functionality is right around the corner.

Millumin takes a different approach to playback UI than most competing products. This lets you do some neat things, but it can also make some simple tasks a little quirky. At a price point of just under $800 for two computers (with educational discounts available), this piece of software can do a lot with a shallow learning curve. It brings features that you would find on higher-end products and servers to a new price window. Over the last year, we have seen several new products enter this price range with more still to come.