What is it? 

jit.freenect.grab is an external object that allows you to grab images and control Microsoft Kinect devices from within Cycling 74’s Max/MSP/Jitter. jit.freenect.grab makes use of the OpenKinect project’s libfreenect library. It is being developed by Jean-Marc Pelletier, Nenad Popov and with help from Andrew Roth.


  • Retrieve RGB images.
  • Retrieve depth maps.
  • Retrieve images from the infrared camera.
  • Retrieve accelerometer readings.
  • Control the Kinect’s tilt motor.
  • Use multiple Kinects simultaneously. (Depth sensors may interfere with each other.)


The latest version of jit.freenect.grab is “Release Candidate 5”, which was released on 2012-3-7. The object requires Max 5 with Jitter and only runs on Intel Macs with OS 10.5 or later.

Note: this version is not compatible with the newest Kinects. I unfortunately do not have the time to update the external.

Download jit.freenect.grab release candidate 5 and its help file.

Once you have downloaded the files, you only need to place them in the “Cycling 74” folder inside the “Max 5” Application folder.

jit.freenect.grab is released under the Apache 2.0 license. You can download the source from the main Github repository.


Please e-mail me if you have comments, suggestions, bug reports, or if you want your project included in the gallery at jmp [at] jmpelletier.com



  1. karl krach says:

    i am just wondering: is there any chance of a max 64 bit-compatible version of jit.freenect.grab coming soon?
    i really love your tools and i do quite miss them…!
    all the best

  2. jovansystem says:

    Hi, sorry, I don’t have any time to dedicate to this project anymore… It’s open source, so if some enterprising soul (wink, wink) wants to have a stab at re-compiling, that would be great.

  3. michelli says:

    hi, im not able to run simultaneous two kinect.
    i can turn on an of both kinects but only the first one have a frame rate and pictures.
    does someone work successfully with two kinects?
    thanks in advance

  4. michelli says:

    sorry, i mean with rc4 and rc5 on lion

  5. Martina says:

    Hi! First, must say your tool is amazing! And I must thank you for it! 🙂
    Second, there seems to be a known strange thing happening with the jit.freenect.grab: whenever I use it, or even just open the help file I get in the max window this yellow looking message: float32 bad number.
    Also here in the forum some people pointed it out:

    Any chance to know why? Is this affecting the functionality of the object itself?
    Thanks in advance!

  6. jovansystem says:

    Hi, I think this might be because you’re using 64-bit Max. I don’t know if this affects functionality.

  7. Mark Smithers says:

    Thank you so much for these awesome externals! I have download the ‘latest build from the Github repository’ (updated on 2015.4.30) but the drawing externals (cv.jit.blobs.bounds.draw, cv.jit.blobs.centroids.draw etc) are missing. How can I get these?


  1. […] : – soit par l’utilisation de l’objet jit.freenect.grab que l’on peut trouver ? http://jmpelletier.com/freenect/ – soit par l’utilisation d’un programme qui construit et envoie en OSC des donn?es […]

  2. […] jit.freenect for MaxMSP/Jitter […]

  3. […] Jean-Marc Pelletier’s amazing Jit.freenect grab tool I was able to join in on the Microsoft Kinect party. I haven’t made anything nearly as […]

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jit.freenect.grab news

jit.freenect.grab Release Candidate 4

A number of people have been writing me about what appeared to be a memory leak in jit.freenect.grab. Indeed, there was. It’s been found, and as far as I can tell, it’s been squashed. If any of you wish to compile the external on your own, please beware that it is the OSX version of […]

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jit.freenect.grab Release Candidate 3

Release candidate 3 is out! jit.freenect.grab It’s now possible to output the raw image from the infrared camera instead of the RGB image. This is the raw data the Kinect uses to estimate depth. This means that by blocking the infrared projector (on the left side of the device) it’s now possible to use the […]

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jit.freenect.grab Release Candidate 2 is out (finally)

Taking a short break from what has been a truly hectic and near-sleepless month, I found the time to upload a slightly improved jit.freenect.grab. Several users have reported to me that jit.freenect.grab stops working after a while. I think I’ve identified the culprit and this new version may solve the problem. I hope so. jit.freenect.grab […]

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jit.freenect.grab page now live

I just published a page for the jit.freenect.grab external I have been working on. It allows users of Max/MSP/Jitter to get depth and image data from their Kinect. Head over to http://jmpelletier.com/freenect/ for more info!

Read this entry.