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Simple Systems for Live Performance: A TouchDesigner Primer - On-demand

Build your own generative VFX rig with TouchDesigner.

Course Instructor: Ben Benjamin

Course level

Whether at a concert or in a music video, visual effects can do so much to enhance the listener/viewer’s experience and create a lasting impression.

What you'll learn

  • Design and implement generative visual effects which evolve over time
  • Map out a show control system with high-level hooks for updating state in production
  • Create simple audio +/ MIDI signal workflows
  • Persisting/loading custom presets with Python + JSON
  • Map a visualization onto any performance environment, whether physical or digital

Requirements

  • A computer and Internet connection
  • A free (or higher) license of TouchDesigner
  • A text editor for programming, such as Sublime Text 3 (recommended)

Course content

  • ---- Course files to download
  • ---- Part 1 - Introduction
  • ---- Part 2 - Build Your Own Interface - Overview & Initial Setup
  • ---- Part 3 - BYOI - Simple Audio-Reactive Effect
  • ---- Part 4 - BYOI - Toolbar & Preview Window
  • ---- Part 5 - BYOI - Finalizing Our Modular Plugin Component
  • ---- Part 6 - Converting Third-Party Effects To Our Plugin System
  • ---- Part 7 - Review
  • ---- Part 8 - Mapping MIDI & Controlling Plugins
  • ---- Part 9 - Final Review
  • ---- Part 10 - Homework - goals for next session
  • ---- Part 1 - Importing Previously Saved Modules (Wrappers saved as .tox files)
  • ---- Part 2 - Simple Reactive Video Switcher with Time Machine TOP
  • ---- Part 3 - Saving And Loading Presets with JSON + Python Extensions
  • ---- Part 4 - Considerations For Parameter References and Bindings
  • ---- Part 6 - Demo - DMX Lighting & Projection Mapping Setup - Review & Wrap Up
  • ---- Part 5 - Overview of SceneManager Class
  • ---- Part 7 - BONUS - Generative Effect Modules with 3D Rendering Pipelines

Who is this course for

  • This workshop aims to demonstrate how, using TouchDesigner, one can convert MIDI and acoustic audio signal into dynamic visual performances

Useful links

About the workshop leader

Ben Benjamin is a programmer and performer based in Los Angeles. He is obsessed with the intersection of media, culture, and technology.