Create Music Visuals with TouchDesigner / Going Further – On-demand

Level: Beginner

Overview

TouchDesigner is a tool that gains popularity among musicians who want to create visuals for their music and do audio-visual experiments. The goal of this course is to show how one can start with TouchDesigner and not risk being discouraged. You will learn the basic concepts underpinning creation and rendering of 3D geometries, what different parameters of PBR materials mean and how particle systems work. The concepts you learn will be used to create shiny and noisy audio-reactive visualizations that can be plugged into your live performance straight away. The course will equip you with tools and maps which will make your further TouchDersigner journey more productive and fun. This series is a continuation of the workshop Create Music Visuals with TouchDesigner – Fundamentals.

Session Learning Outcomes

Session 1

  • Change basic geometries

  • Understand the difference between CPU and GPU calculations

  • Make different audio frequencies trigger different events

  • Create an audio-reactive visualization using instanced geometries

Session 2

  • Import 3D assets

  • Perform transformations on imported 3D geometries (increase and decrease polygon count, translate)

  • Understand and Use PBR maps

  • Set up PBR shading for 3D assets

Session 3

  • Be confident with the main properties of a particle and particle system

  • Create a basic particle system

  • Configure emission properties of a particle system

  • Use force bearing objects to influence particles behavior

  • Confidently navigate the TD learning resources and know where to get help

Session Study Topics

Session 1

  • SOP generators and filters

  • Operators that use CPU and GPU

  • Geometry Instancing

  • Connecting Trigger CHOP to different frequencies of an audio-spectrum

Session 2

  • FBX and OBJ formats

  • Polyreduce and Subdivide SOPs, Delete SOP, Transform SOP

  • The theory of Physically-Based Rendering and Shading

  • PBR maps

  • PBR setup in Touch Designer

Session 3

  • Particle SOP inputs (emitter, attractor, force)

  • Particle SOP parameters

  • Differences between CPU and GPU particle systems

  • Navigating TouchDesigner Resources

Requirements

  • A computer with internet connection

  • A web cam and mic

  • A Zoom account

  • A three button mouse or Apple Track Pad appropriately configured

  • TouchDesigner installed (free version suffices https://derivative.ca/download)

  • If your on Mac please check TouchDesigner can run on your   system (i.e. has basic GPU requirements such as Intel HD4000 or better)

About the workshop leader 

Dancing Pixels (Masha Rozhnova) is a London based artist who creates audio-visual performances and videos for musicians. For the past three years she has been using TouchDesigner as the main tool for content creation, show control and as an engine to enable interaction with the audience. She performed at Live Performers Meeting in Rome, at New River studios and Crux events in London.

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

Level: Intermediate

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

Session Learning Outcomes

By the end of these sessions a successful student will be able to:

PT1:

  • 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

PT2:

  • Persisting/loading custom presets with Python + JSON

  • Map a visualization onto any performance environment, whether physical or digital

Session Study Topics

PT1:

  • How to build custom UIs with widgets in TouchDesigner

  • Encapsulating new and existing VFX patches in reusable components

  • Basic MIDI input with TouchDesigner

PT2:

  • Programming advanced actions with Python in TouchDesigner

  • Making custom MIDI mappings which plug into a global control system

  • Outputting anywhere: projection mapping, NDI streaming, DMX / lighting fixtures

Requirements

  • A computer and internet connection

  • A free (or higher) license of TouchDesigner

  • A text editor for programming, such as Sublime Text 3 (recommended)

Recommended:

  • Webcam and/or microphone

  • A text editor for programming, such as Sublime Text 3 (recommended)

  • Virtual audio routing software (e.g VB Cable on Windows, Soundflower / Loopback Audio on Mac) you can use to send audio to TouchDesigner directly from other software on your computer, such as Spotify

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.