Introduction to TouchDesigner

Taught by Mary Franck

Course Number:
Software Version:
Original Run Date:
April 2014 
6 hours 8 minutes 
"TouchDesigner for Installations" will give you a strong foundation in using TouchDesigner for interactive and installation work as well as demonstrating useful tricks and best practices. The course will delve into broadly applicable topics, and demonstrate the specifics of how to make an interactive, projection-mapped installation with real-time graphics. Even if you’re not focused on specifically doing installation projects, this course will serve as a great foundation in getting you up to speed on using the application for other purposes.

You’ll learn how to use CHOPs for logic and to remap user inputs, how to use Python in TouchDesigner, how to create procedural and animated real-time graphics, and how to interactively control video playback. The course will show how to use TouchDesigner’s projection-mapping tools and handy tricks of the software. A basic familiarity with TouchDesigner is recommended.

Professor Mary Franck is a media artist and developer with over four years of experience in using TouchDesigner for production. She has done projection mapping, distributed rendering, large-scale AV shows, touchscreen applications, and installations for such notable companies as Obscura Digital, Bot&Dolly, and [namethemachine].
Introduction to TouchDesigner
Watch our overview of the course

Class Listing

Class 1

Movie Players. A close look at controlling video playback and building custom video players using features of the MovieInTOP in combination with CHOPs and DATs for playback logic and making robust controls.

Class 2

User Interfaces. How to build user interfaces and controls using panels, containers, and layout parameters. We will look at best practices in UI architecture.

Class 3

DATs and Scripting Part 1. How to use Python and basic scripting in TouchDesigner and use DATs to handle strings, with a focus on interaction.

Class 4

Procedural and Keyframed Animation. This class will look at how to use the AnimationCOMP for keyframing and techniques and strategies for generative animation for real-time rendering.

Class 5

Instances and Particles. Working with SOPs and Geometry Components, we'll use the TouchDesigner particle system and the Geometry Component instancing features.

Class 6

Lighting and Materials. Materials are the secret sauce of any good real-time video. We'll look at features of the Phong MAT, plus lighting techniques and how to use GLSL shaders in TouchDesigner.

Class 7

Controllers and Inputs. Mary will demo how to use a MIDI controller, TouchOSC, and a Kinect to control the MoviePlayer and real-time animations we have built so far.

Class 8

Output and Projection Mapping Part 1: 2d. This will cover how to set up your outputs on a second monitor, use keystoning, grid warping, and masking for 2d projection mapping.

Class 9

Output and Projection Mapping Part 2: 3d. This will cover the basics of how to use Kantan Mapper and CamSchnappr for 3d projection mapping.

Class 10

DATs and Scripting Part 2: Advanced Python techniques in TouchDesigner. You can write your own Python classes and modules and use them in your scripts which powerfully extends TouchDesigner.