Derivative is the company behind TouchDesigner, a visual development platform used both at grassroots and professional levels. TouchDesigner is high performance, node-based and a procedural application building tool. Greg Hermanovic and Markus Heckmann of Derivative spoke at SCREENS yesterday, focusing on projection mapping flavoured projects and the Kantan Mapper, a new tool for mapping from within TouchDesigner. Derivative builds the tool TouchDesigner, but they also use it for production projects.
The session was jammed full of examples of TouchDesigner in use, which I have made note of below. These examples are much easier to watch than describe, so check out some of the links included.
The Tokyo Prada Epicenter was an early project where Derivative worked with architects to integrate non-rectangular projections into the building. The projections run 18 hours a day and are all procedurally generated. The projections vary with the time of day and the colours change around full moon.
Dev Harlan is a New York based artist who created sculptural pieces augmented with projection. Dev started using TouchDesigner about 18 months ago and describes his workflow as involving a lot of time spent sitting on stepladders building stuff in TouchDesigner for his installations.
Amon Tobin went to VSquared for his latest tour visuals. They projection mapped onto a cube based structure from a single projector with no other lighting sources. TouchDesigner was used in the pre-vis of the cubes and then for all the show visuals. Parts of the show is pre-rendered and some of it is generated and VJed live. There's also a Kinect that takes live visuals of Amon and feeds him back into the visuals.
Bluebeard's Castle an opera productions that included 3D projected visuals. The lighting director worked with TouchDesigner for parts of the setup.
Obscura Digital demoed an installation at the F8 conference on Facebook that used RFID to plug into individuals social graphs to discover connections between individuals.
Graffiti Research Labs in Germany have used TouchDesigner for a Laser Tag system and they have an Android app that talks over OSC to TouchDesigner to change the styles of the tags being drawn and can replace the laser with a Kinect.
Never Ending Drawing from MIT working on remote collaboration using physical media. TouchDesigner was used to build and prototype along with Arduino to handle sensor inputs.
MIT Alphabot is an experimental educational experience designed to get kids up off the couch. It blends physical robots and virtual projections to create the experience.
Luftwerk created a projection mapping for the architect Frank Lloyd Wright's famous Fallingwater home. They used 8 projectors and one computer and handled all the visual choreography using TouchDesigner.
Recombinant Media Labs have created a series of installations that surround the audience in sounds and projections, CineChambers. The moved from a system using a bunch of DVD player to a TouchDesigner built system running 10 projectors from a single computer.
Q-Bus created a piece for Deutsche Telekom
PW Labs built 14 different installations for Rockheim Museum in TouchDesigner.
Autofuss created a piece to promote Halo Reach that allowed people to interact with an website that in turn controlled an industrial robot that painted a stunning 3D image from individual points of light.
Plastikman DEMF tour visuals were powered by TouchDesigner.
Alva Noto used TouchDesigner to create incredible visuals as part of his live show, Unitxt, that used the UI as part of the projected experience.
At the end of the presentation Markus demoed Kantan, a tool they've created as an easy way to mask of the areas when projected onto a 3D surface and then feeding in video content from TouchDesigner and then warping video textures to the orientation of the physical surfaces.