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  May.01.10 BRYANT PLACE (CPU), PLASTIKMAN CONTEST WINNER on TOUCHDESIGNER

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Bryant Place aka CPU is another of our Plastikman contest winners who has been using Touch for only six months but been very active in that period of time. We've profiled some of his work on the Derivative blog here. Bryant is based in LA where he performs live visuals at Droid parties and for artists including the Black Eyed Peas, HARD parties and Carl Cox. Bryant will working with Richie Hawtin's crew representing Derivative for some of the upcoming Plastikman Live tour dates.

PlastikmanContest_2.179 from CPU on Vimeo.

Bryant how did you discover TouchDesigner and come to use it?

A good friend of mine, Drumcell, mentioned that I should check out TouchDesigner, roughly a year ago.  He mentioned that he was friends with one of the project architects Jarrett Smith.  Initially I was dissuaded due to the fact that it's a Windows-only product.  After some time, I decided to ask Jarrett about coming in for a demo to see what TouchDesigner was all about.  

Once he showed me the network and general UI, along with some audio driven patches, I realized that this was something I had been waiting for, just never knew it existed.  A few months after Jarrett's demo, I saved some money, got a shuttle PC, downloaded Touch and was on my way!  

Why this tool? Why did you want to use it and to do what? 

Infinite expandability.  Initially I wanted to use it as an audiovisual application, something that could provide the answer to onstage AV performance - which it obviously can do very well.  Looking beyond live performance, I use TouchDesigner to create visual content without having to wait and render.  Much like working in a music studio, it's easy to collaborate with producers in real time on content creation.  I can sit with a director and we work together developing the look and feel of a visual component.

What's your experience been?

It's been incredible, there is so much to learn about TD.  There are many different ways to achieve results, it can be fun to build something and then reprogram it more efficiently the second or third time around. Learning a new operator is always a blast too; initially, geometry SOPs were my favorite, but now it seems to be texture operators (TOPs) because they run on the GPU and are cheap to use. Most recently, I've been teaching myself how to build performance UI in TouchDesigner using elements from the TUIK palette.    

Tell us a bit about the work that you do.

I work freelance as an audio / multimedia programmer.  I also work for a French company, JazzMuant as artists relations manger and support here in the US.

I specialize on creating visuals for live performance and using real-time VJ software to perform the visuals live during concerts, art events, and underground dance parties.  Moreover: I will work with the event's coordinators to help design the environment of a space, through specialized placement of screens, projectors, and lighting.

In other recent news:

I created some content for the Glitch Mod and their new tour.  The content was created to be used by VJ Johnny DeKam as he is their touring VJ this Summer.  Here is a photo of some Touch content I created for Glitch Mob, playing at Coachella:

I was recently was employed by VSquared Labs during Coachella to implement audio-reactive generative visuals into "Dome 2.0 experience HD 360 performance program," developed in Touch Designer - Using a special hemispherical lens, VSquared created a dome projection for Heineken.  Through Touch, Matt Daly and Vello Virkhaus created an application that enables other VJ's to "plug and play" into the dome system and VJ their material mapped to the dome. 

This is Ruban with VSquared - VJing the Heineken dome at Coachella 2010:

and here are some random photos from a video of me running touch at one of the Droid parties a few months ago:

Lemur and TouchDesigner - Video Synth from CPU on Vimeo.

What are you currently doing with TouchDesigner?

Recently I was in Brussels for an audiovisual performance with Drumcell at the Brussels Electronic Music Fesival. I'm really fond of generative visuals that can be played as a synthesizer - I have everything mapped via OSC to my Lemur and iPad. OSC support is fantastic in TD. 

CELL + CPU raw footage Jan 9th 2010 from CPU on Vimeo.


What was your experience building the PM piece?

Learning how to sequence visual elements with the keyframe component.  The assignment also enabled me to push my own skill set and create quite a complex and massive visual patch.  

For those who've never used TouchDesigner, what would you tell them?

I'm not one who can speak from experience, but I suggest you join the forum and become an active member of the community.  You're questions will be answered by Touch professionals who can help guide your way. Make sure to read, and read again, the wiki as it will be your essential guide to learning new operators."

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