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Untitled (Eon Surf), 2012
Dev Harlan took the time on a flight to Bangkok this week to tell us a bit about the making of the spectacular Eon Surf, his most recent and also his largest work to date.
|There's a short sequence near the end of Canadian/Swiss filmmaker Peter Mettler’s new documentary feature film The End of Time that received significant media attention even before the film had its North American premiere at TIFF in September. The sequence which has also been called a “synapse-fryer” (Scope) was described by the Hollywood Reporter as a “sustained experiment in pure audio-visual abstraction, a dazzling montage of symmetrical shapes and overlapping patterns set to pulsing electronic music.”. The 8 minutes of film in question is created with Mixxa, the massively flexible HD video mixing tool built entirely in TouchDesigner by Derivative founder Greg Hermanovic.
The End of Time Trailer
Segment, The End of Time Mixxa Sequence
Since 2002 Peter has gravitated towards mixing images to electronic music in live settings, exploring ways to perfect their performance by working with various combinations of tape, video mixers and playback machines. Then 5 years ago at a party where they were both mixing visuals Peter met Greg. Sharing the same passion for the craft and it’s actualization they hit it off immediately with Peter quickly becoming the most ambitious and prolific user, and in a sense, co-developer of Mixxa. The rest, as they say, is history.
Exhibition Views, HangarBicocca, Milan, Italy. Photos: Agostino Osio
Exhibition Views, Musée d'Art Contemporain Montréal, Canada. Photos: Richard-Max Tremblay
carsten nicolai . unidisplay (tri-version)
real-time projection, large-scale screen, mirror walls, bench with loudspeakers
the installation unidisplay offers an examination of semiotics and the laws of perception. the work operates with a number of modules of different visual effects that interfere with the viewers' perception, through optical illusion, jitter, flicker, after-image, movement, complementary colour effect, and so on. the installation unfolds against a long projection wall with two mirror walls on the side thus visually expanding like a universe. the basic visual, made up of sequences, motifs and graphic translations of various units of time measurement acts as a world clock and evokes the intertwining of time, between past, present and future. the installation is created with derivative's touchdesigner software which has been used for alva noto live performances with a triple-screen projection. cn
For the last four years we have had the unmatchable pleasure of working with carsten nicolai, a clear and discreet presence in the contemporary art world well known for his minimalist aesthetic and for his conceptual work. nicolai has produced an influential and critical body of work as visual and installation artist, in the realm of electronic music (as alva noto and as cofounder of the much respected raster noton label) and has published several design-based books with the prestigious publisher Gestalten.
The collaboration which has seen Derivative's Markus Heckmann work closely with the artist for a few weeks once or twice each year, began in 2009 when nicolai expressed the desire to model the visuals for live performances of unitxt on the TouchDesigner user interface itself. The resulting work has been refined, finessed and performed at an impressive list of festivals and venues around the world including: Ars Electronic (Linz and seen in the video below), Transmediale (Berlin), Mutek (Montreal), Sonar (Barcelona), Nemo (Paris), icograda world design congress (Beijing), and also in Athens, Moscow, Tokyo and London.
Nov.27.12 EYE VAPOR visualizes MICKEY HART'S "Brain on Drums"
Jeff Smith of Eye Vapor recently brought to our attention a project the studio has been working on in collaboration with legendary ex-Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart and Dr. Adam Gazzaley of the UCSF Neuroscience Imaging Center.
The research project is centered around the interplay of rhythm on brain function and the healing power of music and mental health, a life-long focus of Hart's. Eye Vapor became involved in the project to visualize this interplay and used TouchDesigner to produce real time visualization and sonification of brain activity with live data coming from an Emotiv headset.
Mickey Hart has long believed in the healing and regenerative power of music and asks the question: "What if in making music we were able to select and refine the rhythms, instruments and amplitude of that music to target and heal neural disorders?". “Breaking the rhythm code” as Mickey Hart describes this work, is his holy grail. Hart believes that knowing how rhythm affects the human brain will enable us to control and apply it medicinally, therapeutically and for diagnostic purposes. Hart believes this would allow us to reconnect synapses that are broken with Parkinson’s and alzheimer’s diseases. In short, the aim of this research and the ensuing visualization is to have medical science realise and embrace the healing powers of music - to bring “the power of rhythm to neuroscience” Hart says.
The research findings were revealed this past September during a live event at the AARP convention in New Orleans. UCSF cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Adam Gazzaley displayed the legendary drummer’s "brain on drums" as Hart's brain waves were visualized and projected onto a screen while he led the audience in a 1,000-piece drum circle.
"It all comes down to the vibrations and rhythm of things and how they interact, and now we have the real science," Hart says of his collaboration with Dr. Gazzaley. "Before, it was anecdotal. But every musician knows it works. When you get off the stage and your consciousness is elevated, there's a whole different kind of priorities in your body. We've never really been able to see the brain on music, this is a handshake between science and art."
We spoke to Eye Vapor about their involvement in this project but before continuing, watch the video above where Hart and Gazzaley give a demonstration of the system at AARP.
Aug.30.12 THR3HOLD Visualizes VITOR JOAQUIM'S Homage To GEOGRAPHY
"Sometimes a small event happens and it makes me open my eyes. (...) It's as if a light has been turned on. Suddenly there's something. Something that I know is present, that I must respond to.(…) It's like an adventure, but with no map." - Pina Bauch (quotation provided by Vitor Joaquim)
Geography is the name of a complex and beautiful new work by the sound and visual artist Vitor Joaquim slated for release this fall on the Kvitnu label. The 8-track CD is in many ways Joaquim's contemplation of author and professor of geography and physiology Jared Diamond's book Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. Diamond's chief question is: "Why Did Human History Unfold Differently On Different Continents For The Last 13,000 Years?" Through a layered and unfolding musical score Joaquim reflects upon the environmental factors and unanswered questions that have shaped patterns of human evolution with such variation. The journey unfolds in 8 tracks with titles like Cantino, Tordesilhas and Cargo that are all founded on the history that connects humankind and geography. But regardless as to the listener being informed or not about Diamond's work, Vitor Joaquim's Geography stands alone, fascinating and haunting.
We were doubly intrigued when we caught wind that Spanish collective Thr3hold were collaborating with Joaquim to produce live visuals for Geography performances. Thr3hold has intrigued us since coming on our radar with TouchDesigner-based work which has from the outset been somewhat unexpected - abstract, graphic, glitchy - even visually shocking at times, but always accomplished flawlessly.
So, when stills for the Geography visuals started popping up on the internet we got in touch to see what was brewing. Vitor and Thr3hold partners Maria Fernandez and Rodolfo Lillo were very gracioius and keen to have a long-distance conversation over the last few weeks about the many aspects of their work and collaboration. This article then serves a two-fold function: a look at Geography and the collaboration between Joaquim and Thr3hold, followed by an inerview with Thr3hold about their TouchDesigner work - past, present, and in development.
Geography Performance at Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture. Photo credit: Anže Kokalj
Aug.01.12 ARKAM'S LIVE VISUAL FEAT for GOOGLE I/O's AFTERPARTY
We recently wrote about TouchDesigner making a rather spectacular appearance at Google I/O 2012 in Bot & Dolly’s remarkable Kinetisphere, an interactive installation (with robots) designed to celebrate the launch of the Nexus Q.
We were doubly excited a few days later to get word from Mark Wells and Adam Jenkins of Arkam who as it turned out, used TouchDesigner to design, build and perform a spectacular, elaborate and hugely FUN 90 minute real-time interactive visual set for the Google I/O afterparty.
When Google came calling, Mark and Adam were excited by both the prospect and the context (Google I/O being all about awe-inspiring technology and hands-on experiences) and so challenged themselves to create something “beyond the realm of traditional animation.” What started off as a job producing a few minutes of traditional motion graphics work evolved into the delivery of real-time motion graphics that broke the 2-3 minute mold and could stay dynamic for hours if need be.
Naturally we were very impressed and had a few more questions - about the project, Mark and Adams backgrounds, their practice, motivations, working with TouchDesigner and so on, which Mark and Adam kindly answered. The following is an account of our conversation and of the fantastic visual experience Arkam created for the Google I/O afterparty.
Jul.15.12 TOUCHDESIGNER MUTEK WORKSHOP 2012 in 6 HOURS of VIDEO
The workshop was held in Montreal during MUTEK at SAT Transform and was designed for people who want to make TouchDesigner their professional production tool. It was led by Steve Mason of Obscura Digital along with Barry Threw - also from Obscura - and Greg Hermanovic and Markus Heckmann of Derivative. Needless to say there was a gargantuan wealth of knowledge, insight and practised experience shared over the course of the workshop that is now available to everyone.
The workshop's focus was on practicalities of production and participants worked along with the instructor replicating whatever was being demonstrated and produced. We have taken the content of these 2 days and edited 18 chronological videos to be watched and replicated in the same way.
In producing the final videos of the live sessions we've tried as much as possible to keep the content intact while 'tidying' up only the bits that seemed to really need editing. In a few cases (and never for too long) the audio volume may be a bit low with the presenter turning away from the recording source, or one of the other people in the room speaking far from the mic. Generally speaking, it's very clear.
For those of you about to tackle the videos there should be ample time to work along with them.
Watch the videos with HD on, if possible. Make sure you get to watch Steve Mason's "Demo of CineChamber Perspective Pre-viz" perspective techniques.
Date: Thursday May 31 & Friday June 1, 2012 (2 days)
Location: SAT Transform
Time: 10:30 am - 4:30 pm
Title: Learning Derivative's TouchDesigner with Steve Mason (Obscura Digital)
Instructors: Led by Steve Mason (Obscura Digital) with Barry Threw (Obscura Digital), Greg Hermanovic and Markus Heckmann (Derivative)
Organizer: Isabelle Rousset (Derivative)
Abstract: Learn from some of its most accomplished and daring users how TouchDesigner, the real-time visual development platform driving Amon Tobin's ISAM, Plastikman Live and Cinechamber, can be used for creating interactive media systems, immersive/projection mapping environments, music visuals, and rapid-prototyping creative impulses. Master the TouchDesigner fundamentals with Steve Mason and Barry Threw of Obscura Digital and Greg Hermanovic and Markus Heckmann of Derivative.
Jul.17.12 TOUCHDESIGNER in the KINETISPHERE at Google i/O 2012
Kinetisphere, an interactive installation designed and built by San Francisco-based creative engineering studio, Bot & Dolly to celebrate the launch of Google’s Nexus Q seemed to steal the show at the recent Google I/O 2012.
Based on what we've seen it certainly is memorable: An industrial Kuka robot deftly articulating an 8-foot, 300-pound diameter fiberglass replica of the Nexus Q with a visualizer ring of 6 mm pitch LEDs controlled by a signal coming out of TouchDesigner that’s reacting to the music as well.
Jul.05.12 What WHITE KANGA is building with TOUCHDESIGNER to alter our sense of REALITY
We were recently taken by surprise by something rather out of the ordinary that challenged our most liberal interpretation of what can be categorized as ‘real’ and certainly as ‘real-time’. The projected image seemed not to be sitting on the surface of the object but rather to be embedded into it. A formation of suspended blocks, bigger than a breadbox and smaller than Amon Tobin's ISAM, moving in space with a surface movement sticking to it giving the impression of a single unified artifact that couldn't really exist by definition of what is known. But there it was.
A little investigation led us to White Kanga, a talented crew from Poland who have expertly been building their own custom applications with TouchDesigner to pull off the otherworldly and it could be said unprecedented fabrication seen here.
Following the video below which illustrates what we’re talking about, is an interesting and highly inspiring interview with White Kanga that details their experience working with TouchDesigner from a seasoned VFX background (Houdini pros) and the making of the Modeling Projection System (MPS) project.
Derivative: With the MPS you’ve produced a very ‘advanced’ body of work in a very specific direction and it seems to have come together really quickly. Can you tell us what the process of learning and adopting TouchDesigner has been from the standpoint of VFX designers with Houdini expertise.
White Kanga: Rafal Bielski has been a Houdini user since 2008 when he was looking for tools to help realize complicated tasks in the Polish animation "Switez" at Human Ark Studios where he was employed as pipeline engeener and CG supervisor. Arek Rekita on the other hand is all about procedural solutions so Houdini is his natural habitat. It’s where he developed techniques for J.C. Avatar's flora.
So our decision to use TouchDesigner was made because of similarities between Houdini and TouchDesigner’s familiar philosophy.
Rafal B was first to be hooked by TouchDesigner and used it to produce a prototype model of an interactive music game-with full working game play, 3D visuals and sound.
April.09.12 FROM RUSSIA with LUMINOUS INTENSITY, THE SILA SVETA SHOW
SILA SVETA, which literally translates as 'Luminous Intensity', is a Moscow-based visual label who have been casting some very bright lights and producing jaw-droppingly ambitious projection mapping events this last year using TouchDesigner. Its principles are Alex Rozov (founder and engine), Alexander Us (founder and directing), Dmitry Napolnov (tech lead) and Masha Roslavskaya (production manager).
Self-taught and deicidedly self-motivated, Sila Sveta was formed in 2008 with the idea, as Alexander Us explains, "to create astonishing things which make people a little bit happier."
"In Russia and in Moscow almost 6 months is bad weather.” Alexander continues “We grew up in residential neighbourhoods, surrounded by high rise building blocks. They are all horrible grey colour and since childhood we dreamt of turning them into canvases for painting. What a joy it was to light up one of those with a slide projector. That was the beginning of it all"
"Another motivation is to point out that Russia doesn’t only have oil and gas stations. It has young individuals who want and can create original and cool things, developing and participating the international community.”
Sila Sveta team: Alexander Us, Dmitry Napolnov, Masha Roslavskaya and Alex Rozov
Inspiring, impressive and also very true as the following interview conducted long distance and between projects with the very busy crew makes clear. We are grateful not only for their taking the time to talk to us, but also for the enthusiasm and community spirit that comes across lound and clear.
jan.12.12 WORKING on MOVEMENTS OF PERCEPTION with MICHAEL SNOW
UPDATE May 2, 2013: The Viewing of Six New Works is currently on exhibit in Toronto at MOCCA (952 Queen St West) until June 2, 2013.
"The Viewing of Six New Works is a light projection composition derived from the essentialized movements of eyes and head, that a possible person might make in looking at a rectangular object on the wall (i.e., a "painting", a "photograph"). Each hypothetical wall rectangle is perceived differently. This is shown by the different "personal" gestures involved in the revealing of the rectangle. When attention is not being paid to it the object/rectangle is not there.
The work is an attempt to present only the movements of perception, not perception itself. The art of looking." - Michael Snow
Canadian filmmaker-artist Michael Snow came to the Derivative studio a few months ago to see Greg Hermanovic about a way to realise a piece he had in mind for an upcoming solo show in New York.
Dec.19.11 OBSCURA DIGITAL Shines 940,000 Lumens in the Desert and it is Spectacular
Earlier this month Obscura Digital used TouchDesigner to once again raise the bar of large scale architectural mapping and projection design, this time for the 40th Anniversary of the United Arab Emirates National Day Celebration at the Sheikh, Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
The sheer scale of this production was mindboggling with 49 projectors used to project on a total surface measuring 19,474 square meters which included 4 minarets and 12 domes necessitating "detailed accuracy of 3-D mapping and content quality on incredibly complex geometry of flat walls with intricate hand carved details and arcades with rows of columns."
Interactive developer and artist Mary Franck who worked on the project for the duration had this to say:
"It was certainly a dream projection-mapping job: incredible architecture, all white marble, completely artistic and cultural content. It was absolutely an honor to be a part of it... continue reading>>
Nov.29.11 DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT DESIGN at NABA with TOUCHDESIGNER
We recently posted an article about an opera and a ballet being staged with 3D stereo-vision virtual sets for the first time. Andrew Quinn working with 3DLive Live was responsible for this landmark achievement and used TouchDesigner to develop the 3D technology employed in this way for the first time.
Andrew, one of the first TouchDesigner users, is based in Milan where he teaches a TouchDesigner course as part of a masters program in Digital Environment Design at NABA. The masters program was founded in 2007 by Paolo Atzori with the goal of providing a 360° view in the field of Interaction and Digital Environment Design and to evolve the technical and critical skills needed to create environments that integrate the digital scenarios of the information society in new representations of space characterised by dynamics of pervasiveness and interaction.
Andrew and teaching assistant graduate student Nima Gazestani have for some time now produced impressive live audio-reactive visuals to accompany classical music performances. They have also graduated proficient and inventive TouchDesigner users from the Digital Environment Design program over the past three years.
You can read about how TouchDesigner was used to make opera 3D here. This article focuses on the teaching and learning of TouchDesigner at NABA and the rather facinating work produced by students and faculty. What follows are interviews with Andrew, Nima and graduate students Carolina Travi and Elena Castellini who were very generous in sharing their work and experiences. We hope it's both valuable and inspiring to would-be TouchDesigner students and instructors.
Nov.14.11 LUFTWERK ADDS LIGHT TO FALLINGWATER
If anything could possibly add to the experience of Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic Fallingwater, a house famously and defiantly situated in Bear Creek Run - right in the creek, that is - then this could be it.
It was a very nice surprise to discover this beautiful sound and light show from Chicago-based Luftwerk, produced for Fallingwater's recent 75th Anniversary Gala, September 17th. Luftwerk used TouchDesigner for this "rather challenging technical set-up" which included eight video projectors, six of of these mounted in two large maple trees and all running on one computer! According to the designers, the software worked flawlessly.
We spoke with Luftwerk founding partner Petra Bachmaier to learn a bit more...
Oct.10.11 Obscura Digital use TouchDesigner to make CONNECTIONS for FACEBOOK at F8
Obscura Digital used TouchDesigner to create a "physical, social, augmented reality experience dubbed "Connections" at F8, Facebook's developer's conference. Attendees swipe in to the experience using their RFID enabled event badge. Multiple overhead projectors map visuals to the floor and an array of 3D cameras are used to reliably track any number of people within the space.
Once "logged in" to Connections, a radial visualization, constructed from the user's social graph data, surrounds them creating a unique "fingerprint". Colored lines extend from the circles connecting people who share one or more of the observed metrics (mutual friends, interests, workplaces, schools, locations, birth sign, or non-English languages). When two or more people, who have mutual connections, stand within close proximity, a slideshow of mutual friends and interests appear between them.
Positioned behind the Connections space, a large screen shares aggregate data about the collective group- surfacing common interests and profiling the most connected of the group."
Sep.24.11 Opera Goes 3D
For the first time ever, an opera and a ballet performance using 3D stereo-vision virtual sets were staged at the Hungarian State Opera in September. The interest generated by, and the response to these performances were overwhelmingly positive, with 3D technology seen as having huge potential for a world typically fond of traditions.
The 3D effects in Bluebeard's Castle (by Andrew Quinn) worked beautifully. Indeed, arguably it is hard to stage Bartók's opera satisfactorily, as it depicts vivid pictures of the castle and its seven hidden rooms yet remains a psychological drama. In Komlósi's concept we get the best of both words: two people on stage trying to make sense of their relationship while 3D effects suggest what they may experience, although possibly only in their minds. - MusicalCriticism.com
Bartók's Bluebeard’s Castle in 3D, Hungarian State Opera, Budapest
Ravel's Boléro in 3D, Hungarian State Opera, Budapest
Andrew Quinn, one of the first TouchDesigner users, worked with the newly-formed company 3DLive Live and usedTouchDesigner to develop the 3D technology employed in this way for the first time.
Andrew is based in Milan where he teaches a TouchDesigner course as part of a masters program in Digital Environment Design at NABA. He and graduate Nima Gazestani have for some time now produced live audio-reactive visuals to accompany classical music performances. So if at first the notion of opera in 3D was a bit foreign, when we learned that Andrew and Nima were involved the concept gelled. Nima and Andrew were kind enough to speak with us about how these precedent-setting and masterfully designed productions came into being.
Jul.12.11 ON VISUALIZING AMON TOBIN'S ISAM with the V SQUARED TEAM
A Behind the Scenes Report on the Making of the Show Visuals and Delivery Systems by Isabelle Rousset
photo by Valerio Berdini - liveon35mm.com
Amon Tobin's show ISAM premiered at MUTEK June 1st to incredulity and awe from fans and the media alike. The general consensus from all camps was that this show was something new, futuristic, not experienced before; it exceeded all possible expectations and was very, very exciting. Suspension of disbelief had been achieved and audiences transported with it.
The team made up of V Squared director Vello Virkhaus, designer and programmer Peter Sistrom and Leviathan chief scientist Matt Daly along with the help of Bryant Place built a custom application that runs the visuals of the entire Amon Tobin show end to end. The application is made in TouchDesigner, Derivative's visual programming environment, and does the projection mapping, video playback, Kinect response, realtime effects and more. How did they do that..?
Jun.02.11 AMON TOBIN's 'ISAM'at MUTEK: RAVE REVIEWS
Watching the extended trailer released by the artist a few days ago gives some idea of scale and complexity of this production and what and who it took to pull it off.
The VSquared team built a custom TouchDesigner application that runs the visuals of the entire Amon Tobin show. The application, made in TouchDesigner’s visual programming environment, does the projection mapping, video playback, Kinect response, realtime effects and more.
We'll have an interview with V Squared director Vello Virkhaus, designer and chief programmer Peter Sistrom and Leviathan chief scientist Matt Daly to expand on the making of when the dust settles but in the interim here is some media coverage of the event.
May.26.11 RICHARD BURNS in the house making TOUCHDESIGNER TUTORIAL VIDEOS
Meet the talented and industrious Richard Burns from Newcastle upon Tyne. He is about to become instrumental in how TouchDesigner is learned.
Over the last two years we started to see some rather exceptional new work being made by students at Northumbria University in the UK where Program Leader Paul Goodfellow had introduced TouchDesigner into the University's Motion Graphics & Animation Design Department. We were impressed and delighted at the range and profusion of work - some finished projects, some works in progress and others performances of finished works - all produced with inventiveness, a certain polish, and at times a good deal of humour...
May.18.11 VSQUARED LABS produces AMON TOBIN 'ISAM'premiering at MUTEK!!
Very, very exciting, this video sneak preview of the Amon Tobin's 'ISAM' produced using TouchDesigner by our friends Vello Virkhaus and Co at VSqaured Labs just released today!! This has to be the most under-wraps music event of the summer and also one of the most anticipated.
So it's with some excitement and pleasure that we are finally able to share this video trailer for "Amon Tobin's all new, highly ambitious, breathtaking 'ISAM' live show. Tobin will be stepping away from previous DJ centric performances, and instead will be providing a large scale live audio/visual experience to select cities around the world. Designed in conjunction with Blasthaus, VSquared Labs, Vita Motus Design, Leviathan and others."
Watch this page for a full feature on the show and the making of as we'll be at MUTEK and talking with Vello and crew.
1st June - MUTEK, Montreal
9th June - Astra, Berlin
10th June - AB, Brussels
15th June - Melkweg, Amsterdam
17th June - Roundhouse, London
May.13.11 WILL ALVES, Content Programmer, IM COMMUNICATION
Will Alves, Content Programmer, IM Communication
We asked Will Alves, content programmer at the young and highly energetic Swedish company IM Communication -specialists in largescale projection, reactive surfaces and interactive environments - about his experience using TouchDesigner for the first time. As it happened, this project, a tradeshow exhibit for the firm Mekonomenon, was also the first project for IM using TouchDesigner. From what Will had to say and the work they produced it looks like a very good fit!
Will, please tell us a bit about your background-- what you do and the tools you use.
I'm a Brazilian who lives and works in Sweden. I currently work with a company that creates and deploys interactive media solution. Before that I used to live in the USA where I worked as an enginner tech for a company named Teradyne Connection Systems. In Teradyne, I worked mostly as a quality assurance technician for circuit manufacturing.
Had you ever used TouchDesigner before?
I had never heard of TouchDesigner before I started working for my current company.
How did you find/discover it?
Our creative director has interest in the VJ and electronic music scene so he has some experience in Houdini, Pilgrim and some other similar software. He had known about TouchDesigner for a while but never really used it for his projects. Those other software packages were limited in the amount of outputs they could handle so we decided to take a leap of faith and use TouchDesigner to get the job done for one of our clients.
Tell us about some of the motivations and concepts driving what you do...
I'm lover of technology, gadgets, and interactive media. Instead of going to a show and wondering how people achieve the cool effects I just witnessed, I want to be the one creating and deploying it.
Can you describe your experience using TouchDesigner, the process? If and how it might differ from the tools you normally use?
Using TouchDesigner was quite the wake up call for me. I had been a long time since I did any kind of programming since my previous job didn't require it. But TouchDesigner's visual style of programming made it possible to build a network with as little code writing as I have ever seen. Pretty amazing. Learning how to use the program itself was very fun since you see the results as things change in real time. The learning curve was also amazingly small considering we used it to create a project in 6 weeks without any knowledge of how to use the programs before hand. The main lesson I learned is that TouchDesigner is easy to learn but difficult to master. The possibilities of what it can do is staggering, you have to be able to think outside the box to really use it to its full potential.
With your experience now how else do you see using TouchDesigner... things you see being able to do with it? Has it opened any doors?
I see us using TouchDesigner for many of our projects in the future, specially in conjunction with the Microsoft Kinect camera which has been a huge hit with the media industry. We currently work mostly with projection media and TouchDesigner will be one of our main tools to get the job done. Reliability is of key importance when creating media for an audience. It's not good for business when things crash in middle of a show, but TouchDesigner performed flawlessly running real time for 12 hours a day for several consecutive days in our first project with it, which is a testament to its stability.
Mar.18.11 OBSCURA DIGITAL Turns the SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE Inside Out & Outside In
Obscura Digital is at it again- wrapping the world's architectural modernist icons in unbelievable feats of moving imagery. Last October Obscura produced the exterior and interior projections for YouTube’s first Biennial awards, using TouchDesigner to seamlessly wrap Frank Lloyd Wright's 1959 Guggenheim Museum in NYC and on Sunday night they will be upping the ante at the Sydney Operahouse.
Visual Design and Exterior Projections by Obscura Digital. Western Sails, Sydney Opera House - YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011.
Mar.13.11 DEV HARLAN'S Deluxe Electric Art
Dev Harlan, Multi-Disciplinary Artist
Location: New York City
We were recently blown away by Dev Harlan's Suffolk Deluxe Electric Bicycle, a collaboration with artist Olek which turns a men's road bike into a kinetic canvas for projected crocheted patterns and textures. The self-taught multidisciplinary artist, designer and CG director used TouchDesigner to mimic with an uncanny level of authenticity and much playfulness the effect of the bicycle continually being crocheted, unravelled and re-crocheted through projected images and the realtime evolution of the patterns.
Dev's first solo exhibition INFINITY LANDING at Rouge58, NYC till March 17, is a site-specific installation consisting of new works in sculpture, projection and light manipulation which according to the artist is "intended to be viewed in a "leisurely" fashion, whilst presenting optically challenging work at a larger than life scale."
Dev was kind enough to answer a few questions we had about his work and experience using TouchDesigner that we find both informative and inspiring and believe you will too.Read more >>
Jan.13.11 RML CineChamber and TouchDesigner
Sep.30.10 TOUCHDESIGNER at ROCKHEIM, the National Norwegian Museum for Rock and Pop
Dec.08.10 PLASTIKMAN RA's TOP LIVE ACT OF 2010 lit by TOUCHDESIGNER
Nov.20.10 HALO: REACH light sculpture built with TOUCHDESIGNER and a KUKA ROBOT
TouchDesigner was recently used to capture the imagination of millions of Halo fans around the world by building a light sculpture in honor of the members of Noble Team. In the build up to the worldwide release of Halo:Reach, fans were able to choose a point of the sculpture to illuminate through an interactive website (http://www.rememberreach.com/). This point was then plotted in real 3D space using a Kuka KR140 robot. TouchDesigner was used to collect the millions of light points plotted by the robotic arm into a final light sculpture forming a monument of the Spartans of Noble Team.
Jeff Linnell, co-founder of the San Francisco based Autofuss, an interdisciplinary design studio that focuses on motion design, animation and live action designed the project. Linnell found TouchDesigner to be the perfect tool with which to drive the robotic arm in real time to produce an interactive 3D light-sculpture made up of over 54000 different points of light as part of a viral campaign for the game Halo: Reach.
Linnell says here that TouchDesigner "can be thought of as Photoshop in real time - or After Effects in real time if you're a compositor - so you can do visual effects in real time on the fly. It's very very exciting Technology."
And the result is very very spectacular - have a look and read more about it in Wired.
Nov.17.10 TOUCHDESIGNER at Q-Bus MEDIATEKTURE
Our 'man in Berlin' Achim Kern has been busy as ever working on TouchDesigner projects for Derivative clients in Europe. HUGE undertakings that are really pushing the boundaries of existing technologies and emerging some new ones as we speak. Achim's report follows.
Client: Deutsche Telekom AG
Concept and realization: q~bus Mediatektur GmbH
TouchDesigner Programming: Achim Kern (www.achimkern.de)
Right on the heels of the job at Rockheim museum in Trondheim I was contracted by Berlin based q~bus Mediatektur to help in creating parts of an installation for the Deutsche Telekom booth at IFA 2010. The task was to create the real-time part of an interactive experience displayed on a 15 x 4.5 meter LED Wall with a resolution of 2560 x 768.
Jun.25.10 V SQUARED LABS & TOUCHDESIGNER create PURE MAYHEM at EDC2010
The Electric Daisy Carnival is North America's largest electronic music festival, held this year at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum & Exposition Park June 25, 26. Some of the top-tier talent at this year’s extravaganza included Deadmau5, Armin van Buuren, Moby, Swedish House Mafia, and MSTRKRFT.
It was estimated that roughly 185,000 revelers attended EDC this year, making it the largest dance music event in North America.
Centered in the middle of the mayhem (which they were partly responsible for by the looks of the over-the-top visual display) were Vello Virkhaus, Bryant Place and the V Squared production team.
Nov.15.10 MUSIC turned into LIGHT and FIRED AT YOU!!
After several months of hectic schedules stubbornly refusing to line up, we finally made a break for it and met up with Toronto Star writer Ben Rayner at the Derivative office a couple of Friday nights ago. Ben had interviewed Richie Hawtin on his last visit to Toronto and decided with that article scheduled for the coming Sunday's paper that this was the time to come see for himself what "the kids at Derivative were really up to".
In one short and pleasantly informal hour that was part show and tell and part Greg Hermanovic answering Ben's keen curiosity and insightful questions the writer gave us our best press yet - hands down. By that we mean that Ben was able to get at what's not always that easy to see or describe for that matter: the details and the bigger picture. Or, what Derivative does with TouchDesigner through its many and varied projects and what the company, its members, creators and collaborators aspire to do as far as the future and the people who will be living, working and playing in it are all concerned. It's good for the kids, thank-you Ben!
Nov.12.10 DJ SHADOW and the SHADOWSPHERE TOUR 2010
We caught up with Ben Stokes and the DJ Shadow crew during their pre-show setup at the Phoenix and returned later to be quite blown-away by the show performed for a packed house.
Ben Stokes, who began using TouchDesigner for the Shadow tour has a brilliant record of producing award-winning really great music videos for top talent like The Orb, Public Enemy, Josh Wink and NIN. He has worked extensively with Meat Beat Manifesto and is now in fact a band-member. Ben is also a music producer in his own right. Talented, yes.
We arrive after load-in as the 9 foot sphere in which Shadow performs is being assembled on the stage. Ben takes us through his setup and he and Greg Hermanovic discuss possible improvements to an already highly effective performance system.
In a nutshell this is how it works: Ben projects all the imagery on the sphere and back screen (2 projectors per) using TouchDesigner on 2 rack-mount PCs. He controls TouchDesigner using a Korg Micro Kontrol MIDI controller through Abelton Live using Max4Live to convert it all to OSC. Ben's Abelton laptop is synched to Shadow's laptop which he is controlling with an OHM MIDI controller.
"The shows have been really great for the U.S. leg of our tour and I think we are starting to really blow some minds!!" Ben is visibly excited at what's been achieved thus far – the creation and delivery of content that is ever-evolving, getting more exciting and complex as the tour progresses. He continues "TouchDesigner has proven to be the perfect way to execute the ambitious show we have dreamed up. For me it's been a long summer and a heavy learning curve, but I know that I will be using TouchDesigner for all kinds of projects in the future."
Oct.22.10 TOUCHDESIGNER at the GUGGENHEIM YOUTUBE PLAY BIENNIAL
Last night in New York City the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and YouTube in collaboration with HP and Intel, announced the 25 video finalists selected from 23,358 online video submissions from 91 countries, for the YouTube Play Biennial.
Hosted by the Guggenheim museum, YouTube’s first Biennial awards saw Obscura Digital producing the exterior and interior projections for the prestigious event, using TouchDesigner to seamlessly wrap Frank Lloyd Wright's 1959 futuristic spatial helix in a delicious and vertiginous spectacle of moving imagery.
The inner sanctum of the Guggenheim was restricted to 1000 well-heeled guests, film finalists and media-ists who did manage to pack the museum floor and its spiraling expanding galleries. Google’s global live-stream broadcast of the event insured the rest of the world could watch it too.
Under the orchestration of Steve Mason a team of 18 from Obscura Digital brought their seemingly endless combined expertise and keen capacity for graceful problem solving to NYC to map and wrap the complex sculptural space. And made it look easy!
Here's how they did it.
Sep.21.10 MARKUS HECKMANN at 25fps
Markus Heckmann's 'untitled_vertonung' was screened this September at Zagreb's 25 fps festival in the "Jury's Choice" program alongside other works by sound and visual artists Carsten Nicolai, Mark Fell, and Rechenzentrum to name a few.
Curated by Leila Topi? (the curator for video, film, photography and new media in The Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreg) the program "What You See is What You Hear" was described as "Digitally processed music for the eyes. A new breed of audio-visual artists leading double lives of filmmakers and performers." untitled_vertonung is a beautiful piece that is perfectly described by this definition which is also a pretty good description of the prolific Heckmann.
From the 25fps catalogue: untitled_vertonung is a meditative and visually seductive perspective on relations between more traditional artistic genres, such as painting and digital art. The work reveals an encounter of organic, "painted" forms and barcode similar to lines sprouting from these organic forms. "Vertonung" can be translated as "setting to music", and it was made based on the scanned paintings of Rui Pimenta, made especially for this project, processed afterwards in real-time by Heckmann. Sound by Sherry Kennedy
Aug.13.10 ROBERT SEIDEL live performance ROJO NOVA @ MIS Brazil
With a background in biology, artist and filmmaker Robert Seidel's visual and structured compositions depict an organic beauty and "their emotional perception" as Seidel describes "with visual and scientific technology".
Most recently Seidel employed TouchDesigner for the first time to produce "meander" a live performance or 'motion painting' with soundscape by Heiko Tippelt that premiered at the ROJO NOVA exhibition at the Museum of Image and Sound in São Paulo, Brazil. We will be speaking with the artist about the making and performance of this very emotive, LARGE and rather operatic composition but in the meantime here it is with program notes following.
Motion Painting: Robert Seidel robertseidel.com
Soundscape: Heiko Tippelt film-m.de
How does it feel to enter an ever-expanding system whose complexity exceeds the personal imagination? How to capture the fluctuating state of non-processed perception and continuously overwritten memories?
From a convolute of intertwining temporal and geographical impressions Seidel and Tippelt try to reconstruct these fractured perspectives into abstract tableaux of fibrous motion paintings, amalgamating with their cinematic soundscape…
Jul.05.10 TOUCHDESIGNER at MIT MEDIA LAB
Last month we paid a visit to MIT Media Lab to see what David Robert had been up to since arriving in Cambridge last summer following 10 years at Side Effects Software. David who has produced innovative work with Houdini and TouchDesigner had A LOT of new work to show and tell. Most of it ingeniously combines low and hi-tech to devise products and environments that allow 'children of all ages' to learn, create, and share in playful and collaborative ways. All very inspiring, very impressive and most importantly very, very FUN!
One such project produced by David and collaborators Edwina Portocarrero, Michelle Chung and Sean Follmer, is The Never-Ending Drawing Machine whose application is built in TouchDesigner which provides the framework for the integration of the machine's various subsystems. Go to full Article>
June.29.10 ROB BAIROS and the BORN RUFFIANS make a music video
Derivative's Rob Bairos recently co-opted the bad boy classic 1940's oscilloscope he rigged to process imagery (using TouchDesigner's image to audio-signal conversion techniques) to produce an ingenious music video for local indie band the Born Ruffians.
Working with director Jared Raab the edited footage of the band's performance was processed through Rob's oscilloscope and then re-recorded off of the instrument's vintage screen to generate the Etch-a-Sketchy visuals you see here.
Director Jared Raab describes the process: "Oscilloscopes are used for viewing voltages, primarily in the sciences, medicine, engineering, telecommunications and industry. Though other people have reprogrammed oscilloscopes to display images in the past, the “video to scope” process used in this video is the first of its kind. The images you see are made up of a single point of light, moving quickly across a screen in order to draw shapes – that means the entire Born Ruffians video for “What to Say” displays vector images made from only one continuous line. The footage was shot once on video, edited, converted for use on the oscilloscope (using a live visuals program called TouchDesigner) and then shot again directly off the vintage machine."
Here's the making of What to Say, and to learn more about Rob's oscilloscope Total Internal Reflection watch this video.
June.20.10 PLASTIKMAN 6 | Barcelona, SONAR
What's become quite clear in the evolution of the Plastikman Live 2010 tour is that each show is reported to be better than its predecessors as the process of perfecting the individual elements and the cohesive whole continues. The Sonar performance was no exception. The Visuals and lighting at the outdoor venue in Barcelona were better than ever and according to Derivative's Jarrett Smith who's been present at almost all the shows to date, "the sound was really some of the best techno punishment of all time"! Here's a taste of it, shaky but authentic, videos shot from the crowd.
Next stop: T In The Park in Glasgow on 11 July -stay tuned!
May.30.10 PLASTIKMAN 5 | Detroit, Movement
Detroit, Movement, and the return of Plastikman (16 years after the legendary Spastik show at the abandoned Packard Plant in 1994) to the city that spawned techno was as good if not better than the highest of expectations - which ran pretty high...
This much-anticipated show, the fifth of 15 scheduled tour dates was the best yet by all accounts. It was standing room only and then just barely in Hart Plaza's vibrating main stage, an experience described as something like being in a throbbing sardine can not even sure if your feet were touching ground.
This amazing video shot by Dan Browne looks like a close encounter of a pretty intense kind! It begins behind the pulsating 'Thunderdome' to give a rare glimpse of the backstage area during the show, then circles around to settle deep in the congregation close up to the spectacle. I had asked Dan for his impressions and experience at the Plastikman show to which he replied:
"I would say that was possibly one of the most intense events that humans beings could have gathered en masse to witness, given our present evolutionary conditions.. makes it clear techno is the rock'n'roll of the 21st century. I was right in front of the bassbins and every cell in my body was vibrated into some new configuration... now i'll never be the same again..."
Reviews of the Plastikman show repeatedly emphasize that it was the most technologically advanced show in Movement's history... that Hart Plaza and most in attendance had never been anything like this before... that Richie Hawtin was making bold contributions to the evolution of techno... that it was all very exciting.
It should be stressed that the festival was a huge success with an estimated record-breaking crowd of 35,000 enthusiasts on the grounds opening day. The atmosphere on this hot, hot weekend was energizing, colourful, eccentric, vigorous, enveloping, very friendly and in many ways a revival rave's glory-days by optimistic new generations. Being there and part of it was memorable.
In closing, here's more of Dan Browne's footage from the trenches and the show's finale when the DJ himself emerges from behind his wall of lights. “Plastikman was always very connected to me being in the studio by myself,” says Hawtin. “We built the stage like me being in the studio, locked away from everybody. [I] thought it was important to finally come out [at the end of the set] and take a step back to the beginning — me and one drum machine, playing around and tweaking something magical out of that. [The show] ended where it all began.”
Next stop: Sónar June 18th -stay tuned!
May.25.10 PLASTIKMAN 3 & 4 | Paris & Roma
I caught up with Bryant Place to get a first-hand review of the Rome and Paris shows where Bryant was visual tech for Derivative. According to Bryant and confirmed by the videos he shot which are posted here both shows were pretty spectacular and the visuals properly complemented by lighting engineer Mathias Vollrath's excellent work.
On Saturday May 8th Plastikman opened WE LOVE SONIQUE for an audience of about 3000 fans followed by a line up of M-nus artists - Magda, Troy Pierce and Marc Houle. The show took place at Grande Halle de la Villette, a huge vaulted cast-iron building in the rehabilitated old slaughterhouse district of the city.
The show in Rome took place 2 weeks later at Dissonanze in the equally opulent 20-story high Palazzo dei Congressi where Rich also performed a dj set to close the night.
Next stop Detroit and the 10th anniversary of Movement. This will be the first Plastikman show in Detroit since 1994, a bit of a homecoming, and the anticipation and expectations are running high on all sides. Stay tuned!
May.17.10 V SQUARED LABS uses TOUCHDESIGNER to create the HEINEKEN INSPIRE DOME Visuals Experience
Vello Virkhaus, CEO and Director of V Squared Labs partners with Director Emilio Sa to bring a 360 Heineken themed visual dome to life.
V Squared Labs was chosen by client Corso Communications for the company's outstanding visual content works and ability to create dynamic experience content for any medium. This time the assignment was to create a custom 360 visual performance system along with brand content for Heineken Inspire activations. Read article
May.06.10 PLASTIKMAN 2 | COACHELLA
The Plastikman Live 2010 North American premiere took place Sunday April 18th at Coachella, the 3-day music festival attended 75,000 souls strong (and tanned) in the California desert.
How was it? Hands down spectacular, and an overview of the performance can be found here, but perhaps what resonates most are videos of the show shot by the audience (like the one above) and the 9 long pages of their uncensored reviews on the Coachella blog. Like this one: posted by Keo345 at 6:44am the day after the show:
Richie ripped my  world apart.
Dark, evil, bombastic.
Gut-shaking, mind-wobbling, relentless bass.
That's all I can muster right now - hands-down the best set of the festival for me, if not the best in all my 7 years.
Keo345 later qualifies his last post:
btw I was not on drugs.
I feel that is worth noting.
May.01.10 PLASTIKMAN CONTEST WINNERS INTERVIEWED, SPILL THE BEANS
We recently had a series of interviews with our maverick Plastikman Live 2010 contest winners to see what they had to say... on a bunch of topics roughly centered around their work, the future and how TouchDesigner fits in. And of course we wanted to hear of their experiences producing their submissions for Plastikman. Two out of four - Achim Kern and Jeffers Egan - are veteran Touch users while Peter Sistrom and Bryant Place are relatively new adopters but regardless of time spent in the trenches all four not only produce outstanding work, but in this exposé had a wealth of insight and information to enthusiastically share with the community that's both inspiring and constructive.
What stands out in their feedback is a unanimous desire to explore, create things, expand on knowledge, take risks, persist, push limits, invent, be social, collaborate, improvise, discover and share. Also prevalent is a pronounced sense of excitement for TouchDesigner's "infinite expandability" and its capacity to fuel experimentation, accelerate work-flow and connect disparate media and tools while bringing into the equation the opportunity for playfulness. Peter, Achim, Jeffers and Bryant take their play with proper seriousness as is pretty clear from what follows and we'd like to thank them for this dedication, for taking part in the contest and for doing what they do and can imagine doing! Read on!
PETER SISTROM, LA-based architect and motion graphics/visual producer has been working with TouchDesigner for only a few months but very dedicatedly after being repeatedly prompted by Franklin Londin, visual artist and Houdini veteran.
"I finally bootcamped my mac and dove in after hearing that Scott Pagano (a big inspiration of mine) was moving to the environment. Now I've scrounged together a performance PC desktop as my Touch machine, and I don't think I'm looking back!"
Peter had a lot of really valuable insights to share and as you'll see from what he had to say, an infectious amount of enthusiasm and tenacity that make him a welcome member of the community. Continue>>
JEFFERS EGAN has been working with TouchDesigner for several years now, having had the good fortune, he says, to be introduced to Jarrett Smith by mutual friends in Los Angeles just as Derivative was starting up. With a background in visual arts Jeffers was immediately intrigued by the product and its visual programming aspects and starting exploring the software right away. Read_more>>
BRYANT PLACE aka CPU is another of our Plastikman contest winners who has been using Touch for only six months but has 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. Read_more>>
Here's what our Plastikman Visual Contest winner and veteran TouchDesigner user ACHIM KERN has to say on numerous topics surrounding his experience with Touch like producing his winning entry (which we can't release yet), multi-touch and projection mapping, pushing limits, real-time 3d authoring, levels of feedback and support- among other things. Achim also provides valuable insight to newer users, forcasts history repeating itself and tells us why and how TouchDesigner is his tool of choice! Read_on>>
Apr.05.10 NOBORU TSUBAKI'S BEFORE FLOWER at ROPPONGI ART NIGHT TOKYO 2010
From sunset on Saturday March 27th till sunrise the next day Tokyo's Roppongi neighbourhood metamorphosed into a public gallery populated with sublime art where monsters and peculiar creatures mingled with spring-fevered Tokyoites for a single night.
Artist and professor in the space design department of Kyoto University of Art and Design, Noboru Tsubaki's forty-foot high gymnospermous "Before Flower" dominated the show. Rear projections on the eye are controlled by TouchDesigner, changing colors and patterns based on the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by visitors as sensed by detectors on the sculpture’s eye. Other inflatables represent oxygen, carbon dioxide and spores. So what you're looking at or rather what's looking right at you is a looming one-eyed plastic monster reading your CO2 emissions right on the spot.
During the past seven years much of Noburo's work which is notorious for being large in scale, fantastical in nature and focused on social issues has incorporated TouchDesigner (Cochineal, Gold/White/Black) for aspects of its formation.
This new artwork refers to the gymnosperm family of plants which include conifers and Gingko trees and are plants that sprout "naked" seeds; they do not flower yet deliver vast quantities of oxygen to the surface of the earth. Before Flower is Noburo's expression of thanks to gymnosperms for their importance in maintaining the diversity of our planet's ecosystem.
Roppongi Art Night which coincided with Earth Hour this year posited on environmental protection and how nature can work with people to save the planet.
Apr.11.10 PLASTIKMAN PREMIERE @ TIMEWARP
So here, as the team gears up for Coachella next weekend, cameraman Patrick Protz gives us the first official video footage of the renaissance of Plastikman, performing live for the first time since 2006 at Mannheim, Germany's legendary Time Warp festival.
Mar.22.10 PLASTIKMAN CONTEST WINNERS!
We are very pleased to announce the Plastikman visual contest winners!
Last week Derivative compiled all the Plastikman visual contest submissions and prepared them for Rich and Ali to review. They were very impressed with what they saw and join us in thanking the participants for their elaborate and creative submissions to the contest.
While we can't show the winning entries till after the Plastikman launch at Timewarp next weekend we would like at this time to announce and congratulate the 4 winners: Bryant Place (CPU), Jeffers Egan, Peter Sistrom and Achim Kern who will each receive a TouchDesigner Pro license with support/upgrades that will cover 077 and the release after. Congratulations and keep up the great work!
And the grand prize winner whose work will appear in Plastikman shows this year is.... drumroll... Achim Kern!! Congratulations to Achim who has also won a trip to one of the shows where his visuals will be performed.
We'll be posting detailed reports of the Timewarp show next weekend that will finally reveal the Plastikman setup, visuals and general vibe. At the same time there will be a full review of the contest, work submitted, the artist profiles and their experience so watch this space!
Mar.05.10 GRENTZäNZER, WEIMAR
Grenztänzer is a privately initiated dance theater production involving 124 students from various schools in Weimar, the German National Theater and the Staatskapelle Weimar.
Under the direction of Sven Miller together with dancer/choreographer Ayman Harper and conductor Rasmus Baumann the students participated in the creation of a process oriented piece that is guided by the principles of experimental theatre and moves along and across the borders of classical music, dance, theatre, performance and video.
The basis of the artistic work of Grenztaenzer is the movement of the body to music. The discovery of one's own body and respect for the constitution type of others are the groundwork for the students to create a dance choreographed to John Adams' pulsating composition "Harmonielehre".
An important part of Grenztänzer is the interactive Video installation by the Weimar based art collective "YouAreWatchingUs". The core elements are flatbed scanners on stage sending scanned images of the actors to the screen as part of an ever growing "picture world" that is generated and animated with TouchDesigner. The installation works as an expression and mediator functioning as a mirror and carrier between the persons scanning themselves.
"Touch is ideal for Theatre since I can improvise a lot, quickly and easily try out new things together with the Director and Choreographer and adopt to music and choreography. Similar to a set designer I am swiftly building Sets in Touch to experiment and realize Ideas.". Timm Burkhardt, YouAreWatchingUs
Feb.08.10 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: PLASTIKMAN & DERIVATIVE TEAM UP for 2010 TOUR
Derivative is pleased to announce the next-gen of their collaboration with techno-futurist Richie Hawtin who is unleashing PLASTIKMAN LIVE 2010 a much-anticipated series of live shows produced in collaboration with Minus & Derivative to launch at this year’s Timewarp festival on March 27th, 2010. Press release here.
Another Hawtin/Minus/Derivative collaboration invites the community to create their own visuals to original Plastikman tracks using TouchDesigner. Hawtin and Derivative have packaged and made available for download a complete toolset that includes a purpose-built TouchDesigner synth and 4 Plastikman tracks enabling participants with full support to produce visuals in the same real-time generative environment as the show's. Winning entries are to be incorporated into the live events. More at Plastikman Contest blog.
Jan.18.10 JOY REVISION
Scott Pagano works TouchDesigner in this striking real-time audio analysis paying homage to iconic Joy Division. "Most of my Touch work has been manipulating existing 2d imagery or 3d geometry created in other packages" says Scott "This was a little test in creating a mesh from audio information in TouchDesigner itself". The Touch synth is downloadable on the Forum and Quicktime movie on Vimeo. Enjoy!
Jan.14.10 DERIVATIVE LECTURE at MUTEK 2009
Greg Hermanovic and Markus Heckmann put TouchDesigner through its infinite loops for a capacity audience of media enthusiasts and professionals in a 2 hour tag-team demonstration at MUTEK last year. More on that here. A rough edit of this lecture is now uploaded in 9 +-10min segments on the TouchDesigner Vimeo Channel.
From the history of Derivative and inspiration for TouchDesigner to the design and creation of visuals for frame.sync, (Derivative's collaboration with Raster-Noton) at Transmediale, OFFF, MUTEK, Sonar, and Ars Electronica as well as work produced with Richie Hawtin for Plastikman @ MUTEK 2004, Herzog and DeMeuron at the PRADA Epicenter in Tokyo and Rush and much, much more it makes for highly informative and recommended viewing.
How big is 1 metric ton of carbon dioxide (CO2)? A weighty question that can now be more readily addressed thanks to the ?CO2 CUBES - Visualize a Tonne of Change? project unveiled on the opening day of the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen with a special presentation by San Francisco-based Obscura Digital and powered by TouchDesigner.
The CO2 Cube is a giant multimedia arts installation that aims to assist in visualizing what one metric tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) stored at standard atmospheric pressure looks like which is the size of a three-story building, or, 8.2m x 8.2m x 8.2m (27ft x 27ft x 27ft). This staggering quantity is the amount of CO2 the average person in industrialized countries emit on a monthly basis, and in Canada and the US, every two weeks!
The project is intended to "bring together the ?open minds? of artists, architects and scientists through the universal language of art." said Mia Hanak, Executive Director of Millennium ART, creators of platforms for public engagement on themes tied to the Millennium Development Goals.
The cube will be used for projections showing CO2 emissions’ impact providing a real time stream of events that will be transmitted via YouTube for the duration of the conference. The YouTube “Raise Your Voice” channel simultaneously provides a forum for people to send in their thoughts and questions through videos that will also be projected on the cube in Copenhagen.
More on the project here here.
Click below for Cube videos
Dec.05.09 DERIVATIVE'S MARKUS HECKMANN PERFORMS WITH FALKO BROCKSIEPER
Markus Heckmann performed an impeccable visual set with Berlin's Falko Brocksieper at Break & Enter's steamy 2nd year birthday jam in Toronto last weekend. Click below for YouTube clip.
Bryant Place (also known as the visual artist CPU) was recently in residence at Derivative HQ to beef up his TouchDesigner skills, show us the ropes with the Jazzmutant Lemur, and be the first to try out Ableton's Max for Live to TouchDesigner via OSC - and all this in 2 weeks! He even found the time for a side trip to Miami where he performed for Heineken. Bryant is based in LA where he VJ's at the infamous Droid Behavior parties and has performed live visuals for artists including the Black Eyed Peas, HARD parties,and Carl Cox.
Update Dec.22.09 : Bryant recently shared these work-in-progress videos produced while working with the Derivative development team. The first provides a few examples and some discussion surrounding the Touch environment and Lemur data OSC integration and the second gives a brief overview of Ableton's Max for Live to TouchDesigner via OSC. Have a look, very informative.
Update Jan.11.10 : Bryant's been busy again! The following video is an unedited audio-visual performance by CELL + CPU live from LA this past weekend. Wicked beats and visuals, enjoy!
Update Jan.18.10 : More visual spectacle from Bryant/CPU, this time with Richard Devine at the WHAM BAM THANK YOU AFTERHOURS presented by Friendly Integration, Electronic Creatives and Droid Behavior last Friday.
Nov.13.09 SCOTT PAGANO AND SPEEDY J @ HYPERSOUND
Scott's post-show feedback to the Derivative crew clearly relayed his excitement at being able to move towards an all-live show with TouchDesigner enabling. He described the performance at HyperSounds as remarkably smooth with a huge 5.1 sound and a solid projection/screen setup. "This was my first real system with usable audio analysis and I have to say it is such a joy to have this work so perfectly and smoothly. Jochem kept commenting on how "smooth" everything worked and looked in Touch."
Scott's next performance with TD will be a special event at Art Miami with Richard Devine on dec 1st. Stay tuned
Sep.30.09 SCOTT PAGANO at TED TALKS (Oxford) and SPEEDY J (Berlin)
new:video of Pagano/Moon with pianist Eric Lewis at TED Talks 09 Jul.09
new: Meeting of the Minds - Achim Kern interviews Scott Pagano and Jörg Unterberg on their experiences using TouchDesigner.
Scott Pagano, the mind behind the beautiful, rhythmically attuned visuals of Neither Field performed with TouchDesigner at the Absolut Late Nights event of TED Talks Global 2009 conference in Oxford, England in July. At TED, Scott performed alongside sound/video artist Barry Moon who built a max/msp audio/midi analysis system that feeds OSC to TouchDesigner. The jazz musician Eric Lewis gently ripped his piano to pieces.
On its heels July 30 he re-convened with Speedy J in Berlin's Berghain for the Native Instruments Maschine & Traktor event and further evolve their collaboration, this time propelled by the real-time abilities of TouchDesigner. His 3D video mixer was constructed and re-engineered with Jarrett Smith of Derivative.
"It's a series of nano robotic sculptural objects that animate in some really cool ways. running 1280x720 @ 60fps...." Full article at Meeting of the Minds.
Sep.24.09 OBSCURA DIGITAL'S CUELIGHT 'INTERACTIVE POOL TABLE'
Oct.02.09 DERIVATIVE at MEDIAN GALLERY, TORONTO NUIT BLANCHE
From October 3 to Sunday October 11, Toronto's Median Contemporary Gallery, (1142 Queen St West) shows 10 light and video-based art pieces, of which three are produced with TouchDesigner.
On October 3 for Nuit Blanche, Derivative's Markus Heckmann and Greg Hermanovic performed their individual brands of live visuals on the rooftop adjoining the Median gallery, a part of Median's all-night show/opening of light and video-based art in the gallery.
Among the three TouchDesigner gallery pieces, Markus Heckmann describes Datachart as "a collection of random datasets pressed into the shape of a recognizable pattern". Audio for Datachart is produced by Sherry Kennedy.
Also on show will be new work from the internationally acclaimed filmmaker, motion designer, and spatial reconstructionist Scott Pagano. The work on display will be part of the visuals Scott designed using TouchDesigner for his and Speedy J's Umfeld project.
Derivative's Rob Bairos will be unveiling the next-gen of his enfant terrible :) "Total Internal Reflection", the classic 1940's oscilloscope resuscitated from the depths of obscurity (Rob's parents' basement). Ingeniously interfaced with an iPod shuffle it displays imagery processed with TouchDesigner's new image to audio-signal conversion techniques to persuasively convey the eerie impression of being a little too observant and canny. The green-eyed relation of another mono-orbed computing rogue - you could say. These bad boys sell like hot-cakes so be sure to check it out now.
Jul.29.09 DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT DESIGN, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, ITALIA
May.01.09 GUITAR ANTI-HERO
Prototyping ideas with TouchDesigner - guitar-image at Eye Vapor
Sep.05.09 PARUL IO / DJ BLNDR
Parul arrived with a vhs deck and an armful of vhs tapes featuring a rare collection of source material that included bollywood phantasmagoria, early early animation classics, '70's schlock horror and a handful of other prize items found in the dollar bins of video stores across the country.
Parul's technique is to import VHS source material into Mixxa where she can layer footage into lush, intricate and fast moving compositions. She then alters frame rates, creates patterns, and applies effects as she mixes the video in realtime. The computer stores the material as quicktime movies, but Parul chooses to play them back in sequence onto VHS tapes. Why VHS? With a couple of copies Parul can avoid any unforeseen technical difficulties that can occur when VJing live. And there's something about the quality of those old VHS tapes that brings out the true grit in her hypnotic and shocking video mix.
Here's a sample of Parul's visual work using Mixxa. Click below for a clip on youtube.
Jul.16.09 DECIBEL CLAN
a nice new one from akipix, Andrew Quinn in Milano. I think it's a compilation from him and his students.
May.01.09 NIMA - DETROIT
Jun.10.09 JARRETT SMITH at the AVALON, Los Angeles
Jarrett Smith's Painter experimental application, for Damian Lazarus, Los Angeles, June 2009
May.12.09 RASTER-NOTON with DERIVATIVE'S TOUCHDESIGNER, TRANSMEDIALE and OFFF
In January of this year Derivative's Greg Hermanovic and Markus Heckmann spent an intensive week working with critically exalted German procurers of minimal photosonic waveforms raster-noton and the prolifically sonal Sheffield-based SND to produce the visual facet of their shows at Transmediale 09 in Berlin. The success of the CTM09 collaboration marked the beginning of a rare and significant relationship with raster and co. Lots more about this on the raster-noton page.
The day following our arrival in Lisbon Richie Hawtin and Ali Demirel fly in from Berlin for the night to meet with Greg Hermanovic and Markus Heckmann to discuss previous and future collaborations. Lively conversation though jet-lag in effect. Heckmann demonstrates TD's evolution and development since the last Plastikman collaboration in 2004.
The Toronto crew is starving - our last 'meal' eaten more than 24 hours ago somewhere above the Atlantic. It's 6pm, not even close to dinner time in Lisbon but Rich makes a call to a local promoter who endorses a 'real portuguese' seafood resto - real as in authentically portuguese, family run, locally endorsed, fresh etc etc.
For the next couple of hours we sample every type of crustacean and shellfish in the place and possibly in existence including alien looking black barnacles that are a rare delicacy due to a harvesting process that's extremely dangerous - divers having to negotiate crashing waves and fierce undertow to pry these off of jagged treacherous rocks at some undisclosed location on the Portuguese coastline to the North. Richie loves the seafood!
Dinner and the conversation are... lively, enjoyable, and... substantial. After a couple of hours of steady consumption we decide a long walk is a really good and necessary idea and head towards Alfama, the kasba-like neighbourhood that is the oldest part of Lisbon and quite literally built on top of a rock (having for the most part survived the quake of 1755 buttressed by the rock its built on). Houses of Moorish design many of them clad in colourful, geometrically patterned tiles or azulejos (derived from the Arabic for 'small stones') spill down from the walls of the Castle of Saint Jorge.
We head up up up along a maze of narrow alley-like cobbled streets and meandering stairs with the intention of making it to the top for a view of the setting sun over the city. The area is mostly residential and like most of Lisbon the smell of fresh air-drying laundry is pervasive. Tucked between the houses are tiny cafes and bars, some quite well known for the traditional Portuguese Fado music.
Reaching the summit as the sun sinks beneath the horizon we find the castle gates slamming shut for the night but the view is spectacular and so we sit on the old walls looking out over the city before meandering back down the hill.
We stop at one of the cafes for water and some local brew and continue the earlier discussions. Ali pulls out his laptop and shows some of their latest work and ideas. The cafe is full of locals and young children. It doesn't feel like Sunday night. What appears to be the Portuguese version of American Idol blasts from an old TV. A caged bird chimes in and out of the general noise.
Richie and Ali have a 7am flight back to Berlin in the morning and the Toronto crew much work to do in preparation for the upcoming Raster marathon. We head back to the hotel full of shellfish and good feelings in agreement that this has been a very good day.
photos & blog by Isabelle Rousset.