Learn&Teach TouchDesigner

These days TouchDesigner is my favorite toolkit for artistic expression and I’ve been using it for almost anything – from prototyping concepts to delivering finished projects or just geeking around. My learning curve with it started in 2012 after I tried similar programs such as Processing, PureData, Max and Isadora among others. Now for me TD has (almost) everything I could wish for. It combines both 2D and 3D worlds, supports native most of the sensor devices and has good integration with many other software tools. TD is a powerful creative environment which allows you to build complex interactive systems fast enough or dive very deep into coding and pipelines.

It’s a matter of input and output… So after years spent in developing skills (even though I’m an eternal student) I took the challenge to structure my own knowledge and started to teach TD. In 2017 I founded a student course in the Digital Arts MA program of National Academy of Arts, Sofia. You can find details about it on Derivative’s website – TouchDesigner in Schools. One year later I became a PhD student in the same Academy and the topic of my research is Tools for Visual Programming.

As a teacher in NAA and curator of Creative Media Lab (the module for digital arts in Night/Plovdiv festival) I was able to lead few workshops and invite other great educators to teach in Bulgaria. The first guest of the Lab in 2016 was Barak Koren from Israel – here is an archive from that event. Then for the second edition next year Mary Frank from USA joined us to premiere her new audiovisual performance Seed and teach a TouchDesigner Masterclass. And here is my blog post about Creative Media Lab II. The year 2018 came up with another great educational experience – I participated in the residency Laboratorio de Interactividad Corporal (the Body Interactivity Laboratory), organised by UCLA – REMAP in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was a chance to meet & work with the great UCLA interactive developers and the one & only TD guru Matthew Ragan. I documented well this trip in here.

As an ongoing list of my workshops devoted on TD, I’m posting some descriptions and photos below. Thanks to all the collaborators, students & teachers!


A/V INSTALLATIONS AND PERFORMANCES WITH LIVE, MAX AND TD | National Academy of Art, Sofia | February 2017

Led by Patrik Lechner (Austria) and Petko Tanchev (Bulgaria).

We will get to know some of the tools and techniques that can be used to create immersive real time audio visual performances and installations. Using Ableton Live to produce some musical experiences, using Max4Live to create our own synthesis and analysis tools that we might need and using TouchDesigner to finally visualize our audio in real time.
Of course, we can also put things the other way around: creating live video, analyze it and create sounds out of live generated visuals.


INTRODUCTION TO VR | National Academy of Art, Sofia | March – April 2017

Led by Senselab – Atanas Dinchev and Petko Tanchev (Bulgaria).

This is a workshop program of three modules dedicated to VR technology:

I. Demonstration of “HTC Vive”

II. Lecture “VR content types and development platforms”

III. Custom theme:
Creating content for VR in WebGL
Creating content for VR in Unity
Creating 3D models for VR
+ VR in TouchDesigner



Led by Petko Tanchev (Bulgaria).

First part of the workshop will be focused on the interface and the structure, work with operators, parameters and Python scripting. The workshop will also cover some of the concepts for developing artistic projects – operator families, converted data, time dependency, work with video source, 2D and 3D interactive art.
The second part will be devoted to how to use TouchDesigner in order to create specific architectural projection mapping. The instructor will discuss some of the workflows that he has been developing in his own projects. At the end of the day the participants will create their own mapping content for projection on provided 3D surface.
Link in the website of our host GlogauAIR.




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