Generative Art With TouchDesigner
A beginner-friendly course, containing 12 hours of content for budding digital artists
Chapter 01 – Alla Prima
In our first project, our objective is to create generative art by manipulating textures. Through the application of random noise, we will be able to make art with a distinctive, cloud-like watercolor effect. Additionally, we will provide detailed instructions on how to customize the TouchDesigner program to match any of our specific requirements. Lastly, we will learn how to export our artistic creations as both images and videos.
Welcome to the course
What options are there when making generative art?
What is the network graph in TouchDesigner?
Setting up a layout in TouchDesigner
Chapter 02 – Circle of Fifths
Sometimes, we want to make something out of nothing! In this project, we'll create our own shapes, split their color channels, distort them, and put them back together again! We will then remap the colors to align harmoniously with a bespoke color scheme of your own design.
Chapter 03 – Kurinuki
To achieve a more brutalist style of texturing within our artwork, we’ll embark on an enlightening exploration. In this project, we’ll draw inspiration from a renowned Japanese ceramics technique known as Kurinuki and adapt its principles to our own unique textures.
Welcome to Kurinuki
What is Kurinuki anyway?
Resetting the feedback loop with a Keyboard In CHOP
Homework 01 – Contort Yourself
Your first chance to test out your new skills! Contort Yourself lets you distort yourself by using techniques learned from previous projects. Can you make yourself distorted?
Chapter 04 – Vapor Trail
In this project, our focus lies in crafting a captivating piece of art through the mesmerizing interplay of color mixing and blending. We will be using several techniques from the TouchDesigner library, such as transform, feedback, and blur to make beautiful artworks from simple shapes.
Welcome to Vapor Trail
Circle moving in a circle
Changing the path and radius of the circle using CHOPs
How to alter color channels with Pattern CHOPs
Chapter 05 – Xan / Xor
To give our artworks a sense of depth, we’ll dive into the world of the third dimension. In this project, the first of our 3D projects, we will discover how to work closely with 3D shapes, including existing models, and then alter them to fit our own styles.
Chapter 06 – Peak District
To create realistic natural art, sometimes we have to resort to unnatural techniques, exclusive to what computers can do. In this project, through a harmony of vibrant hues and dynamic waveforms, we can create an artwork with a soothing ambiance.
Chapter 07 – Negative Space
In our artistic efforts, we often find that working with a large number of shapes can be challenging when relying only on manual and repetitive techniques. Through the exploration of instancing, we'll gain precise control over a wide-ranging collection of shapes. This helps us to craft mesmerizing artworks, that exude both coherence and complexity.
Welcome to Negative Space
Setting up a 3D to 2D environment
What is instancing?
Using a Sprinkle SOP to randomly assign points
Chapter 08 – Lodestone
Introducing organic movement into our artwork not only makes it more realistic but also brings in an element of warmth, preventing any computerized sterility. Using TouchDesigner's particle systems, we can create shapes that exhibit life cycles, from birth to death, and engage in collective behaviors such as flocking and attraction to other objects. Through this interplay, our artwork goes beyond the boundaries of artificiality, with a natural feel that will resonate with your viewers.
Welcome to Lodestone
Adding a 3D to 2D render
Copy and pasting our geometry using instancing
Making a particle system
Homework 02 – Ball Twist
Have you worked out the twist? If not, then now is the time! In this homework, take a go at making a wavy twisting circle that leaves a trail behind.
Chapter 09 – Trail of Dead
As creatives, we often go beyond the boundaries set by off-the-shelf tools. To do this, we must dig into the foundations of our art and acquire an understanding of its underlying medium. This project will uncover and take apart TouchDesigner's tooling to fit our own custom needs to create a redux of our earlier Vapor Trail project.
Chapter 10 – Paintwork
In our ultimate capstone project, we'll seamlessly integrate the diverse techniques we have learned over the course of this artistic journey. Our artwork will be composed of an impressive amount of miniature pen strokes that together form an abstract piece, based on an existing source texture. Are you ready to crown all of your hard work?
Welcome to Paintwork
Converting a point system into a CHOP system
Adding a brush size with noise
Homework 03 – Box of Balls
When the shapes hit your eyes and patterns falsify, that's moiré. By using 8,000 small spheres, laid in a 20x20x20 grid, we will create an interference pattern called a 'moiré effect'. Your job is to lay out the spheres and spin the whole thing around to create a consistently moving interference pattern!
We have created a range of extra projects to take your learnings even further. Each video is self-contained and around 20-40 minutes in length. Keep in mind that it's worth completing the course before watching these videos as they contain assumptions based on skills taught within the course itself!