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External Data & Web APIs

by Elburz Sorkhabi in Workshops on February 19, 2019
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Summary

Want to level-up your TouchDesigner skills and create that can intelligently make content and generative decisions using weather and climate data? How about installations that span forty-story high-rises that use Twitter posts to prompt generative designs? Big clients – with big budgets – demand a level of immersion deeper than the use of Microsoft Kinect and Leap Motion interaction. They want to integrate social media, custom web apps and their own CMS to create interactive installations that bring people together in a way they haven’t experienced before. In short, they want to use technology to become part of the broader conversation.

Timestamps

  • Intro: 0:10
  • What is an API: 1:16
  • What are requests: 4:04
  • How are URLs built: 6:28
  • Setting up Python: 9:29
  • Where to find APIs: 14:49
  • Using a JSON formatter: 16:46
  • GitHub API setup: 17:56
  • GitHub TouchDesigner project: 26:49
  • What is OAuth: 55:01
  • Twitter API setup: 59:00
  • Twitter TouchDesigner project: 1:08:36
  • Easier way to build URLs: 1:28:01
  • Should I use multiple processes?: 1:30:40
  • Why is my data project slow?: 1:33:56
  • What is pagination?: 1:36:54

More info

Want to level-up your TouchDesigner skills and create projects that can intelligently make content and generative decisions using weather and climate data?

How about installations that span forty-story high-rises that use Twitter posts to prompt generative designs?

Big clients – with big budgets – demand a level of immersion deeper than the use of Microsoft Kinect and Leap Motion interaction. They want to integrate social media, custom web apps and their own CMS to create interactive installations that bring people together in a way they haven’t experienced before.

In short, they want to use technology to become part of the broader conversation.

Fortunately for us, we’re able to deliver this level of immersion by integrating external data sources into our TouchDesigner projects.

The catch? Bringing external APIs into TouchDesigner can be challenging:

  • You need some basic Python coding ability to integrate external data sources with TouchDesigner. If you’re like most artists working with TouchDesigner, your coding skills are limited.
  • Figuring out how to integrate data natively in TouchDesigner is particularly challenging. While you can find python tutorials that teach you how to get API data, they don’t show you how to get it to work for your TouchDesigner projects.

That’s why I created my latest training, “Join the Broader Conversation: How to Use External Data and APIs in Your TouchDesigner Installations”. Made for the complete Python beginner, the training provides you with everything you need to begin integrating external data sources with your TouchDesigner projects.

When you’re done you’ll be able to charge more and secure bigger projects than you would previously.

In this 1.5 hour video training (which includes example project files), we will:

  • Setup your Python programming environment within TouchDesigner.
  • Look at two sample projects, one using the GitHub API and one using the Twitter API.
  • Walk through how to register, get credentials, and read API documentation. This can be a daunting process and typically deters newcomers.
  • Get answers to common problems, such as how to work with Big Data without experiencing performance issues.
  • Receive 2 project file templates that you can use in your projects however you like.

Without any guidance, I’ve found that learning to integrate external data natively into TouchDesigner takes new designers between 20-40 hours – and that’s not including the trial and error phase that comes with implementing these concepts for the first time. Many people quit out of frustration.

Categories: Workshops