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God Mode with GLSL

by Elburz Sorkhabi in Workshops on February 19, 2019
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Summary

Want to create large-scale video arrays and real-time LED facades that span high rises? How about installations that use GPU particle systems, volumetric lighting, and multi-composite operators? This training is for you. Elburz gives you the complete introduction to GLSL shaders in TouchDesigner.

Timestamps

  • Intro: 00:10
  • Basic terminology: 00:45
  • Intro to using GLSL in TouchDesigner: 14:56
  • Using the GLSL TOP to add two textures: 23:50
  • Using the GLSL Multi TOP: 43:10
  • Uniforms and if statements: 47:54
  • Scaling and transforming: 1:07:23
  • Using multiple color buffers: 1:33:56
  • Using arrays to send more data: 1:49:54
  • Using sampler buffers and for loops: 2:03:02
  • Optimizing and clamping: 2:07:01
  • Porting shadertoy shaders: 2:12:56

More info

Want to create large-scale video arrays and real-time LED facades that span high rises?

How about installations that use GPU particle systems, volumetric lighting, and multi-composite operators?

As lots of you know, this is all possible with TouchDesigner – sort of.

Out-of-the-box TouchDesigner is great when you’re just starting out. But as your interactive installations grow larger and your clients begin to want more generative and technical content, there are several challenges that arise and the cracks begin to show.

Problems typically fall into two broad categories:

  1. Workflows that should be simple become bloated and tedious. Anyone who has tried to composite a large number of icons on screen when working on info displays has experienced this first-hand..
  2. Performance issues such as low framerate become unmanageable, requiring time-consuming workarounds. In some cases, these kinds of technical issues become unresolvable.

When problems due to scale such as these inevitably occur, the standard TouchDesigner functionality and nodes only gets you so far. And it doesn’t take very long before you have to explain to your client that you’re unable to deliver what they’re asking for.

Lucky for us, we can leverage the code that powers a lot of TouchDesigner to create installations of virtually unlimited scale and technical possibility.

We do this by learning how to program GLSL Shaders. GLSL is the programming language on which many of the features of TouchDesigner are created even now.

When you understand how to apply GLSL to TouchDesigner, you’re effectively turning on “God Mode.”

That’s why I created my training, “Turn on God Mode in TouchDesigner with GLSL Shaders.” In it, I cover the following concepts:

  • How to create operators in TouchDesigner using GLSL. Once you learn how to do this, you can customize TouchDesigner however you like. This is the knowledge required to overcome the problems faced when trying to scale your projects
  • Never programmed C – let alone GLSL Shaders – a day in your life? No worries. I start right from the beginning and assume zero knowledge of either language. We’ll cover common terms, best-practices, and basic setup before diving into practical examples in 2D.
  • I walk you through everything necessary to begin importing GPU code from Shadertoy.com. This gives you access to thousands of shaders that you can use for inspiration or in your installations.
  • I provide you with 9 of example project file templates. The techniques in these templates have made me thousands of dollars and are the result of years of trial and error.

Categories: Workshops