TouchDesigner Previs – The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other

Part of my work on ASU’s production of The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other involved making some Previs software. I wanted to be able to work with the scenic designer and the director in order to devise a specific portion of the show called the ‘Panel Dance’ and what the media might look like during it.

I made a mock up of ASU’s Galvin Playhouse stage in Vectorworks then exported it as a .FBX over to Touchdesigner. This allowed me to record different panel placements with the scenic designer and start to work through some ideas I had for projection. All of us could then collaborate on what would be most interesting for each scene.

I developed this simple interface to move the panels easily and record their positions.

Interface

The recording all takes place in this container. CHOP values are converted into a table and then a script stores the values in a dictionary as a “cue”.

Cues are then called up by an AB switcher controller to this portion of the network.

cue_Comp

These values drive the geometry in the render network. Lights in Touchdesigner have an attribute called projector map, which allows you to simulate projectors in the render network. I could then test out content before getting into the space by setting the output of my playback system to be the projector map. This setup allowed the director, the scenic designer, and I to build parts of the show before getting into the space, which proved super helpful in the overall process.

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