Login | Register 

TD vs vvvv (Sorry in advance for another comparision thread

General discussion about anything TouchDesigner

TD vs vvvv (Sorry in advance for another comparision thread

Postby unknownplayer » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:27 pm


First of all, sorry for another software comparision thread. I have actually done a decent research about this but realized all of the threads which this were discussed are years old. Obviously this is a TD forum and might be a bit unethical to ask such questions but I feel like a lot people have experiences with other softwares as well.

I realize this question has very little meaning to it as they both are very capable softwares but heard a lot of stories which people switched from one to another. And I want to learn what caused them to - to be more specific, this will help me decide which one to go deeper with. I mean it takes serious amount of time to become an advanced user and I want to make the right choice as it will take a lot of time an effort clearly.

Obviously, for me, TD starts with a +1 as it also runs on Macs.

I really don't want to start a fight but just want to learn your story or opinions about vvvv vs TD.

Thank you very much.
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:31 pm

Re: TD vs vvvv (Sorry in advance for another comparision thr

Postby elburz » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:26 am

TouchDesigner on Mac is good for learning but it definitely won't stop you from having to eventually buy a Windows workstation if you become a serious developer. So in the end-game you'll still want to work on Windows, so maybe only +0.5.

The good thing about both is that they're procedural, so learning a lot of the base concepts of channel manipulation, data processing, 3D procedural geometry, texture processing, etc, will be the same for both programs, you'll just have to learn different node names if you go back and forth.

What keeps me using TouchDesigner?
- Derivative team are above and beyond
- Great community of quirky individuals
- Clients like seeing nodes that all have pictures they can watch (makes them feel smarter)
- There's lots of ways to do anything in TouchDesigner, which can be a double edged sword for new users who have trouble with FPS
- Very flexible I/O
- Best video player on earth
- Best for dealing with arbitrarily sized displays

Things I wish we had from vvvv:
- Boygrouping
- More support for multi-threading Python (a la IronHydra)
- out of the box physics
- Nice infrastructure and history of user contributed node libraries

Im not a regular vvvv user, so I'm sure there are other great features.
Elburz Sorkhabi
Creative + Technology
nVoid Art-Tech Limited
Posts: 2004
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: TD vs vvvv (Sorry in advance for another comparision thr

Postby n23 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:43 am

Hi, I'm also daunted by software comparisons. :) I think there's no definite answer, it varies by context: your projects, your budget, where the projects will be deployed, what your local companies are using, your team members experience, etc. If you have time, try building similar projects in both programs, you'll see where you fell better.

@elburz is right about Macs, the 8-years old OpenGL version is here to stay, and there will be years before anything like TD/vvvv pick up MetalAPI. If you want to use all TD features, better to move to Windows (you can install Windows 10 on your Mac using Bootcamp).

Here's some bullet points from my limited experience with mostly procedural 2D/3D stuff for VJ:

+ very stable, everything included is working out of the box
+ great UI, tutorials, good place to start for a beginner to learn common concepts
+ great video support and 2D GLSL shaders workflows
+ easy to work with sensors, VR, OSC, MIDI and process the signals
+ fully scriptable in Python, anything you do in the UI can be also done with a Python script
- 3D support (objects, deformers, particles, etc.) is very good, but it's done on CPU
- you can have only single shader pass for rendering 3D stuff, it's somewhat limiting for working with procedural 3D and making realistic renders
- possible to include other libraries via C++ bindings, but not much is available on github
* 3/5 for rendering realistic scenes

+ hybrid node/code language, great for programmers, you can create a C# or HLSL node with one click
+ lower abstraction level, for example you can operate directly with DX11 API, it opens lots of possibilities for building workflows for 3D geometries and allows efficient GPU operations in nodes (see https://vvvv.org/contribution/instance-noodles)
- lower abstraction level: you will be dealing with raw data instead of visualisable objects
- very basic UI
- not so good video support
- not so stable, most of the libraries are written by users, sometimes they lack documentation and maintenance
* 4/5 for rendering realistic scenes

Other software worth considering:

Notch Builder - node-based monster allowing you do all kinds of modern GPU demoscene stuff using nodes: particles, physics, fluids, voxels, etc. 5/5 for realistic renders. The downside is that it's not so universal as TD/vvvv, very expensive and targeted for corporate workflow in media severs environment.

Unity3D - modern game engine, 5/5 for realistic renders. It has a proper asset management, which means you can work with complex 3D scenes without making your nodes a mess. It makes your projects deployable to any platform (standalone .exe, Steam, AppStore, RaspberryPI). Great assets store. The downside is that you won't build stuff so fast here, it requires much more C# work that previous node-bases solutions.
Last edited by n23 on Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:59 am
Location: Cracow, Poland

Re: TD vs vvvv (Sorry in advance for another comparision thr

Postby greenpattern » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:12 pm

TD has more of a dark side force to it. way cooler! :evil:
User avatar
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:05 pm
Location: Edinburgh Scotland, but I'm french

Return to General TouchDesigner Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests