JDRenderEngine V1

I came to Touchdesigner from timeline-based video editing in programs like iMovie, Adobe Premiere and Davinci Resolve. For a few years I also built patches in Magic Music Visualizer. I was always frustrated by the UI of iMovie and similar programs. I never found their UX very good coming from the audio world. I also disliked how they managed project data, creating a whole new project with every iteration of a piece.

I liked the scene creation features of Magic Music Visualizer, though these too were quirky. As primarily an audio artist, I wanted a quick way to render content I was creating in Touchdesigner. Out of the box, Touchdesigner didn't have anything that checked the boxes for me, so I decided to build something.

As I dove deeper into Touchdesigner during a 6-month intensive study under lockdown, I realized that I could mostly replace iMovie or similar tools. I probably wouldn't go back to Magic (though I still think it's a brilliant program, and I still liked the scene creation/logic features.

Of course, all of these tools could still be used in various combinations depending on the creative need, but I was looking for a “one stop shop”.

Thus my work began, in January 2021, on what I would call the “Render Engine”, specifically to solve certain problems I was encountering for content development. By March 2021 I had a working proof of concept, and opened up testing with a fellow audio artist (Breakfast). By working on visual content for him, I was able to refine the tool further.

The primary use case for the JDRenderEngine is for an audio artist who has a piece of music/audio that they want to sync to visuals. Those visuals may be prepared within Touchdesigner or elsewhere. The JDRender Engine is mostly geared toward the generation of a final file from generative content that you've already programmed elsewhere, but want to present in some scene-based format.

I know what you are thinking... there are already numerous VJ and Movie Scene transition tools out there. Yes, there are. I've tried most of them, and found many to be brilliant in their own right. Many were also over (or under) built for what I needed, and some simply didn't approach the problem from the same angle. almost every tool that I came across assumed that the user wanted to work with pre-rendered content. And while you can still do that here, that is not the focus.

You can get full details on the Github page below.