This tool makes it possible for you to take hundreds, or even thousands of toe files spanning months and years, and turn them into a visualization that grows, and changes organically as your network does. It's almost entirely hands off, meaning you can leave your computer un attended for days while it opens all of your toes sequentially and builds the animation data.
Here's an example of just several months of development, of a fairly large TOE network:
The visualization itself is not built in TouchDesigner, for that this package uses the amazing open source tool Gource. Gource was built years ago, primarily intended for visualizing the growth of github style repositories, however they do support a custom log format that can be generated from different kinds of data, which this tool generates for you, from your toe files.
I've made an accompanying video tutorial that explains some things in a lot more detail, and walks you through usage from start to finish, highly recommended, as it also goes through how to recover your Touch Install if it gets corrupted ( see warning below )
This tool performs two tasks, generally speaking:
- Iterates through a folder full of TOE files, starting with the first, and comparing the contents of each toe, with the contents of the previous toe. This process generates a LOG file, that is the magic sauce that tells gource what to do.
- Once the log file is built, gource needs to be launched. This step launches Gource for you, and loads your log file into it, starting the simulation and optionally rendering a video while the simulation runs.
Some things to note about this tool:
- Generating the log file as mentioned in step 1 above, can take a very long time depending on how many toes you have, and how big/slow they are to open. While it's working, it will be hard to use your computer for other things, since every instance of touch that reopens, takes focus for windows. It's recommended to let this run on a different computer or overnight, if possible.
- In the zip file, is also bundled the gource executables, and the ffmpeg executables used for generating the animation, and optionally the video. Be sure to keep the folder structure intact the way it is in the zip file. I've done this to simplify the process as much as possible, making it possible to do everything via the TouchDesigner UI.
- This tool utilizes the date modified of each toe, so if your date modified is wrong, or all the same date, your animation will likely not look right or pop in all at once.
- This tool is designed to output an animation over several toe files, however if you want to just output a visualization of a single toe file, static in time - you can do this by placing it in a folder by itself, and choosing that folder as the toe folder.
This tool is able to iterate through toe files automatically thanks to a nifty TOX loading hack ( Thank you Matthew Ragan for pointing this out ! )
One of the default system tox's that ships with Touch has to be modified with some special code. In the event that the log file generation is interrupted improperly, or crashes, or anything like that, all of your toe files will seemingly quit as soon as they open. YOUR TOE FILES ARE FINE. There's simply a tox file you need to fix to get operational again.
There are two ways to do this :
A) just uninstall and reinstall Touch (easier, but slower),
B) manually copy the backup tox that this tool saves out for you over the modified one (fast, but may need to watch the video tutorial for more info).