Community Post

A Newbie Made 50 Minutes of Visuals in 3 days...

After YouTube randomly recommending me a video about an open source visual design system called "tooll3", I knew I need to try making something in it. Unfortunately, building it from sources required heaps of effort at that time, so I decided to try the thing that inspired it -- TouchDesigner. Starting with an overview tutorial, I realized it is quite straight forward when it comes to working with images -- there are lots of effects and operations you see in most image editors. But where my newcomer's mind was blown was feedback and all the potential to use and abuse it. I set myself a goal -- 20 video loops (be it audio-reactive, animated, or just noise-seeded) in a month.
While doing that, I shared those with my friends, and was approached by one of them. They needed some sort of visuals for their live show stream, but the problem was that I had 5 days to do everything. I knew I need to work fast. Fast is not the case with my laptop, which is my only computer. For all this time that I was playing with TD I never realized my FPS was not even near 60 set my default, even playing projects with 12 to 30 TOPs at 1280x720. This resulted in enormous export times: the pre-rendered draft of the DJ set was almost 50 minutes, and even deciding on 30fps left me waiting 2 to 5 hours rendering all the layers. I tried all the tricks I knew of to speed it up (you can figure out that there are not many things I could learn in less than a month that people spend years learning), but results were marginal...
I planned on recording all the transitions inside TD, but after thinking about it I decided on comping those offline in Resolve (since I had some experience with editing in it). So I split every component into its own project and used audioAnalisys to make my life easier. There was a way to make it even better by using TDAbleton, because it can generate tempo map for audio clips based on their warp markers, but I had no time to figure this component yet.
Since I was leaving myself some time to maybe make a layer with generative logo, I started repurposing old animations of mine. I was still running out of time, and I hadn't even tried comping them together, so I rushed a little. All in all, there are 5 (one scrapped) layers made specifically for this project, and 3 repurposed ones (one of which is a cheap trick with video speed reacting to the beat and being slightly processed). All it took was about 25 hours of rendering, crashing and restarting...
Editing it all together was by far the easiest process. At about 28 minute mark I knew what i was doing, and at 35 I just lost it and went haywire. 35 minutes and one in is probably the segment you should watch, and I delivered the preview (which turned out to be the only render I end up doing) about 30 hours before the deadline. Fortunately, the deadline was wrong, and alias needed more time to set up everything for the show, so I never end up making that logo layer I planned on doing. All in all, this was an experience my Slavic brain can't find English words for, and for a newbie the result looks at least "ok-fine".
Beware of flashing visuals ahead! And enjoy. Or cringe, whatever :3
Video credits Double Bass Burgers on Twitch