Company Post






Derivative is pleased to announce the next-gen of their collaboration with techno-futurist Richie Hawtin who is unleashing PLASTIKMAN LIVE 2010 a much-anticipated series of live shows produced in collaboration with Minus & Derivative to launch at this year’s Timewarp festival on March 27th, 2010.

The influential Plastikman performance at MUTEK 2004 was visually driven by Derivative's powerful software tool TouchDesigner enabling Richie to orchestrate sound and visual compositions generatively and in real time; the technology altering the course of how electronic music could be performed and experienced live.

That was then. With the current generation of TouchDesigner 077 completely reengineered, the team has built an information-rich bridge between Richie’s Ableton Live rig and Derivative’s TouchDesigner. Derivative will release the TouchDesigner-Live Bridge (see more below) to its users this year. Hawtin's visual artist Ali Demirel has been working closely with Derivative's Jarrett Smith and Markus Heckmann in LA and Toronto to create the content and a custom performing interface for the shows.

Another Hawtin/Minus/Derivative collaboration invites the community to create their own visuals to original Plastikman tracks using TouchDesigner. Hawtin and Derivative have packaged and made available for download a complete toolset that includes a purpose-built TouchDesigner synth and 4 Plastikman tracks enabling participants with full support to produce visuals in the same real-time generative environment as the show's. Winning entries are to be incorporated into the live events.

Dedicated to advancing the way we make art and visualize information and ideas, Derivative has produced live visuals and interactive art projects for an exemplary roster of international superstars that include Prada, Herzog & de Meuron and Rush. They have also developed major theme park attractions globally. In a unique alliance with raster-noton now entering its second year Derivative designed and built an expandable framework for multi-screen live performances under the guidance of label founders carsten nicolai (alva noto) and olaf bender (byetone). The collaboration resulted in a series of shows last year at Club Transmediale, Sonar, MUTEK, OFFF, and Ars Electronica that were received as precedent-setting.

TouchDesigner is the most complete authoring tool for building interactive 3D art, visualizations, prototypes and user interfaces. Its open, broad and highly-visual procedural architecture boosts and expands discovery, creativity and productivity.

TouchDesigner FTE (Free Thinking Environment) and its counterpart TouchDesigner Pro puts a free development environment with an extremely rich feature set into the hands of artists, animators, educators and "everyone else". "TouchDesigner is our vision of what is possible in tomorrow's software tools for building interactive applications and exploring data, imagery and sound", Derivative founder and CEO Greg Hermanovic states. "It exploits what is possible in today's computing technology and is positioned to grow with the foreseeable advancements in computer, graphics and mobile technologies."


For press inquiries please contact Isabelle Rousset via press(at) |

Produced in collaboration with Minus & Derivative. With support from Clonk & Cosmopop.

official Announcement: 



Richie Hawtin in collaboration with Derivative would like to announce a hugely exciting new contest inviting you to create your own animations to original Plastikman tracks using TouchDesigner, the technology that drove the visual element of the influential Mutek performance in 2004. Winning entries are for inclusion in an upcoming Plastikman live show!

The Mutek performance saw Richie at the helm orchestrating massive sound and visual compositions that could drive and define each other generatively and in real time transforming the course of how electronic music could be performed and experienced live.

Richie's artistic vision and organizational genius prompted some of the most progressive performance-software developers to produce breakthrough features in their products for the Plastikman show.

Hawtin and Derivative have now packaged and made available for download these powerful tools along with 4 Plastikman tracks to enable everyone with the same capabilities to produce their own visuals in a real-time generative environment.


Derivative’s TouchDesigner only runs on PC or Boot Camp, with this configuration or better:

  • Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or Windows XP SP2. On Mac hardware Boot Camp only (no emulators).
  • NVIDIA Geforce 7800. No ATI or Intel graphics. TouchDesigner uses advanced features of OpenGL to maximize performance. And you need the most recent NVIDIA graphics driver.
  • 512 MB Graphics Memory minimum on the graphics card


1. TouchDesigner FTE is free to download

2. The Plastikman Visuals Kit (PVK), also free to download, includes: 

  • Complete Plastikman visuals setup environment for Slowpoke as performed at MUTEK 2004 and rebuilt in TouchDesigner 077. See how the visual was constructed and unfolds for the entire track. (For investigation and inspiration.)
  • Three original Plastikman tracks with the environments already set up and ready for you to work in and make your own visuals.
  • The live video recording of Slowpoke as performed at MUTEK 2004

3. Plastikman Visuals Forum and access to Derivative support team

4. Plastikman Visuals Tech Page includes:

  • A Video Overview of the PVK to watch and learn from.
  • specifications / guidance / documentation / instruction / background.

Plastikman vids available @


1. Register

2. Download and install TouchDesigner FTE Experimental

3. Download and unzip the Plastikman Visuals Kit (rev 2) - It provides four different environments, one environment for each of three music track plus the Slowpoke example environment. All three tracks are set up to respond to a simulated Ableton Live set of controls and waveforms.

4. YOUR PART is to make original generative Plastikman-based animation constructed on the live data or the environment set up for this, i.e: put in video, stills, generate 2D and 3D artistry with the infinite capabilities made possible by TouchDesigner.

5. Send to Derivative or to our forum. Our tech support will assist.

Deadline: March 14, 2010

VERY IMPORTANT: If you are submitting your work to the Plastikman Live 2010 Visual Contest please only post this work on the Derivative Forum until winning entries have been announced.


Winning entries are for inclusion in an upcoming PLASTIKMAN SHOW and the top THREE contest winners will each get TouchDesigner Pro licenses (value $2200 US each).

New: The 1st prize will be travel costs for one to Plastikman 2010 with backstage access. New: Runner up prizes: We have a crate of Richie Hawtin/Plastikman/Minus material!


In this 4-part video series Derivative's Jarrett Smith shows the inner workings of the Plastikman / Derivative visuals kit. Extremely informative demo to learn from for preparing your visuals.

Plastikman / Derivative Visuals Contest Kit:


What is Derivative's contribution to the Plastikman Live 2010 Tour? (among other things…)

1. We are building a bridge between Ableton Live and Derivative’s TouchDesigner, where TouchDesigner is aware of a lot of Live’s information, which can be used by the visual artists to make moving pictures.

Derivative will release the TouchDesigner-Live Bridge to its users in the first half of this year.

The data Ableton shares with TouchDesigner includes controllers, what loops are playing, clocks, show sequencing and transitions between tracks, raw audio, and outputs coming from audio effects.

2. We’re building a working environment for Ali Demirel and other artists who are designing and building visuals for this show, where each person can easily hook the Ableton signals to their visual in TouchDesigner. It’s as if each track has its own cocoon to operate in. (Ali and the others build the visuals and choose the hookups - what part of the visual hooks up with what part of the music, and the sync with Ableton is done already.)

3. We are also building with TouchDesigner panel-building tools a flexible user interface for Ali Demirel to use during the show. He’s Richie Hawtin's co-pilot essentially, guiding some aspects of the visual from front-of-house.

One of Ali’s controllers is a Jazzmutant Lemur (Rich too) and it feeds its multi-touch outputs into TouchDesigner as well.

We think the TouchDesigner-Live Bridge will be useful to artists doing visuals alongside Live – we will release this bridge along with some know-how.

What has changed since the last Derivative-Plastikman collaboration in 2004?

Using MIDI to do a complex show control was all we had at the time, but today we have TouchDesigner supporting OSC (the Open Sound Control protocol over Ethernet), and Ableton now supports OSC through its MAX4Live plugin. This makes it a lot easier for the Live artist and the visual artist to work together and rapidly evolve a show.

We are now using TouchDesigner’s newly-architected image processing, effects and compositing system called Texture Operators, or TOPs. TOPs, are image operators that provide real-time, GPU-based compositing and image manipulation.

In fact, we have fully-re-designed TouchDesigner’s user interface with zoomable networks and viewers on every node. It is a visually very rich authoring tool for making any kind of interactive art.

( And its new modular component architecture allows reuse and cloning of mini-tools…)

more soon...