Company Post

POPs-A new Operator Family for TouchDesigner

It's not every day we introduce a new operator family for TouchDesigner. DATs (Data Operators) was the last family created in 2005. 

Introducing Point Operators - POPs - a new set of operators that run on the GPU for manipulating 3D data - points, polygons, point clouds, particles, line strips and all things 3D. 

POPs will be released in the Experimental builds of TouchDesigner later this year.

At Derivative's TouchDesigner workshop in Berlin today May 21, 2024, we are welcoming our participants to a hands-on test drive of an Alpha version of POPs. We are doing an early-reveal of Point Operators as it is a fairly big subsystem of TouchDesigner and we want our users to get a heads-up understanding of what is coming. Foremost, we are looking to get feedback on our design and feature set to make sure we cover and anticipate the many future levels and domains of uses of TouchDesigner, as we see TouchDesigner as more than a 3D art-creation tool, but also as a general data visualization tool.

We expect in the summer we will do our normal Experimental release of TouchDesigner 2024, and POPs will be available for general use/support then.

For those who already use TouchDesigner, POPs combine the best of SOPs (CPU-based Surface Operators), CHOPs (Channel Operators) and some features of TOPs (Texture Operators), and go much beyond that. POPs run amost entirely on the GPUs, and are speed and memory-optimized.

POPs are modern procedural tools that do more computation for less effort on the part of the user. And they enable you to get farther without needing to code compute shaders.

For those more comfortable writing compute shaders and C++, POPs are very useful in preparing and post processing data for your compute shaders, similar to how TOPs and CHOPs serve coders in the TouchDesigner authoring environment.

The current set of POPs are a basic foundation of the operator family that will evolve and become more sophisticated over time. We're just at the beginning of of the life cycle of POPs but already they have proven to be very powerful.

Being in an alpha development state, we expect to be re-engineering numerous parts of the current POPs, so, like the Experimental builds, they are not production-ready. 



We're very excited to see where this technology leads us all.

the Derivative team