Interactive media development with Python & TouchDesigner with Elburz Sorkhabi

Presentation on samedi at 1:40 après-midi to 3:10 après-midi in Tutorial Room 2195.

In a world of smartphones, gestural sensors, and virtual reality, there is more than just a want for interactive and immersive media, there is an expectation for it. The reality is that as the world gravitates towards interactive and immersive media, Python is being chosen less and less by developers as their go-to tool because it lacks the facilities to quickly prototype and create architectures to support such process-intensive works. Compare Python with other languages and their respective creative coding frameworks and you'll begin to notice the startling gap in our toolset. With a wide gamut of choices ranging from C++ and openFrameworks or Cinder, Java environments like Processing, and even web technologies like Javascript, Flash and HTML, it's a shame that a comparable solution doesn't exist for Python. Regardless of the reason, there exists an alternative solution that has proven very successful: Derivative's TouchDesigner.

Derivative's TouchDesigner has been a cornerstone in the immersive design and interactive technology industry for many years now, powering many of the leading live performances, events, and artistic installations around the world. With the release of TouchDesigner version 088, Python 3 has been deeply integrated into its architecture. This allows Python developers an easy way to create works beyond what's capable in Flash, Javascript, or Processing, such as driving multi-screen media walls, creating generative content with arrays of Microsoft Kinects and Leap Motions, interfacing with industry-standard audio and video equipment, processing of multi-layered 4k content for Oculus Rifts, projection mapping buildings and abstract surfaces, driving LED walls, lighting fixtures, and pyro for live concert tours, and more. This can all be developed inside of TouchDesigner's high-performance & real-time media framework using Python. For more examples of types of works covered in this tutorial visit

The sections of this tutorial are as follows:

Part 1: Introductions, Definitions, Concepts, and Examples - General Introductions - Introduction to tools - Introduction to concepts of interactive media - Examples of interactive media installations - Breakdown of Python used in interactive media installations

Part 2: Why Python and TouchDesigner? - Advantages of Python vs C++ - Advantages of Python in the real world - Features and capabilities of TouchDesigner

Part 3: Demonstration and Live Coding - Prototyping, Analyzing, and Visualizing Sensor Data with Python - Get and Visualize Twitter data in real-time using Requests - Iterate and Render 3D geometry in real-time using Python

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Elburz Sorkhabi Bio

Elburz Sorkhabi is the type of person who'd rather answer the questions "How are we going to express this idea?" or "How are we going to build this thing?" rather than "What do you do?”. A polymath at the core, he brings a deep knowledge from a number of professional fields to projects of all shapes and sizes. To give a taste of the last few years, Elburz has performed musically on some of the world's largest stages, developed custom software for the world's biggest brands, led teams across the globe deploying large-scale media-art installations, authored the first book on a leading interactive development platform, taught dozens of workshops around the world, and has been creating Open Source projects in the Space Industry.