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Hey guys, 

I have to create ~60 minutes of live visuals for a friend's live show (electronic music). I work with AE and C4D, but I've also heard about TouchDesigner, which could be more appropriate for audio reactive stuff.
Have any of you ever done live visuals? What is usually your process? Loops in AE and then playing them live? I tend to work in narrative based projects, so I'm kind of overwhelmed with the amount of content I need to produce, while maintaining a general quality and identity.
I started to explore TouchDesigner, but it is going to take me a long time to get proficient in that. I'm ready to do it, but wanted to get your feedback if it is really worth it in terms of quality of results and control. What about other tools that can help in generating fast iterative results, or audio reactive visuals (even if the learning curve is big)?
I'm probably just getting lost in the tools part and should focus on what I want to create, but maybe some of you went through the same and can help me out!

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Hey,

Are you just producing the content or will you be playing it back live too?

TD is great but i’d stick to what you know, if you don’t have to playback content then avoid complicating things with TD. If you do there are simpler options for playback.
 
Will it be audio reactive or pre rendered content.
 
Depending on the style of music you should be able to break down each track and build some style frames from there.
 
My workflow is break down the tracks, design a style, create a few loops per track, learn to mix them well to the music. Repeat for each track. Creating 60 mins of VJ content is a lot even for a proficient mograph artist. Keep it simple. Can you source any stock footage or does it need to be all custom?
 
Cheers
Liam

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18 hours ago, Basic said:

Hey,

Are you just producing the content or will you be playing it back live too?

TD is great but i’d stick to what you know, if you don’t have to playback content then avoid complicating things with TD. If you do there are simpler options for playback.
 
Will it be audio reactive or pre rendered content.
 
Depending on the style of music you should be able to break down each track and build some style frames from there.
 
My workflow is break down the tracks, design a style, create a few loops per track, learn to mix them well to the music. Repeat for each track. Creating 60 mins of VJ content is a lot even for a proficient mograph artist. Keep it simple. Can you source any stock footage or does it need to be all custom?
 
Cheers
Liam

Hi there Liam, there's some great tips here!

Yeah, I should just stick to AE and C4D, I still have a lot to explore just with those 2. And then use Resolume for the playback, because I will need to do the playback as well.

Your workflow sounds pretty good also, for the time I have and the fact that it is so much content. I'm gonna see how I can focus more on some songs than others, to make things more manageable. Also, stock footage is definitely an option.

I would like some of the content to be audio reactive, because usually that's what I prefer in live visuals - that's why I was thinking of TD. But I guess I can try some sound reactive stuff in C4D and also using SoundKeys in AE...

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This reply is probably too late, but...
TouchDesigner is AWESOME.  I learned about it about a year ago and I really want to dive into it in more depth.

It is super stable and able to handle a lot of different types of inputs and outputs.
But it is complex and a lot of little things are more complicated than they might seem.

You might want to look at something like Resolume Avenue / Arena.
That is more of a VJ setup and while its not technically LIVE visuals, there are a lot of tools for playing with the timing so you could kind of play with them live.
That will still take some time to learn, but might be a good place to start if you're under a time crunch.

Lastly, I will share a piece of info I learned from Jason White at Leviathan.  He said that if there is a live visuals component to a show, they generally make it just a component and not have the entire production riding on it.  They will have pre-rendered items to make up the "base layer" and then use live visuals to sort of customize it on the fly. 

This way, if something goes down, they're not floating up shit creek with a turd for a paddle.

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On 7/25/2018 at 5:33 PM, krpdesign said:

This reply is probably too late, but...
TouchDesigner is AWESOME.  I learned about it about a year ago and I really want to dive into it in more depth.

It is super stable and able to handle a lot of different types of inputs and outputs.
But it is complex and a lot of little things are more complicated than they might seem.

You might want to look at something like Resolume Avenue / Arena.
That is more of a VJ setup and while its not technically LIVE visuals, there are a lot of tools for playing with the timing so you could kind of play with them live.
That will still take some time to learn, but might be a good place to start if you're under a time crunch.

Lastly, I will share a piece of info I learned from Jason White at Leviathan.  He said that if there is a live visuals component to a show, they generally make it just a component and not have the entire production riding on it.  They will have pre-rendered items to make up the "base layer" and then use live visuals to sort of customize it on the fly. 

This way, if something goes down, they're not floating up shit creek with a turd for a paddle.

Hey krpdesign!

I only noticed your reply now, but thanks for your help. That Jason White tip really does make sense. I ended up making some simple scenes with Resolume (some pre-rendered and others made using the software's own tools), and it all went pretty smoothly. But I totally get what he is saying: if something fails, you should be able to fall back into a safe spot for the rest of the gig.

I tried TD and it really seems to have a lot of potential, but has a considerable learning curve...

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