In this video Scott Pagano explains how to import 3D geometry into TouchDesigner. In this tutorial you learn how to import FBX files and explore the Mesh SOP node in TouchDesigner.
- [Instructor] In the first chapter, we looked at how to manipulate some basic geometry in the sop video where we made a sphere and we just applied some noise to it. Now we're going to take a look at how to start bringing geometry created in other packages. Because there's definitely certain geometric work you can do in Touch Designer, but once you start to get into wanting some more elaborate assets, just like you would if you were working in a game engine, let's say, like, Unreal, what you're going to want to do is build your geometry in another application. I personally use Houdini to build all of that, then we're going to export that as fbx files and then bring that into Touch Designer.
So I'm going to go into my Project 1 area here, and again we just have a clean slate, and I want to do now is go under File, Import File. And let's navigate to Exercise Files, chapter 3, Touch Designer, fbx. And you see we have two files here. We're going to look at this more elaborate scene here later, but for now we're just going to look at this smaller ENGINE_01.fbx. Now we have an Import File dialog box. It's going to make a component called ENGINE_01, then it's going to a few other things.
It's going to ask if you want to Merge Geometry. There's only piece of geometry in this scene, so it doesn't really matter. But, for example, with the more elaborate scenes we bring in, we definitely don't want the geometry merged into one object. Because we want to have individual control over different things. So just for good measure, I'll turn that off, and I'll turn off cameras and lights. And these are just the paths to where it's going to write the files that it's importing. Because we're not referencing the original fbx on disk, Touch will actually import this file and covert it to its own file format that it uses.
Okay, so it says "Target component does not exist, create a new one?" Say Create, excellent, there we go. So now we have this ENGINE-01 geometry component here. If I go inside that, you can see now that we have this object called ENGINE, which is what it was called in the 3D content creation application. It's still a geometry component. We have to go one level further in to get to the actual mesh, which is where we're actually linking to the file that's on disk. Let me drag this open here. You can see that we have this long, absolute path to where this .tog file is, which is the touch geometry format that was just created for us when we imported this file.
This is important to note, because when you import files like this in Touch, it's going to create an absolute path to that file. Meaning that the whole project isn't portable unless that path is accessible from your machine. So a good practice would be to delete everything in front of this import, and there we go. Now we're looking at a relative path to that geometry file, and now that's going to make the scene more portable. If I go to our Exercise Files folder on the desktop here, you can see now we have this Import folder, with ENGINE_01, Geo, engine.tog.
So that's what we're referencing now on disk, and Touch is going to make those folders and files for you automatically. So just like we did when we looked in our SOP video in the first chapter, our little geometry viewer here can also become active. I can click the lower right corner here, this Viewer Active, or, while I'm hovered over it, the A key, and then I can tumble around this geometry. I can pan it, I can zoom in, look at it in different rays. I can hit W for a wire frame view. So this is a great way just to be able to view our geometry, check stuff out right within Touch Designer.
Even right within the node. I'm going to hit H to home it, and then hit that + button. I can also right click and say View, or I could even just make this full frame. And now I have a full frame viewer in wire frame mode, hit W for out of wire frame mode. Hit the P key. Let's look at the points, hit the wire frame. So we just have a nice way of being able to manipulate and view and check out our geometry really easily just within the node in Touch here. Now turn off the Point View. I'm going to hit the W key to get out of wire frame mode, and I'm going to close this viewer.
Let's go back here. You can see that now, in the node, that's where we had left off in that view port. So just another way to get the larger window to view our geometry. Okay, so we've imported a piece of geometry, really straight forward, now what we're going to do is, on this top layer here, I'm going to change this from ENGINE_01 to scene. So now within this scene geometry container, all of our different geometry can exist that we're going to use to build our scene. So next we're going to move on to adding the other components we need to turn a 3D object into a rendered 2D object.
- Navigating the TouchDesigner interface
- TouchDesigner contexts—COMP, TOP, CHOP, SOP, MAT, and DAT
- Building a network for real-time 2D image processing
- Building a network with a real-time rendered 3D scene
- Post-processing a real-time 3D with real-time 2D image processing
- Importing images and video files
- Importing assets with FBX files
- Recording a 2D and 3D animation as movie files
- Controlling a TouchDesigner network via an iPad or iPhone with TouchOSC
- Using TouchDesigner for VR