Category Archives: terrain

Performable Landscapes

Of late I have been working with TouchDesigner (TD) to visualise landscapes that respond in realtime to incoming MIDI data, with a view to creating performable work.

There are some great examples of audio-responsive terrain being rendered in realtime such as Audio Landscape by Dan Neame, which use audio frequencies to manipulate terrain using the 3D JavaScript library three.js.

TouchDesigner, a node-based visual programming language for real-time interactive multimedia content, is somewhat of a goto in respect to creating audio responsive graphics e.g. the famous Joy Division album cover simulation created by Aurelian Ionus.

My first attempt using TD to create a MIDI-responsive landscape builds upon the Outrun / Landscapes tutorial by Bileam Tschepe (elekktronaut). Sound and MIDI data are provided by a Roland SH-4D hardware synthesiser.

Realtime Sound Landscape #1

Since then, I have implemented a handful of key rendering improvements, not least GPU instancing as demonstrated by supermarketsallad in his TD tutorial Generative Landscapes.

My second attempt also incorporates better texture mapping and contour smoothing. This version use the TDAbleton package to route musical and audio level data directly from digital audio workstation Ableton Live to TD, both running on the same machine.

Realtime Sound Landscape #2

This is work in progress, so I will follow up with more detail and explanation in due course.