In all programming environments the ability to make and reuse single components not only saves time, but also saves your sanity. In TouchDesigner you can save networks as their one encapsulated components for easy use and reuse. Let’s take a quick look at a simple scenario for this very kind of project.
In working on a current project the team that I’m a part of found ourselves in need of a sample of video content from a mounted sensor. In order to work away from the structure and the sensor we decided that recording the video stream would help us get what we needed. One of our collaborators is currently working, living, and teaching across the country and so we also needed to send him what TouchDesigner was seeing.
To solve all of these problems, we decided that the easiest solution would be to do a screen capture of what the sensor and TouchDesigner are seeing. This proved to be a simple and elegant solution, but it also left us with video that needs to be cropped if we want to implement it as a reference in other patches.
Inside of the container I have the following network of TOPs:
In – Crop – Out
The In and Out add both an inlet and an outlet to our container allowing us to use the crop as a pass through process. If we needed to add other effects or alternations to the video stream we could also add these in the stream between the in and the out.
If we back out of the container we can alter a few parameters to make sure that our container displays what’s happening inside. On the parameters tab under the Common page set the Node View to Operator Viewer.
Finally right click on the component and select “Save Component.” This will bring up a save dialog box that will allow you to save your network as a .tox file – this .tox can be dropped into any network just like the components from the Op Create Dialog Box.
There you have it, you’ve not created your own reusable component in TouchDesigner.