Make Some Noise| SF 2017 | TouchDesigner



The shape of noise can be found in all sorts of elements in our daily lives – the shape of clouds, irregularities in textures, the haunting background radiation of dead stars that still cloud the images of our radio telescopes. Come join in the fun of looking at how you might use noise to shape some of your artistic work in a two day workshop at Obscura Digital. Over the course of two days we’ll look at various applications of noise, and engage in some directed exploratory artistic exercises to help you push the edges of how you think about and use pseudo-random numbers.

Day 1


Time Topic
10:00 – 10:30 Welcome / Intros / Overview
10:30 – 12:00 Block 1 – Noise and Instances (Matthew)
12:00 LUNCH
1:00 – 2:00 Block 2 (Peter)
2:00 – 3:00 Block 3 Noise and Geometry / Vertex Shaders (Matthew)

Overview of the Day

Part of thinking creatively about noise is first understanding the computational boundings that we’re working within. Some of this might make perfect sense, and some of this is a little harder to wrap our heads around. To get started we’ll first talk about noise and pseudo random numbers. We’ll look at a few examples to wrap our heads around this, and explore a few fast and simple examples to start to become familiar with these ideas. By the end of the day we’ll move from just thinking abstractly about noise, and begin to look at how can use it to shape landscapes. Don’t worry if it all feels like it’s going too fast – that’s okay. We’re gonna start by running down hill, and then come back to a place of exploration. I used to tell my students to trust the process – and that’s part of what the adventure on Day 1 is going to look like. It’ll be a little rough and tumble, to help us get the ideas in our heads – then we’ll come back and explore.

Welcome / Intros / Overview

Knowing the expertise in a room is always important, and this workshop is no different. We’ll take a bit of time here at the start to get to know whose in the room – it’s corny, I know, but people are almost always the most important parts of any workshop so let’s make sure that before we leave we all connect with at least one other person.

Okay. Great. Now that we’ve made some new friends – or at least started to – we can get started. Day 1 we’re going to look at a few different techniques for manipulating and making noise. We have to start by first pulling apart how we calculate noise, then look at how we might use that data. Finally we’ll start to look at how we can create landscapes or particle fields with noise. Day 2 is all about exploration. Now that we have a few techniques under out belt, we’ll take time to explore and riff on some prompts with the techniques we’ve learned today. After we’ve explored and played a bit we’ll chat with the other folks here, then iterate some more. It’s often hard tot take the time to really explore, and that’s what day 2 is all about.

Enough of this talk, let’s start making.

Block 1 Noise and Instances

  • Psudorandom
  • Seeds
  • Displacement
  • Lookups
  • Working with Instances

Block 2 Greg

Block 3 Noise and Geometry – Our fist Vertex Shader

  • Why use a vertex shader
  • Samplers
  • Particles
  • Calculating normals
  • Adding color
  • Dense Meshes

Day 2


Time Topic
10:00 – 11:00 Block 1 Noise and Geometry Shaders – Displacement along the Normal
11:00 – 12:00 Challenge 1 – Noise as Landscape and Topography
12:00 LUNCH
1:00 – 1:30 Wander and Collect Concepts
1:30 – 2:00 Concept Integration
2:00 – 2:30 Block 2 – Displacement and Lookups
2:30 – 3:00 Finalize and Show Off

Overview of the Day

Day 2 is all about exploration, creation, and iteration. We’ll take the concepts from Day 1 and just play. Take the time to make 1 sketch that really speaks to you, or make 10 different sketches that all explore different ideas. Over the course of the day you’ll be given some prompts to guide your explorations, and we’ll also take time to share discoveries with the rest of the group, ask questions, and continue to iterate on your work. Iteration is one of the most important pieces of this kind of puzzle, and we’ll allow ourselves the space to play, tweek, and get feedback from others. If there’s something that’s especially exciting/frustrating/confusing we’ll take a moment to talk about it with the group.

Follow Along With the Videos from the Workshop














Download the Assets from Github

Eventbrite Registration