Earlier in December, Derivative released its 2023 Official update. There are many new fun features in the new built and some things you need to be aware of. The Interactive & Immersive HQ is here to catch you up on the spicy recent highlights.
Projects saved in the 2023 Official build can not be loaded into previous versions! So, if you have multiple versions, this is something to be aware and cautious about. If you’re about to deliver a project, it’s probably not a good time to update!
The more robust support for Sensor devices is a prevalent component in the new build. This includes the OAK-D cameras by Luxonis, Orbbec Femto Mega, Bolt Camera, Sick LIDAR sensor, and MoSys camera tracking system. There is also additional support for ZED sensors and Leap Motion. Since Intel RealSense are no longer in development, this will provide more accessibility for body tracking with more sensor options.
Oak-D CHOP, OAK Select CHOP Oak Select TOP
The new OAK-D CHOP and TOP works similarly to the Kinect Azure TOP, where you have an OAK-D CHOP and can use the OAK Select to get its data. Using the camera’s AI model on the device will reduce CPU and GPU usage on your system, leaving more overhead for TouchDesigner and other applications. The device is supported on both Windows and MacOS.
Orbbec Femto Mega, Bolt
Orbbec TOP, Orbbec Select TOP
The Orbbec TOP has depth and point cloud data that supports a wide range of cameras from Orbbec. There isn’t an Orbbec CHOP, but you can receive the data using a Kinect Azure CHOP.
ZED CHOP, ZED TOP
The 2023 Build brings full body tracking in the ZED CHOP and neural quality depth camera output in ZED TOP. This is a great update to an already useful sensor that brings up almost up to feature parity with Kinects.
The SICK TOP can retrieve point cloud data from a SICK LIDAR sensor. Each pixel represents a point with a color channel storing x, y, or z potion. You can think of these in a similar way as Hokuyo sensors.
MoSys CHOP, MoSys TOP
Mo-Sys Startracker is a marker-based optical tracker used in professional virtual production cameras. The MoSys CHOP receives data from the camera tracking system, and the TOP can apply correct lens distortion.
Leap Motion CHOP, Leap Motion TOP
The Leap Motion sensor is not new, but now it is supported in macOS!
Body Tracking CHOP
So, What if you don’t have a fancy sensor but still want to do body tracking? If you have an RTX-capable NVIDIA GPU, Body Tracking CHOP is also available. It tracks up to 34 critical points in both 2D and 3D from any TOP image; it can be a video or live camera feed. This is the same as the great face tracking from Nvidia but now with full body!
Laser Device CHOP, Laser CHOP
The laser device operators are replaced with a new Laser Device CHOP. Unless one uses a Pangolin for lasers, rather than dropping an EtherDream CHOP, you’ll have a Laser Device CHOP. This comes with along with updates to hardware SDK.
Now, TouchDesigner is certified for Apple ProRes Codec. You can record your Movie File Out TOP using the codec in both Windows and macOS and read them in with Movie File In TOPs.
Timecode CHOP has long been anticipated for people who work in live performances and want to sync content. The new Timecode CHOP can create and manage SMTPE timecode and a large selection of OPS driven by time in TouchDesigner. You can learn more on Dervative’s Timecode page.
TouchDesigner has been on Python 3.9 for a while but has now upgraded to 3.11. It can run up to 10-60% faster and offers better error reports.
The Engine COMP isn’t new, but there are a lot of new added features and improvements. Parameters now give more control over loading .tox files and controlling the engine’s process. Options for how the relative paths of assets are handled in the loaded .tox have been added, and a new InitStart parameter page can be used for playback control. Finally, you’ll find a docked Info DAT and Info CHOP with debug information for TouchEngine status and performance metrics.
Other Fun New TOPs
The new Bloom TOP can add a bloop effect for a gain intensity and glow effect. This is great as it’s native operator instead of having to use an external tox file.
NVIDIA Upscale TOP
If you have NVIDIA on your machine, the NVIDIA Upscale TOP can use the NVIDIA Maxine Video Effects SDK to upscale the resolution of an input video. It has two modes: upscale mode, which is faster and offers a ‘strength’ parameter, and a Super Resolution mode, with higher quality with an optional ‘Artifact Reduction’ toggle.
Get Our 7 Core TouchDesigner Templates, FREE
We’re making our 7 core project file templates available – for free.
These templates shed light into the most useful and sometimes obtuse features of TouchDesigner.
They’re designed to be immediately applicable for the complete TouchDesigner beginner, while also providing inspiration for the advanced user.
The new GLSL COMP uses GLSL shaders to render an image in a panel directly to the screen.
There are so many new features in the 2023 build that we can’t include them all in this blog. We want to underline the significant points. You can learn more about all the new changes in the derivative release notes. Which new feature is your favorite? Keep an eye out; the interactive & immersive HQ will release more blogs and videos using some of the new release features.