Controlling Lights with TouchDesigner / Markus Heckmann


TouchDesigner is known as a versatile tool for the creation and presentation of rich interactive experiences. While those are mostly screen or projection based, the software – with its compositing and 3D animation capabilities – can be used to control anything that accepts output from a computer. Most prominently when driving WhiteVoids KineticLights, TouchDesigner controls the motor movement and the LED lighting of the kinetic structures.

In this workshop we will focus on the different approaches one can take to control and animate digital LED light strips using an ArtNet to SPI controller. We will explore simple techniques to grab color values of movies, animate the lights to music and create simple volumetric and interactive LED strip displays.


Equipment that participants need to bring along:
– Laptop or PC running MS Windows 7 and up, or Bootcamped Mac running Windows 7 and up.
– Graphics card must be NVIDIA or AMD with minimum 1 GB graphics memory and the latest drivers
– While some integrated Intel graphics cards are supported (specifically Intel HD4000, HD5000 and above) not all features are supported and there is a lower expectation on overall performance.
– NVIDIA Geforce 600 series, Nvidia Quadro K series, AMD HD 7000 or AMD W/V series or better is recommended
– You will also need a 3-button (or 2 button with clickable scroll wheel) mouse
– If possible, bring a network adapter for your computer and a short network cable
– See System Requirements for more detailed information.

Prepare Your Laptop
– Please install the latest official build available here:
– If you haven’t updated your graphics drivers in a long time, it would be a good idea to check for new ones at or
– Open TouchDesigner to make sure everything is working.
– If this is the first time running TouchDesigner on this laptop it will ask you to create a key.
– You will need to be a member at to create a key, you can register here.
– For more Information on how to create a key in TouchDesigner please go here.

For Retina or super hi-res display owners:
– Please decrease your screen resolution in “Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Display\Screen Resolution” to a 1920×1080 resolution.
– Make sure the scaling level on your display is set to 100% in “Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Display”

Prepare Yourself: Study These Tutorials
– To get the full value of this workshop it is required that registrants have studied (worked along with) the “First Things to Know About TouchDesigner” video tutorials found on the Derivative Wiki here. These 3 tutorials will show you some basics of the interface and provide orientation for working in the TouchDesigner environment. Very important!


English / Korean (support)

Duration: 1-Day