TouchDesigner Tutorials with Elburz and The Interactive & Immersive HQ

God Mode in 3D: GLSL For 3D TouchDesigner Installations

Have you ever used high-density geometry and models in TouchDesigner to create the visually jaw-dropping interactive installations of your dreams, but come up short? You’re not alone. Creating fully functional 3D installations that look amazing and let users interact with them in real time is a major sticking point along most folk’s TouchDesigner journey.

In fact, I’d say that it’s nearly impossible to get right without knowledge of one tool: GLSL.

When you understand how to apply GLSL, you can create 3D installations on a massive scale, work with high density point clouds using sensors, and manipulate complex geometry in real time for truly interactive, large-scale immersive projects.

Over the course of 1.5 hours, this is exactly what you’ll learn in “God Mode in 3D: GLSL For 3D TouchDesigner Installations”. Through real-world examples and instruction, I give you the tools you need to begin working with GLSL in 3D today.

Note: We touched on the basics of GLSL with a focus on 2D work in a previous training, “Turn On God Mode in TouchDesigner With GLSL Shaders”. If you’re new to GLSL, I highly recommend you click here to get that course, and view it before viewing “God Mode in 3D”.

Here’s exactly what you’ll learn in “God Mode in 3D”:

  • How to program on the GPU and replace your SOP networks. Because TouchDesigner’s built-in SOPs are based on the CPU, they’re quick to slow down, especially when processing complex 3D models. To solve for this, I show you how to create your code to manipulate 3D objects that run on the GPU. This enables you to open up your workflow and create higher performing installations using more data and 3D models.
  • How to displace points using 2D textures: The ability to use 2D data to influence 3D data is one of the most in-demand TouchDesigner skills. There are innumerable examples of where you can apply this, but the most illustrative is probably the Rutt Etra effect.
  • Use Microsoft Kinect to manipulate points and data in real time: With this, you can take 3D scans of users that can then be leveraged to influence installations. I show you not only how to gather this data, but how to get it into your shader pipeline as well.
  • Pass data between vertex and pixel shaders: This is the key to combining your 2D work with the 3D. When you learn to integrate vertex and pixel shader data, you can manipulate objects in a way that was previously impossible.
  • Use texture geometry in a vertex shader: I show you how to send images and movies to your vertex code so you can combine it with 3D geometry This skill is fundamental to the workflow of any professional TouchDesigner developer. When on a gig, it’s standard practice to be handed a model and texture if you can’t bring the texture back on the model, you likely won’t get the gig.

For many, leveraging GLSL in TouchDesigner is the most critical step towards becoming a professional TouchDesigner developer. It’s one of those skills that separates the amateurs from the pros.

Fortunately, it’s a skill that can be acquired relatively easy with practice and the guidance provided in “God Mode in 3D”.

Don’t wait - click the button below and get “God Mode in 3D” now:

"Elburz is a master, and as a teacher he uniquely takes on the seemingly mundane but ultimately very important micro lessons woven into the macro techniques which makes for a highly productive and holistic approach to learning. His attention to detail, sense of humor, and worldly perspective on the industry makes him a perfect teacher."

-Hal Lovemelt

Hal Lovemelt


Elburz is the co-founder of The Interactive & Immersive HQ, the Immersive Technical Director of zero11zero, lead of nVoid division, and is one of the leading authorities on TouchDesigner.

He has worked on product launches, permanent installations, and worldwide tours with clients like Google, Kanye West, Giorgio Armani, Burj Khalifa, VISA, Nike, US Open, TIFF, American Express, Seattle Art Museum, Cannes Lions, Axwell & Ingrosso, Verizon, McDonalds, IBM, and many more. Elburz has lead teams across the world from Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Montreal, Toronto, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Bangkok, Dubai, Scotland, and Paris.