As I heard within the last few days, there are a small handful of tickets still available for the TouchDesigner Summit 2019 to be held in Montreal on August 17-19. I decided it would be nice to get a little head start leading up to the Summit on why I’ll be attending, what I enjoyed about last years/looking forward to this year, and a quick hot list of things I’d recommend attending. All of which I hope will tip you into attending if you were at all on the fence.
Why I’m going
There are a few reasons why I’m going. The first is pretty self-explanatory: I’ve been publicly pushing TouchDesigner for a long time with this blog and educational content, so it would frankly be weird if I wasn’t there. I also enjoy the opportunity to share my experiences doing workshops and talks at the Summit. Last year I did a projection mapping workshop that you can watch on YouTube and I did an off-the-record talk on the being in the business of TouchDesigner installations. They were both fun and I hope people learned a lot from them.
But the main reason I’m going is the community. I’ve written about the TouchDesigner community countless times, so I won’t repeat myself, but everyone comes from somewhere different, has something different to say, is willing to openly share their experiences and techniques and tools, and just generally are very pleasant people. And this one time a year is when all of us can huddle together for a few days and have some lunches and coffees and laughs in the same physical place. The way the TouchDesigner world works, is you’re often only working with a max of 1-2 other TouchDesigner people at a time. So it’s VERY RARE to have hundreds of your colleagues in one place. Did I mention it’s a blast?
This is especially important if you are earlier on in your career. This is your opportunity to meet all the top folks in the industry, all at once place. Whether the top folks are openly looking for folks to hire or not, your impression will stick if it’s a good one, and you can almost bet it’ll trump any online intro you could make.
What I enjoyed last year/look forward to this year
Last years Summit in Berlin was my first TouchDesigner summit. One big enjoyment for me was seeing the folks who I barely get to see in person. Which compounded with meeting in real-life with people who I talk to online almost daily! I remember the fun game of meeting someone, then asking “Wait…what’s your forum name?” and then they’d tell me and I’d explode with surprise and joy to finally meet this person in the flesh. I expect even more of that this year.
As someone who loves eating food, I heavily enjoyed Berlin’s commitment to a good kebab. Can’t say much more than that about it. Cheers, Berlin, well played. Montreal will have another favourite of mine: poutine. If you’ve never had a real poutine (not that McDonalds/Burger King dumpster fire of fries covered in a thick brown salt water), you are in for a treat. In fact, I’d say many treats with all the variations. I’m definitely looking forward to digging into some nice poutine. Smoked meat sandwiches in Montreal are also a treat. Can you feel my excitement?
In more serious matters, this year I’m only going to be doing a talk: a no-bullshit talk on how to make a living and pay your bills with TouchDesigner skills. I’m excited to give that talk and share a lot of easy things you can immediately do to pay bills more easily. I’ll also talk about some mid and long-term strategies you can employ to really make a career out of TouchDesigner. I’m also saddened by the amount of people with competent TouchDesigner skills that can’t pay their own bills with their work. This talk is for them/you.
Hot list of talks to check out
Here’s the talks I’d recommend checking out. I’ve either worked with many of these folks or know them and their work and would recommend checking out their talks.
Yuki Narumi and Joe Ohara talking about TDSW in Japan (TouchDesigner education is important!!) : https://2019.touchdesignersummit.com/talks/touchdesigner-study-weekend
Ronen Tanchum talking about TouchDesigner in production pipelines: https://2019.touchdesignersummit.com/talks/touchdesigner-in-a-production-pipeline
Josue Ibañez talking about Cocolab (I place I’m deeply fond of) and their work in museums and exhibits: https://2019.touchdesignersummit.com/talks/new-interactions-at-exhibitions-and-museums
David Braun talking about easing/animations in TouchDesigner: https://2019.touchdesignersummit.com/talks/quantitative-easing
Mathieu Le Sourd (maotik) talking about giving life to content with randomness: https://2019.touchdesignersummit.com/talks/the-art-of-probability
Vincent Houze talking about dynamic simulations in TouchDesigner (possibly the father of TD simulations??): https://2019.touchdesignersummit.com/talks/dynamic-simulations-for-large-scale-interactive-installations-and-performances
Akiko Yamashita talking about the techniques behind one of her recent projects: https://2019.touchdesignersummit.com/talks/interactive-flowers-projection-with-particlesop
David Biancardi (one of what I’d consider the most senior authorities on interactive installation work in the whole TouchDesigner scene) talking about some deep questions and ideas around our industry, work, and future: https://2019.touchdesignersummit.com/talks/what-do-we-want-to-be-when-we-grow-up
Come on now…you had to expect this, come see me talk about one of the most urgent and existential issues inf our industry – how to pay your bills: https://2019.touchdesignersummit.com/talks/how-to-make-a-living-with-touchdesigner
Stefan Kraus talking about media management and converting (a very real hurdle on any large project): https://2019.touchdesignersummit.com/talks/the-post-ame-batch-video-encoder
Ruokun Chen and Jimmy Zhang (two fine folks I’ve worked with) talking about the work they’ve been doing to push the TouchDesigner community in China as well as lasers: https://2019.touchdesignersummit.com/talks/application-of-kinetic-installation-and-laser-control-system-in-china
Dave & Gabe (you can think of them like Cher & Prince, no-last-name stars, you decide who is who!) talking about all their extensive work building unique audio installations: https://2019.touchdesignersummit.com/talks/touching-sound-building-interactive-music-installations
I hope that list helps you get to some of the talks I think will be great. As I mentioned, I think there are only a handful of tickets left, so I’d recommend locking in your ticket ASAP at the link here: https://pretix.eu/derivative/TDSummit/
I’d love to see folks at the Summit, if you’re there please find me and say hi! I should be pretty easy to spot. As always, that’s the most fun part of the whole event for me, getting to see everyone in a non-work environment (for once!) and enjoying each other’s company. I hope to see you there!