Comparison between vvvv, Touch Designer and alternatives

Hi All,

I’m not here to start a fight! I’d just really like honest opinions on the various strengths and weaknesses of vvvv versus the alternatives, particularly Touch Designer. We’ve traditionally used .NET and Flash to create interactives but we’re looking to a future which is far more hardware accelerated and thinks in 3D and 2D together.

I appreciate any wisdom you guys have to share!

Many thanks,


P.S. I realise different tools suit different types of work so it might be useful to know where I’m coming from: We’re a production company specialising in interactive work. We do a lot of projects in visitor attractions, museums and with large corporates. Often this work involves communicating information, not just pretty images. Currently our core tools are Flash, .net, and, increasingly, Unity. We produce assets primarily in Premiere Pro, 3DS Max and After Effects. Sometimes we create large scale, multi-machine installations or shows. We’ve done this with custom developed Flash systems and, where projection mapping is required, we’ve used Catalyst (Mac)

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I posted on the Touch Designer forum and immediately got a bunch of responses, but nothing on here :-(

Anyone have a view on this?

Can you please post here the link to TDForum thread you opened on this topic? I’m interested too.
Thank you.

Hey Srev,

I understand if you were hoping for more replies here. I would hazard a guess and say that maybe there are not that many folks on here who also use touch.

Sometimes no answer is better then uninformed answers :)

That said every single time I’ve ever been stuck with something vvvv related I’ve always been impressed with how much help I did get here.

I had a look on the touch thread:

Much the same in vvvv really.

vvvv is about to move to directX11, which is pretty exciting, but there is also OpenGL stuff in development by Elliott Woods I think

VVVV’s native video stuff is a bit lame to be honest. I’ve been super happy with the VLC plugins though- it’s pretty amazing in both compatibility and performance.

Please don’t take this as simply defending vvvv, often these kind of things have a dynamic over time though (for example I think the video coment would have been much truer a couple of years ago)

I would be very interested to know more on this topic, I do think it’s hard to find people with a deeper knowledge of both, although they must be out there.

Thank you, everyoneishappy :)

hi srev, the reason you got no answers at first is that your question was in moderation. forum posts of a new user have to be moderated by one of us, because we had a lot of spam these days.

and what everyoneishappy said is also true, most of us have not enough experience with touch designer to give you an answer at a professional level.

so here just some random vvvv pro features that might interest you:

  • from what you write you have .net experience, so you can reuse all your code with vvvv. we have an integrated c# code editor with real time compilation… that might be important for your decision.

  • boygrouping, easy client server architecture with unlimited client count and build in video-synchronization.

  • image stack player, replaces hard disc players and drastically reduces video render times, as you can just replace frames on a file basis.

  • full chrome web render engine, which enables you to use all kinds of web technology in a 3d accelerated world.

  • 120+ texturefx modules for image manipulation. that was actually inspired by touch designer… :)

  • realtime shader coding

  • many modules for projection mapping and multiscreen applications

  • tons of different hardware support

  • next year: full directx11 implementation with amazing new features created by @vux. we just saw a 11 mio. particle demo at our 10 years anniversary party…

  • speaking of 10 years, vvvv is from tip to toe created for professional use. it came out of interactive media project business and its development was always focused on it. this might bring a steep learning curve, but when working on some project construction site and you know the system, you get unexpected problems solved quickly.

  • large user base which is super helpful and just amazing.

… but before you listen to personal favorites of users, just try it out!
download both, start working with it! give yourself different problems and solve them with both.

@tonfilm, nice summary of the world domination toolkit ;)

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Wow, what an incredibly comprehensive, very useful set of responses. And I love the open-mindedness of your answers too. It seems that both products are blessed with lots of smart, constructive and co-operative users.

Don’t hate me(!) but, as @tonfilm alluded to, I made a comment on the Derivative forum that Touch Designer seems like a more professional tool. That was for two reasons: firstly, IMHO, TD looks like a fully fledged application because of its UI. Having said that, the more I play with vvvv, I find its minimalism charming and… kind of humble, considering the power that lies hidden away. The second reason is that the licensing model offers what sounds like direct support of the product, including bug-fixes and core application updates as well help in project development if necessary. That’s pretty unique, I think, and very appealing when we work with demanding commercial clients on tight deadlines.

Does anyone know if there is the potential for similar support (obviously at a cost) from the main vvvv developers? @tonfilm, is this something you could answer? … Especially with a new tool, it would be incredibly reassuring to know there’s help beyond this excellent forum, if time is tight and we’re desperate for a solution.

Many thanks again guys. Your responses really blew me away.

For businesses using vvvv check out: businesses

There are a lot of very talented freelancers who regularly read the boards and are able to help out on projects at short notice.

vvvv applications can be developed incredibly fast =)

When you know vvvv you simply don’t need anything else…

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quote antokhio

yes, you can always contact any of the devvvvs and ask for professional assistance. one of us should always have the time to help. and if not we will pass the job on to one of the many trusted users we know who can handle the request.

and we also offer custom developments, if you need support for a special SDK, hardware or something else. so, just get in touch.

Hello srev,

I was in a similar situation and was considering both touch and vvvv. At first both looked alien as the logic was quite new. I was looking at studios using both the tools, with touch Obscura digital was rocking and in the other hand Strukt & Intolight with VVVV (there are more but these two took my attention in the beginning). First i tried touch but dint get pull through a long way as there was less tutorial back then to start(ofcourse there are more now including the mutek workshop). This is where VVVV rocked, there was more wiki sources to read and get started and forum was awesome, humble and constructive. After using VVVV for all these days now if i look back touch tutorials, we can easily point the same or better function inside VVVV. Infact i have asked this same questions to Antokio maybe 10 months back and as he rightly said when you already have everything with you why you want something else? I think its just your personal preference to choose, V vote for VVVV though because you can do amazingly complex stuff with simple things and simple is beautiful :)

antokhio +1

vvvv for the awesome community experience :)

…and what antokhio said!

Again, thank you all so much.

@tonfilm, your note about the devs is extremely reassuring with the prospect of big commercial projects on the horizon.

@Urbankind, your response reassured me I’m on the right lines narrowing options down to TD and VVVV.

For what it’s worth, all my R&D time is now going into VVVV, thanks to the inspiration you guys have given me on this thread. This community really is an incredible bonus that makes VVVV even more compelling.

The only concern I have left is around video playback but I’m testing out the VLC plugin and hoping to look at the new ImageStacks plugin very soon too. Having said that, the standard video stuff is performing really well in the tests I’ve done so far.

Thanks again guys.

Video playback never was bad, it just that you need to read a lot of wiki and vvvvorum for some specific situations.

All the time I had to ‘compete’ with fellows with os x, quartz, ofx, max, etc. vvvv always was the winner in performance, develop time, and coolness.

According to our logs this is still a very popular post. But all information provided here relates to vvvv beta and not the all-new vvvv gamma.

Most notable changes in the new version are probably:

  • vvvv can now export patches to standalone executables (including Linux console apps to run on e.g. on a Raspberry Pi)
  • It can be easily extended by writing c# or using any .NET library
  • It comes with two distinct rendering options: Skia for 2d and Stride for 3d rendering

For many more details, please check out the following:

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