Visualisation tools like Touch Designer, openFrameworks, Processing, Cinder ... What are your experiences?

Here in the forum there’s a lot going on about Touch Designer

Beneath that, there are maybe similar visualisation tools like

Do you have any experiences with these or similar tools?

And if, would you like to tell us more?

I’ve been doing things for fun and sometimes money with VVVV. There’s a fair bit of v4-shenanigans when you scroll past the VCV stuff on my youtube channel. It’s entirely free (although for commercial use the devs would like you to buy a license), it’s modular and stupidly powerful for visuals (but you might want to learn how to get your hands dirty with shader programming). And I just lovelove this UI.

(pictured: a clock, basically. With visualisation of seasons and daylight)

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Pure Data + GEM + VCV Rack = a pretty powerful audio/graphics environment. All free software, works natively on all platforms.


The modular aspect of it looks really cool, I just wish it was on Linux. :cry:

Yes, it wants DirectX, so Windows OS only.

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While far from everything on this page is applicable, there’s at least some relevant things here: Generative Art | Opinionated Guides

Also is looking pretty neat despite how early along it is. It should be getting MIDI and Audio in support soon based on my talks with the devs.

In hardware land, the SleepyCircuits Hypno is probably the best all-in-one option right now. I really wish I could find something that is as immediate to get good results out of by as flexible in terms of IO as it is but in software. I hope that Noisedeck is going in that direction.

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I think Processing (both the standalone application and its other incarnations like p5.js) is a fantastic starting point as it’s pretty much self-contained, the documentation is good, it comes with lots of examples and there’s lots of libraries for it. Used it for years to do lots of fun stuff. I’m not knocking oF or Cinder or others similar, as they are amazing in their own right, but they are libraries which require linking up to an IDE like Xcode and if you don’t have a full-on developer head then that’s a bit scary and not fun. At least for me.

And Processing comes pre-installed with Daniel Shiffman. (Or it should. :smiley:)

Also, check this document out as it has lots of links to interesting software:

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I have used Processing many times (also take a look at what can be done with its “web version” P5.js at ) …


  • maximum flexibility
  • free and used by many (and the P5.js is gaining more attention)


  • you must know (or learn) programming (java for Processing, javascript for P5.js)
  • no “quick” native interaction with MIDI / sound / OSC ( you must learn how to to use libraries)
  • a lot of work must be done (i.e. lines of code) for more complex projects (i.e. scene handling, timelines, 3D, …)
  • quite far from the “modular approach”

I’m still searching for something more powerful for larger projects (but I’m still using it for minimalistic sketches/ideas).

This is an idea I realized with Processing (the raindrops are synced with the MIDI notes):


I dabbled with Processing but bc of this, it looked like a way too big of a project to learn how to move beyond the randomly coloured quarter, semi and full circles spaced in a grid tutorial aesthetics… That, and 3D. The one huge PRO for me: generative, animated art in a browser

Thank you for all your input. I think I go with Processing.