Exporting video

Hello, so I’ve spent hundreds of hours creating in touchdesigner and feel like I’m getting over the learning curve a little and am able to communicate with it more naturally. However, the one thing I still can’t figure out how to do is export a decent video of my work, which seems like it should be a day 1 thing.
So far I’ve had some luck at least getting something using the movie file out TOP, but the quality is complete garbage. The export movie dialog seems to spit out a file that just gives an error when you try to play it. For anyone who knows how to achieve a decent video file, could you please walk me through how you do it, thanks.

It all depends on what I’m looking to output.

When outputting sample animation of a set I use the movie export dialogue - I typically use 30 fps, and rgb animation as the codec. I do this as the animation codec maintains a consistent color space and has little compression. I usually transcode to another format in Adobe Media Encoder - I find this usually has the best results for mp4 transcoding for a variety of delivery platforms.

If you’re exporting manually from the movie file out TOP it’s a little more work to set up. I’ve been happiest with animation and hapq as the output codecs. JPEG and H264 always feel a little over compressed to me. I find that using the moviefile out TOP it’s generally well advised to turn off the realtime flag - as this ensures that you draw every frame. This isn’t ideal for recording a live-set though.

Animation files will play with VLC - though depending on the recorded resolution and the drive type you’ve recorded to they may stutter during playback as they’re generally very large with little compression. HAPQ files usually require installing an additional codec pack and quicktime.

For capturing a live set or a a screen cast I use an elgato game capture HD - it’s a small hardware encoder that does a fine job of capturing a decently compressed H264 encoded stream of video to another computer.

I’ve also seen folks have good success using nvida’s shadow play - the game capture side of the the gforce experience software.

If image quality is very important, you might consider recording a tiff frame sequence instead - that wont’ be fast, but it will likely show the least degree of artifacting.

Is there a tutorial somewhere about actually going through the steps of exporting the video with the movie file out TOP?

Thank you!

Old thread, but I also find some issues with the Movie Xport Dialogue:
Running TD on a Lenovo P53 with i7 vPro 9th Gen and NVidia Quadro RTX 3000, but the export as animation file is always extremely choppy and very compressed…tried H.264 with same results. only H.265 and MPEG4 maintain good results.

What might be the bottleneck here? I’ve simply tested the startup file as source for the recording, so no complex patch or anything

Are you using the Export Movie dialog? If so, it should be smooth as this automatically turns off realtime mode so it will not skip frames. It also doesn’t make sense that Animation codec is compressed looking as it is lossless, so something strange is going on here. By the way, the recent 2020.22080 has a bug fix for the filepath of the Movie Export dialog, recommend grabbing that.

If you are using the Movie File Out TOP directly, you should turn off the realtime flag manually before recording to make sure it renders every frame. This flag is at the top of the interface beside the FPS counter. If you were using the Movie Export dialog, I wonder what the output of the Movie File Out directly would look like with Animation Codec and realtime off just to see if we can narrow down the issue.

1 Like

hi @ben,
thanks for your quick reply :slight_smile:

this happens when i export with the Export Movie Dialogue, i also turn of the realtime flag manually and the behaviour is the same…

exporting in HAP has no issues at all, but takes long time of course, and i was specifically looking for a Quadro-GPU because of all the advantages it has with TD.

i am not at work now, but i can export in different formats and upload the videos for showing the problem


it works…it even works fluently and perfect, it was VLC lagging due to weird codec-settings. playing it on TouchPlayer resulted in smooth playback…sorry for the confusion: my bad…

Damnit… I have spent so long trying to figure this out and just realized this is exactly why all my vids have been choppy. Thank you :man_facepalming:

1 Like