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SS23 – 09 – Raymarching for the masses with RayTK

Raymarched Scene by Tommy Etkin

Recording In English Language

Raymarching has been around for a long time, but it is very different from traditional rendering, and it requires a strong knowledge of GLSL and vector math. The technique is particularly interesting because it is entirely computed in a screen-space shader. In other words, no mesh data is provided to the renderer and the scene is drawn on a single quad that covers the camera’s field of vision.

Objects in the scene are defined by mathematical equations that describe the shortest distance between a point and the surface of any object in the scene. Some forms (fractals, infinite repetition) and effects (reflections, volumetric lights) that are very difficult to achieve with traditional rendering methods can be calculated in real time with raymarching. As raymarching doesn’t work with polygonal meshes but mathematical equations it is possible to define perfectly smooth surfaces.

However, raymarching is far from trivial and was until recently it was exclusive to TouchDesigner users that were able to write rather advanced shader code. Until RayTK was released that is. RayTK is a library of TouchDesigner components that construct raymarching shaders (and other types of shaders) with networks of COMPs using the TouchDesigner network editor.

RayTK allows artists without a strong knowledge of GLSL to render raymarched scenes, using the familiar elements of the TouchDesigner network editor.

After the live lesson you will get access to the recording and the workshop files for one year.


This module is made for participants, who have a basic understanding of TouchDesigner, but do not need any experience with shader languages. If you are just getting started, please visit our Beginners Course first.

  • A recent PC or MAC Computer (discreet GPU recommended) with stable internet connection
  • The latest build of TouchDesigner installed
  • Zoom Client installed (please test your audio setup beforehand)
  • 3-Button Mouse recommended

About the Instructor

Tommy Etkin is an artist and software developer. He produces rendered visuals, performs live as a VJ, and creates generative and interactive visual installation pieces. He co-founded Immerse Studio, where he works with a team on event production and installation art. Since 2009, he has worked as a software engineer in a variety of industries including publishing, air travel, and advertising. He is a well known contributor to the TouchDesigner community and author of RayTK, a node-based raymarching toolkit for TouchDesigner that allows users to explore this rendering technique, which usually is only accessible to experts in shader programming.


Student – One Sessions a 50 EUR
Professional – One Sessions a 100 EUR
Company – One Sessions a 250 EUR