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BlenderTUIO: Blender Multi Touch Screen


 blender-multi-touchThe French Computer Science Laboratory is using Blender as part of their Multi Touch experiments. They've released their modified version of Blender (and will release the source code too, of course), and a bunch of sample files. So dust off your old multi-touch media table and have fun!

From their website:

This is an unofficial version of blender that supports TUIO in the gamemode. We use it for quick prototyping of 3d multi-touch applications. My employer (the CNRS) allowed me to release the source code in opensource so I made this page. The code is still considered as an alpha state but we are using it internally since two months and are quite happy with it. You can see a little demo in the following movie: Movie-Navigation Movie-3DManipulation Any help is welcome to improve it (please contact us).

 Here's a cool video of the setup in action (with two more videos on the website):

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Interesting !

    We are catching a glipse of the future of Blender...

    The next logical step would be to invite some Blender developers and graphist in a colloqium to define the specific needs blender users have for multitouch.

    @Blender foundation
    Start thinking about adding multitouch for 2.6 (d'oh! already?!)

  2. What exactly is multitouch? And is it different hardware to a tablet pc. This would be so exiting. First grease pencil and now this. Having a tablet Pc ain't so bad these days.

  3. @hitechboy:

    multitouch devices are different than most touch sensitive devices in that they recognize multiple *simultanious* touches. most touchscreens just average the positions.

    Very very very cool video. I can't wait until more computer interfaces are tactile like that (and affordable).

  4. One small step for touch screens, One giant leap for Blenderheads.

    It's too bad this only works in game mode, then again its still alpha. Once they make it work in regular working mode that will be awesome!

  5. "So dust off your old multi-touch media table and have fun!"

    Geez, I can't remember where I left it; either in the box with my Commodore 64 or my HAL 9000.

  6. Before y'all get too excited: this won't work on ordinary tablet PC's or other touch devices that don't have explicit multi-touch support. Then again, I bet most tablet PCs WILL be multi-touch within 1 or 2 years from now, so it would be great to have multi-touch support not only in the game engine but also in the 3D views!

  7. Any development news is great news of course, but what I'm more interested in is how they established this project. Did they have some help from the Blender institute? Were they Blenderheads that did this project on their own, or did they search for an adequate platform to implement multi touch?

    The dynamics of such development is very interesting because that could mean that Blender development could have an extra boost from academical and commercial (like Broken's company) resources.

  8. Damien has been working on BlenderTUIO for a while now, but it's cool to see some updated videos on the progress. I've been working on building my own multitouch table for experimenting with Blender and my progress can be found at (Multitouch Category). I'll be making a dedicated page for my table very soon too, with detailed plans for DIY projects and more.

    I'm really curious as to what type of table Damien is using. With the beveled edge around the table I would assume it's an LLP (Laser Light Plane) setup, but it could be an FTIR (Frustrated Total Internal Reflection) in disguise. I have detailed explanations on my website on how they work. It seems (from the videos) that the touch response is somewhat slow and offset. That could also be a result of Blender's part and the computing speed, but overall it's working great. Expect to see much more over the next year or so from this type of work. NUI and multitouch have been sparking interest in lots of areas in computing and I'm glad to see progress in Blender. Hopefully we'll see some core development with native multitouch support in upcoming builds.


  9. The keyboard is what really makes blender so cool!
    I can hardly remember the times when I was looking through all the GUIs in 3d max.
    It could take up to several minuets to do something that can be done with a couple of keys in blender.

    Blender rocks =)

  10. Hi all,

    thank for the nice feedback.

    The table we are using is based on direct illumination, combined with a good blob-tracking algorithm such table lead to very good results.

    Now some additional details about blenderTUIO and what I would like to do for its future.

    All devices that are compatible with tuio (2dcursors) are supported with blenderTUIO. So a tablet PC that can be made compatible with TUIO will work; but it will only handle one cursor (instead of several) and so it will be nothing more than a mouse-click emulation.

    In a very short time frame, an easy and funny additional step could be to support 3dcursor/object to support the use of wiimoteTUIO in the gameengine. I also would like to submit this code for integration in the official blender trunk (I need to find more time for that).

    The initial idea for this development was to start with the easy part: "having tuio in the gameengine". Then, as a second step, working on the multi touch for modelling. This is a really hard part and it is really unclear if/how multi-touch will improving the modelling workflow. Finger based modelling seems rather hard to achieve but my feeling is that combined with such stuff:
    Great things can be done.

    I have seen several people interested in the topic (brian, gsoc proposal, ...), so maybe we could join our forces in a multi-touch taskforce for blender ? If you are interested, just send an email; and if there is enough interest maybe we could ask to open a wiki access in the blender website.

    Best regards,

  11. Wow! I've never seen something like this on any other apps before! Haha! That was one wicked demo, guys! The last time I've seen such thing is from Minority Report (though as far as I can remember that isn't a multi-touch screen, but a far more superior technology). Keep up the awesome job! How fun is it Blendering with these kinds of systems. Keeewl! I'd love to model inside Blender with both my "arms" busy. ^_^

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