Virtual File System

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TouchDesigner's Virtual File system (VFS) allows image, movie, audio, fonts, other media and any files to be embedded in a .tox or .toe file. You can open and read them as if they are files in the filesystem. This makes .tox and .toe files more portable if they depend on images or sounds or font files.

It will of course make your .tox and .toe files larger by whatever the hard drive file size is, but one virtual file can be referred to by multiple OPs at the same time.

Internal files can be addressed directly with the vfs: prefix. Example: vfs:/project1:test.jpg. This VFS address will work in any parameter that is used to point at external files.

All Operators that open files, like the Movie File In TOP and Audio File In CHOP understand the VFS syntax. Unlike locking a TOP where the image saved in the .tox/.toe is compressed with LZW, a Movie File In TOP that refers to a .jpeg file in VFS, it remains fully JPEG compressed.

VFS can hold entire movie files and audio files including H.264 and .mp3 files. It can also hold .ttf font files and in some circumstances, .dll files for the CPlusPlus TOP, CPlusPlus SOP and CPlusPlus CHOP.

Together with the Privacy option (can be set using TouchDesigner Pro only), VFS allows for additional privacy of media built into your TouchDesigner .tox/.toe files.


Two python classes give you full access to VFS functionality.

  • VFS Class - describes a COMP's virtual file system.
  • VFSFile_Class - describes a virtual file contained within a virtual file system.

Palette Example

Use the Palette:virtualFile component in the Palette (under Tools) as a user interface for VFS. This allows you to use VFS without the scripting that is otherwise required. Read the readMe in that component.

Lets you embed files inside a .tox or .toe file. Operators like the Movie File In TOP that read regular files can also read the embedded VFS files using a vfs: syntax.

TouchDesigner Component file, the file type used to save a Component from TouchDesigner.

TOuch Environment file, the file type used by TouchDesigner to save your project.

An Operator Family that creates, composites and modifies images, and reads/writes images and movies to/from files and the network. TOPs run on the graphics card's GPU.

An Operator Family that contains its own Network inside. There are twelve 3D Object Component and eight 2D Panel Component types. See also Network Path.

A built-in panel in TouchDesigner that contains a library of components and media that can be dragged-dropped into a TouchDesigner network.