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Help Needed: Difficult Things to Learn for Beginners

Still a little green? Ask your beginner's questions here

Re: Help Needed: Difficult Things to Learn for Beginners

Postby rurik » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:53 pm

What I am feeling, as I am a beginner currently learning, is that tutorials do way too much of what my math teachers used to do and sadly turned me off of math...They would usually just expect something to be understood.
So many, probably most tutorials will show you a workflow, but not explain why..."Now we put down the Evaluate DAT and we type in this expression"....What? Why? What is the evaluate DAT? And where did this expression come from? What is the underlying logic of putting that node there? "We need to extract the UV coordinates of this surface"...Sure, but why?
Of course this could be too beginner for some, but videos can be fast forwarded...Knowledge not so much.

I think, and I see this all the time with Houdini teachers, that people forget what needs to be explained and what is ok to assume know.

I would also like to request more information on setting up your environment. I can't find any ressources on best practices to set up your folder structure, what Touch likes, what is good for this or that type of project etc....

Thanks
Alex
---
Touch Designer Pro 088
Windows 7 - 8 Core- 8 gigs RAM - Nvidia GTX 560
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Re: Help Needed: Difficult Things to Learn for Beginners

Postby ben » Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:00 pm

Hey Alex, we understand the learning curve is steep in TouchDesigner and are trying to make it easier any way we can, so you comments are welcome!

Have you been focusing on the Beginner tutorials first? They are the ones with the green circles. Also, make SURE you go through all 3 videos in the "First Thing to Know About TouchDesigner" tutorial, they are crucial for laying some groundwork. Any intermediate or advanced tutorial will make a lot of assumptions that you know your way around TouchDesigner, otherwise those more complex tutorials would be hours long.

I would also recommend looking at the CHOP, TOP, and SOP main pages. They have very quick videos for all of the commonly used "sweet 16" operators in each family. They are an introduction to those OPs at the most basic level and show you a couple of things you can do with each one.

http://www.derivative.ca/wiki077/index. ... gory:CHOPs
http://www.derivative.ca/wiki077/index. ... egory:TOPs
http://www.derivative.ca/wiki077/index. ... egory:SOPs

Please feel free to ask any question here on the forum, and questions with an example from say a file or tutorial video are great.

We are also starting to do workshops at Derivative, the first of which will be aimed at novice users. We have 2 planned for Los Angeles in April right now, and we will plan more in the future based on interest in different areas.

http://www.derivative.ca/education/work ... elesApril/
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Re: Help Needed: Difficult Things to Learn for Beginners

Postby drxian » Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:15 am

i feel that there is not enough general information attached to the chop or node help pages or even int he tutorial area.. for instance a simple link this is a background on typical instruments and uses of the audio frequency spectrum should be attached a a help or external link in the audio nodes such as the band EQ node

http://www.teachmeaudio.com/production/ ... o-spectrum
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Re: Help Needed: Difficult Things to Learn for Beginners

Postby rodberry » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:15 am

I think that what we are missing as a community is a link (and distinction) between how to use touch and how to do the things touch is used for.

because the latter is diverse, one can be a veteran in one are and not in another.

For example, I just did a commercial job where I had to use a lot of video in a corporate tradeshow exhibit. Even though I know a bit about Touch in 3D and other stuff. working with video put me at beginners level again. this is something I'll try to talk about in its own post but I think we need more links out to more general knowledge.

Potentially, touch's 'viewer-in-tile' interface makes it a perfect tool from which to explore computer graphics. I'd love to see some more tutes about lighting, materials etc. in a more general sense. Often the assumption is that we know this stuff and just need to learn how to do it in touch.

Rod.

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Re: Help Needed: Difficult Things to Learn for Beginners

Postby rurik » Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:15 pm

Hey Ben

Thanks for your reply...I have been away from Touch for almost a month due to new projects, but am diving right back in now.
I had indeed looked the beginner tutorials first and I think I will watch them again to be on the safe side.

One other suggestion I would make is something like "The anatomy of a touch project".
For example I don't recall seeing in any video a clear explanation of what the hierarchy of a project is, starting with "/", then "/project1", etc....

I am also struggling with a clear understanding of the workflow with FBX geometry and UV coordinates etc...I will definitely post specific questions as they come up

Thanks again
Alex
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Touch Designer Pro 088
Windows 7 - 8 Core- 8 gigs RAM - Nvidia GTX 560
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Re: Help Needed: Difficult Things to Learn for Beginners

Postby drxian » Thu May 10, 2012 9:28 pm

ok here is one big difficult thing for beginners. the online or inline help for SOPS etc is very basic. its pretty much self evident stuff. there seems to be no elaboartion on "what happens if"

for instance

http://www.derivative.ca/wiki077/index. ... Switch_SOP

the switch sop. great iput counts up the next element in the switch list is selected. but what happens if the input becomes greater than the number of INPUT OP's.. no idea. really my life is too short to have to figure this out myself. why cant it just say " for inputs greater than the number of INPUT OPS the selection will be invalid/or will LOOP".. just so i know .. pleeeease..
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Re: Help Needed: Difficult Things to Learn for Beginners

Postby ombossa » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:06 am

Being quite new to Touch Designer, but quite experimented in programming (java based langagues) and in dataflow software like max/msp/jitter, I am currently struggling in simply drawing in 2D :?

I would like to take output of a trail and "redraw" it... Like making a custom trail, using my own aesthetic for the line it draw.
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Re: Help Needed: Difficult Things to Learn for Beginners

Postby drxian » Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:46 am

Hi Ombossa maybe best to post in Beginners Questions rather than here..
wish i coud help you with your actual question but im a noob as well.. :P
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Re: Help Needed: Difficult Things to Learn for Beginners

Postby drxian » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:46 am

Hi Guys,

Sorry but im still finding inline help very inadequate.
for instance DAT's im dealing with DAT tables and none of the help pages for TBL node or general DAT help tells me about the built in variablesyou might expect like 'number of rows' and 'number of columns'. i would expect these built in constants to be included in each DAT node help as well as the general DAT group page..

ps if any one know what these constants are a hint would be great! thanks!

drxian wrote:ok here is one big difficult thing for beginners. the online or inline help for SOPS etc is very basic. its pretty much self evident stuff. there seems to be no elaboartion on "what happens if"

for instance

http://www.derivative.ca/wiki077/index. ... Switch_SOP

the switch sop. great iput counts up the next element in the switch list is selected. but what happens if the input becomes greater than the number of INPUT OP's.. no idea. really my life is too short to have to figure this out myself. why cant it just say " for inputs greater than the number of INPUT OPS the selection will be invalid/or will LOOP".. just so i know .. pleeeease..
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Re: Help Needed: Difficult Things to Learn for Beginners

Postby rodberry » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:44 pm

drxian wrote:
ps if any one know what these constants are a hint would be great! thanks!


yeah, half the trouble is figuring out what things are called.

if you look for 'variables' rather than constants, things might start to make sense...

http://www.derivative.ca/wiki077/index. ... =Variables

but also you will need to use expressions to get info about DATs.
try typing in the textport:

exhelp tab*

that should give you just about every expression that can get info about a table and its contents.

also, there are some variable-related expressions for more complex scripts that might end up pasted in different paths etc. and need to know if the variables they are looking for make sense in relation to their new location...

exhelp var*

I agree that the help wiki pages for individual ops should each link back to this stuff so it becomes possible to find the right info from a number of directions.

early on, we were all putting stuff into the wiki entries but Derivative folk (rightly I think) wanted to keep that stuff fairly clear and consistent so having everyone scribbling away might've been too messy. However, it might be good to suggest stuff like this in the RFE and wishlist forum:

viewforum.php?f=17

or, if it's a glaring logical failure in the documentation, bugs:

viewforum.php?f=12

maybe we should start putting stuff in the discussion tab of a wiki page?

Rod.
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