Community Post

My learning journey 01 - Baby's first steps

Heyo! Here's where I'll be recording my learning journey to get really good at Touchdesigner. If you're another member of the community and reading this, it's probably not going to provide much useful information, but I like to journal while I learn something new so I'm taking advantage of derivative's blogging feature to document my progress--don't worry, when I get good, eventually I will share some projects I create with the community as well.

I am starting my learning journey with a highly recommend youtube video "Absolute Beginner Touchdesigner|From Zero to Hero With Examples and Assignments" by Acrylicode. So far I love the tutorial; the instructor wastes no time jumping right in. A lot of people complain that she needs to slow down or they're getting too much information to process, but that is what the pause and rewind button was invented for my friends. As for me, I love this nitro boost learning method because I want to get the cool stuff ASAP. The assignments are also an excellent way for me to test what I've learned. The screenshot attached is my completed first assignment!

Half an hour in, and I've already gotten introduced to the workspace, and how to use some TOP nodes. I'm making note of them here.

circle - pretty straightforward. Draws a circle. I can set the color of the circle and also give it a stroke.

ramp - coming from other arts software, this seems to be what I'd normally call a "gradient". I'm going to have to get used to the new name.

comp - very useful node for combining several nodes into a single composition--it has several subcategories that I can access that change how these nodes interact with eachother, sort of like "blending modes" from other software that I've used. Allows me to control the draw order as well. I'm sure I will use this node often.

lookup - the instructor was not entirely clear on how this works, but from playing around with it I believe it transforms color of darkest-lightest pixels in one node to colors set on a ramp input. I'm wondering what it would do if I connected an input other than a ramp to this.

edge - my first "fun" node, it finds the edge of shapes given to it from an input. Going to be interested to see how this works with things other than a circle!

transform - allows me to make simple transformations to whatever is input. The instructor noted that I can "crop" with this node by transforming an input node out of bounds of the resolution, and then transforming it again to the center.


I am really excited to keep learning TouchDesigner--I can already tell that the key to mastery of this software is having a strong grasp of what every node does. Once this beginner tutorial ends, I wonder how many I'll have used so far?