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My Learning Journey 02 - Noise Displace is so fun!

I am having so much fun learning some basic TOPs, in conjunction with the "Absolute Beginner TouchDesigner|From Zero to Hero with Examples and Assignments" by Acrylicode on Youtube. I'm also getting used the interface. I am not a node based programmer, so there's so much clicking and organizing that needs to be done as opposed to a clean line of code or block in a timeline; not that it isn't fun in its own way. There are some things that the touchdesigner software does do that is so different from other workflows I have used, that I think there would be some benefit in researching shortcut keys and other ways to set up the workspace to speed things up (there has to be a more efficient way to select a top than looking for it in the list, clicking and dragging it onto an interface!) But that will be a job for later. Onto the new TOPs I have learned!
  • Noise - The moment I got to play around with this operator, in conjunction with Displace, I got so excited. I could immediately think of lots of fun things to do with this to make images move and morph organically.
  • Displace - I got stuck for a long time trying to replicate a noise displace because I forgot to set the weight in the displace operator. I have to remember that because I was seriously pulling my hair out for at least half an hour dicking around in the Noise operator. I'm sure I'll get used to it! I'm also excited to see what a Displace can do with inputs other than the Noise operator.
The next few sections were kind of a rapid-fire wrap up of the TOP operators I should know, so I didn't get to play around with them much. Luckily, I'm already familiar with how many of them work from my experience with other video editing and digital art software.
  • Levels -  This allows me to play with the light/color levels of an input. I will probably use this most when I need to adjust brightness or contrast in something.
  • HSV Adjust - Hue, Saturation, and Values can be manipulated here. Probably best when I want to modify the color of something over time.
  • Crop - Very straightforward; I can crop inputs with this one.
  • Tile - I love the look of this TOP, which tiles inputs, since it reminds me of a very grunge-y early 90s style of video editing. It will also be useful in creating mosaic and kaleidoscope type visuals, which are always so much fun!
  • Movie File In - Finally, I have learned how to import my own movies and image files into the software. I thought it was kind of weird that this very important feature was sort of sandwiched in at the last minute, but I at least know where it is; I definitely would not have known how to find it on my own!
  • Mirror - Another funkadelic node that could be used to create lots of fun visuals. It mirrors inputs at a variety of different angles, and I will definitely enjoy playing with it it later
  • Cross - One of two TOPs that appear to aid in transitioning smoothly between two inputs. However, since we are only working with static images at the moment, the effectiveness of this TOP hasn't been fully realized by me.
  • Switch - Instead of transitioning between two inputs, like Cross Top, this one lets me store several and switch between them with or without a blend. Again, this will be more useful once I start working with a timeline.

Wow! Half an hour into this tutorial and I have a LOT to work with. That actually wraps up the section on TOPs, and we're moving into CHOPs, which apparently get inputs and visuals to start moving. I can't wait!