Introduction to visual programming with TouchDesigner

This free introduction gets you started with the visual programming environment and flattens the learning curve considerably.
Last updated: May 22, 2020
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Visual programming with TouchDesigner

Welcome to the NODE Institute.
We are all about sharing knowledge and inspiration. To this end we host regular user meetings for the VVVV and TouchDesigner communites in our studio in Berlin and worldwide over the internet. 

We also organise Workshops and Webinars to connect educators with students and professionals with each other. This free introduction to visual programming in TouchDesigner is ment to be a simple pathway into what can seem like a whole new world:

Realtime creative Coding.

Creative coding means an approach to programming that comes from an art and design angle. There are many tools out there, who try to simplify it for artists and designers to work with interactiver technologies that require programming. While many of these tool rely the efficiency of written code, some programs go another way, which becomes more and more common: Visual Programming.

This means that the user doesn’t write code in the first place but builds complex programs through connecting simple building blocks. This approach has been prooven very successful with people who are use to think visually. In the specific case of TouchDesigner each of these nodes shows what is happening in the node, and the signal flow becomes quite obvious.

However, Touchdesiger is known for a steep learning curve and there are some simple things that easily confuse novice users. We are here to get these obstacles out of your way and enable you to have fun from the beginning. This learning experience has several parts. Finishing it from start to end not only makes you fit to dive into your own exploration of visual programming and interaction design – but also enables you to jump into any other course directed at beginners that we offer.

Until the recent Corona crisis, we used to host this monthly class in our studio in Berlin. And that was good fun, but it also ment that there were aleways people who could not attend, because they live too far away. Others could not take part because the dates were never right for them.

With our new program we hope to overcome these limitation, yet keep up the personal connection that made our workshops in the past rewarding for both, the hosts and the students.

Course Description:

This free introduction to visual programming with Touchdesigner is ment to enable anyone to get started playing with Touchdesigner and enjoy it from day one.

You are going to learn what TouchDesigner is, where to get it, how to install and license it and what other people are using it for. You will understand in which context TouchDesigner is useful and when you should complemnt it with other tools or maybe look at something completely different.

You will get to know the basic concept of (visual) programming and learn how to use the interface and understand the basic terminology. With these basics in place you will start building your first patch, an audiovisual synthesizer and how to export the results to a movie or even stream it to a social media platform.

After finishing the course you should be able to navigate and use TouchDesigner, while avoiding the most common mistakes. You will be able to follow most tutorials and you will have learned important basics about computer graphics, codecs and programming. From here you can start your own exploration.

But before we dive into the depths of visual programming, lets have a look what kind of work people create with TouchDesigner.

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