Best way to learn TouchDesigner?

ive been familiar with touch designer for a while, as in ive followed touch designer and generative art hashtags on instagram, and really want to learn how to make the same type of art/visuals

for those of you who have learned or taught themselves, what were the best resources for you and what do you wish you could have known earlier on?

i don’t know any programming languages… ive taken web design classes at school but that’s about it—not sure if that’s relevant tho.

Hey and welcome!

I started TouchDesigner years ago, coming from a 3d background, not too much programming experience prior. bit of html, and python but very small scale.

Just my two cents, but come up with a specific goal / small project to work towards, open ended software like TouchDesigner is really best learned through moving towards as specific a goal as you can come up with.

Sounds like you kind of do! which is great, maybe find some audio visual clips, or loops or effects that you are a fan of, and attempt to recreate them in TouchDesigner. Again, that would just be my approach.

You’ll want to break down the the thing you’re trying to recreate as much as possible into smaller steps, why starting small is useful. The smaller step you break it down to, the easier it will be to google or ask about tutorials or help overcoming specifics.

Though if you run into a bigger question you don’t know how to break down further, or progress on - def ask. Easy to get stuck trying to use the wrong node/tool for the job in Touch, and sometimes other mindsets can lead towards different approaches in Touch.

Hope that helps!


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@lucasm has some great advice here.

When I started learning touch there only a handful of videos on the internet, and the wiki felt impossible to understand. It’s a great time now to be learning, there are new tutorials all the time up on derivative’s website:

Resources like:

and a growing set of youtube channels devoted to more artistic expressive touch creation:

Graphics work is a much deeper field than you might expect, and so my perspective here is to start small and make incremental progress. When there’s something you don’t totally understand or want to learn more about, give yourself a project to help get to the bottom of that question.

I think the other big thing here is to do a little bit everyday - what we do most, we do best. Try to make something weird, goofy, beautiful, etc. regularly - it’s okay if not everything is great, or some experiments flop… but keep making.