Free + Open Source TouchDesigner book

Hey everyone,

We’re pleased to announce a new resource for TouchDesigner users. Some notes about it:

  1. Its free! completely 100% free, now and forever onward!
  2. It’s not only free, the book was written in LaTex and all of the book’s source code is available on GitHub for anyone to branch, pull, edit, add, delete, or change however they like, under a Creative Commons license. Build a version to a specific page size, print a copy for reference, add your own chapter on a topic, or whatever else you can like!
  3. It’s a triple threat - there is the main textbook, many accompanying example TouchDesigner project files, and hours of HD video walkthroughs.

For the full download link and link to the GitHub project page, head over to

Our hope is that community that we love being a part of and have learned so much from will contribute to keeping the resource up-to-date and adding and editing as things change. We have a few chapters coming in the immediate future, but we’d love to see what everyone else can bring to it!



Thanks for your work Elburz, that’s the documentation I was desperatly searching when I started to learn TD :slight_smile:

Elburz, you rock!

I promise to set aside some time to read it through and see what I can add to it.



Wow this is really, really nice!

Thank you Elburz.

this great!

This great for the community, thank you Elburz!

must have been lots of work.
I hope to contribute in the future.

I read it and am impressed. It’s well written and makes it easy to understand the workflow in TD. Thank you very much!

This is the type of resource that makes TouchDesigner a much easier subject to swallow for lots of people. I wish I had guidance like this when starting down the slippery slope but am glad to have taken the long way around.

Great work & thank you!


No problem and thanks everyone. We’re hoping it does make the slippery slope a little easier!

We’re looking forward to adding more and seeing what people want to contribute, and we’re always open to suggestions on how to make it a better resource.

We’re trying Vimeo now for the videos, as I think it might be easier to swallow than a 1gb download - for people downloading it and for us hosting it!

Thanks a lot for the book! It’s great!

My pleasure, hope it helps!

That book was fantastic! So I’ve got a super basic understanding of TD, but now I’m left wondering where I go from here. I just picked up “Multimedia Programming Using Max/MSP and TouchDesigner”, but I’d really love an in-depth video series or, even better, a Los Angeles workshop. Hope something pops up soon.

Watch the videos from the workshops. Found on the Education Workshop Videos page.

Wow, thanks.

Shout out to elburz and his fabulous book

: )

I’ve found this book amazing helpful, I have one question,
you state that having a deep understanding of computer graphics and rendering helps.
is there any material you could recommend for for beginning the epic journey into the world of computer graphics and rendering processes?

Computer graphics and rendering is quite a bear and might be something that you may want to digest in pieces as you’re working through learning TouchDesigner, otherwise it can be a whole maze to learn itself.

If you wanted to learn about computer graphics on their own separate from TouchDesigner, you can google “introduction to computer graphics”, looks like there are many university course materials you can check out. A lot of people recommend this udacity course: … ics–cs291

But i remember it getting quickly math-y for me. Definitely worth a shot though as it will basically teach you GLSL in parallel, and it’s quite comprehensive.

But don’t be afraid to just read Wikipedia or something from OpenGL’s wiki (since TouchDesigner is made with OpenGL) about what you’re working on.

Like if you’re working on rendering and curious about what a phong material is: … _materials

Or if you’re working with geometry and wondering what steps happen between your SOP and the Render TOP:

Or if you’re working on trying to make feedback trails you can learn different ways of approaching it by reading things on stack exchange: … ail-effect

The above is what worked for me, since I didn’t want to steer away from learning TouchDesigner just to learn graphics while I was working on projects, and it was a bit easier to digest little chunks at a time. Asking questions is good too!