Where to Go/What to Do When You Feel Your TD Knowledge Plateau

Hi all,

This is somewhat of a loaded question I suppose, but I’ve been actively using TD for close to 3 years now, have been doing various projects with it of various types (performance, installation, etc) and I just wanted to know what some of you suggest in terms of feeling like you’ve plateaued with your understanding of the program. I’m definitely comfortable with Python, though not an expert, and GLSL is just too much for me to try to use as I’m learning other software right now as well.

Just wanted to see what folks thought!
Thank you

I always find there is something to learn in this collection of topics https://alltd.org/

There are also some long format workshop recordings from our Summit, of which a number were quite advanced topics. They might give you some deeper content to get into or inspire you down new avenues of research. Summit Montréal 2019 Workshops - YouTube

Often attending in-person workshops you will learn lots from not only the instructor but the other in attendance, highly recommended if there are some in your area in the future.

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Pick a project that’s outside your comfort zone. Based on what you said, it might be good to branch out of performance systems. Pick a topic, read a book on it, learn a new programming language if necessary, and come back to TouchDesigner with that knowledge. The RayTK project by @tekt shown in the recent InSession is a strong example of this.

Other people are often interested in

To brainstorm more topics, you can rely on a broad categorization of graphics:

  • Geometry (point clouds, voxels, SDFs, triangle mesh)
  • Imaging (texture-making, like colorizing images, or the crazy text-to-art going on now)
  • Rendering (like high quality lighting algorithms, motion blur, depth of field, etc)
  • Animation (inverse kinematics, character animation)
  • Physics (rigid body, fluid, deformable, other simulation (physarum, boids))

But you can get inspiration from less technical things too, a fictional book, a movie, a documentary etc.

Some of my interests are

  • Computer music languages
  • Human-in-the-loop learning (wekinator etc.)
  • Tessellations and Islamic geometric patterns
  • Evolutionary algorithms and genetic algorithms
  • Specialty rendering techniques (radiosity, fractal flames, stippling, etc.)

Sorry to the many great projects I failed to mention! Just take my point that you pick an interesting/challenging topic first and everything else follows. My second point is that if possible, work with others. Dive into someone else’s code. Learn from them and also try to help them.