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The Value of the TouchDesigner Community

What is the TouchDesigner Community?

Whether you’re new or a veteran of the TouchDesigner community, you’ve probably heard about the community in one way or another. There’s a good reason for that. I think the TouchDesigner community is one of the best and most interesting professional communities around. Between the constant support, sharing, friendships, and amazing collaborations that grow out of our community, it’s hard to not love it. So today I wanted to highlight a few different elements of the community and why it’s important to so many people.

An awesome learning resource

One of the things you’ll realize immediately in the TouchDesigner scene is that the best learning resources are community driven. User blogs, video workshops, forums, chat groups, and more exist in the TouchDesigner community. All of these provide a unique experience to learn from experts in the field who come from different backgrounds and might specialize in different ways. That kind of educational variety might not be possible if you were strictly learning from the developers of TouchDesigner. I remember when I was starting out almost a decade ago, there weren’t really any books, university programs teaching interactive, real-time chat groups, publicly available learning curriculums, or anything like that! It was all based on chatting with community members on the forum and trading our secrets with each other. This was such an exciting way for me to learn, and I think it’s both shaped me and many of the top developers in the scene. It keeps us open and giving back in a pay-it-forward kind of way, instead of keeping everything secret and trying to make a living with our blackboxes. It’s been the main driving force behind a lot of my educational work, from my blog, my book, tools I’ve released, being active with newer users on Discord, etc. It would be silly for me to have gotten so much and to not give back regularly.

The best community resources roundup

I often hear “Oh man I didn’t know _________ existed!” I think it’s easy for a lot of experienced developers to overlook how extensive and spread out our community is. Below I’ve listed some of my favourite community places and places that I think are particularly helpful and should be on everyone new users “must-review” list.

  • Matthew Ragan’s website: some of the most in-depth writings on TouchDesigner topics and a generally amazing breakdown of Matthew’s TouchDesigner course curriculums
  • Licht Pfad’s website: amazing online video workshops that deep dive on GLSL and generative 3D TouchDesigner workflows
  • TouchDesigner Help Group on Facebook: combine the activeness of Facebook with TouchDesigner as a topic and what you have is the fast paced TouchDesigner Help Group on Facebook
  • TouchDesigner Discord Group: a newer social group for all TouchDesigner developers who want to chat in real-time on Discord. Great channel (possibly my favourite)
  • TouchDesigner official forums: it might feel a little bit dated, but the forums are an awesome place when you need to get some deep dive help on a topic, or if you want to share something you’re working on.
  • TouchDesigner official YouTube: great place to catch some TouchDesigner videos, especially recordings of workshops and talks from TouchDesigner summits
  • CHOPCHOPCHOP: a TouchDesigner asset store with lots of great community submissions
  • My blog: you’re already here…surprise! You should sign up for the email list in the top left corner!
  • Our free TouchDesigner introduction book: If you’re just starting out, it’s a great read to get you introduced to the basic concept of TouchDesigner and what all the different operator families do
  • GitHub: lots of TouchDesigner repositories exist on GitHub where experienced developers share their tools, workflows and examples

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If I’d had access to the tutorials, workshops, coaching and community found in the HQ when I first started with TouchDesigner, I would have hit my career goals years sooner

What’s new?

With all those resources available, I’m super excited to be launching my own TouchDesigner-focused mastermind group. Over the years, many different parts of the community have grown to fill many different needs. This subscription group provides access to all of the online video workshops I’ve ever done (including new ones coming up), any tools I’ve ever built, project templates and example files, direct access to me in a private Facebook group, group coaching calls, and more. I put this together because I think it fills a unique need in the TouchDesigner community for more personalized education that is outside of just developers reading a blog or watching a video. If you’d like to get more info on my new mastermind group, you can click here and find out more.

Wrap up

If you’re new to TouchDesigner, I can give you one piece of solid advice: embrace and join the community. There’s no reason to go it alone! Between all the lifelong friends I’ve made in the TouchDesigner community and all the support I’ve received and given, it’s been worth the effort introducing myself and keeping up with everyone over all these years between the forums, Discord, and other hang out places.

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