View table: Glossary

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  1. Title - List of Text, delimiter: ,
  2. ShortDesc - Wikitext
  3. LongDesc - Wikitext

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Page Title ShortDesc LongDesc
.toe (edit) .toe

TOuch Environment file, the file type used by TouchDesigner to save your entire project.

.tox (edit) .tox

TouchDesigner Component file, the file type used to save a Component of your TouchDesigner project.

Absolute Time (edit) Absolute Time absTime

Absolute Time starts counting from 0 when the TouchDesigner process starts, and is always increasing. It will pause if the Power 0/1 button at the top of the UI is Off.

Annotate COMP (edit) Annotate Annotation

Annotates are displayed in the Network Editor as colored rectangles containing user-authored text and graphics. It is based on the Annotate COMP and allows you to document your networks with useful information like comments and node grouping.

Attribute (edit) Attributes

Information associated with SOP geometry. Points and primitives (polygons, NURBS, etc.) can have any number of attributes - position (P) is standard, and built-in optional attributes are normals (N), texture coordinates (uv), color (Cd), etc.

Attributes include information about an entity such as its color, velocity, normal, and so on. Attributes can be attached to Vertices, Points, Primitives, or the whole geometry.

Point and vertex attributes are interpolated across primitives, allowing more local flexibility than primitive attributes (e.g. color). Vertex attributes deal with the situation where shared points need different values for the attributes at the boundary of primitives, like the seam of a polar texture map for example. Primitive colors typically take us less memory point colors, and point colors less than vertex colors.

See also: Point List, Geometry Detail, Point Class, Primitive, Polygon, Vertex, Prims Class, SOP, SOP Class, Point SOP, Attribute SOP, Attribute Create SOP, SOP to DAT, Script SOP, Point Groups, Primitive Groups.

Backdrop (edit) Backdrop

The Backdrop is the grid of node viewers that are visible behind the Network, set by turning on Display Flags and the network RMB -> Display... Backdrop OPs.

The Backdrop is the grid of node viewers that are visible behind the Network, set by turning on Display Flags and the network RMB -> Display... Backdrop OPs.

Binding (edit) Binding

Binding is a Parameter Mode that ties two or more parameters' values together, where changing the value of any one of the bound parameters changes all of them. The actual value is stored in one place.

Bookmark (edit) Bookmarks

A pull-down list at the top of a network Pane containing jump-to Network Paths.

Bypass Flag (edit) Bypass Bypass Flag

An operator whose Bypass flag is set does nothing: All data going into its first input appears at its output unaffected.

Callback (edit) Callback

Some operators have a DAT docked to them that contains some python functions. These functions, called "callbacks", get called when something in the operator changes.

Channel (edit) Channel

A CHOP outputs one or more channels, where a channel is simply a sequence of numbers (Samples), representing motion, audio, etc. Channels are passed between CHOPs in TouchDesigner networks. Channels can be Exported to Parameters.

CHOP (edit) CHOP Channel Operator

An Operator Family which operate on Channels (a sequence of numbers (Samples)) which are used for animation, audio, mathematics, simulation, logic, UI construction, and data streamed from/to devices and protocols.

CHOP (edit) Sample Rate Sample

samples-per-second of a CHOP. Each CHOP in your network has a sample rate. In contrast, the overall timeline has a Frame Rate, which is the number of frames to cook and display per second, generally your monitor display frequency, default 60.

Clone (edit) Clone

Cloning makes multiple components match the contents of a master component. A Component whose Clone parameter is set will be forced to contain the same nodes, wiring and parameters as its master component. Cloning does not create new components as does the Replicator COMP.

Component (edit) Component COMP

An Operator Family that contains its own Network. There are sixteen 3D Object Component and ten 2D Panel Component types. See also Network Path.

Connector (edit) Connector

The notches on the left and right of each Node that let you Wire the output of one Operator to the input of another of the same Operator Family. The notches on the top and bottom of 3D Object Components and Panel Components that tie the components of each sub-Family in a Hierarchy.

Container COMP (edit) Container

The Container component type is a Panel Component that holds, lays out and displays any number of other Panel Components.

Cook (edit) Cook

To re-compute the output data of the Operators. An operator cooks when (1) its inputs change, (2) its Parameters change, (3) when the timeline moves forward in some cases, or (4) Scripting commands are run on the node. When the operator is a Panel Component, it also cooks when a user interacts with it. When an operator cooks, it usually causes operators connected to its output to re-cook. When TouchDesigner draws the screen, it re-cooks all the Dependencies - the necessary operators in all Networks, contributing to a frame's total "cook time".

DAT (edit) DAT Data Operator

An Operator Family that manipulates text strings: multi-line text or tables. Multi-line text is often a python Script or GLSL Shader, but can be any multi-line text. Tables are rows and columns of cells, each containing a text string.

Dependency (edit) Dependency

is the Procedural mechanism in TouchDesigner, where if one piece of data changes, it automatically causes other operators and expressions to re-Cook.

Designer Mode (edit) Designer Mode

You edit your networks in Designer Mode. See Perform Mode.

Dialog (edit) Dialog

Any floating window that is not a Pane or Viewer.

Display Flag (edit) Display Flag

The blue flag on Geometry components and SOP operators determines if the geometry contained in that operator is visible in node viewers and geometry viewer panes. See Render Flag.

Docking (edit) Docking Docked

Any node can be docked to another node. This helps organize networks as two node that are docked together will stay together when the dock parent is moved in a network editor. A docked node can be collapsed into a small icon under the dock parent, reducing network clutter.

Event (edit) Event

Events are single-moment occurrences that are generated from a variety of conditions - from input actions that a user causes, from external devices and software, and from internal TouchDesigner states. A wide set of operator types respond to events and give the user a place to write python code that reacts to events.

Export (edit) Export

Exporting is the connection of CHOP channels to parameters of operators. The output of each exporting CHOP is one or more channels, active only while the CHOP Viewer is on. The current value of a channel can be exported to a parameter of any operator, overriding that parameter's value. See Parameter.

Expression (edit) Expression

A text string that contains data (string, float, list, boolean, etc.) and operators (+ * < etc) that are evaluated by the node's language (python or Tscript) and returns a string, float list or boolean, etc. Expressions are used in parameters, DATs and in scripts.

Extend Conditions (edit) Extend Conditions Extend Region

In CHOPs, Extend Conditions determine what numbers you get when you try to get a channel value that is outside its start-end range - in its Extend Regions.

Extensions (edit) Extensions

Any component can be extended with its own Python classes which contain python functions and data.

Filter (edit) Filter

Operators that need 1 or more inputs are called Filters in TouchDesigner, like a Math CHOP. See Generator.

Filter per Sample (edit) Filter per Sample

A powerful feature of CHOPs that filter over time, like the Lag CHOP and Filter CHOP where each sample acts as its own filter.

Flag (edit) Flag

Indicator of certain states of an operator (bypass, display, lock, viewer active).

Flag (edit) Render Flag

The purple flag on COMP and SOP nodes that determines if the node will be rendered in a Render TOP or Render Pass TOP. The operator must also be listed in the Render / Render Pass TOP's 'Geometry' parameter.

Folder (edit) Folder

A Folder in TouchDesigner always refers to a Windows or macOS operating system directory/folder system that contain files and other folders. It does not refer to operators within TouchDesigner. See Network Path.

Frame (edit) Frame

The term "Frame" is a measurement of time used (1) in the Timeline, (2) as a time-unit in CHOPs, and (3) as a time unit in movie files that are read into TOPs and written out from TOPs. The frame rate is the frames per second (FPS).

Frame Rate (edit) Frame Rate FPS

The Frames-per-Second that TouchDesigner's Timeline runs at. Set with project.cookRate.

Generator (edit) Generator

Operators that do not need any inputs connected are called Generators in TouchDesigner, like a Pattern CHOP. See Filter.

Geometry COMP (edit) Geometry

The 3D data held in SOPs and passed for rendering by the Geometry COMP.

Geometry Spreadsheet (edit) Geometry Spreadsheet

Currently, use a SOP to DAT to look at SOP point/polygon XYZ and other attributes. Formerly a Pane type.

Geometry Viewer (edit) Geometry Viewer

A 3D viewport for viewing and manipulating 3D scenes or objects interactively. A geometry viewer can be found in Panes (alt+3 in any pane) or the Node Viewers of all Geometry Object components.

Global OP Shortcut (edit) Global OP Shortcut

A name for a component that is accessible from any node in a project, which can be declared in a component's Global Operator Shortcut parameter.

GPU (edit) GPU

The Graphics Processing Unit. This is the high-speed, many-core processor of the graphics card/chip that takes geometry, images and data from the CPU and creates images and processed data.

The Graphics Processing Unit. This is the brains of the graphics card, and consists of 4 to hundreds of processors.

It's where TOPs are computed. It also runs CUDA programs.

Hierarchy (edit) Hierarchy

Hierarchy relates components with other components. There are two groups of Hierarchy in TouchDesigner. 3D Object Components, and 2D Panel Components. Hierarchies let one component to be positioned relative to another. Each group can be connected via lines between the bottoms/tops of nodes in a network, or by placing one component inside the other.

Immune (edit) Immune

Every node has an Immune Flag, when on and the node is inside a Clone, it is not affected by any change to the clone master, so you can store extra data in the clone or set a node to be ignored by the cloning process.

Every node has an Immune Flag, when on and the node is inside a Clone, it is not affected by any change to the clone master, so you can store extra data in the clone or set a node to be ignored by the cloning process. The Immune flag of Components is tri-state, where one state makes the entire contents of the component immune too.

Instance (edit) Instance

(1) A Geometry Component can instance and render its SOP geometry many times: once for each sample in a CHOP, row of a DAT table, pixel in a TOP, or point of a SOP, (2) An instance is an OP that doesn't actually have its own data, but rather just refers to an OP (or has an input) whose data it uses. This includes Null OPs, Switch OPs and in some cases Select OPs.

Internal Operators (edit) Internal Operators

Internal Operators (iOPs) provide a simple shortcut to a frequently-used operator, accessing from anywhere in that component.

Internal Parameters (edit) Internal Parameters

Internal Parameters (iPars) act like local variables in a component. They provide a simple shortcut to collections of parameters that you create within a component, and access from anywhere in that component.

Interoperability (edit) Interoperability Interops

The devices, protocols and software tools that TouchDesigner interfaces to, via native Operators and Palette components.

The devices, protocols and software tools that TouchDesigner interfaces to, via native Operators and Palette components.

Keyframe (edit) Keyframe

In the Animation component each keyframe specifies a channel's value at a specific time (or frame). A keyframe holds a value, slopes and accelerations, and an interpolation type. A channel's keyframes are used to interpolate and determine the values of all the samples of the channel.

Layout (edit) Layout

(1) The TouchDesigner window is made of a menu bar at the top, a Timeline at the bottom, plus one of a choice of Layouts in the middle. A Layout is made on one or more Panes, each Pane can contain a Network Editor, Viewer, Panel, etc. See Pane and Bookmark. (2) Nodes in a network are arranged using Layout commands in the RMB menu.

Link (edit) Link Reference

A Link or Reference is a dashed line between nodes that represent other data flowing between nodes. Examples are CHOP Exports, node Paths in parameters, and expressions in parameters referencing CHOP channels, DAT tables and other nodes. In contrast is a Wire that connects nodes in the same Operator Family.

Link (edit) Reference Link

A Link. The grey dashed lines between nodes is a Reference or Link that indicates one operator is getting data from another operator from any Operator Family.

Lock Flag (edit) Lock Flag

When an operator is locked, it does not cook and its output data remains frozen, even when the TouchDesigner session is saved to a .toe file and restarted.

Macro (edit) Macro

The F1 to F12 keys run macros. The F1 macro puts you in Perform Mode. Pressing F9 or F10 over a panel brings up the network of the panel element you are pointing at. Macros are written in the legacy Tscript.

MAT (edit) MAT Material

MATs or Materials are an Operator Family that applies a Shader to a SOP or 3D Geometry Object for rendering textured surfaces with lighting.

Menu Bar (edit) Menu Bar

The bar at the top of the Designer Mode interface that contains menus, links, status messages and other controls.

MultiTouch (edit) MultiTouch Multi-Touch

Display devices in TouchDesigner that support multiple-finger or control-point input.

Network (edit) Network

Every component contains a network of operators that create and modify data. The operators are connected by wires that define where data is routed after the operator cooks its inputs and generates an output.

Network (edit) WYSIWID

TouchDesigner is WYSIWID - What You See Is What It's Doing. All nodes can have interactive viewers of their data.

Network Editor (edit) Network Editor

A pane type where networks of operators can be created and edited.

Network Path (edit) Path Network Path

The location of an operator within the TouchDesigner environment, for example, /geo1/circle1, a node called circle1 in a component called geo1. The path / is called Root. This path is displayed at the top of every Pane, showing which Component's network you are currently in. To refer instead to a filesystem folder, directory, disk file or http: address, see Folder.

Node (edit) Node

The generic thing that holds an Operator, and includes Flags (display, bypass, lock, render, immune) and its position/size in the network. Whether you "lay down an Operator" or "lay down an Node", you're doing the same thing.

Node Viewer (edit) Node Viewer

The viewer found on each operator in a Network Editor pane. This viewer is turned on by clicking the Viewer Flag.

Node Viewer (edit) Viewer flag

Each node has a viewer flag that turns on/off the node's viewer in the Node Viewer.

Object (edit) Object 3D Object

The sub-Family of Component types that are used to render 3D scenes: a Geometry Component containing the 3D shapes to render, plus Camera, Light and other Component types. "Objects" also refers to Python objects.

OP Create Menu (edit) OP Create Menu

The menu used to select and create a new operator. Can be opened in the Network Editor by pressing the <tab> key or double-clicking the background, or by clicking the MMB or RMB on an operator's output connector, or by the + sign in the Pane Bar.

OP Snippets (edit) Snippets

OP Snippets is a set of 700+ live examples of TouchDesigner operators. You can access snippets via the Help menu, or by right-clicking on network operators, or r-clicking on OP Create dialog items.

Operator (edit) OP Operator

Any of the procedural data operators. OPs do all the work in TouchDesigner. They "cook" and output data to other OPs, which ultimately result in new images, data and audio being generated. See Node.

Operator Family (edit) Operator Family Family

The Operator Families are TOPs, CHOPs, SOPs, MATs (Materials), DATs (data operators) and Components (Panel Gadgets and Objects).

Palette (edit) Palette

A built-in panel in TouchDesigner that contains a library of components and media that can be dragged-dropped into a TouchDesigner network.

Pane (edit) Pane

A work area in TouchDesigner's layout that includes the Network Editor and 7 other pane types used for different tasks. The TouchDesigner interface can consist of a single pane, or be split into multiple panes.

Pane (edit) Pane Type

There are 8 pane types; Network, Panel, Textport, Geometry Viewer, TOP Viewer, CHOP Viewer, Parameters, Graph Editor for CHOP Channels, or a Geometry Spreadsheet.

Panel (edit) Panel Control Panel

A custom interactive control panel built within TouchDesigner. Panels are created using Panel Components.

Panel Component (edit) Panel Component

The sub-Family of Components that are used to create custom interactive 2D control panels (Container, Widget, Text COMP Slider, Button, etc.).

Panel Value (edit) Panel Value

The internal states of a panel component are Panel Values, and are accessed with a Panel CHOP, a OP.panel Python expression, or a Panel Execute DAT.

Parameter (edit) Parameter

Every operator in TouchDesigner has a set of control Parameters that can be integer or floating point numbers, menus, binary toggles, text strings or operator paths, which determine the output of the operator.

Parameter (edit) Parameter Value

Parameter Value refers to the constant, the expression, the export, the bind reference and the Parameter Mode that are used together to determine the "evaluated" parameter value.

Parameter Dialog (edit) Parameter Dialog

A floating dialog, pane type, or dialog in a Network Editor that displays one operator's parameters.

A floating dialog, pane type, or dialog in a Network Editor that displays one operator's parameters.

Parameter Expression (edit) Parameter Expression

A parameter expression is a python expression that is in the expression field of a parameter.

Parameter Mode (edit) Parameter Mode

Every Parameter can be in one of four modes: Constant Mode, Expression Mode, Export Mode or Bind (Binding) Mode.

Parameter Reference (edit) Parameter Reference

A parameter reference can be setup between any two parameters by putting an expression in one parameter that refers to another parameter. This creates a Link between the two parameters such that when one changes, the other will change automatically (known in other software as a "constraint").

Parent (edit) Parent

There are 2 kinds of parenting. The "parent component" is the component in which a node resides. The metaphor is extended to include grand parents, grand-grand parents, etc. The root / is the ultimate parent to all nodes. See also 3D Parenting and panel Parenting.

Parent Shortcut (edit) Parent Shortcut

A Parent Shortcut is a parameter on a component that contains a name that you can use anywhere inside the component to refer to that component using the syntax parent.Name, for example parent.Effect.width to obtain panel width.

ParGroup (edit) ParGroup Parameter Group

A ParGroup is a group of related parameters that you can set and get as a whole instead of its individual parameters.

Pattern Expansion (edit) Pattern Expansion

Pattern Expansion takes a short string and expands it to generate a longer string of individual elements.

Pattern Matching (edit) Pattern Matching

Matching names using wildcard characters and bracketing. Useful in "Select" type parameters to select multiple operators, paths, channels, etc.

Pattern Replacement (edit) Pattern Replacement

Used in conjunction with Pattern Matching to replace all or portions of matched strings with new data. Used in places such as the Rename CHOP.

Perform Mode (edit) Perform Mode

Perform Mode is an optimized mode for live performance that only renders one specified Window COMP which is one window that contains your video outputs and your (optional) control interface. In Perform Mode the network editing window is not open - you edit your networks in Designer Mode. Alternate with F1 and Esc.

Performance Monitor (edit) Performance Monitor

The tool built-in to TouchDesigner that analyzes and displays what TouchDesigner is doing as it generates the output images, audio and data.

Pipe (edit) Pipe

A way of moving data from one TouchDesigner process to another. Images are moved via Touch Out / In TOPs, channels are moved via Touch Out / In CHOPs and Pipe Out / In CHOPs. Data moves via TCP/IP or UDP.

Point (edit) Point

Each SOP has a list of Points. Each point has an XYZ 3D position value plus other optional attributes. Each polygon Primitive is defined by a vertex list, which is list of point numbers.

Polygon (edit) Polygon

A polygon is a type of Primitive that is formed from a set of Vertices in 3D that are implicitly connected together to form a multi-edge shape.

A polygon is a type of Primitive that is formed from a set of Vertices in 3D that are implicitly connected together to form a multi-edge shape. Each Vertex is a reference to a Point in a Point List. Polygons in a Primitive List are part of the Geometry Detail, which is a part of a SOP.

Popup Help (edit) Popup Help

Help messages appear when (1) moving the cursor over the TouchDesigner user interface, (2) clicking the ? help button on the corner of each operator's Parameters page, (3) holding the Alt key while moving the cursor over the parameter names in the Parameter Dialogs, and (4) evaluating selected text in parameter expressions.

Primitive (edit) Primitive

A surface type in SOPs that includes polygon, curve (NURBS and Bezier), patch (NURBS and Bezier) and other basic shapes like sphere, tube and metaball. Points and Primitives are part of the Geometry Detail, which is a part of a SOP.

Privacy (edit) Privacy

Privacy of TouchDesigner Components (.tox files) or Projects (.toe files) is the protection of networks that enables them to be used but not be visible or editable.

Procedural (edit) Procedural

Procedural means the automatic generation of outputs based on live inputs and the current state of TouchDesigner. It is the chain-reaction mechanism of TouchDesigner, where if one piece of data changes, it automatically causes other "dependent" operators and expressions to re-Cook and re-generate the outputs.

Projection Mapping (edit) Projection Mapping

A technique or workflow that allows for displaying content on often irregular shapes and surfaces.

Pulse (edit) Pulse

To "pulse" a parameter is to send it a signal from (1) an exported CHOP channel or (2) a python command or (3) a mouse click that causes a new action to occur immediately. A pulse via python is via the .pulse() function on a pulse-type parameter, such as Reset parameter in a Speed CHOP. A pulse from a CHOP is typically a 0 to 1 to 0 signal in an exported channel.

To "pulse" a parameter is to send it a signal from (1) an exported CHOP channel or (2) a python command or (3) a mouse click that causes a new action to occur immediately.

Some parameters are specifically Pulse-type parameters such as Reset Pulse in a Speed CHOP. You can create custom Pulse-type parameters in the Component Editor.

A pulse via python is via the .pulse() function on a pulse-type parameter, for example op('speed1').par.resetpulse.pulse()

TIP: The benefit of the Pulse parameters on timed things in TouchDesigner is they act immediately - Speed CHOP's Reset pulses and Cue pulses on Movie File In TOP etc often have a on-off toggle plus a Pulse parameter. For the on-off toggle, while they are on, even for 1 frame, it's frozen in a cued/reset state. It's better to pulse the Pulse parameter with something like op('speed1').par.resetpulse.pulse(), which starts counting up on the frame that it's pulsed.

A pulse from a CHOP is typically a 0 to 1 to 0 signal in a channel exported to the Pulse-type parameter.

You can also pulse a Pulse-type parameter using an expression in the parameter that goes from 0 to 1 to 0.

Quad Reprojection (edit) Quad Reprojection

Quad Reprojection renders pixel-perfect perspective-correct images for flat TVs and LED panels hung at any orientation.

Reference (edit) Reference

The grey dashed lines between nodes is a Reference (or Link). A Reference is (1) a Parameter Reference, a parameter in an OP that is a name or path to another operator, (2) a Node Reference, an expression in a parameter or DAT script that contains the name or path of another operator, (3) a DAT Cell Reference or (4) a CHOP Channel Reference.