Week 1: Learning Python!

Jan 27 – Feb 1

Being completely honest, I never really wanted to code as it is something I had found quite challenging. I took a Creative Coding class in my sophomore year, as it is required by my major, but we focused on using Processing which uses Java. I really did not like it and found no need for it as I knew I had no interest going into a gaming path (I thought this was the only reason I would ever need it.) But by that end of that year, I fell in love with another program: TouchDesigner. It wouldn’t be for another year before I would start using it more intensively when I would realize that I had no choice if I wanted to specialize in TouchDesigner, I needed to learn how to code.

This week, I started with W3 Schools website and while they have very useful information that I will be going back and referring to, I got rather bored by just reading page after page and not really coding. I went on YouTube and found this awesome crash course on Python that I have been working my way through. It is 4 hours long but it has been worth it. The screenshots below are how I have been following along while taking notes.

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Going through it is not as hard as I thought it would be. So far at least. Python and Java are similar but not really. Some of the things I did in Java I can do in Python but the syntax and the way you do it are still different. When I am coding in Python the Java script I learned tickles the back of my brain so I am not completely lost. It also helps that since I’ve been doing some coding in TouchDesigner, not everything I have been doing this week is exactly foreign to me. This will change as I go more in-depth with it.

Along with following through this video, I started looking into finding more creative coding resources. Since I want to use it primarily for TouchDesigner I watched two videos that focus specifically on Python in TouchDesigner. One is by Matthew Ragen who is an amazing Media Maker who has very useful videos on youtube on a lot of TouchDesigner aspects. He has playlist of Python in TouchDesigner that I am going to keep going back and studying as it is exactly what I need. The second video I watched was by my former professor, Michael McKellar. The video was actually exactly what he showed us in class and it was a nice refresher into things I had forgotten about.

I know it has only been a week but I am actually really enjoying learning the ins and outs of Python so far. I know that I will get frustrated and I will want to quit but it’s all part of the process.