Tutorials?

Mario's Avatar

Mario

19 Mar, 2024 07:01 PM

Any Tutorial recommendations to begin with Nodebox?
Thank you!

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by john on 19 Mar, 2024 11:11 PM

    john's Avatar

    Mario,

    Good question.

    The Nodebox documentation page has a whole series of short tutorials. That's the best place to start:

    https://www.nodebox.net/node/documentation/

    There are also a set of examples built into NodeBox itself (which many users never notice). From inside the Nodebox app choose Open Examples... from the File Menu. A dialog will appear. Choose either the Topics or Basics tab on the top, then select a subcategory from the list on the left. Then click on any one of the examples on the right.

    A nodebox file will then open with the example code already in place. Look through it, render different nodes, change parameters and see what happens. You can use any of these as a starting point and then save copies to use for further experimentation. Playing with actual code is one of the best ways of learning any programming language.

    The next thing you should explore is this forum. It's an incredible resource with over ten years of detailed discussion threads. Type any subject of interest into the "Search discussions" field at the top of the forum page, hit Search, and start reading through old discussions. It's how I learned. And I've now answered hundreds of newbie questions with detailed example code, so many of the questions you have may have already been answered.

    If you like video tutorials, there are just a few on YouTube:

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=nodebox+tutorial

    Finally, as you start to play with Nodebox, please don't be shy about asking questions on this forum (as you have already started to do). If no one else does, I will usually respond within a day and I genuinely enjoy answering questions and accepting challenges.

    Hope that helps! Good luck and keep those questions coming.

    John

  2. 2 Posted by Mario Aveni on 20 Mar, 2024 01:49 AM

    Mario Aveni's Avatar

    Hi John,
    thank you so much for your detailed response and for providing such
    valuable resources for getting started with Nodebox. Your guidance is
    immensely appreciated. I will certainly delve into the tutorials on the
    Nodebox documentation page and explore the examples within the app. The tip
    about utilizing the forum for discussions and searching through old threads
    is incredibly helpful. I'll make sure to take full advantage of that.

    Once again, thank you for your invaluable help and encouragement.

    Best regards, Mario

    On Tue, Mar 19, 2024 at 7:11 PM john <[email blocked]>
    wrote:

  3. 3 Posted by Mario Aveni on 20 Mar, 2024 02:31 AM

    Mario Aveni's Avatar

    Hey John,

    I hope you're doing well! Sorry to bother you again, but I could really use
    your expertise with Nodebox.

    I've been following the Nodebox documentation tutorial and got to the
    Spirograph stage. I managed to follow the steps to colorize by inserting a
    colorize node between freehand1 and reflect1. Also, I copied the four nodes
    and grouped them by sending them all to a combine node.

    However, I've hit a roadblock there. I can't seem to figure out how to
    actually colorize the spirograph I created. Could you possibly walk me
    through this?

    Thanks a ton in advance for your help!

    Best regards,

    Mario

    On Tue, Mar 19, 2024 at 7:11 PM john <[email blocked]>
    wrote:

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by john on 20 Mar, 2024 03:08 AM

    john's Avatar

    Hi Mario,

    I just tried this myself and it worked fine for me. Before adding the colorize node did you see a spirograph drawing with black lines?

    After adding the colorize node what did you see?

    • the same black lines (no change)
    • a black smudge
    • nothing at all (blank screen)
    • something else

    There are a few tricks to using the colorize node. When colorizing a closed shape (like a square or circle) you will usually want a solid color for the fill and may or may not need a stroke for the outline. So leaving the stroke width at 0 is fine for that.

    But when coloring an open line or curve (like the output of the freehand node) you will usually want no fill at all, and you will definitely need a stroke width greater than 0.

    So first increase the stroke width of your colorize node and see what happens. If the missing lines suddenly appear you will be halfway home, You can change the color of the outline by changing the stroke color. Change it to red to see what happens.

    Now then, how do you get rid of the fill? You do that by setting its opacity to 0. Click the fill color and when the Choose Color dialog comes up, drag the Alpha channel at the bottom from 255 down to 0. As you do this the fill color will first fade and then disappear altogether.

    I do this a hundred times a day: add a colorize node, bump the stroke width, open the fill, and set alpha to 0. This is more cumbersome and counterintuitive than it should be, but you will quickly get used to it.

    I'm not sure why you copied the nodes. Combining the copies would just draw the spirograph on top of itself. It would not technically group anything - you need a group node for that. But adding a group node would not change the outward appearance.

    Try adjusting your fill and stroke width and let me know it that gets you unstuck. If not, please zip up your ndbx file and attach it to your reply so that I can see what you've gotten yourself into!

    John

  5. 5 Posted by Mario Aveni on 20 Mar, 2024 06:04 PM

    Mario Aveni's Avatar

    Hey John,

    I hope you're doing well. Just wanted to drop you a quick note to say
    thanks for your time and patience.

    So, I gave it another shot and tried to colorize the spiro for the second
    time, but I'm still stuck. Can't seem to get any color onto the drawing,
    just the same old black lines.

    I copied the nodes exactly based on the tutorial instructions. I've
    attached a snapshot and zipped the ndbx file for you to take a look at.

    Thanks again for all your help!

    Best,

    Mario

    On Tue, Mar 19, 2024 at 11:08 PM john <[email blocked]>
    wrote:

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by john on 20 Mar, 2024 07:22 PM

    john's Avatar

    Mario,

    Your problem is very simple.

    You hooked your colorize node into the output of the reflect node, but failed to hook the output of the colorize node into the input of the copy node.

    Once you do this the colors will flow! You will then want to dial your stroke width way down to 1 or 2.

    When I am wiring up nodes I space them out at first so that I can clearly see how everything is connected. Once everything is working, I then go back and tidy up (which is an art form onto itself). I only put nodes in stacks (all touching each other in a single column) if each output feeds directly into the first port of the next node; if it feeds into any other port I add a little more vertical space so you can clearly see which input port is being used.

    Checking and double-checking the connections soon become second nature.

    Onward and upward!

    John

  7. 7 Posted by Mario Aveni on 21 Mar, 2024 10:17 PM

    Mario Aveni's Avatar

    Hi John,

    Just wanted to drop you a quick note to say a massive thank you for sorting
    out that issue I was having. Your advice about the colorize node and
    connecting everything up properly was spot on! Once I got that sorted, the
    colors started flowing just like you said.

    Definitely gonna adopt that approach from now on.
    Seriously bud, your help is always top-notch.

    Thank you!

    On Wed, Mar 20, 2024 at 3:22 PM john <[email blocked]>
    wrote:

  8. 8 Posted by Mario Aveni on 21 Mar, 2024 11:06 PM

    Mario Aveni's Avatar

    Hi John, it's me again,

    Hope you're doing awesome!

    So, I've got this little snag with colorizing the Spiro, the tutorial I
    followed only covered coloring the outer lines. Am I totally missing
    something here?

    You're probably sick of me bugging you with all these questions,(sorry
    about that!) but any chance you could throw some wisdom my way on this one?

    Thank you thank you thank you!!

    On Wed, Mar 20, 2024 at 3:22 PM john <[email blocked]>
    wrote:

  9. 9 Posted by Mario Aveni on 21 Mar, 2024 11:10 PM

    Mario Aveni's Avatar

    Oh, last-minitue update

    I think I cracked it! Just tweaked the Fill box and voila!

    Sorry again for bothering you, bud!

    Cheers!

    On Thu, Mar 21, 2024 at 7:05 PM Mario Aveni <[email blocked]> wrote:

  10. Support Staff 10 Posted by john on 22 Mar, 2024 04:18 AM

    john's Avatar

    No prob, Mario. And thanks for the thanks.

  11. 11 Posted by Mario Aveni on 24 Mar, 2024 10:18 PM

    Mario Aveni's Avatar

    Hey John,

    Hope you're doing well! Just dropping you a quick message to say I've thrown in the towel with Nodebox. Those tutorials are driving me up the wall - too confusing and frustrating for my liking.

    Plus, I'm really keen on understanding the rationale behind each step in generative design. My little stint with Nodebox left me feeling like the only way to get it is by memorizing everything, but there's just so much to take in!

    I do dig the final animated art results though, at least the one I’ve seen from other artists that use the program, and I'm itching to blend them with my music. But honestly, I'm struggling to find a logical approach to learning it. Any other program as options out there? Or more didactic iand ntuitive tutorials? Appreciate any advice you've got!

    Cheers! 


    Mario Aveni
    203.938.5417
    [email blocked]

    On Mar 21, 2024, at 6:17 PM, Mario Aveni <[email blocked]> wrote:

    

    Hi John, 

    Just wanted to drop you a quick note to say a massive thank you for sorting out that issue I was having. Your advice about the colorize node and connecting everything up properly was spot on! Once I got that sorted, the colors started flowing just like you said.

    Definitely gonna adopt that approach from now on.

    Seriously bud, your help is always top-notch. 

    Thank you!

    On Wed, Mar 20, 2024 at 3:22 PM john <[email blocked]> wrote:

    // Please reply above this line
    ==================================================

    From: john (Support staff)

    Mario,

    Your problem is very simple.

    You hooked your colorize node into the output of the reflect node, but failed to hook the output of the colorize node into the input of the copy node.

    Once you do this the colors will flow! You will then want to dial your stroke width way down to 1 or 2.

    When I am wiring up nodes I space them out at first so that I can clearly see how everything is connected. Once everything is working, I then go back and tidy up (which is an art form onto itself). I only put nodes in stacks (all touching each other in a single column) if each output feeds directly into the first port of the next node; if it feeds into any other port I add a little more vertical space so you can clearly see which input port is being used.

    Checking and double-checking the connections soon become second nature.

    Onward and upward!

    John

    On Wed, Mar 20 at 11:04 AM PDT, Mario Aveni wrote:

    Hey John,

    I hope you're doing well. Just wanted to drop you a quick note to say
    thanks for your time and patience.

    So, I gave it another shot and tried to colorize the spiro for the second
    time, but I'm still stuck. Can't seem to get any color onto the drawing,
    just the same old black lines.

    I copied the nodes exactly based on the tutorial instructions. I've
    attached a snapshot and zipped the ndbx file for you to take a look at.

    Thanks again for all your help!

    Best,

    Mario

    On Tue, Mar 19, 2024 at 11:08 PM john <[email blocked]>
    wrote:

    Having trouble reading this? View this discussion online: Tutorials?.

    Reply with #ignore to stop receiving notifications for this discussion.

  12. Support Staff 12 Posted by john on 25 Mar, 2024 08:29 AM

    john's Avatar

    Mario,

    Sorry to hear you are throwing in the towel so soon.

    Programming languages are a very personal thing. Languages that seem intuitive to one person are maddening to another. So if one language doesn't work, try another, and another.

    Many generative artists use Processing (or its cousin P5js). One artist I know uses R, which is normally considered to be a language for statisticians and data scientists. Many 3D artists like Blender. In fact you can do generative art in ANY language.

    But every one of these languages will have a learning curve. You will need to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can dance.

    As for tutorials, I didn't use them much when I was learning NodeBox - or any other of the many languages I've learned over the years. For me what works best is to have a very specific goal in mind, a project that I am highly motivated to make happen. I then set out immediately to make that particular thing. I try and fail and try again and fail again, getting closer each time, hunting for similar things and looking at other people's code if I can find it, until I finally get the vision in my head to come true. And then I dream of another project.

    The key is you have to want it badly enough to keep trying until you get it.

    Good luck! I will always be here if you want to come back and try again.

    John

  13. 13 Posted by Mario Aveni on 25 Mar, 2024 01:27 PM

    Mario Aveni's Avatar

    Hi John,

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words and valuable insights. After reading about your experiences, I'm inspired to continue my journey in learning programming languages rather than giving up.

    Your advice about exploring different languages and finding the one that resonates with me is truly enlightening. I'll definitely explore the other options.

    I really appreciate your offer to be there for guidance if I decide to give it another shot. It means a lot to me.

    If you don't mind, could you please share where you are based? I'm currently in New York City.

    Also, if you're comfortable sharing, I'd love to know what your personal goal is with NodeBox. Understanding your journey and goals would provide further inspiration for me.

    Feel free to reach out to me anytime at [email blocked].

    Thank you once again for your encouragement and support.

    Best, Mario

    Mario Aveni
    203.938.5417
    [email blocked]

    On Mar 25, 2024, at 4:29 AM, john <[email blocked]> wrote:

    Mario,

    Sorry to hear you are throwing in the towel so soon.

    Programming languages are a very personal thing. Languages that seem intuitive to one person are maddening to another. So if one language doesn't work, try another, and another.

    Many generative artists use Processing (or its cousin P5js). Another I know uses R, which is normally considered to be a language for statisticians and data scientists. Many 3D artists like Blender. In fact you can do generative art in ANY language.

    But every one of these languages will have a learning curve. You will need to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can dance.

    As for tutorials, I didn't use them much when I was learning NodeBox - or any other of the many languages I've learned over the years. For me what works best is to have a very specific goal in mind, a project that I am highly motivated to make happen. I then set out immediately to make that particular thing. I try and fail and try again and fail again, getting closer each time, hunting for similar things and looking at other people's code if I can find it, until I finally get the vision in my head to come true. And then I dream of another project.

    The key is you have to want it badly enough to keep trying until you get it.

    Good luck! I will always be here if you want to come back and try again.

    John

  14. Support Staff 14 Posted by john on 25 Mar, 2024 08:48 PM

    john's Avatar

    Mario,

    I am based near San Francisco. Aside from my work here on the forum and with my node library trying to keep Nodebox alive, my focus these days is on my generative art. All my art is done using Nodebox.

    You can find out more about my art here:

    http://www.cartania.com/design.html

    Good luck!

    John

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