Getting started with Dynamo Studio 2016

#1

Hi folks,

As a person with a fair level of experience in Grasshopper, I’m excited to get to know the Dynamo platform and possibilities. I have a few questions:

  • Is this the best place for chatter / questions / sharing? or is there another resource I should know about somewhere?
  • What kind of up to date documentation might I find? Is there any documentation for DesignScript in its current form within Dynamo? I found a pdf that seems to predate the merge. Some information about syntax, about what arguments different methods take, etc. would be super helpful in getting my bearings.
  • Other than the Autodesk somewhat superficial tutorial videos, are there some good resources in a more or less organized / methodical structure, such as video series, ebooks, or whatever?
  • Any other suggestions to grok the workflow in Dynamo and how it is special / differentiated?
Thanks!

~i

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#2

Has this post been without an answer for three years now? Has no one been able to answer his question? I hope not as I have the same question … three years later.

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#3

Probably because 3 years ago the community was smaller and this was too general of a question for the time. If you want the answers to the same questions then I can give you my opinions on them and a few resources to check out.

  • Yes, this is the best place for questions and sharing for Dynamo and Dynamo graphs. Dynamo’s Github is a good place for requests/issues for the program itself. I know the Autodesk forums has a decent Dynamo presence as well, especially for API use.
  • For documentation, there is the Dynamo Primer, that every beginner should read through before jumping in. For help with OOTB (out-of-the-box) nodes, Dynamo Dictionary can be helpful. Some documentation on DesignScript I found in this manual but it is not a complete source by any means. @solamour made a good list of resources about DesignScript in use with Dynamo here: DesignScript: A Robust Dive into the Language Underlying Dynamo
  • Most of the resources are on this website, under the Learn tab. There, you can find tutorial videos, etc. If you run into specific problems, that is what this forum is meant for. Try searching for them first and if you can’t find a suitable answer, make a post. Make sure you read this first though: How to get help on the Dynamo forums
  • Dynamo uses visual programming, so while programming knowledge is not a requirement, a good understanding of programming helps immensely. Knowledge of things like classes, types, etc. will give you a better understanding of how your graphs work and where problems could be.

Python / Custom nodes tangent below:

  • Custom nodes are a very big part of Dynamo and its community as well. Users will make nodes to extend the functionality of Dynamo, making the most of Dynamo’s capabilities and Revit’s API. For common issues, it is likely there exists a custom node in some package that will solve it.
  • In addition to other users’ packages, making your own custom nodes can be helpful in structuring work flow in single or multiple graphs. They are structured almost the same as a normal graph and can be easy to make with Dynamo. I won’t list all of the benefits in creating your own custom nodes right now unless you want it, but you should definitely look into it.
  • For direct interaction with API through Dynamo, it requires using Python. You can make API custom nodes using C# but those must be compiled first and then brought into Dynamo.
  • If you are looking into using Python, the best lists of resources are here:
  • I am not aware if anyone has compiled a list on the most used packages and their nodes but if you browse this forum long enough I am sure you will find the top ones mentioned often. Most will have their own github to document changes throughout versions, the code behind the nodes, and possibly explanations/examples of the nodes. You can also submit issues/requests directly to the package owner there.

If anyone else wants to chime in and give their opinions, that would be great.

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#4

Awesome list @kennyb6! You’ve captured a lot of what is out there.

You can search for the most used packages by simply changing the Package Manager dropdown to Most downloads.

This is constantly curated by the community. One point to note is that there are some very interesting packages that don’t make the top downloads list. You can explore some of these packages at DynamoNodes.Com where package authors can document their own package thanks to @Luke_Johnson.

I also collated (Albeit it’s not been updated for 2+ years now) a list of resources on the RevitForumg.org which contains an alternate Dynamo forum here. While some of these resources are outdated the logic generally still applies - you’ll just have to navigate around deprecated nodes and updated workflows due to semantic versioning.

If you’re jumping into the Revit API, then also have a look at Revit API Docs or the new and improved API Docs that contains Revit, Navisworks, Rhino and Grasshopper resources - created by @Gui_Talarico.

For Python specific stuff, beyond what is mentioned above, you can also check out the comprehensive Learn Dynamo website by @Jeremy_Graham.

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