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According the VEX in Houdini class it's best to at least know Python before attending. I've found that MIT has a beginning computer science class that introduces Python, but mainly as a means to solve science oriented problem sets. Perhaps a combination of that and code academy will give me a good foundation. I'll let you know in a few months. http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-00-introduction-to-computer-science-and-programming-fall-2008/ Perhaps experimenting with VOPs and seeing what VEX code comes out of it will be a good way to learn also. Thank you for the help!
My main goal with Houdini is to create images and animations that explain astronomy concepts, sometimes accurately and sometimes more artistically. In addition to that, I would like to bring in astronomical data sets and use Houdini to play out and manipulate simulations. I'm pretty sure Houdini is capable of what I want to do, but it's becoming obvious to me that I need to learn programming. Yet, I'm overwhelmed with all the paths there are to take. Processing 3.0 looks inviting because of its visual nature, but I'm not sure how it would translate into working with Houdini's coding environment. Python seems to be the one to learn because it's already built into the Interface and it's used in many data visualization scenarios. As far as VEX, I haven't found a resource that promotes VEX as your first programming language to learn. Though from what I've learned through tutorials, it's very powerful and at the very core of program. I really don't want to spend my time learning something that I can't apply in Houdini, yet I'll need a little hand-holding at the beginning. So, if there are suggestions of a learning path, I would really appreciate it!