Parent Shortcut

From TouchDesigner 099 Wiki

A Parent Shortcut allows any component to be referenced in any of its children operators with a parent.Name notation, no matter how deep the children reside inside the component.

Note: For global shortcuts to components in another part of your project, see Global OP Shortcut.

The advantages of using the parent shortcut inside a component is:

  • You don't need to know how many parent levels up the main component is. Instead of writing parent(3) to get to a main component, you write parent.Name.
  • The component then becomes very portable and can be copy/pasted or moved into any network.


To specify a shortcut, enter a name in a component's Parent Shortcut parameter, for example, Effect. To reference the shortcut, use parent.Name where Name is the value entered in the component's shortcut parameter, parent.Effect in this case.
Since all uses of parent.Name will refer to the parent shortcut instead of using absolute paths, moving the component into another network will not break any expressions in the component.

Note that by default, the component /project1 has its Parent Shortcut parameter set to Project. Thus parent.Project will refer to this top level operator from anywhere inside.

Example: A panel is located at /project1/fireEffect. Instead of using parent().par.w or parent(2),par.w etc to access its width, (depending on where the expression is located), set the Parent Shortcut of the panel to Effect. Then anywhere inside the component, parent.Effect will refer to /project1/fireEffect, and parent.Effect.par.w is the width of the panel.

If you move the fireEffect component to an entirely different location: /project3/controlpanel/effects/fireEffect, then any internal expression with parent.Effect will conveniently point to /project3/controlpanel/effects/fireEffect.

If all clones of a master component have the same parent shortcut, using that name inside any of the clones will refer to the unique location of each clone, making paths in clones simpler and clones more portable.

(Parent Shortcut was formerly called Path Variable or Internal Shortcut.)

For exact usage and details, see OP Class#Members.
See also: parent() in Td_Module, Global OP Shortcut