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A pipe is anything that allows the transfer of data from one process to another. The primary way to move data in TouchDesigner is by using specially designed Operators, listed below:

Data Type Input Output
Images Touch In TOP Touch Out TOP
Channels Touch In CHOP -OR- Pipe In CHOP Touch Out CHOP -OR- Pipe Out CHOP
Data TCP or UDP TCP or UDP

An Operator Family that creates, composites and modifies images, and reads/writes images and movies to/from files and the network. TOPs run on the graphics card's GPU.

An Operator Family which operate on Channels (a series of numbers) which are used for animation, audio, mathematics, simulation, logic, UI construction, and many other applications.

A way of moving data from one TouchDesigner process to another. Images are moved via Touch Out / In TOPs, channels are moved via Touch Out / In CHOPs and Pipe Out / In CHOPs. Data moves via TCP/IP or UDP.