Processing Workshop

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Scott wants to teach a workshop sometime in September 2008 on Processing, a free, open-source programming environment for artists, designers, and anyone interested in getting the computer to do work for you. Right now, he's gauging the level of interest in such a workshop, and working out how to structure it. If this sounds interesting to you, please add your name to the #Expressions of Interest section, or contact Scott directly.

Contents

Overview

Do you remember the triangular "turtle" from Logo? "Pen down, move forward, turn right..." It was an early, easy way to tell a computer how to draw something on the screen. Processing is just like a modern, really buff version of that turtle. Think of it as being like Flash, only less flashy. If you've ever had a vision of something you wish you could make on a computer screen, you can probably make it in Processing. Well, maybe. This workshop will get you started, anyway, even if you've never typed a line of programming code in your life.

This workshop is intended as an introduction for complete beginners. No programming is experience necessary, although you should be generally familiar with how to use your computer, download files, install programs, and so on. Computers will not be provided, so you should probably bring your own laptop to work on, or you could share with someone else. A wireless card isn't necessary, but may help. (Processing works on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, so any kind of computer should work fine.)

Also, while the emphasis of this workshop will be on visual expressions of code, the concepts learned here can be extended to get Processing to generate audio, talk to microcontrollers (e.g. Arduino boards, MAKE boards, OSC devices), and generally interface with all kinds of other neat stuff.

Resources

General Resources

Neat Stuff People Are Doing With Processing

Courses and Workshops

Open Items

Some things we're still thinking about -- all still TBD.

Curriculum

Introduction to Processing

  • What is Processing?
  • What can you do with it?
  • Examples/demos

Basics

  • Opening the application
  • Counting pixels (the coordinates system)
  • Basic syntax (how to talk to Processing)
  • Drawing a line
  • Drawing a box
  • Making it bigger
  • Changing the color
  • Variables

Motion

  • setup() and draw()
  • Mouse input
  • Translation
  • Rotation
  • ...more...

Open Workshop

  • Less-structured time for you to pursue your own vision, with help from others as-needed

Materials

Practical Matters

Schedule

  • One day-long session, possibly on a Saturday
  • Two day-long sessions, possibly on two consecutive Saturdays
  • Several 3-hour sessions, once a week, on weeknight evenings or Saturday afternoons

Participants

  • How many are interested?
  • How many can/should we accommodate?
  • Maybe cap participation at 10-20 people max, at least for initial offering?
  • Will be expected to bring their own computers to work on

Space Needs

  • Space large enough for 10-20 people, plus projector set up
  • Chairs and table space for 10-20 people

Technology Needs

  • AC power, with lots of power strips for participants to plug into
  • Projector and screen (or flat, white wall)
  • Wireless Internet access

Expressions of Interest

Add your name to the list here if you'd be interested in participating! Don't worry — we won't hold you to it.

  • Scott Murray (instructor)
  • Mitch Altman (though I'll be out of town all August)
  • Brian Ferrell (I'll bring a webcam to demonstrate video input)
  • Andy (I'll bring a 720p projector)
  • User:BuddhaHacker (Jonas) (not sure where I am)
  • Rachel If we don't have a space by the time you're ready to give this, Scott, I will volunteer my house which is reasonably arranged for such a thing.
  • DavidMolnar (August is not good, but most of the Fall should be fine)
  • User:Daniela Steinsapir I hope to make it
  • User:mtbf0 i want some o' that, but i works most saturdays
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