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Tinkering with Processing

Photo Credit: “NYC – Metropolitan Museum of Art – Piet Mondrian’s Composition” by wallyg

Look, Mom. I made a Mondrian. (follow the link to see my painting)

I’ve been playing around with Processing, an open source programming language. Processing.org explains the language:

Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to create images, animations, and interactions. Initially developed to serve as a software sketchbook and to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context, Processing also has evolved into a tool for generating finished professional work. Today, tens of thousands of students, artists, designers, researchers, and hobbyists who use Processing for learning, prototyping, and production.

As you can see if you follow the link to my Mondrian, the code that generates this “remix” is fairly simple:

size (1024,768);
strokeWeight(19);
background(255);
line(0,128,1024,128); //horizontal 1
line(0,339,1024,339); //horizontal 2
line(0,658,1024,658); //horizontal 3
line(175,0,175,768); //vertical 1
line(340,0,340,768); //vertical 2
line(585,0,585,768); //vertical 3
line(890,0,890,768); //vertical 4
line(175,558,340,558); //short horizontal
fill(255,20,20);
rect(175,128,165,211); //red rectangle
fill(255,255,0);
rect(175,558,165,100); //yellow rectangle
fill(0,0,255);
rect(585,128,305,211); //blue rectangle

I was introduced to Processing by Andy Engel, a grad student here at Wayne State.  I also got to see Processing in action at Johndan Johnson-Eilola‘s CCCC presentation.  In addition, the CCCC 2011 paper I proposed is about Processing.

Johndan uses Processing to introduce students to programming concepts, and I’m thinking of doing the same thing in a future course entitled “New Media and the Future of Writing.”  In that course, I’d like to teach an entire unit on code/coding.  The Processing software comes with a number of programs, so students can examine and tweak working code.  It also allows programs to be quickly compiled.

I’m still trying to come up with a more complicated project for myself.  I’d like to make something with Processing (and people have made all kinds of things, including games), but I’m still trying to figure out what to make.  The Mondrian was a simple project, and I’m not actually sure if I’m capable of something all that complex.  But I’d like to give it a shot. Suggestions are, of course, welcome.

One Trackback

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jim, VeoArte. VeoArte said: Good pic, ¿Why do U like #Mondrian? RT@jamesjbrownjr: Look, Mom. I made a Mondrian. Check out my "painting": http://bit.ly/aKcPJh […]

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