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‘A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists’ from Casey Reas and Ben Fry was the first book I bought in order to learn the Processing language. In a meanwhile I bought five other books but I think ‘Processing’ is still the best book you can buy to start learning Processing. Everything is very well explained and documented. There are nice interviews with colleagues and it has almost no errors in it which is also very helpful when you are in a learning phase. The examples are very well explained and good designed. Because I started as a beginner (who doesn’t?), it seems nice to me to show you in these pages what I learned.

Structure 1: Code Elements

That unit introduces the most basic elements and vocabulary for writing software. By doing the exercises I found the outcome not important enough to visualize it it here. Although every exercise was essential.

Shape 1: Coordinates, Primitives

That is an introduction to the coordinate system of the display window and a variety of geometric shapes. The examples you see here are the result of the exercises mentioned at the end of each chapter. I was asked to create a composition by carefully positioning one line and one ellipse. In the second exercise I was asked to modify the code for the previous exercise by changing the fill, stroke and background values. And finally I was asked to create a visual knot using only Bezier curves.

Data 1: Variables

That unit introduces different types of data and explains how to create variables and assign values to them. The exercises I did did not produce too much valuable graphics to show them here. But the exercises were valuable.

Math 1: Arithmetic, Functions

In this chapter we are focussing on performing basic mathematical operations and using the results to control the position and properties of visual elements. I was asked to use one variable to set the position and size for three ellipses. Also I was asked to use multiplication to create a series of lines with increasing space between each. Further I was asked to explore the functions for constraining numbers. Use min() and max() to draw a regular pattern of lines from a sequence of irregular numbers.

Control 1: Decisions

This chapter focussed on controlling the flow of a program with conditional structures. logical operators for extending relational expressions were introduced. This chapter was more interesting for the way the program behaves than to show an outcome. As a result I did not put any images of the exercises here.

Control 2: Repetition)

That unit focussed on controlling the flow of programs with iterative structures. I was asked to draw a regular pattern with five lines. And to rewrite the code using a for structure. Than I had to draw a dense pattern by embedding two for structures. And finally I had to combine two relational expressions with a logical operator to control the for of a pattern. Sounds like rocket science to me.

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Processing images

First experiment