Processing 101


Dates: Tuesdays & Thursdays, August 2th, 4th, 9th & 11th
Times: 6pm – 9pm
Course Length: 12 hours
Cost: $20/instruction hour, $240 total, $216 for GAFFTA Members
Location: GAFFTA, 998 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

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Session 1: Drawing, parameters, and animation

Learn two of the three interpretation modes used by Processing (Basic or “static” and Continuous). The primitive drawing functions, Processing’s coordinate system, RGB color, variable types, and the necessary methods for animation will all be covered. By the end of this session you able to write code that creates visual output that changes over time.

Session 2: Interactions and images

Learn the event-driven programming paradigm to create sketches that interact with the mouse and keyboard. Add the ability to import and use bitmapped images to your list of skills as a Processing programmer. By the end of this session you will be able to write code that expresses a visual response to user input.

Session 3: Repetition and variation

Learn the third mode for Processing interpretation: Java. “Object Oriented Programming” might sound industrial but it’s actually quite friendly, and quite necessary for organizing more complex systems. By the end of this session you will be able to read and write code to specify classes of objects, and create any number of instances of these objects, each with their own unique state.

Session 4: Emergence and extension

Learning about loops and arrays will allow you to explore works that push the boundaries of your machine’s computational capacity. The massive scale of these processes lends itself to the concept of emergent behavior. But you don’t have to write code yourself to do every single thing you’re interested in doing. By the end of this session, you will be able to create and manage any number of variables and objects without writing repetitive code, as well as utilize libraries of code written by others.

No previous programming experience required. Programming is the creative process of controlling computation for the purposes of expression. Processing is an electronic sketchbook that facilitates rapid development and exploration of programmatic ideas. It is also a medium particularly well-suited to working with visual ideas about iteration, scale, mechanical reproduction, and interaction.


Ben Chun

MIT class of 2000 (computer science), worked at Macromedia on Flash, did exhibit design at the Exploratorium, made a music mix/CD burning program at a startup, did evil analytical marketing stuff, became a high school teacher. Ta da.