People continue to pump out eye candy using the free Java-based tool Processing. This week’s example: a test of a new surfaces library for Processing:

Go check out examples and download the library on the Processing boards. Via the German-language blog eskimoblood. And yes, this resembles more than a passing resemblance to Autechre’s Grantz Graf. On the other hand, it’s operating in real-time, and by making surfaces easier to model in Processing, you’ll be able to do more in the future.

For more visual inspiration, the mighty toxi has listed his Favorite 12 Demos of All Time. Not necessarily Processing-based, but worth looking at if you’re working in Processing, Jitter, After Effects, or anything else and want some eye fuel.

My current favorite Processing inspiration, and one that I’m surprised hasn’t gotten more play, is this interactive 3D drawing sketch by Ichitaro Masuda:

Haohao: Built with Processing

It’s fun to play with in Web form, but most impressive is “Adjustment of crowd simulation to art animation”, which links to a video. It’s a terrific demonstration of the advantage of Processing, working in true three-dimensional space even with 2D drawing routines. Underneath the patch is a sophisticated node garden, which you can see in action in the alternate rendering mode. By doing progressive drawing between the nodes, the whole work becomes organic, mysterious, and beautiful. Source code is included, though it’s specific enough to this project that you’re best off going your own direction.

Visual Inspiration: The Processing Pool on Flickr

  • Sam

    Once again I am tempted by Processing. Once again I am frustrated with Processing. Serious question: Is there any way for a mere mortal with no programming background to learn this program? Is there a how-to book on Processing? Where to begin? Many folks suggest one should just jump into Processing, but I don't even know where to start. Does Jitter's visual interface obviate the need for learning command line coding? What's simpleton with generative dreams to do?

  • Can a mere mortal learn it? Absolutely! The problem is now documentation. There are multiple efforts to write new books for Processing, and I think you'll see fruits of them fairly soon. It just takes time to write a book. (I certainly learned that the hard way.)

    I would say, it isn't necessarily easier to use visual patching interfaces than code — it's just different. Some adjustments are faster, some slower. In fact, the thing that makes Jitter easy to learn is the copious documentation and examples; it's part of what makes it worth investing in Max/MSP/Jitter over Pd.

    None of this stuff is self-evident. If you see someone who's mastered Processing or Jitter, odds are they had someone teaching them — not necessarily that tool per se but the techniques necessary to learn the tool.

    If you want to dive into Processing, dive into the example code included, and take a look at a super-beginning Java book to understand the basics of coding. Try the Jitter demo, too, and if it appeals, read through the Jitter example tutorials.

  • Omek

    How can i use this program with MIDI.

  • You use the ProMidi Library!

    The processing library list is here: