‘The Nature of Code’ Book Illustrates Coding Design Secrets – And Power of Self-Publishing

In traditional visual arts, some knowledge of color theory and form is essential to being expressive. From there, you move on to tricks of shading and perspective. These shared understandings allow even radical experimentation: the likes of Picasso, Dalí, and even Pollock played with their classical inspirations and training. Creative programmers have a bag full of tricks that underly a lot of the flashier, cooler effects in their work. These can, in turn, be a window into understanding foundations of math and geometry. (I imagine how much better I would have been at progressing later in mathematics had I been …

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'The Nature of Code' Book Illustrates Coding Design Secrets – And Power of Self-Publishing

In traditional visual arts, some knowledge of color theory and form is essential to being expressive. From there, you move on to tricks of shading and perspective. These shared understandings allow even radical experimentation: the likes of Picasso, Dalí, and even Pollock played with their classical inspirations and training. Creative programmers have a bag full of tricks that underly a lot of the flashier, cooler effects in their work. These can, in turn, be a window into understanding foundations of math and geometry. (I imagine how much better I would have been at progressing later in mathematics had I been …

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Free as in Freedom to Break S***: Blender Makes Things Shatter Real Pretty [Video]

I’ve had a lot of conversations lately that run something like this: free and open source tools shouldn’t just be shown for the sake of it. They should be better – demonstrably so. Here’s the funny thing: free software advocates are often the people nodding in agreement. And in some cases, they can blow your socks off. Witness what happens with 3D modeling tool Blender as it breaks things, gorgeously. I’ll leave this to the YouTube description:

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digitalwaveform

Last Chance to Help Moog Foundation Teach Art of Sound Science in Schools; Why it Matters

Science and art, physics and music, come together and come alive in one place. You know where. Photo (CC-BY) Mikael Altemark. We’re here today not just because people like synths, or electronic music, or even music itself, but because the advancement of technology depends on kids learning about science and math. That was certainly the history of Bob Moog himself. What he got as a student opened up the doors to the knowledge and interests that gave the world Moog synthesizers. Dr. Moog himself long credited his education – as a youngster at Bronx High School of Science in New …

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Physics Animation, Ping Pong Game in Adobe Illustrator – No, Really, Thanks to Free JavaScript Library

Generative physics animations in Illustrator most certainly fall into the “because it’s there” / “for no very good reason other than it’s possible” category. But the results are hilariously awesome. See above, Adobe fans. The tool behind this is very cool, too. Processing lovers who don’t already know the insanely great toxiclibs library – and its ability to unlock complex math and geometry magic with very little effort – should absolutely go explore: http://toxiclibs.org/ [links, documentation, and loads of terrific tutorials and demos] It’s Java-ness makes it ideal for other Java-based projects, too, including Android. But that library, in turn, …

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Fun with Waves, As Videos Reveal Guitar String Movement – and iPhone Shutters

At bottom, a strobe and high-speed camera accurately represent the way in which a string is moving. At top, a video taken with an iPhone camera distorts your sense of how the string is moving by capturing instead images of standing waves, caused by the rolling shutter on the device. The video isn’t wrong – it’s just showing you beautiful visualizations of standing waves that make visible how the shutter works on the camera more than they do how the guitar works. Full disclosure: I love waves. Analog, digital, acoustic, we’re talking vibrations in sound (and other substances, as well …

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Polycode, New Open Source Framework with C++ and Lua; Awesome Pixel 3D Game Sample

Creative coding is rapidly moving from the domain of a handful of gurus to a broader audience, powered by lightweight, flexible frameworks that quickly translate code to visuals. Now, that said, the thought of another framework to learn could be overwhelming, what with the superb Cinder (C++, Mac, Windows, iOS), OpenFrameworks (C++, Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS), Processing (Java and JavaScript, Mac, Windows, Linux, Web, iOS)… Fortunately, PolyCode, the creation of Ivan Safrin, has plenty to recommend it. It has out-of-the-box support for 2D and 3D physics libraries, and a Lua API for scripting via that elegant, compact language. It’s …

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paperrecordplayer

A Record Player Made from Paper, as the FlexiDisc Lives; Thanks Be to Pythagoras

It’s not in any way digital – we’re in paper and needle territory – but clever design transforms packaging and notecard into playable music device. Create Transducer Music, anyone? Designer Kelli Anderson concocted a novel approach to the wedding invitation for her friends Karen and Mike: turn the paper invite into a playable sound device. The couple even made and recorded their own song for the occasion. (The story of the individuals is worth mentioning – Karen advocates for the rights of makers and coders and Mike is a Grammy-nominated engineer.) The device itself plays music without electricity or circuits. …

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BBQ Chicken Ambiences, and Ten Other Inspiring Sound Design Stories

Whether your trade in audio is in soundtracks for screens and games, or you’re just exploring strange, new worlds and seeking out new life and new timbres in your music, the discipline of sound design is as rich and deep as cooking. It’s something you can do every day. Okay, now just put that “cooking” metaphor out of your mind and steel your stomach. Sound maker and dirt bike rider Jim Stout of Austin (Roland, Sound Ideas, The Hollywood Edge) does some ungodly things with raw barbecue chicken and dog food. For more on Jim Stout, check out the exclusive …

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A Gramophone that Plays the Earth Instead of Vinyl, and a Sonic iPhone Epidemic

Images courtesy Olle Cornéer. Used by permission. If you think culture has become too disconnected from the Earth, “Harvest” and the Terrafon instrument surely count as a shock to the system. A traditional ensemble picks up an enormous tone arm and transducer and, through back-breaking labor, drag it across arable fields. It’s part sound art and performance, part agriculture. But it certainly counts as a gramophone – it’s just a really big one that reads the grooves of the earth. Beat juggling with two of these I’m guessing is largely out of the question. One half of the artistic creative …

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