Daily Archives: 30 Aug 2011

OpenProcessing.org Makes Life Beautiful

In my lovely class on creating generative art, we’re using the fabulous, free software Processing (see processing.org). It’s wonderful software but it does have two relatively minor disadvantages: (1) it needs to be installed on your computer; and (2) it’s not obvious how to share sketches with the class. Fortunately, several online versions of Processing have been created to solve these problems, such as HasCanvas, Studio Sketchpad, or Processing.js, among others. However, one that is particularly well suited for classroom use, because you can create “virtual classrooms” as well as code online, is OpenProcessing.org:

In fact, our class has its own darn virtual classroom there, creatively entitled “Generative Art (FA 3800), Fall 2011, University of Utah” (and here’s the link to it):

Anyhow, we love it because we can post our sketches there and because we can use it even when we’re away from our own computers.

[Note: it is also possible to install the desktop version of Processing to a flash drive and run it from there. I do this, also, as it gives me the links to all of the built-in reference files and syntax coloring.]

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Adobe and Me

We’re getting started with Photoshop (and the Adobe Creative Suite in general) in FA2000: Computers and the Arts. Very exciting! It’s an overwhelming program; so many choices, so many buttons. Ay yi yi . . . But I’m thrilled to have put the lettuce and beans on their own layers in the salad photo! Very cool to move things around so easily.

To quote the theme from The Love Boat: “So exciting and new!” (Well, new to me, anyhow.)

Also, in FA3000: Design for the Net I, we’re doing some manual HTML coding to create very, VERY simple websites (at least, local pages that open in browsers). Kind of tedious to do it manually, but I think it makes things much clearer. And I’m finally learned about putting the pages in a folder with relative references . . . if only this simple fact had been made clearer to me a few years ago. But I’m looking forward to working on our next assignment, which is to create a web page for a favorite artist. I may cheat and do mine on Edward Tufte, who IS an artist but is known much, much better for his work on data visualization. Here’s the man himself:

For reference, here are his major publications, all of which are gorgeous and should be required reading for all designers and data people:

Anyhow, it should be fun.

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