Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Programmer and Artist? (Processing and pixlr.com discovery)

Very long time passed since my last post. Since then I have discovered more than a few interesting things but some of them will have to wait as I'm not yet proficient enough to elaborate on those. I'm going to devote this post to something that is close to my heart as an ex-animator and as a programmer - computer generated art (and relevant tools)!

Part 1

First of all we'll start with a relatively young (2001 born) programming language - Processing. As stated on the processing website: Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and interactions.

The language is designed to be simple, so that artists and hobbyists can use it also. Processing is Java based, which leads to all kinds of cool effects:
  • If you're not new to that kind of syntax (C++/Java) you're good to write pretty complex code almost instantly
  • It's object oriented
  • You can export your sketches (that's how applications are called in Processing) directly to Java applets or applications!
  • It's system independent
I've been messing with it for a few weeks now and I must tell you, it's lots of fun! It has a nice little IDE, which is not too feature-rich (to say the least) but is very light and fast to grasp.

Here's an example of a game I made in a bit more than an hour - including the exporting and uploading to the web.

Part 2

Now to my other (not less exciting) finding!
Recently I've read some blogposts about the controversial ChromeOS. One dude was claiming that we need raw horse power on our puters because Picasa's editing tools are fun, but they're not Adobe Photoshop. Regardless of my opinion of this (I think he's actually right about the whole ChromeOS thingie), another guy made a great point by simply saying pixlr.com.

pixlr is an online image processing tool, and damn, it's a good one! Here's a short list of my pros:

  • It's free
  • It's web based! Simply open your browser and it runs
  • It has most of the tools I need in photoshop to do my occasional image editing
  • It's shortcuts and menus are almost PS identical
  • It loads FAST
  • Last but not least, you have an API - I havn't gone in to it too deep, but it looks like cool stuff could be done with it!
I've found this app to be extremely useful in the 2-3 days that I actually know it. Give it a run ;)

Have fun, and let me know if you have any questions!


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