Summer, Jun 29th — Jul 10th, 9:00am-12:00pm

Instructor: Bruce Donald Campbell

Faculty, Continuing Education - RISD, Providence, RI
Director, Watersheds Project, Providence, RI

Email: bcampbel01@risd.edu

Prerequisites: None


The ability to visualize abstract concepts is made easier with digital tools, and one of the most versatile of these tools is the open-source program known as Processing. Initially developed to serve as a high tech sketchbook, Processing has evolved into a genuine medium for the delivery of creative content. A programming language at its core, it offers a practical environment for the creation of images, animations and interactive experiences. Free of cost, and even freer of difficulty, it also provides an introduction to computer programming basics that is ideal for the hands-on visual learner. As you learn, you become part of a broader community of artists, designers, scientists and other curious people using Processing for documentation, illustration, prototyping and production.

Applies to: AD-E, AN-E, DI-E, GR-E, VE-E, WE-E


Class participation - 20%
Homework exercises - 20%
Class project - 60%




getting started with processing

  • Shapes (fill, stroke, ellipse, curve, quad, attributes, grayscale)
  • stroke
  • fill
  • primitives
  • curves
  • quads
  • attributes
  • grayscale

Our First Example based on an example from the Processing website.

Week One Challenge: create a visual mode of transport using processing.


  • Do the first homework set.
  • Get active in the on-line Forums.
  • Read the Welcome to Class document I've provided you.
  • Read the Week 1 lecture support I provide you.
  • Here's a locomotive train project from another class.
  • Write a 500+ word essay on your current understanding of processing and what it will provide you as a tool.


useful language structures

  • data types and structures
  • variables
  • arithmetic operators
  • conditional comparison operators
  • continuous
  • random

Week Two Challenge: create an interesting bouncing ball using processing.



creating interactive inputs/outputs

  • mouse interactivity
  • keyboard interactivity
  • clock interactivity
  • touch interactivity
  • note: we will also discuss the Java environment in anticipation of week 4
  • Here's a city skyline project from our class.

Special Pi Day Extravaganza: We saw the message flash together in class!

Week Three Challenge: create an interesting three-dimensional scene using 2-D processing canvas.



gaining efficiency via arrays

  • Java v. Javascript
  • using Processing with Java
  • all you want to know about arrays
  • applying arrays to all situations
  • using trigonometry functions (circle example)

Week Four Challenge: create an interesting collision scene using 2-D processing canvas.



looping constructs

  • loop types (frame, for, while)
  • frame loops and update rates

Week Five Challenge: create an interesting looping scene using 2-D processing canvas.


  • Read the Week 5 lecture support I provide you.
  • Continue to work on Project 1 — using the distribution list in e-mail to share ideas and questions with your classmates and instructor.


integrating libraries and frameworks

  • libraries
  • frameworks
  • the power of particle effects
  • open project lab and discussion

Week Six Challenge: create an interesting 3-D scene using 3-D processing canvas.



Turn in your project on the last day of class.