Monday, February 16, 2009

Processing is a programming language, development environment, and online community that since 2001 has promoted software literacy within the visual arts. Initially created to serve as a software sketchbook and to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context, Processing quickly developed into a tool for creating finished professional work as well.

Processing is a free, open source alternative to proprietary software tools with expensive licenses, making it accessible to schools and individual students.

120 Feet of Video Art: Final Exams at NYU's Big Screens Class
Dan Shiffman isn't like most professors. Instead of Scantron sheets and bluebooks, Shiffman prefers to give his final exams on a 120-foot video wall that's the equivalent of six 16:9 displays linked end-to-end.
Shiffman, a wizard of the graphical programming language called Processing that many of the students use to fill up the screen (a few others use openFrameworks, another visual language) has taught this class for two years now. Processing has been used in tons of music videos, data visualizations and interactive video art and is popular for its relative simplicity as a way to turn code into amazing visuals.

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Shiffman is the primary author of the "Most Pixels Ever" library for Processing, which allows projects to sync up across multiple displays seamlessly without delays—and not just your dual-head monitor.That hasn’t really been an option thus far in Processing, unless you were to go the hardware multiple-monitor route. Most Pixels Ever is amazing because it can handle the 6 million pixels of IAC's video wall without blinking, and without it, this class would not exist in its current form. All the art-tech nerds thank him as we file out the door.

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