I’ve been trying to find more time lately to experiment with C++ and get more familiar with the OpenGL API and to achieve this have been using the excellent Cinder library. I’m a complete C++ novice and, coming from a Flash background, it’s immediately apparent how much of the hard work had been done for you in higher level languages like AS3. Learning about pointers, memory allocation and fumbling your way around undescriptive compile errors is bit of an eye opener, although thankfully libraries like Cinder and OpenFrameworks help take a lot of the pain out of the transition and ultimately function as very exciting and inspiring tools to work with.
Either way, the Noise Sphere experiment, though not particularly original; made me realise that the processes involved spanned many of the key aspects of programming that I’m both interested in but also keen to learn much more about.
The plan is to release a series of relatively quick tutorials, taking you through the process of creating the sketch you can see in the video above (and far beyond, into OpenGL shaders etc) and in doing so cover roughly the following topics:
- Setting up Cinder
- Geometry: Vectors & Matrices
- Movement & Dynamics
- Procedural Mesh Generation
- OpenGL: GLSL, Vertex & Fragment Shaders
I’m certainly not claiming to be an expert in these topics, in fact in some I’m only just getting started. But my hope is that I can share my discoveries as they happen and pass on knowledge I’ve picked up from the community, in case it helps other developers travelling along similar trajectories to myself. I’ve found a lot of amazing resources for learning, but have often felt that some of them would benefit from being translated for interactive developers such as myself, who come from more of a creative than technical background.
Pester me if part one isn’t out soon!