Music is Ybe 76 by Subheim

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.

Up until now I’ve been keeping most of these experiments to myself (although some crop up on my Flickr stream from time to time), but I’ve decided to start sharing the processes when I can – so that you can tell me what I’m doing wrong and teach me the right way! Or, if you’re like me and are used to languages like AS3, JavaScript and Processing / Java, but are wanting to take your creative coding into other environments; maybe you can learn a little bit from what I’ve been trying.

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!

Posted on 23 Feb 2011
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Noise-Reactive Particle Sphere was posted on February 23rd 2011 in the category Lab / Cinder, Lab, Programming and tagged; , , , , , , .

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24 Responses to Noise-Reactive Particle Sphere

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  1. 3 years ago Weekly Shared Items – 25. February, 2011 | TOXIN LABS - weblog of a german design student from wuerzburg

    [...] The CIA’s Historic Spy Kit24. February, 2011Debugging MSP430 using Eclipse24. February, 2011Noise-Reactive Particle Sphere23. February, 2011The 74HC595 8 bit shift register9. February, 2011WebGL in Chrome, Experiments [...]

  1. Beer van Geer 3 years ago

    Looking forward to the tutorials you describing a similar position im in: getting from AS3 to Cinder :)

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  2. Tim 2 years ago

    Officially pestering you!

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  3. jensa 2 years ago

    Pestering you ;-)

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  4. Martin 2 years ago


    I’m in the same situation. Trying to get from AS3 to Cinder.
    So where’s the follow-ups?


    Reply to this comment