At some point early this semester, I convinced myself that programming was beyond me. Until now, I’ve been tripping up and getting discouraged by little obstacles as I go along, basically sweating the small stuff. However, this week’s ICM assignment – documenting an idea and first steps for a Processing project – enabled me to develop bigger-picture objectives that are helping me to overcome the mental obstacles. Having some goals in mind, I’ll have a far better idea of what questions to ask!
In last week’s class, I proposed my initial project idea. Somewhat inspired by my recent ‘Word of The Day’ text parsing assignment, I was thinking of creating a project entitled “Today.” The idea was to form a new Processing sketch to record each day of my life, in a journal format.
Some of the data, such as the date, weather, Twitter feed, Flickr feed and perhaps the top news headlines would be filled in automatically from APIs, XML and/or manually parsed data using the loadStrings() command. In a bid to do a little bit of Processing every day, I also planned to include a simple yet adorable ‘Sketch of the Day’ (by the hand of yours truly) in there, too. I thought about this idea for quite a while, and drew up an example of what the journal would look like – and as I visualized it, I realized that using a template to record every day of my life wasn’t quite as engaging, or interactive, as the project that I really wanted to create.
Returning to the drawing board, I came up with a few bigger-picture projects that I’d like to create in Processing. I’ve documented my ideas below, along with my thoughts on how I might tackle these projects. Figuring out the steps to complete one or more of these is the motivation I need to really delve further into Processing.
Drag & Drop Utterances
Magnetic Poetry is a wonderful thing – I love playing around with the words on the fridge while waiting for the kettle to boil. Since beginning at ITP, however, I rarely have the chance to loiter in front of the fridge (and that kettle never boils anyway, no matter how much I try not to watch it). So, this project will harness the power of Processing, the ITP vocabulary and computer screens as makeshift “fridges” to create interactive ITP sentences/poetry. A working title for this project could be “Drag & Drop Utterances.”
Step 1: Create one word as an object on a plain background: http://itp.nyu.edu/~kjk311/ICM2009/poetry/
Step 2: Figure out how to drag the word from one location and drop it at another intended location – possibly using some combination of mouseClicked(), mouseDragged(), mousePressed() and mouseReleased() functions.
Step 3: Create a list of ITP/poetry words to use.
Step 4: Create array of word objects from list. Each word object must be independently movable like the one in Step 1.
Step 5: Place the array of words in random order in the “word bin.” Figure out how to select, drag and drop them without screwing up anything.
Step 6: Create cool new background (cooler than a fridge), or series of backgrounds.
Step 7: Segue into PComp/Arduino territory to figure out a physical interface (project the image on Smart Board? touchscreen?)
Idea #2: Kaleidoscope
Processing lets us make cool patterns, as do kaleidoscopes. And, a kaleidoscope project could be a good opportunity to brush up on my math skills, because patterns need to be mirrored and reproduced at certain angles to create the kaleidoscope effect.
Step 1: Research kaleidoscope patterns, and figure out exactly how they work. What’s the general structure? To what extent do shapes move randomly? What axes do they need to move on?
Step 2: Create pattern, based on findings from Step 1.
Step 3: Create reflections of patterns.
Step 4: Create physical interface for kaleidoscope – using dials?