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Thread: Choose a creative programming language (presentation topic)

  1. #1
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    Choose a creative programming language (presentation topic)

    i have to prepare a short presentation on a creative programming language for one of my classes this week.

    i was given this list. which one should i choose?

    P5.js
    openFrameworks
    vvvv
    Pure Data
    D3.js
    MEL Scripting for Maya
    NodeBox
    Quartz Composer
    Design By Numbers
    Actionscript
    Grasshopper for Rhino
    Field
    basil.js
    UnityScript for Unity

    i'm doing the research now, but any experiences/insights are welcome. i thought it wouldn't hurt to ask here since some of you might have more experience. what's interesting and useful for artists & designers? what's some cool shit you can do with these? i just don't wanna overlook cool shit.

    if nobody answers, it's more likely i'll go with one i have some familiarity with (Arduino, which i omitted from the list).

    edit: i'm not sure whether this thread is more suitable here, in Projects & Creativity, or in Math, Science & Tech. but it all works.
    Last edited by jigglypuff; 08-06-2017 at 05:06 PM.
    The most beautiful paintings in existence today are the ones which were not painted by anyone.

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    Utisz's Avatar
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    Despite being a CS prof, I've only heard of like two of those things (Actionscript and d3.js), so sorry can't be of more help. Maybe someone knows more.

    At first though I thought you meant the programming language itself had to be creative (rather than doing creative things with it), in which case I was gonna suggest Brainfuck or LOLCODE or maybe even Whitespace.

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    Senior Member Space Invaders Champion Fitz's Avatar
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    Didn't @notdavidlynch spend his undergrad basically doing this? I'm pretty sure he used code to make art.
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    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    Um, any programming language can be creative. Not sure I understand the question.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    Um, any programming language can be creative. Not sure I understand the question.

    i agree that creativity isn't contained within a language so much as expressed in its use, but, idk, i gotta choose from the list.

    for a little more context, the class i'm taking is visual interaction / generative design, geared towards artists & designers and all we do is Processing. i guess these are ones that are being used to add another dimension to what we already do? (this is why we're having presentations; i need an overview and to hear the instructor's insights on how these are or can be applied.) i'm personally not that interested in coding in itself but as a means to an end and i imagine a lot of artists & designers are similar in this way.

    for example, basil.js sounds very useful as i work with typography and adobe indesign heavily and i can immediately see how automating certain aspects within indesign would make a graphic designer's job easier in executing a concept for handling the typography (or other elements) that would otherwise take a LOT of time and would likely result in a lot of error. this appeals to me a ton on a personal level, so i might choose this one to learn about and present.
    The most beautiful paintings in existence today are the ones which were not painted by anyone.

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    Member rhinosaur's Avatar
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    Isn't Actionscript the language that you use for Flash? Might be interesting to see if Adobe is going to do anything with it, if / when Flash ever dies.

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    I've heard of Pure Data and D3. These are both specifically targeted towards more artistic things, and really pretty much dictate that that's what you do with them, so I think that's what's meant by creative programming languages. In contrast, something like C can be used to do creative things, but generally in a more abstract "I'm thinking creatively" kind of way, in most cases.

    Pure Data is cool. Pure Data is fairly similar to "Max by Cycling '74", which is really popular, except Pure Data is open source and Max is a commercial thing you need to buy. Pure Data is a bit less friendly, being non-commercial. It's a visual programming language. Blocks connected together, representing a flow of either sound or numbers where the blocks the signal flows through transform the signal in some way. Here's an example of creating an FM synth in Pure Data. So the idea is essentially that you're programming with sound. Pushing the signal around to make it do whatever you want, in a fairly intuitive way. Pure Data lends itself fairly well to algorithmic composition, as essentially, you can set up conditions for when certain elements get triggered, introduce some controlled randomisation, etc (it's known that Autechre have used it in the past to create some of their music - an article). Also, obviously just people who want to explore and tinker with slightly more theoretical concepts. (Here's someone who used a midi controller, raspberry pi (to host the Pure Data software), and pure data to build their own synth) There are a lot of possibilities. You can also use Pure Data to control visual elements. I think I have read the assertion that Pure Data is often used for art installations. Where you step into an art gallery and there's some kind of evolving visual/audio thing going on, that could likely be created with Pure Data. You can also hook up a webcam and use that as an input.

    Pure Data is really similar to Max (by Cycling 74), however you might find more references to Max as it's a little friendlier to use. Max was sort of incorporated into the audio recording software Ableton Live (and now bought out by Ableton), as "Max for Live". So that allows you to use all of these awesome "sound programming" concepts, within a fully capable audio recording software, as plugins and stuff. Here's a randomly chosen video by a guy who makes a ton of videos showing him do crazy stuff with Max and Max for Live. It gives an idea of the possibilities. It's endless!

    D3, a javascript library providing a lot of functions to make it easier to link data to svg representations. A random example. Probably the more exciting aspect is that this now allows data visualisations to be much more interactive than they ever were before, and allows programmers to do this with less effort.

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