Processing, The Gateway Drug for Creative Coding ?

edited April 2016 in General Discussion

Hi there

Last week I posted a question on this Forum and didn't get answer. This question somehow followed this one, into something that starts to sound to me like a pattern.

So here I am again, trying to figure out things by myself. Until now Processing as been a blessing to me in that it opened the doors to programming, to javascript marvels (with P5.js ) and now to Android app development. I feel so happy and empowered it is amazing. And all this is thanks to all you good people, developers, artistes, academics and forum Samaritans. (I will end up sounding real stupid if I write down how thankful I truly am to you guys)

But. After about 18 mouth quasi completely dedicated to absorb and learn the Processing magic, it is obvious that I want to produce something. So I am setting "achievable goals" to developed a tiny, minimal, Android Game..

And I have the feeling that Processing doesn't want me to

  • Leaving the IDE to Eclipse or Android Studio seem to equate Dissidence

  • Relying to OpenGL seems to take you to the limits of Processing

  • Getting conversations beyond sketch size topics seems to get you in rarefied air

Then, I guess, it is the natural step to turn to the GitHub side of Processing, somehow going up the ladder. And here you get the strange feeling that you have to be a part of it to be allowed to be a part of it. That what happens on the GitHub is just some kind of shop window for what happens in a tiny group of talented individuals that sit at the same desk in the real world...

So here you are, in the no-mans land between Processing and Unreal/Unity/Fabric Engine/openFrameworks/Cinder / libgdx and a whole jungle of tools.

I have the sensation that the "next step" depend on more on your groupe , if you have one, but if you don't have one yet ?

Is it the end of my Processing love affair ?

Is Processing out of juice at my stage ?


  • am I alone ?

  • Not at all....

    I am reading all your posts (the other threads too) and I am sure others do as well

    But it's hard to answer

  • thank you

  • I have a random though. Have you consider jumping into coding directly using Android Studio? I am in the same situation as you. I started learning processing ( I am very novice) and looking to implement some applications to use at work. However I find lots of scatter information and lots of hidden features. As we speak, I am reading an intro book in processing to go through the main futures in android mode. It is great so far. however, so far, trying to cross-over examples or extending from existing ones brings conflicts not present in the original examples. Reading through many pages of this forum (some questions unanswered... I notice as well) you can find there are some code that is extended from actual android programming as I have seen in Android Studio. Sometimes it makes me think that I should jump into Android programming if I want to get my side projects done properly.

    In case you are wondering, problems I have encountered in android mode:

    Lagging camera

    Audio resources not properly released

    Conflicts working with multi-sensors

    I like to believe there are solutions for some of this problems. In fact, I have seen extension of OnCreate() and OnDestroy() functions in the forums as plausible solutions to some of my problems. However they did not work the first time as the application fails to start when implementing these concepts. I agree with you there are some people that are very experts. I am not there yet...

    Then I think, would it be better to get a new book to do the proper java coding an learn proper activity definitions and implementing direct straight code into Android phones/tablets? I am considering doubling my efforts but I would need to focus in the direction I want to take. What are your thoughts?


  • feels good to think I am not alone :)

    I am working my processing app from android studio for like 2 month now, using this method

    Basically, it takes a while to set up you own sort of mini framework within which you will be able to work you processing code almost just like in the processing IDE.

    Then is the part I am not sur of: Should you choose Processing as your graphic app library ?

    For the moment, having developed the prototype (in P5.js) of a super-tiny-mega-simple game, I will try to carry the project with Processing. I have less than 2000 lines of code and less than 10 Classes I don't use sensors except for the touch screen I use very basic sound

    So I am kind of ready to struggle with the problems that come with easy to learn, free, open source kind of volunteer driven development of Processing.

    But, for now, I take it as a stepping stone toward being able to develop a full fledge Android/iOS project in the futur.

    I investigated the "early switch to Unity" solution and figured out that the overall time/effort budget of this very project would be completely toppled by this "investment"

    So I try to keep in mind that my journey in Processing is, most of all, a learning process

    does that helps ?

  • I can def follow your line of thoughts in the matter. From the experience I have obtained so far, I would stick to processing while I get to learn the intricacies of Android programming. However I am doing it it at a snail pace as android an java are not my main projects. if I can get Android in action in a vision project I could get some traction at work. Work in progress....

    See, you are not that alone in this forum after all. now we are two. I do have to be thankful for all the volunteers keeping track of all of us. Good luck in your code btw.


  • I'm not really following this discussion, but the last comment made me take a shot in the dark-
    Unity is purely for professional game/animations development. Processing is a lot more. It is lightweight, open source, free, and can be used for hobbies by beginners, etc. It provides a good introduction to Java.

  • happy to see this topic somehow going on. Believe it or nor, I am still in development of my "super-tiny-mega-simple game" in android Studio using Processing. I kind of see the end but I learned not to bet on my ability to forecast the duration of processes I didn't try already, but I would say that I am 90% done.

    I wish I can't finish my project the way I would like to, and post some kind of post mortem here. One thing I can say is that Processing is a hell of a platform when it comes to learning, and that the limitations of Processing in term of thing you can do with it are... way beyond my horizon


  • My first contact with Processing was in 2009, i still use it.

    I think it's important to see it as a tool, and if you know more than one tool, it's easier to choose the right one for your current task/project.

    For me this environment is more than "just for learning", I still choose processing for a lot of stuff where i want quick results. Making a prototype for android? Sure, why not use processing. Wouldn't be my first choice for professional app-developing though.

    The essence of what i wanted to say: No need to throw away your swiss-army-knife, just because you got a new set of screwdrivers.

  • My first contact with Processing was about three-four years ago, and I learnt programming using it (I already knew a bit though). I still use Processing for most of my projects, because I like the fact that you can get graphical output using very simple code. Of course, I wouldn't recommend it for complex 3D games/animation or professional app development, but that doesn't mean that those tools are in any way better than Processing. Following up on @benja, just because you have a powerful desktop doesn't mean you discard your tablet. (Yeah, he was better)

  • totally agree with you guys on the fact that you don't want to loose that coding sketchpad that Processing is. It is just so easy,so fast and so convenient when it comes to throw ideas into code

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