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Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists Hardcover – Aug 17 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 712 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 1 edition (Aug. 17 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262182629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262182621
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #268,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"A whole generation of designers, artists, students, and professors have
been influenced by Processing. Now, a handbook is published that goes far beyond
explaining how to handle the technology and boldly reveals the potential future for
the electronic sketchbook."Joachim Sauter , University of the
Arts, Berlin, Founder, Art+Com

" Processing, the handbook and tutorial, is an
indispensable companion to Processing, the integrated programming language and
environment that has developed from phenomenon to revolution. Bridging the gap
between programming and visual arts, the Processing handbook, in
a concise way, connects software elements to principles of visual form, motion, and
interaction. The book"s modular structure allows for different combinations of its
units and self-directed reading. Interviews with artists who create software-based
works and extension chapters that expand software practice into computer vision,
sound, and electronics successfully connect the realms of art and technology. Now
used by artists, visual designers, and in educational institutions around the world,
Processing has been groundbreaking not only as an alternative language for expanding
programming space, but as an attempt to nurture programming literacy in the broader
context of art and cultural production."Christiane Paul , Adjunct
Curator of New Media Arts, Whitney Museum of American Art

"Processing is a milestone not only in the history of computer software,
of information design, and of the visual arts, but also in social history. Many have
commented on the pragmatic impact of the open source movement, but it is time to
also consider Processing"s sociological and psychological consequences.
Processing invites people to tinker, and tinkering is the first
step for any scientific and artistic creation. After the tinkering, it leads
designers to their idea of perfection. It enables complexity, yet it is
approachable; it is rigorous, yet malleable. Its home page exudes the enthusiasm of
so many designers and artists from all over the world, overflowing with ideas and
proud to be able to share. Processing is a great gift to the world."Paola
, Curator, Architecture and Design, MOMA

"This is an elegant and practical introduction to programming for artists
and designers. It is rigorously grounded, informed by a vast amount of practical
experience, and visually compelling. The worked examples are terrific. There's no
better starting point for visual artists who want to learn how to think
computationally, or for programmers who want to give visual and spatial expression
to their ideas." William J. Mitchell , Program in Media Arts and
Sciences, MIT

"This long-awaited book is more than just a software guide; it is a tool
for unlocking a powerful new way of thinking, making, and acting. Not since the
Bauhaus have visual artists revisited technology in such a world-changing way. Ben
Fry and Casey Reas have helped a growing community of visual producers open up fresh
veins of expression. Their work proves that code is open to designers, architects,
musicians, and animators, not just to engineers. Providing a powerful alternative to
proprietary software, Processing is part of a new social phenomenon in the arts that
speaks to self-education and networked engagement."Ellen Lupton ,
Director of the graphic design MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art,
Baltimore, and author of D.I.Y: Design It Yourself

"With Processing, Casey Reas and Ben Fry have opened
up the world of programming to artists and designers in a manner that inspires
playfulness and creativity with code." Red Burns , Chair and Arts
Professor, Interactive Telecommunications Program, Tisch School of the Arts, New
York University

About the Author

Casey Reas is Professor of Design Media Arts at UCLA and coauthor of Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists (MIT Press, 2007).

Ben Fry is Principal of Fathom, a design and software consultancy in Boston. Together, Reas and Fry cofounded Processing in 2001.

An internationally recognized leader at the intersection of design and technology, John Maeda is Design Partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in Silicon Valley. He served until 2014 as the 16th President of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and before that was Associate Director of the MIT Media Lab. He is a designer, technologist, and catalyst behind the national movement to transform STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to STEAM with the addition of the arts. He is the author of Design by Numbers (1999), The Laws of Simplicity (2006) and Redesigning Leadership (2011), all published by The MIT Press.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Je suis un adepte de Processing et, considérant l'engouement croissant autour de cette application, j'attendais avec fébrilité la parution de l?ouvrage. Il faut dire que j'anticipais la fierté que devaient éprouver les auteurs du bouquin, ces derniers étant également les principaux responsables de ce fabuleux logiciel libre, initialement développé au MIT. De fait, l'ouvrage est très soigné. Présentation impeccable, avec une alternance intéressante entre des extraits de code et des entrevues, tenues avec la crème des créateurs numériques contemporains. Le contenu se livre à travers une série de petites capsules de quelques pages à la fois : structures, données, mathématiques, contrôle, forme, pixel, couleur , typographie, simulations... Il fournit également une série d'annexes pratiques : optimisation du code, traitement des caractères spéciaux dans les langues étrangères, positionnement de Processing dans les langages de programmation et applications destinés aux concepteurs médias. Enfin, comme le format du livre est relativement petit, la taille des caractères l?est également. En revanche, je trouve agréable la sensation d'avoir sous la main un objet de connaissance aussi sophistiqué, sans la prétention d'un livre grand format. Pour conclure, on ne peut que recommander chaudement l'acquisition de cet ouvrage à toute personne susceptible de tomber sous le charme des arts computationnels.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Liked this book a lot. Gives a good introduction to programming for people who have done little if any in the past and serves as a nice stand alone text on both the programming environment and what you can do with computer manipulated images.

Happy to recommend.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are getting started with Processing, this book is an excellent companion to the Processing reference. Lots of examples and detailed explanations of the different features of the Processing language.
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Format: Hardcover
Essential book if you want to start learning Processing, or just the basics of programming in general. Beautiful design and the Author is a reference in the subject. Lost of examples.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars 52 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough without being overly advanced or difficult July 27 2015
By J Francis - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book was written by the language's creator, and if you are interested in Processing and already know somewhat what it is, and want to learn more, then this book is probably an essential text for you.
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written and useful text, poor binding. Aug. 16 2016
By Seth Lewis - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very well written and useful guide to learning processing and a good starting point for learning Java as well.

Would have given five stars, but binding glue came unstuck in only a few days of normal use.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pedagogic masterpiece Oct. 7 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is, quite simply, a godsend. If you are an artist that enjoys tinkering with all things technological (especially an artist that enjoyed mathematics or beating up your computer in high school lab class) than it's certainly for you. If, on the other hand, you are the type of person that hopes to breeze though this and start applying "techie things" to your video art, then you are in for a IS a bit tough for someone that has never played with a computer programming language. No way around it, you're going to have to WORK!!

But, that's the thing. You're supposed to work, massage, twist, graft, apply, subtract and otherwise mangle these functions and commands until they do some (random, unexpected) beautiful thing. This is exactly what the authors want you to do. Take their simple equations and use your imagination to change them up a bit and make your own.

And, a big plus is how the whole book is structured. It starts with simple enough topics and progressively increases in difficulty, BUT, and here is the stroke of genius for artsy types, it does so by switching the topics here and there from shapes, to type, to math, to random, to trig, to type again, back to shapes...etc. So, you see, it's structured (if you read from cover to cover in a linear fashion) in a way that will NOT bore the reader in any way. It's as if Reas and Fry knew that most of us artsy types were (completely and hopelessly) ADHD and needed this kind of variety to keep our interest (lord knows they probably wish they did, coming from artistic backgrounds before entering MIT as grads). And, as an added bonus, if you are the kind of person that likes the topics all neatly together, there is a second topical index behind the main index so you can jump through the book by topic.

In closing, Reas and Fry have done us "new media" types a great service by developing a trimmed-down form of Java programming so that we don't have to do the heavy work and learn full-blown Java or C++ on our own (though, after using this language, the hope is that it WILL get us "artsies" to learn those higher level languages and make genre-smashing art). So, get going!

P.S. The only thing I wish this book had were MORE Exercises at the end of each topic. Or, a workbook that had more problems to solve, like my old Calculus text that had 30 problems after each section. Guys, could we, just maybe, extend the problem sets in a future edition, from three to maybe 10? It would be much appreciated! :)
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a different, and beautiful, approach to programming May 4 2008
By Paul Bianchi - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a high school physics teacher with a lot of advanced students, I've been trying to work a bit of computer programming into the course over the last few years. I always wanted to do graphics programming with the students in order to help them visualize and simulate systems, because the pictures produced are a lot prettier and more rewarding than just the formulas on their own, but the languages I tried were just too difficult to teach from scratch in the time we had. Processing seems to be just what I'm looking for: it's free so the kids can download it themselves, and it really doesn't take much to produce stunning graphics. Now I would NOT recommend the book to someone with no programming experience at all - the emphasis of the book is clearly (and rightly) on how to get up to speed making images, not on what a variable is. That said, this book is a terrific resource for me; anyone with a basic programming course under their belt ought to have no trouble making sense of Processing's syntax, and the power of the language is phenomenal. The authors have done a fine job of both explaining the use of the Processing language, and showing off what it can do with all the examples. Processing is letting me do what I always wanted to do with a computer - make stunning graphics from mathematical information - at a level high school students can understand. If you are at all interested in Processing, download the free software and go here next.
5.0 out of 5 stars You will be disappointed. Sept. 2 2016
By Jack Lanier - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Coherent and organized. What the first edition lacked. Don't try to save by buying the earlier edition. You will be disappointed.