Monday, September 14, 2009

Coding my First Sketch - Meet Little Fangs

Today I worked on my first Processing sketch, which is this week's lab for my Introduction to Computational Media class. The objective of this first assignment was to use the 2D shape library available in Processing to draw a creature. This creation will then be used in the comings weeks for our explorations with animation and interactivity.

I read the first two chapters of the class textbook to jog my memory. In the process of reviewing this material I came across a suggestion to use graph paper as a metaphor for understanding the way a computer displays information. This led me to use graph paper in the design of my creature, dubbed Little Fangs. Here is a scan of the graph paper that I used as a planning tool.

Planning for Little Fangs

As you can see, I used this paper and a trusty old pencil to map out the shapes that would construct Little Fangs. I found this process very helpful because it helped me breakdown my creation into discrete and code-able parts - I knew exactly how many shapes I needed to create, along with their approximate sizes before I even started coding. That said, once I transferred the sketch into code I still had to play around with the dimensions. So, without further delay let me introduce you to Little Fangs.

To access the code for this creature just follow the link above to my page on the Open Processing website. Also, if you are attempting a similar starter project I suggest using a book from Ed Emberley for inspiration. Ed creates drawing books for kids that feature a bunch of stuff that can be drawn with simple shapes.

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