Learning Processing

2nd Edition

A Beginner's Guide to Programming Images, Animation, and Interaction

Authors: Daniel Shiffman
Paperback ISBN: 9780123944436
eBook ISBN: 9780123947925
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 6th August 2015
Page Count: 564
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Table of Contents

  • In memoriam
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction

    • What is this book?
    • Who is this book for?
    • What is Processing?
    • But shouldn’t I be learning _?
    • Write in this book!
    • How should I read this book?
    • Is this a textbook?
    • Will this be on the test?
    • Do you have a website?
    • Take It One Step at a Time
    • Algorithms
  • Lesson 1: The Beginning

    • 1: Pixels

      • 1-1 Graph paper
      • 1-2 Simple shapes
      • 1-3 Grayscale color
      • 1-4 RGB color
      • 1-5 Color transparency
      • 1-6 Custom color ranges
    • 2: Processing

      • 2-1 Processing to the rescue
      • 2-2 How do I get Processing?
      • 2-3 The Processing application
      • 2-4 The sketchbook
      • 2-5 Coding in Processing
      • 2-6 Errors
      • 2-7 The Processing reference
      • 2-8 The Run button
      • 2-9 Your first sketch
    • 3: Interaction

      • 3-1 Go with the flow
      • 3-2 Our good friends, setup() and draw()
      • 3-3 Variation with the mouse
      • 3-4 Mouse clicks and key presses
  • Lesson 2: Everything You Need to Know

    • 4: Variables

      • 4-1 What is a variable?
      • 4-2 Variable declaration and initialization
      • 4-3 Using a variable
      • 4-4 Many variables
      • 4-5 System variables
      • 4-6 Random: variety is the spice of life
      • 4-7 Variable Zoog
      • 4-8 Translation
    • 5: Conditionals

      • 5-1 Boolean expressions
      • 5-2 Conditionals: if, else, else if
      • 5-3 Conditionals in a sketch
      • 5-4 Logical operators
      • 5-5 Multiple rollovers
      • 5-6 Boolean variables
      • 5-7 A bouncing ball
      • 5-8 Physics 101
    • 6: Loops

      • 6-1 What is iteration? I mean, what is


This book teaches the basic building blocks of programming needed to create cutting-edge graphics applications including interactive art, live video processing, and data visualization.

A unique lab-style manual, this book gives graphic and web designers, artists, illustrators, and anyone interested in learning to code a jumpstart on working with the Processing programming environment by providing instruction on the basic principles of the language, followed by careful explanations of advanced techniques.

From algorithmic design to data visualization, to computer vision and 3D graphics, this book teaches object-oriented programming from the ground up within the fascinating context of interactive visual media and creative coding. It is also supported by a companion website (learningprocessing.com), which includes all examples running in the browser using HTML5 canvas and p5.js, downloadable versions of all source code, answers to select chapter exercises, and over twenty hours of companion video lessons.

Key Features

  • A friendly start-up guide to Processing, a free, open-source alternative to expensive software and daunting programming languages
  • No previous experience required—this book is for the true programming beginner!
  • Step-by-step examples, thorough explanations, hands-on exercises, and sample code supports your learning curve


Graphic designers and visual artists without programming background who want to learn programming. Students in college and graduate courses in interactive media or visual computing, and for self-study.


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© Morgan Kaufmann 2016
Morgan Kaufmann
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About the Authors

Daniel Shiffman Author

Affiliations and Expertise

Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, New York, NY, USA