Processing - The Language of Champions
If you've never used processing you're really missing out. This is an incredible language that enables you to produce visualizations that look good, and can be produced very quickly. Processing also provides support for OpenGL and full 3D rendering. While you're not going to be able to build Modern Warfare, you can quickly build some great prototypes. The language is portable, and can be exported as an applet.
If you're interesting in learning more about Processing check out the official website here.
Recently, processing has been ported to the iPhone making the language even more valuable, (I can promise you it's easier than using objective C).
If you would like to see some examples of what can be done with processing, check out the open processing website where developers can upload and share their work.
I'm going to present some very simple examples that can be done quickly in processing. All these examples were built to help first year students understand programming basics, while at the same time showing them how easy it is to make some cool effects with processing. The examples I present build a very simple particle effects system.
Processing - Particle Effects
The first example presented is an extension of a simple gravity effect I presented in an earlier class. The particle system introduces the use of arrays and classes. Clicking anywhere in the window below will create a particle effect at the mouse location. Clicking again moves the effect.
The second example was a small modification to the first, demonstrating how easy it is to create different effects using particles. I quickly created a snow effect demonstrating this to the class. When the window below is clicked the snow effect begins. Clicking again restarts the effect.
The final particle effect I made is a direct extension of the first example. I added more advanced math to better simulate flame, and used an image rather than just shapes. The page linked below demonstrates the effect. Like the first example, clicking on the will begin the effect. However, there is a delay before it begins while it loads. This final example also demonstrates the difficulty that Processing has with the use of images.