What can I do with Processing (Programming Language)?

Processing software was originally created for the use by visual designers and creators who are not acquainted with computer programming. Processing offered them a medium to use computing power to help translate their ideas into both tangible and intangible outputs. However, Processing software still needed them to code but in a relatively straightforward manner than existing programming languages. You are also free to choose your comfortable programming language to be used within Processing software. The default language is however Java.Processing was designed for ease of use and become non-programmer’s language to both create and providing the foundation for learning computer programming. Processing was intended for ease of use and become non-programmer’s language to both create and providing the foundation for learning computer programming.

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So what can you do with Processing software?

  1. You can create generative art. Lot of examples are shared on OpenProcessing
  2. You can write computer games. There are a lot of animation and physics libraries already available. See 2D gaming using Processing.js
  3. You can interface Processing with your Arduino board (or any other development board for that matter) and communicate with it. See Arduino Playground – Processing
  4. You can create visual representations of significant data which is still a lot tedious to do in existing graphic design software.
  5. You can prototype interfaces for both software and hardware. There are handful libraries that offer access to standard UI elements or create new UI design patterns to suit your need. See controlP5
  6. You can help your robot enhance with computer vision, machine learning capabilities. There are ports available for OpenCV on Processing. See atduskgreg/opencv-processing
  7. You can add those incredible visual effects on your website which is otherwise bulky using plain JavaScript. Processing sketches can also be written in JavaScript, plus they have a dedicated JS library. See Processing.js
  8. You can create some insane looking motion graphics for your next video or art project. See Processing on Vimeo
  9. You can connect Processing to your MiDi interfaces to help you create music compositions.
  10. You can integrate Processing with your installation art/sculpture. How about projecting an image on a non-planar surface?
  11. You can create animations/visual aids to teach and discuss your ideas with your team or to show your audience.
  12. You can easily publish your processing sketches as desktop apps (Windows, Linux, Mac), embedded in web pages and even as Android apps.

Your imagination is the only limitation. You can do things way beyond the above list. Processing website, in fact, maintains a list of featured projects which they call as Exhibition Archives.


This was originally written as an answer to a question asked on Quora here.

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