intro - schedule - projects - resources - classroom

Required Book

There is a required workbook for the course. Get it as soon as you can because it will help you complete your projects: Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists by Casey Reas and Ben Fry. It's available in the school bookstore and

All code examples in the book (ZIP, 15 MB)

Getting the Required Software

Processing is the free software (Windows or Mac) you'll use to make all of your projects. Read this introduction carefully and completely:


Video Tutorial on Downloading and Running Processing:


Note that Processing doesn't require special installation. When working at a computer in lab 634 choose the download link that says "Windows" do NOT choose the download link that says "Windows (without Java)". Here's the download link:


If you have trouble getting Processing to run:

Processing Examples and Resources:

It is perfectly fine to copy, paste, and modify code you find online. In fact, that's the best way to first learn how to program. However, be sure you really play with the code and change it so it is yours. In other words, do not plagiarize or pass off other people's code as your own.


The most important reference page is here:

Video Tutorials:

Ask Questions and Solve Problems

Follow these steps:

  1. If your code doesn't run:
    1. Read the error in the message area. There will be clues as to the cause of the problem. For example, the line of code may be mentioned.
    2. Check the newest code first. It is often the culprit.
    3. Check the spelling and syntax. For example:



    will cause an error but a lower case:




    will run perfectly.

    1. Check the spelling and syntax again. See if you're missing an ")" or ";" somewhere.
    2. Search for similar code here: Copy and paste the new code into Processing and see if it works. Use it as a starting point to rewrite clean code.
    3. Start over with a new blank Processing sketch. Copy and paste the old code one line at a time into the new sketch and run it each time to see which line breaks the program.
  2. Ask programming questions here:
  3. Check these trouble-shooting resources:
  4. Ask your peers and the professor your question in the class Skype channel.
  5. Prevent future problems by doing tutorials:

Why Processing?

Processing is a programming environment made for artists and designers to learn how to code. The programs you create in it are called "sketches" because 1) the software allows you to jump right into coding 2) it is easy to try new stuff and 3) it is easy to share your work.

Processing is based in the JavaScript programming language which is what you will use in the next course after Playgramming in the programming sequence, Practical Scripting for Games. You can use JavaScript to program games in Unity, the game engine used in Practical Scripting for Games, as well as Game Modification Workshop, and many Game Capstone projects senior year.