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Introduction to week 5

Watch Jon McCormack introduce week 5 and provide an overview of the themes to be covered - letters, text, strings and typography.
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Welcome to Creative Coding week 5. This week we’ll be exploring the world of letters, words, strings and text. We’ll start by taking a look at how to work with strings and text in Processing. A string is just a collection of characters, pretty similar to an array. But because strings hold words, sentences even paragraphs of text that humans often want to read, we’ll see that there are some special functions to deal with manipulating strings. We can even read text from a file and use it as data in our program, which is necessary for things like data visualisation. We’ll also have an encounter with the software concept of objects and object-oriented programming.
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Understanding the basics of how to use and work with program objects is really helpful in writing more complex sketches. We’ll also be looking at text and typography this week, and we have asked Professor John Warwicker to talk to us about the history and uses of writing, text and typography and how their relevance to creative coding. John is one of the founding members of the the design collective Tomato, who are internationally recognised for their ground breaking approach to design and typography. We’ll finish up with a coding challenge around the theme of generate type that combines a number of the ideas and methods we’ve been talking about this week and throughout the course.
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As with many of our coding exercises, you’ll need to think creatively about what you’d like to do and think technically about how you can do it. Please share your results with everybody as its great to see the diversity of creative ideas that you come up with. Its another concept-filled week of letters, form and code, so if you’re ready’let’s begin!
Watch Jon McCormack introduce week 5 and provide an overview of the themes to be covered – letters, text, strings and typography.
Up first we’ll be looking at strings (collections of characters that represent words, sentences, and lines of text) and type. Being able to use text in Processing opens up many new possibilities. We’ll also be looking at the basics of object-oriented programming (OOP) and introducing some new sketches that make use of this feature.

Learning outcomes for week 5

At the end of this week you should be able to:
  • Understand how to draw text in Processing and work with text strings;
  • Appreciate the basics of object-oriented programming and coding with objects;
  • Appreciate the some of the history and significance of typography and letterforms to human culture.

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