Sunday, June 24, 2012

First Light

        When i was working in SoCal, i worked with a rather brilliant tools programmer who used to refer to MVPs as the "First Light" version of something.  I like that term, MVP sounds so stuffy and business-y.
     
        Probably the most impactful realization I've had since coming to Intel is that I want to be a creative coder when I grow up.  My absolute dreamest job would be to build interactive digital art pieces/installations, and I know it's possible, because there are people out there doing it.  The downside is that it's an exteremely niche market.  It's like Tech Art or Concept Art on steroids, that is, people want to do it, moreso than the number of positions available.

This does not deter me.

        As daunting a challenge is it may seem, I have a particular set of skills, skills that will only partially help me achieve my new position through poise and audacity.  To this, I must now add resolve (guess both of those movies and I'll...i dunno buy you a shot next time i see you).  My resolve is that I need to get the rest of the skills required for this sort of work, and in the process maybe build some simple starting out pieces.  As i mentioned in my previous post, the big skill I feel like I'm lacking is not a technical one, but an artistic one.  Taking a step back from visualizing tweets, I decided to go even simpler and visualize some simple data-over-time type sets.  So, armed with pygame, I settled on visualizing periodic functions (sine and cosine in this case), and decided to see what I could come up with.

sine_tplt
I started simple, just so I'd have a template to work with...


sine_vis
..but things got pretty crazy pretty quickly.

        Overall this was a fun exercise and really helped me get my feet wet.  The thing I realized over the course of doing this is that really the possibilities are endless.  I mean, this is just a simple 2d library with no interactivity.  I haven't even started getting crazy with processing, cinder, vvvv, or any of the other insanely cool toolkits out there, to say nothing of something like Unity or other game engines.  I've already started working on some interactive stuff, mayhap I'll post some of that next once it gets a little more presentable.

        I uploaded all the source from this to my Github, or you can just check out the results on my Vimeo channel.  I challenge you to see what you can come up with yourself, you might be surprised how addicting it is...