I’ve finally started to get myself organised to work on the interactive installation piece I’ve been talking about doing for about five years. I’ve been procrastinating about starting this since September for the utterly tedious reason that I couldn’t decide what platform to write the software on. I’d settled on Java which at the time I didn’t know (and now know enough to know it’s the wrong language for what I want to do), because I’d convinced myself that (a) it needed to be cross platform and (b) I wanted it to work on a Raspberry Pi. Both of these reasons were nonsense. It doesn’t need to be cross platform, there will be one version of it, it doesn’t need to be on a Raspberry Pi, it’s a nice idea but I was trying to force a technology on a project for the sake of it.
I’m going for Openframeworks in C++ because I know it will work although some aspects of it still really hurt my brain. I’m attempting to understand coding for OpenGL (shaders) but suspect this may drive me completely over the edge. Ultimately it doesn’t matter as I’m going to put together dedicated hardware to run it which won’t have a bunch of other crap running on it at the same time.
I have a plan which is more of a direction than a map so I’m building this in component modules (which is good practice anyway) as what works well in my head may well not work quite as well in the actual physical world. Also. there’s a huge amount to do, this is a long term project involving programming, custom electronics, sourcing hardware, woodwork/physical making and sound design, if I don’t break it into little steps it will never happen.
Here’s the first piece. It’s a C++ class (using OpenFrameworks) which generates a shape made out of rotating squares which reacts to inputs. The inputs are currently keyboard controls which switch on and off the scaling and increase/decrease the number of squares. Not much to be excited about now but it’s a step in the right direction.