Work has begun on my project for the 2018 MECA triennial, Curious Nature. My work so far has involved finding and testing distance sensors (more on those another time) and building the software framework for the visuals. Most of my pieces before this have been done in Processing, a Java environment geared toward visual artists. It’s quick and simple to use and great for learning how to code, but I want to work in a more robust environment for this project.
Writing in Swift, Apple’s own native programming language, I’ve been able to replicate the basic functions of Processing. I’m using CoreGraphics to create a bitmap context to draw shapes into and a timer to call new frames. The main concern I have with this approach is the CPU load that comes from drawing a large image on screen 30-50 times every second, but so far performance hasn’t been an issue. The amount of stuff I draw into the context at once doesn’t seem to affect performance very much either, which is a big plus.
Right now I’m testing with my own vector implementation. Interactions haven’t been coded yet; it’s all random motion so far. Interactions are easy to develop, though, and will come somewhere down the line.