Shader Programming for Computational Arts and Design: A Comparison between Creative Coding Frameworks

We describe an Application Program Interface (API) that facilitates the use of GLSL shaders in computational design, interactive arts, and data visualization. This API was first introduced in the version 2.0 of Processing, a programming language and environment widely used for teaching and production in the context of media arts and design, and has been recently completed in the 3.0 release. It aims to incorporate low-level shading programming into code-based design, by integrating traditional models of graphics programming with more expressive approaches afforded by the OpenGL pipeline on modern GPUs. We contrast Processing’s shader API with similar interfaces available in other frameworks used in computational arts and design, in order to better understand its advantages and shortcomings.

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