Other programs

Patryk's Avatar


02 Dec, 2019 06:39 PM

Hello everyone, as a person who creates in everyday life in matter, in my free time I started programming. I mainly care about 2D geometry. And I must admit that I tried Touch designer, openframework, processing, maxmsp, vvvv. All these programs seemed extremely difficult to me and nodebox 3 as the only one in my opinion is intuitive and simple to create such 2D / 3D solids. And what are your experiences with other programs compared to nodebox?

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by john on 05 Dec, 2019 06:21 AM

    john's Avatar

    I used to do most of my graphics coding and data visualizations in Processing (or Processing.js). I found it more elegant and intuitive for that kind of work than, say, Python.

    But then one day I had to rework an old Processing project that was fairly complex. When I scrolled through several hundreds of lines of code, with lots of global variables on top and tricky subroutines to handle mouse events, etc. I suddenly felt weary to my very bones.

    I was just so tired of wrestling with punctuation, difficult debugging sessions, endlessly scrolling up and down to find a particular section of code. There was such a tedious gap between what was in my head and what it took to see it on the screen.

    It was then I remembered a demonstration Frederik de Bleser gave at an openVis conference I had attended the previous year. He created amazing drawings almost effortlessly without writing a single line of code. I looked it up online and downloaded NodeBox to give it a try.

    The rest is history. I've never turned back. I've done pretty much everything - work and play - in NodeBox ever since.

    To be sure, NodeBox is full of limitations, bugs, and irritating peculiarities. Coding without loops took a lot of getting used to. But for me, the feeling of shaping ideas like clay is worth it.

    I love the immediate feedback I get when I scrub parameters back and forth. I love the zoomable user interface. Debugging is SO much easier; if something does go wrong I can just click from node to node to see what happened. And because Nodebox is so different from other tools and languages, the things I make with it tend to be different as well and often surprise my colleagues at work. Nodebox helps me think outside the box.

    I am a very visual person so I love seeing my code in a visual way. I spend extra time rearranging my nodes even after my code is working. It's meditative and relaxing - something like flower arranging.

    I would NOT use NodeBox for 3D work, and, sadly, it does not do non-vector images. But for pure 2D drawing, for getting to the essence of things, it's my go-to tool.


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