Workshop: Quantified Self + Viz with Processing (Apr 20, NYC)

Apr 13, 2014 | Code, Processing / Java, Workshops

2013-Seamless-history-mariuswatz

Viz: Seamless.com takeout order history (timestamp demo)

Workshop: Quantified Self and data visualization with Processing
Date: Saturday, April 12, Williamsburg, NYC
Rescheduled: Sunday, April 20, Williamsburg, NYC

Update: I had to cancel Saturday’s workshop due to a brain-scrambling flu. I’ve rescheduled the workshop for Sunday, April 20th, and there are two spots still open.


This workshop will introduce participants to Quantified Self and personal data tracking, with the aim of creating custom code-driven visualizations.

We will use Processing to parse, analyze and visualize data (CSV, JSON) generated by popular tracking tools, establishing basic principles and useful workflows that can be applied to common QS scenarios.

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Workshop, NYC: Quantified Self and Data Visualization with Processing

Mar 19, 2014 | Code, Processing / Java, Workshops

Visualization: Last.fm history

Code: ULastFM_Simple, parses and displays Last.fm CSV data.

Workshop: Quantified Self and data visualization with Processing
Date: Saturday, March 29, Williamsburg, NYC

This workshop is now sold out. I will do another one in just a few weeks – watch this space.

This workshop will introduce participants to Quantified Self and personal data tracking, with the aim of creating custom code-driven visualizations.

We will use Processing to parse, analyze and visualize data (CSV, JSON) generated by popular tracking tools, establishing basic principles and useful workflows that can be applied to common QS scenarios.

Topics

  • Parsing and plotting typical QS data
  • Data structures for personal data
  • Mapping of locative and time-based data
  • Correlating multiple data sources to discover patterns of behavior
  • Useful tracking tools that are both open and code-friendly

Tools

Suitable for: Anyone with a basic knowledge of Processing or common programming languages. Familiarity with common data formats will be helpful, but not required. Ideally, participants should install and research the tracking tools mentioned above before attending.

Previous QS teaching: http://workshop.evolutionzone.com/tag/quantified-self/

Full disclosure: I am currently enjoying one year of complementary Rescue Time Premium access in connection with my teaching efforts. I also just created a Rescue Time affiliate account. RT is not the only time-tracking tool out there, but I’ve used the service for years because it provides open data access combined with just the right level of detail for QS purposes.

If you’re looking for true OCD by-the-second granularity activity tracking, have a look at tools like Manic Time, Selfspy or Slogger.

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Workshop NYC, Sept 21: Intro to Generative Art with Processing

Sep 12, 2013 | Code, News, Processing / Java, Workshops

Marius Watz: KBG (sound viz)

Workshop: Intro to Generative Art with Processing
Sat Sept 21, Park Slope, NYC

Participants will be introduced to the principles of Generative Art using the Processing programming tool. A generative system can take many forms, but is essentially a set of rules that when translated to code executed is capable of producing an endless variety of forms or visuals. We will look at how a generative visual can be created, from sketching in code to creating professional quality output for print or video.

The examples we will go through include useful some essential building blocks and tools-of-trade, applied to real-world problems. Topics include how to do basic composition and color in code, to more complex issues like creating geometry and animation. By adding GUI controls and print / video output to our sketches we have the makings of a full-fledged generative system.

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Workshop NYC, Sept 22: Processing – Geometry and animation

Sep 9, 2013 | Processing / Java, Workshops

From the Catenary Madness series (created with Toxiclibs, see code on OpenProcessing)

Workshop: Advanced Processing – Geometry and animation
Sun Sept 22, Park Slope, NYC

Processing is a great tool for producing complex and compelling visuals, but computational geometry can still be challenging for many coders. In this workshop we will break down some of the basic principles and making them more accessible through a set of relatively simple techniques.

Participants will learn strategies for creating generative visuals and motion in code, from defining particle systems and kinetic behavior to the creation of 3D mesh geometry. To this end we will learn to take advantage of libraries like Modelbuilder and Toxiclibs, which will take care of most complex tasks and allow us to focus on creative work.

The workshop will cover topics from the very basic (vectors and mesh creation) to advanced (physics and shading.) The focus will be on solving real-world problems through reliable techniques, making advanced techniques accessible by reducing the complexity involved. This workshop should be useful to anyone interested in more advanced techniques for coding visual forms and geometry. Being a hard core coder or math expert is not a requirement, as the focus of the workshop examples is on simplified but powerful techniques to create geometry and motion.

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Workshop NYC, June 30: Processing.js and JS for Processing users

Jun 19, 2013 | Code, News, Processing / Java, Workshops

Workshop: Processing.js and JS for Processing users
Sun June 30th, Park Slope, NYC

In this workshop participants will learn how to apply the power of Processing to web environments with Processing.js (PJS). An ingenious port of the core Processing API to Javascript and HTML5, PJS is the kind of tool that would have been all but unimaginable just a few years ago.

Possible applications include code-based animation, interactive visuals and data visualization, presented as web-native media experiences viewable by a mass audience online and on mobile devices. Our focus will be on creating generative visuals in PJS, aided in part by my new Modelbuilder.js, developed for just that purpose and already a valuable tool for my own JS projects.

If you’re curious about Processing.js or would like to apply your Processing skills to the creation of code-based content for the web, this workshop will give you a head-start by providing you with practical real-world techniques, a few flashy effects and the foundation for long-term survival skills.

A full workshop breakdown can be found below, followed by practical information. The workshop breakdown is somewhat on the verbose side, as it provided me with a way to think out loud while planning the workshop. As a non-JS native, I’m still figuring out some of the conceptual implications of the shift from Java to JS.

But rest assured, my workshops are about making things, not pondering the finer points of Computer Science theory.

Suitable for: Processing coders of all levels. Some knowledge of HTML, CSS and Javascript will be helpful but not required. As preparation I would suggest reading the Quick Start – Processing Developer and Quick Start – JavaScript Developer guides from processingjs.org.

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Workshop NYC, June 29: Advanced – Geometry and Animation in Processing

Jun 15, 2013 | Code, Libraries, Processing / Java, Workshops

From the Catenary Madness series (created with Toxiclibs, see code on OpenProcessing)

Workshop: Advanced Processing – Geometry and animation
Sat June 29th, Park Slope, NYC

Processing is a great tool for producing complex and compelling visuals, but computational geometry can be a challenge for many coders because of its unfamiliar logic and reliance on mathematics. In this workshop we’ll break down some of the underlying principles, making them more comprehensible and showing that we can create amazing output while relying on a set of relatively simple techniques.

Participants will learn advanced strategies for creating generative visuals and motion in 2D/3D. This will include how to describe particle systems and generating 3D mesh geometry, as well as useful techniques for code-based animation and kinetic behaviors. We will use the power of libraries like Modelbuilder and Toxiclibs, not just as convenient workhorses but as providers of useful conceptual approaches.

The workshop will culminate in the step-by-step recreation of the Catenary Madness piece shown above, featuring a dynamic mesh animated by physics simulation and shaded with vertex-by-vertex coloring. For that demo we’ll be integrating Modelbuilder and Toxiclibs to get the best of worlds.

Suitable for: Intermediate to advanced. Participants should be familiar with Processing or have previous coding experience allowing them to understand the syntax. Creating geometry means relying on vectors and simple trigonometry as building blocks, so some math is unavoidable. I recommend that participants prepare by going through Shiffman’s excellent Nature of Code chapter on vectors) and Ira Greenberg’s Processing.org tutorial on trig.

Practical information

Venue + workshop details: My apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Workshops run from 10am to 5pm, with a 1 hour break for lunch (not included). Workshops have a maximum of 6 participants, keeping them nice and intimate.

Price: $180 for artists and freelancers, $250 for agency professionals. Students (incl. recent graduates) and repeat visitors enjoy a $30 discount.

Price: $180 for artists and freelancers, $250 for design professionals and institutionally affiliated academics. Students (incl. recent graduates) and repeat visitors enjoy a $30 discount. The price scale works by the honor system and there is no need to justify your decision.

Basically, if you’re looking to gainfully apply the material I teach in the commercial world or enjoy a level of financial stability not shared by independent artists like myself, please consider paying the higher price. In doing so you are supporting the basic research that is a large part of my practice, producing knowledge and tools I invariably share by teaching and publishing code. It’s still reasonable compared to most commercial training, plus you might just get your workplace to pay the bill.

Booking: To book a spot on a workshop please email info@mariuswatz.com with your name, address and cell phone # as well as the name of the workshop you’re interested in. If you’re able to pay the higher price level please indicate that in your email. You will be sent a PayPal URL where you can complete your payment.

Attendance is confirmed once payment is received. Keep in mind that there is a limited number of seats on each workshop.

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New Generative Art workshops: March 9+16

Mar 1, 2013 | Code, Processing / Java, Watz work, Workshops

GCirc01E-025

Update: In my eagerness to announce these workshops I made a scheduling error, incorrectly thinking the dates would be March 15+16 rather than 16+17. As a result I need to move one of the workshops to the weekend before, and since the Intro workshop should happen before the Advanced the new dates will be:

  • Saturday March 9: Introduction to Processing and Generative Art
  • Saturday March 16: Generative Art, Advanced Topics

Sorry for the confusion! On the plus side the Intro workshop might now be a smaller group which should make it nice and intimate.

I haven’t done any workshops in New York since November, so I have decided to offer my Intro and Advanced Generative Art workshops back-to-back the weekend of March 16+17 on consecutive weekends, Saturday March 9 and Saturday March 17.

The venue will be my apartment in comfortable Park Slope, Brooklyn. As usual I have 8 spots available for each workshop, they do tend to reach capacity so get in touch sooner rather than later. Reservation is by email and your spot is confirmed once I receive payment via PayPal.

The workshops will be taught using the most recent Processing 2.0 beta version (2.0b8 as of this moment), and as usual I will be using my own Modelbuilder library as a toolkit for solving the tasks we look. Familiarizing yourself with Processing 2.0 and Modelbuilder would be good preparation.

Make sure to download Modelbuilder-0019 and Control-P5 2.0.4, then run through the provided examples. Check OpenProcessing.org for more Modelbuilder examples.

Note about dataviz: I know there is a lot of interest in data vizualization and I do get asked about that frequently in workshops. I can’t promise to cover data in detail since it’s a pretty big topic.

If you’re specifically looking for data techniques I would recommend looking at the excellent workshops series taught by my friend Jer Thorp. He currently offers two such workshops, titled “Processing and Data Visualization” and “Archive, Text, & Character(s)”.

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New NYC workshops (Intro / Advanced): Nov 10 + 17

Oct 25, 2012 | News, Processing / Java, Workshops

After a bit of a break I have scheduled two more Intro and Advanced Generative Art workshops. Dates are November 10 (intro) and November 17 (advanced).

As usual I have 8 spots available for each workshop, possibly only 6 if I decide to do them at home in my comfy Park Slope apartment. (Nod to Kitchen Table Coders…)

See the workshop page for details and to sign up, hope to see you there!

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[Upon request] Workshop: Sound-responsive visuals with Processing, Aug 25

Aug 12, 2012 | Code, Processing / Java, Sound, Workshops

Alexander Rishaug & Marius Watz, live audiovisual performance (visuals built with Processing.) For additional documentation see Vimeo and Flickr.

Update: This workshop is now sold out, but I will be doing it again in September. Feel free to sign up to the workshop mailing list to receive updates when they get announced. In the meantime there are still spots on the Intro and Advanced Topics workshops this weekend!

I have just announced a completely new workshop for August 25th: Sound-responsive visuals in Processing. Several people have asked if I would do such a workshop, so I figured it’s about time.

The core of the workshop will be learning a set of simple yet powerful strategies for mapping sound data to visual elements, focusing on how to design systems that take into account how humans experience sound. Where computers see an endless deluge of 16-bit air pressure measurements, human audiences perceive emotional parameters like tone color, rhythm and temporal evolution of sound. The creation of a good sound-responsive system may invariably start with audio processing and data manipulation, but finding a visual strategy that is capable of expressing the subtle time-based qualities of sound is by far the biggest challenge.

In case you are curious about the data strategies we will use to work with a live sound input: Digital signal processing is a vast and complex field, often requiring serious math to work its magic. Choosing simplicity and flexibility over technical genius we will rely on three tried-and-tested techniques: Spectral analysis (FFT), peak following (to keep the input signal predictable or to manipulate it for our own purposes) and temporal dampening (to control the rate of change in the sound data so that we can keep visual changes consistent with how the sound is developing, instead of jerking rapidly in response to the rapidly changing digital audio signal.)

Hope to see some of you at this workshop, I anticipate having a smallish group of people which allows for easier interaction and dialogue between participants. Bring your MIDI controllers, your fuzz boxes and above all your headphones. This should be fun!

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Upcoming workshops in NYC w’kend August 18+19

Aug 8, 2012 | Code, Processing / Java, Workshops

I am doing another round of my Intro and Advanced Generative Art workshops on consecutive days the weekend of August 18th + 19th. This could be a good chance to catch both workshops back-to-back.

I will also be announcing a workshop on sound-responsive visuals for the following Saturday August 25th, get in touch if you would like to pre-reserve for that workshop. The official announcement will happen tomorrow.

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