Processing Resources and Tips

Learning how to program can be particularly frustrating because not only do you need to learn how to perform computational thinking, but then you need to know the vocabulary (i.e. set of functions/commands) of the programming language you are using to get the computer to do what you want it to do.

The following resources are being provided to you in case:

  1. you are looking for more practice,
  2. you want to do a little extra self-study, or
  3. you are curious what you can do with Processing once you become more familiar and self-sufficient with the language.

The teaching staff will always make themselves available to help you, so please don't hesitate to contact us and ask for assistance!

Processing Resources

    • A full (but relatively short) textbook on Processing.
    • This is basically a textbook (of the same name), but in video format.
    • Tutorials (some video, some text) provided by the creators of Processing.
    • The reference is the official documentation of the programming language and contains a description of every built-in function in Processing. Very useful for looking up syntax and behavior, but often pretty dry.

Processing Examples

    • Simple examples provided by the creators of Processing for learning how to use the available built-in functions.
    • Unofficial examples provided by members of the online Processing community! Great for browsing for inspiration or just to play with cool projects.

Processing Debugger

Processing has a built-in debugger! A debugger is a tool designed to help programmers test and find and fix bugs ("debug") their code. Typical features include the ability to stop a program in the middle and examine its current "state" (values of all variables among other things).

You will not be required to learn how to use this, but we highly recommend using it, as it gives you a more logical way to identify and fix errors in your code.

The video below shows you the basics on how to use the debugger:

Processing 3 Debugger from Processing Foundation on Vimeo.


Your portfolio will actually use p5.js, which is a spin-off of Processing that runs on javascript instead of Java (despite their names, the two languages are not related to each other).

    • A Processing to p5.js "converter" we will use to help upload our projects to our portfolio. It should work for all of the assignments that we require you to put in your portfolio, but please don't hesitate to talk to a staff member about any conversion issues you encounter.
    • The reference is the official documentation of the programming language and contains a description of every built-in function in p5.js. Many Processing functions are the same in p5.js, but some have different names, which you can look up here.