Saturday 6 June 2015


What is there in the Processing software? 

Processing is a language and a development environment which came into existance in 2001.It is created by Ben fry and  Casey Reas at MIT media labs It is open and free to download development environment that can run on windows,linux and Mac.It is used by artists,designers,researchers and hobbists to create amazing visual arts and softwares.  
It has something for everyone no matter which domain of programming you fall into,if you are a android developer you can develop apps on it,if you work with core java you will find that in this too,similarly if you work in python there is also a python mode which has been added recently.Similarly if you want to work with OpenCV or want to create web servers or want to play with audio files or create GUI and interect with hardware like arduino or kinect,it has it all. whats brillient about this language is it has its own syntax and style but also gives you ability to make use of methods of some other specific domains like javascript,java,scala,actionscript, python,android, etc
Many people don't know but  Arduino IDE has come out from processing. Thats why there is a striking similarity between the two IDE.

This is one of the most versatile software environment that i have seen so far. It also gives you the ability to export your source code as an application that can run on  Linux,Windows and Mac. This is a great feature for creating applications for an end user.

Downloading and installing  Processing:
Processing is free to download. You can download it for your operating system from the following link download processing

After you download the zip file you will need to extract it. After you extact it you will find a folder that that will have the following content

You need not wait for any installation process to occur just double click on the processing icon and you are ready to write your first program.
When you will run it for the firsttime. It will create a procesing folder in your Libraries/Documents on a windows machine. 

Your source codes are called sketches in processing and all your source codes will be saved in a folder within  this folder . The name of the subfolder will be same as that of your source code.
Now you are all set  to write your first code.

Example: Replicating a graphics in processing

I have a picture that i will replicate with a processing code. The picture is as below and is taken from

// This code is written by Deepankar Maithani
//The top left corner of the processing window is considered as (0,0) coordinate all the coordinate values are set with respect to that.

void setup()
size(600,600); // size of processing window  
background(255);// set color of background to white
noFill();// upcoming figures will only have boundries
strokeWeight(10); // width of boundries
  ellipse(150,300,150,150);//back tyre
  ellipse(150,300,30,30);// back smaller inner circle
  ellipse(390,300,150,150);//Front tyre
  ellipse(390,300,20,20);//front smaller inner circle
  ellipse(260,320,50,50);// paddle axle
  arc(150, 300, 180, 180, 4.1015, 5.8468, OPEN);// back mudguard
  arc(390, 300, 185, 185, 4.1887, 5.8468, OPEN);// front mudguard
  line(235,262,340,220);// connecting line back to front mudguard
strokeWeight(10.0);width graphics
strokeJoin(ROUND);// the characteristic  of join 
vertex(150, 285);// chain upper part. 

line(260,345,150,315);//chain lower part. done without  the vertex
vertex(390, 290);// draws handle bar
beginShape();// draws rider's seat


void draw()
  // empty cause it is just a static graphics
NOTE: use ellipse command to draw the back tyre if you want exactly the same picture i like it this way


Example 2 Displaying Sensor Value from arduino in Processing Window

Arduino Code: Upload this code to Arduino board
//This code written by Deepankar Maithani
const int  pot=A0;// Connect the middle pin of pot to this pin
int reading;// variable for storing the pot values
void setup() 
//initialize serial communications at a 9600 baud rate
void loop()
reading=analogRead(pot);// reading the analog value
Serial.println(reading);// printing it on serial this line sends the data to processing
delay(1000);// stop for 1s

Processing Code:
// This software is written by Deepankar Maithani

import processing.serial.*; // this library handles the serial talk 

Serial myPort;  // Create object from Serial class
String data="" ; // empty string to gather the pot values
PFont  myFont;  // object from the font class
void setup()// this runs just once
size(500,500); // size of processing window
background(0);// setting background color to black
myPort = new Serial(this, "COM12", 9600);// giving parameters to object of serial class,put the com to which your arduino is connected and the baud rate
myPort.bufferUntil('\n');// gathers data till new line character
myFont=loadFont("Arial-Black-48.vlw");// font type see the data folder of your sketch
textFont(myFont,70);// font size

void draw()
  background(0);//refreshing background everytime the draw runs
  textAlign(CENTER);// alighn text to the centre of coordinates
  fill(255);// fill white color to text
  text(data,350,155);// display the data at 350,155 coordinate
  textSize(40);// size of text
  fill(#4B5DCE);// fillinf blue color on the text 
  text("Pot. Reading",155,150);
   noFill();the upcoming rect will not have anything inside
   stroke(#4B5DCE);// color of boader of rectangle
   rect(5,100,400,80); rectangle
void serialEvent(Serial myPort)// whenever serial event happens it runs
  data=myPort.readStringUntil('\n'); gathering data from pot in a variable

Demo of above softwares in action

For more info about the methods and API you can visit processing website orProcessing forum

Creative Commons Licence
Arduino to Processing by Deepankar Maithani is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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