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Interactive Data Visualization with Processing
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Using Perlin noise


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Interactive Data Visualization with Processing

with Barton Poulson

Video: Using Perlin noise

In this movie, I want to introduce you to a special kind of random function in Processing called noise and this is actually what's called Perlin Noise. And Perlin noise was developed in the movie industry as a way of creating a very realistic and organic looking textures. In this example, I'm going to be using a very simple one-dimensional version of Perlin noise. Just to draw lines of different heights that you can also use it to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes and textures as well.
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  1. 3m 16s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. What you should know
      1m 22s
    3. Using the exercise files
      56s
  2. 11m 51s
    1. Overview of data visualization
      11m 51s
  3. 11m 53s
    1. Installing Processing
      3m 38s
    2. Overview of Processing
      4m 5s
    3. Exploring libraries
      4m 10s
  4. 1h 1m
    1. Basic setup
      7m 31s
    2. Drawing points
      4m 37s
    3. Drawing lines
      5m 6s
    4. Drawing ellipses and circles
      5m 24s
    5. Drawing arcs
      6m 54s
    6. Drawing rectangles and squares
      4m 58s
    7. Drawing quadrangles
      3m 25s
    8. Drawing triangles
      2m 55s
    9. Drawing polygons
      3m 37s
    10. Drawing simple curves
      4m 54s
    11. Drawing complex curves
      6m 46s
    12. Drawing Bézier curves
      5m 38s
  5. 54m 3s
    1. Introduction to variables
      10m 44s
    2. Understanding variable scope
      6m 53s
    3. Modifying variables
      9m 8s
    4. Creating arrays
      9m 53s
    5. Modifying arrays
      6m 37s
    6. Creating strings
      7m 3s
    7. Modifying strings
      3m 45s
  6. 1h 2m
    1. Incorporating randomness
      7m 59s
    2. Using Perlin noise
      4m 24s
    3. Shuffling with Java
      3m 30s
    4. Specifying line attributes
      8m 2s
    5. Changing placement modes
      5m 45s
    6. Understanding color attributes and functions
      4m 16s
    7. Exploring color spaces
      7m 44s
    8. Using color palettes
      7m 5s
    9. Transforming the grid
      8m 38s
    10. Exploring the attribute matrix
      5m 33s
  7. 52m 7s
    1. Building code blocks
      5m 57s
    2. Writing a while loop
      3m 52s
    3. Using for loops
      5m 35s
    4. Creating conditionals
      14m 50s
    5. Working with easing
      10m 51s
    6. Creating spirals
      11m 2s
  8. 18m 55s
    1. Mouse tracking
      3m 54s
    2. Hovering and clicking
      11m 16s
    3. Understanding keyboard interaction
      3m 45s
  9. 27m 32s
    1. Specifying fonts
      6m 43s
    2. Using images
      5m 51s
    3. Playing a video loop
      6m 20s
    4. Exporting video
      3m 47s
    5. Adding sound
      4m 51s
  10. 20m 49s
    1. Creating functions
      11m 48s
    2. Creating classes and objects
      9m 1s
  11. 31m 10s
    1. Using embedded data
      5m 26s
    2. Working with appended text data
      6m 4s
    3. Working with appended tabular data
      10m 26s
    4. Reading XML data
      9m 14s
  12. 48m 17s
    1. Generating dot plots
      11m 11s
    2. Building scatter plots
      10m 0s
    3. Making line plots
      9m 55s
    4. Creating bar charts
      9m 12s
    5. Checking out examples of maps, hierarchies, and networks
      7m 59s
  13. 20m 57s
    1. Introducing some principles of 2D design
      13m 44s
    2. Understanding color theory
      7m 13s
  14. 24m 46s
    1. Interacting with zooming, rotating, and sliding
      6m 26s
    2. Implementing slicing
      6m 47s
    3. Using rollovers
      5m 58s
    4. Introducing the GUI libraries
      5m 35s
  15. 10m 35s
    1. Sharing via OpenProcessing and other sites
      3m 19s
    2. Saving as a desktop application
      2m 42s
    3. Saving as JavaScript
      1m 47s
    4. Saving as an Android application
      2m 47s
  16. 2m 38s
    1. Where to go from here
      2m 38s

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Interactive Data Visualization with Processing
7h 43m Beginner Sep 25, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Start communicating ideas and diagramming data in a more interactive way. In this course, author Barton Poulson shows how to read, map, and illustrate data with Processing, an open-source drawing and development environment. On top of a solid introduction to Processing itself, this course investigates methods for obtaining and preparing data, designing for data visualization, and building an interactive experience out of a design. When your visualization is complete, explore the options for sharing your work, whether uploading it to specialized websites, embedding the visualizations in your own web pages, or even creating a desktop or Android app for your work.

Topics include:
  • Exploring the need for creative data visualization
  • Drawing basic lines and shapes
  • Introducing variables, strings, and arrays
  • Modifying drawing attributes such as color
  • Making drawings more dynamic with animation loops and spirals
  • Creating keyboard- and mouse-based interactions
  • Adding images, video, and sound
  • Reading in text or XML data
  • Creating plots and charts
  • Publishing and sharing your work
Subjects:
Developer Programming Languages
Software:
Processing
Author:
Barton Poulson

Using Perlin noise

In this movie, I want to introduce you to a special kind of random function in Processing called noise and this is actually what's called Perlin Noise. And Perlin noise was developed in the movie industry as a way of creating a very realistic and organic looking textures. In this example, I'm going to be using a very simple one-dimensional version of Perlin noise. Just to draw lines of different heights that you can also use it to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes and textures as well.

So, for this one, I'm just going to start by putting little comment up at the top and then I'm going to introduce a few variables. I'm going to have an integer variable that's going to determine the number of lines we draw in a picture. Then I'm going to have the height variable called X and we will simply declare without initializing. Then I have the variable Y that will be a float variable, and that's .05. Then I'll have another float variable that we will call noiseY.

Okay so, these are some variables that are going to go in to the drawing. I'm going to create my window, 600x200 pixels. And I'm going to just put a very basic white background, and I'm going to have relatively light gray, well, medium gray strokes. Now, what I'm going to do here is I'm going to create a for loop to create the drawing. We will talk more about for loops a little bit later. But, it's a great way for something that repeats and saves you a lot of coding time. So, what I'm going to do here is I'm going to create a little loop, that says for and then int i that's a local variable that I'm going to use for counting.

I'm going to start at zero, actually I'm going to start at one. And, then I'm going to go until I'm one less than my number up top and then we're going to advance one step at a time. And then I put curly brackets {}. What I did is I decided that I want the for loop to do. I wanted to take the variable Y which earlier I initialized at 0.05. And I'm going to have it increment every time it runs through just by small amount 0.02. And this is something that helps set up the noise function. Then I'm going to create an X-variable because I'm going to be drawing a bunch of vertical lines.

And I'm going to have this, so that x is equal to i. So, it starts at 1, it goes through 99. But, I'm going to multiply it times the width of the window divided by the number of bars I am going to put in. All this does is, it evenly distributes them across the window. So if I change the number of lines I want to draw, or if I change the size of the window, it'll adjust automatically to spread them at evenly. Then I'm going to take the variable that I declared above noiseY and this is where I actually bring in the noise function.

And I'm going to do it on the variable Y which I earlier declared and initialized at 0.05. And then here in the loop, I have an increment of 0.02 every time it goes through the loop. I am going to do noiseY and I'm going to multiply that times the height. The reason for that is noise gives a number between zero and one. And I want this to be able to go all the way up to the top or to the bottom of the window as need to be. So, it's really is turning it into a proportion and then I multiply that times the height and that makes it work.

Then I put in how to draw a line. Each line starts at X and I'm going to have them start at the bottom of the window, which is why I'm putting height. So, that's the one end of the line. Then they're going to go straight up so the X is the other end. And then I'm going to have to do noiseY. So, that's actually going to be a distance down from the top. And now I'm going to save this and I'm going to run it. And you see what we have here are lines that vary one from another and it's a random sequence, but you can tell it looks like hills, it looks like the mountain profiles in the 'Tour de France'.

And if I run it again, I get a different profile. But, you can see that each one of them really does have an organic look to it. And that's one of the big advantages of the Perlin noise is that you are able to create random sequences that are unpredictable but, have a natural and organic feel to it. I'm doing a one-dimensional one here where all I'm varying is the height of the line. But, if you do a two-dimensional one, you can get textures. At three-dimensional one, you can get more complex textures and shapes as well.

So, the noise function is one of great things in Processing.

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