The Abyss is a 3d space where custom programs (creatures) can be built and released. By creating one or more creatures, this tutorial aims to provide an introduction into graphics, animation, interaction with Processing and expand the boundaries and the variety of the Abyss . Basic creatures just floating their existence away can coexist with more sophisticated ones which may implement an aggregating or even a hunting behaviour. The Abyss was born as a workshop by Andreas Gysin for design students with different programming skills: beginners but also third graders with good programming knowledge. Andreas wanted a common result for the whole class but also a system where everbody could contribute with an indiviudal part.
Although many open source projects are driven to build alternatives for existing applications, there are numerous projects that represent new and innovative works. Processing is one of those programs. Processing began at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT's) Media Lab in 2001, created by Ben Fry and Casey Reas, though it has contributions from Carnegie Mellon; the University of California, Los Angeles; Miami University; and others. The original goal for Processing was the development of a graphical sketchbook and environment that could be used to teach (graphically) the fundamentals of computer science.
"This is an elegant and practical introduction to programming for artists and designers. It is rigorously grounded, informed by a vast amount of practical experience, and visually compelling. The worked examples are terrific. There's no better starting point for visual artists who want to learn how to think computationally, or for programmers who want to give visual and spatial expression to their ideas." — William J.