13 Jan - 02 Mar 2020 18:30 - 20:30

Creative Coding for Beginners

Mondays, 13 January to 2 March, 18:30–20:30 

Experiment with coding in this introductory eight-week course for beginners 

Together with tutors Rich Cochrane and Andrew McGettigan, learn to use Unity 3D to explore the potential intersections of coding, digital 3D environments, data and photography, and open up new creative possibilities for your own practice. This course provides photographers and artists with a practical grounding in creating 3D virtual environments and interactions.

Unity 3D is a popular, free program widely used in the videogaming industry that has also been used in immersive artworks, architectural visualizations, animations, CGI and other creative applications outside gaming. It works equally well on a Mac or PC although 3D rendering does make some demands on the hardware. See system requirements here.

We will do some basic coding but no prior programming experience is necessary; in fact, this is a gentle way to encounter coding for the first time. You're encouraged to bring your own visual work (digital photographs, jpgs etc.) as source material to experiment with. The skills you pick up from this course can easily be extended into Virtual or Augmented Reality applications if you have access to suitable hardware.

Unity is a free, cross-platform game engine. Each week you will learn fundamental principles common to other programming languages, including C#, C++, Boo, Javascript or Python. No prior coding experience is required.

Weekly outline:

Week 1: Introduction to Unity

Week 2: Introduction to Scripting

Week 3: Movement

Week 4: Physics

Week 5: Prefabs and Instantiation

Weeks 6, 7 and 8 to include lighting and the camera, spatialized sound and more


Rich Cochrane teaches and writes at the intersection of maths, code and creative practice. He is a founder of the Fine Art Maths Centre at Central Saint Martins and at City Lit runs a programme of courses treating mathematics as a humanities discipline (he teaches creative coding courses there, too). He is the author of The Secret Life of Equations (Octopus, 2016) and Maths Hacks (Octopus, 2018), and is one half of Minimum Labyrinth, a creative partnership that specializes in public engagement projects connected to the history of ideas. He has degrees in literature and mathematics and a PhD in philosophy. He worked for ten years as a computer programmer in the financial industry.

Andrew McGettigan specialises in teaching technical topics to arts students, primarily philosophy, programming and mathematics. He is also a respected writer on English higher education. He is best known for his book, The Great University Gamble, and the long-running blog, Critical Education. He holds a doctorate in contemporary European philosophy.

Participants will need to bring their own laptops (mac, linux or PC) with Unity already downloaded from this website. The gallery can provide a limited amount of laptops for people who are unable to bring their own.

£220/£200 members & concessions

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