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Cinder Creative Coding Cookbook [Paperback]

Dawid Gorny

Price: 27.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

23 May 2013 184951870X 978-1849518703

Create compelling animations and graphics with Kinect and camera input, using one of the most powerful C++ frameworks available with this book and ebook


  • Learn powerful techniques for building creative applications using motion sensing and tracking
  • Create applications using multimedia content including video, audio, images, and text
  • Draw and animate in 2D and 3D using fast performance techniques

In Detail

Cinder is one of the most exciting frameworks available for creative coding. It is developed in C++ for increased performance and allows for the fast creation of visually complex, interactive applications.

"Cinder Creative Coding Cookbook" will show you how to develop interactive and visually dynamic applications using simple-to-follow recipes.

You will learn how to use multimedia content, draw generative graphics in 2D and 3D, and animate them in compelling ways.

Beginning with creating simple projects with Cinder, you will use multimedia, create animations, and interact with the user.

From animation with particles to using video, audio, and images, the reader will gain a broad knowledge of creating applications using Cinder.

With recipes that include drawing in 3D, image processing, and sensing and tracking in real-time from camera input, the book will teach you how to develop interesting applications.

"Cinder Creative Coding Cookbook" will give you the necessary knowledge to start creating projects with Cinder that use animations and advanced visuals.

What you will learn from this book

  • Process and analyze images and draw graphics in 2D or 3D
  • Create applications that use multimedia content including video, images, audio, and text
  • Draw and render particles to create powerful simulations
  • Animate using tweens, timeline, paths, and cameras
  • Create interesting animations with particle systems and physics
  • Interact with the user by tracking and sensing from the camera in real-time
  • Generate audio and create sound visualizations


Full of easy-to-follow recipes and images that will teach powerful techniques and algorithms, building from basic projects to challenging applications.

Who this book is written for

This book is for artists, designers, and programmers who have previous knowledge of C++, but not necessarily of Cinder.

Frequently Bought Together

Cinder Creative Coding Cookbook + Cinder: Begin Creative Coding
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More About the Authors

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About the Author

Rui Madeira

Rui Madeira is a computational designer, educator, and founder of the interaction design studio Estudio Ruim. He has been exploring and creating unique and engaging interactive experiences for cultural, artistic, and commercial purposes. His works are born from the intersection of several disciplines including illustration, animation, and interaction design. By using programming languages as the main building blocks for his works, he builds specific and adaptive systems that break apart from the limitations of traditional tools. He has participated in several projects, both collaborative and solo, including interactive performances and concerts, generative visuals for print and motion graphics, mobile applications, interactive installations, and video mapping.

He has collaborated for several institutions including the London College of Fashion, Belém Cultural Center, Pavillion of Knowledge, Portuguese Foundation of Communications, Moda Lisboa, National Ballet of Portugal, and the Monstra Animation Festival

Dawid Gorny

Dawid Gorny is a creative coder and a creative technologist who is into computational design, art, and interaction design.

He has worked as a professional web and Flash developer for several years, then took the lead of the research and development department at a digital production house. He has worked on concepts and technical solutions for a wide variety of interdisciplinary projects involving mobile development, cameras, sensors, custom electronic circuits, motors, augmented reality, and projection mapping. His installations engage people in malls, airports, exhibition spaces, and other public venues.

He is the founder, organizer, and program director of the art+bits festival in Katowice—the encounter of art and technology.

You can find a more about his projects and experiments at

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For a change, a book that assumes I'm intelligent 2 Oct 2013
By James Ashley - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What I love most about this book is how it works on multiple levels.

For someone trying to get into creative coding, it provides a wonderful tour of that world from the perspective of Cinder. You're best off if you are already familiar with C++, but you actually are given enough information (without pandering) to simply copy the code and get very complex experiences working in -- say -- half an hour. At the same time, if you don't want to code and simply want to browse, this book continues to provide rich information about how OpenCV works, the importance of particle systems (no basic particle system here), some really nice coverage of optical flow and ultimately a rich introduction to the concepts and vocabulary of creative coding.

I actually appreciated the fact that some code was xcode only while other code was for windows. It doesn't really take that much effort to make the xcode version work in windows and is actually a great exercise. I even appreciated, oddly enough, the occassional instances where the code in the book was wrong or some of it was missing because this gave me the opportunity to figure out how to make the code work. I'm an adult. I don't need to have my hand held the entire way.

Finally, as someone mentioned, there are no Hello World samples here. If that's what you are looking for, then this book may not be for you. On the other hand, if you want to read a very smart book written by people who think you are also smart, then this is most definitely the creative coding book for you.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Practical and useful reference with some shortcomings 9 July 2013
By A.Owed - Published on
This book is extremely practically oriented as it is almost completely comprised of code examples. The analogy of a cookbook with recipes is spot on. The table of contents is very clear and it will give you both an idea of what to expect and an easy reference of where to look when searching for a specific answer. This is a very flat book in the sense that it doesn't build towards something as the chapters progress, rather each chapter is a sideway step into a different topic. Each chapter is handled according to the same format, namely several practical code examples. In turn, each code example in the book is handled in the same manner, namely through a few standard building blocks "Getting ready", "How to do it..." and "How it works..." sometimes complemented with "There's more..." and "See also". This format is as restrictive as it is useful for this particular type of book. The reader will know what to expect and where to find it. The examples are all useful and together cover almost every relevant aspect you'd want to see covered in an introductory textbook. Because of the practical nature of the book the reader is stimulated to actively start working in Cinder, which is of course a big pro. This leads to a lot of learning-by-doing which is a great way to learn creative coding frameworks or in fact coding in general. As a service, the code examples can be downloaded from the publisher's website. The great number and variety of code examples is the greatest strength of this book.

After such a positive story you might be wondering why I gave this book 3 stars instead of 5. The reason is that there are also quite a few critical remarks that can be made about this book.

This book dives in so quickly that it completely forgets to give any type of overview or introduction to the reader about Cinder. For a book aiming to introduce people to Cinder this is strange. A few pages on things like the architecture of Cinder, its namespaces, how its opengl wrapper relates to pure opengl calls, its main contributed code blocks and where these are covered in the book wouldn't have been a luxury. While getting practical at the ground level is great, getting a good overview of an unfamiliar framework at the start is just as important. I for one would have liked to see a bit more guidance in the form of an introductory chapter (expanding on the currently overly concise preface). Such a solid groundwork for the book is all the more important, since the examples tend to jump from one to the next without much order or progression, apart from the general chapter it's in. So while the table of contents makes it very clear what the book covers, this isn't the same as painting Cinder's big picture to a new user. I suppose these are in part deliberate choices by the authors, that make the whole book more of a reference guide for solving specific problems, rather than a book that you read from cover to cover. While the standardized structure of a book filled with code examples definitely has merits, it also has downsides. It's a very dry read and it has no variance whatsoever in its teaching style. I have read many other books on creative coding frameworks. One example of a book that is much better in combining practical code examples with a greater storyline, progression and variance is "The nature of code" by Daniel Shiffman (covering different topics in a different framework though).

I also want to add some critical remarks on a more practical level that can and hopefully will be fixed by the authors in a future edition. Some of these may be minor points, but they shouldn't have been there to begin with, especially for a book that heavily relies on code examples. There are a few mac-only and/or windows-only examples and the use of Cinder blocks in the OpenCV example is only explained for XCode. This is sloppy and not very friendly to the reader. Also while there are comments detailing the code snippets, there are times when a single comment covers many, many lines of code. Especially towards the end of the book. This is lazy and not very forthcoming to the reader. The downloadable code examples lack comments completely. The printed and downloadable code examples are not numbered, making it somewhat inconvenient to find the matching one. Not all code examples from the book are provided as downloadable examples. There are some typos left in the book's printed code examples, but not a lot. Finally the appendix chapter on bullet physics is currently unavailable.

As it stands this is a good book that really earns its 3 stars with a collection of useful code examples that serve as a practical reference for anyone who knows C++ and wants to learn Cinder. Notwithstanding my critical remarks, I can recommend the book based on it's strong points and the fact that there is no better / other Cinder book around at the moment.
4.0 out of 5 stars Everything expected from a programming cookbook 21 Jan 2014
By Ruben Baeza - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good examples and great coverage of material. A must read for those working with cinder after having gone through the beginning cinder tutorials.
5.0 out of 5 stars It's easy to learn 11 Jan 2014
By Efrain Astudillo - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent book you can learn a lot with the basic theory that contains it. It's really easy to learn and very well explain with images. Believe me, you won't bore with this book
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Follow-Up to Official Cinder Tutorials 30 July 2013
By surya - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I think this book provides an excellent continuation of the learning path begun by the official documentation and tutorials available on

I'd recommend that readers learn their way around C++ and the way that Cinder works (namespaces, templates, setup/update/draw loop) before going through this book. I personally appreciate that the authors don't go over this since the knowledge is easily available from other sources. Instead, they start right off with how to set up a Cinder project in your IDE of choice.

The recipes cover a great deal of subjects that would interest a creative coder - 2D and 3D Graphics, Particles, Animation, Audio, Image Processing, inter-app communication, User Interaction, and more. While it can't cover everything that Cinder can do, I think anyone who has gone through all these recipes will hold a deep enough understanding of what is possible with Cinder in order to figure out the rest on their own.

The book is based on Cinder 0.8.4, while 0.8.5 is now available and offer some helpful upgrades. Totally understandable - writing a book can take months and you have to cover the tools available at the time. It would be great if there were a home for notes/updates from the authors about what's different/new in 0.8.5. For example, the book covers how to add blocks to your project which is a multi-step process in 0.8.4. In the newer version, the Tinderbox tool can do most of this work for you automatically. That said, it's great to have the manual process documented so users understand what's happening behind the scenes when they add a Block with Tinderbox.

All in all, highly recommended for programmers/artists who have a basic understanding of c++ programming and want to get their feet wet with a variety of Cinder projects.
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