Flocking System Painting with Pixels

Flocking painting Live Video 8 Aug 2017

This is one Simon’s most beautiful projects recently! Simon saw the idea to link the webcam image to the boids of a flocking system in a video by Daniel Shiffman, but the code featured in this project Simon wrote himself. The Flocking code is based on Daniel Shiffman’s example from his book The Nature of Code. (Flocking is a steering behavior that consists of separation, alignment and cohesion – which are also steering behaviors – combined).

Simon’s sis also posed for the camera:

Flocking painting Live Video 8 Aug 2017 2

Simon is also about to make a JavaScript version of this fun project, because JavaScript allows to host it easily online, so that everyone can play with it. With JavaScript, he may even be able to write it in an online editor, so there won’t even be a need to host it. Check in later for an update to this post!

UPDATE: Simon encountered a problem trying to translate his Flocking System Painting with Pixels into JavaScript: P5 runs much slower than Processing after Simon added steering behavior. He doesn’t know how to solve this. Simon’s JavaScript code is online at https://codepen.io/simontiger/pen/ZJKBbN?editors=0011

Sound Wave Maths in Processing

Simon has created animations visualizing sound waves (Triangle, Sawtooth, Square and Sine waves) in Processing (Java), using wave functions.

These are the functions he used for the Sawtooth, Square and Sine waves:



Not to confuse “sine” with “sgn” (sgn standing for sign):


He was inspired by the logarithmic and power functions that he was studying during his math class yesterday. Simon was trying to draw both types of functions in Grapher on his laptop, but only succeeded for the power functions (because there were no subscript option for the logarithms).

Circle Intersection with Perlin Noise in Processing (Interactive)

Simon built a beautiful interactive circle intersection program in Processing, in which the circles detect intersection and change colors (according to Perlin Noise) once it occurs. The player can control the number of circles by adding and removing them in two modes (mouth clicked and mouth dragged). Simon added a button to switch between the two modes. (Loosely based upon Daniel Shiffman’s tutorials on checking object intersection).



Maze Generator Game in Processing

Simon has turned Daniel Shiffman’s Maze Generator Coding Challenge (generating a maze using the Depth-First Search Recursive algorithm) into a game in Processing (Java). It’s not fully operative yet, as the player can partially walk through walls, but Simon did get quite far and even received positive comments from Daniel Shiffman.

Simon’s own little neural network

Connected Perceptrons in Processing 26 Jul 2017

This is one of Simon’s most enchanting and challenging projects so far: working on his own little AIs. As I’ve mentioned before, when it comes to discussing AI, Simon is both mesmerized and frightened.  He watches Daniel Shiffman’s neural networks tutorials twenty times in a row and practices his understanding of the mathematical concepts   underlying the code (linear regression and gradient descent) for hours. Last week, Simon built a perceptron of his own. It was based on Daniel Shiffman’s code, but Simon added his own colors and physics, and played around with the numbers and the bias. You can see Simon working on this project step by step in the six videos below.

His original plan was to build two neural networks that would be connected to each other and communicate, he has only built one perceptron so far.







Hero Game in Processing. Simon’s Own Code.

Hero Game 24 Jul 2017 High Score

Simon has created a great new game in Processing: The Hero Game! It is somewhat like the good old Mario, except that Simon has no idea what Mario is and came up with the concept himself. The game is based upon Circle-Rectangle Intersection, something that he was studying for the past several days. It was impressive to see how quickly he wrote the program for the game, I think it took him something like an hour, while waiting for dinner. The game has a hero (Simon), represented by the yellow circle, obstacles (from below and above) and money that the hero collects to get points. The game stops once the hero hits an obstacle. Simon is planning to add extra random obstacles and maybe also create a winning score threshold (around 50 or 65, he says). His own highest score so far has been 35.

Below are the making-of videos, step by step:






Update: Simon added trees!

Hero Game 24 Jul 2017 Tree 2

Circle-Rectangle Intersection (Collision)

Simon has been studying  various 2D collisions (via the p5.collide2D library and paulbourke.net), especially the Circle-Rectangle Intersection (Collision). He was so busy with this problem that he even put it down in chalk at the playground:





And on the whiteboard at home:


And spent nearly his entire math lesson today talking about the math behind 2D object collision to his math teacher:





Simon also used Circle-Rectangle Collision for his awesome new Hero Game in Processing!


The Sea Game. Simon’s First Own Game.

Simon created his very first video game completely on his own. Everything in this game he came up with by himself – from the original idea and design to the final code. The game is about a little man (actually, Simon himself) jumping over the waves in the sea. Every time he lands on an actual wave it’s game over.

Simon used collision detection (point-rectangle instead of rectangle-circle collision detection) and array lists to duplicate the waves. He created an illusion of 3D by choosing the viewing angle “almost as if it were an orthographic camera”, he explains.

The code for this game (in Processing i.e. Java) is available on GitHub at



The making of, step by step:



Simon had trouble with the game over function. Originally, it was only triggered once the player clicked the mouse to jump again while on a wave, instead of reading to the circle-rectangle (little man-wave) collision. Simon asked about this problem in the Coding Train slack channel and got some great responses. Eventually he solved the problem is his own way (see the “Debugged” video):



Fractal Trees Customized

This weekend Simon came back to his old fascination, Fractal Trees. This time he didn’t just follow along Daniel Shiffman’s coding challenges, but created customized versions of Daniel’s trees, adding color and physics in some cases or writing the code in object oriented manner: