Noob question: Should I learn processing for this project?

Hi there. I’d love to get your opinion if whether Processing is the right tool for a project I have had in my mind for a long time.

I want to create an artwork with video feed that only shows what has not moved in the last 5 seconds.

The idea is that it would be installed out side an art gallery or somewhere similar with a bit of foot traffic, and if people sat down in the shot they would only see themselves if they were still for five seconds. Also even if the area in shot was busy with moving people, the moving people wold not show and only the static elements like the ground and park benches etc would show in the projected video feed.

Do you think processing would be the best tool to use for this project? If you have any other thoughts or suggestions I’d love to hear them. Thanks in advance! -David.

Like many forms of art, you’ll find that there isn’t just one single “correct” or “best” way to approach a programming project.

Sure, you could use Processing for this project. But this is a Processing forum, so we’re a little biased. You could also use a lot of other tools.

If I were you I would try putting together a simplified version of what you’re talking about, in a bunch of different languages and libraries. Try them all out and see which one you like the best, because in the end that’s the only thing that matters.

@divdivdiv I second with @Kevin, when it comes to a simplified version. Here is a playlist from the coding train on motion detection that may steer you on the right path when implementing this project in Processing -

Have you implemented this concept in other environments?

Thanks @Kevin and @Dan ! Sounds like it might be time for me to jump on the Coding Train, specifically the processing series of tutorials… I’ve never implemented it before and I’ve never done anything but a bit of super simple programming here and there over the years but I’ve always been interested in processing so I think this might be a good way for me to give it a try. The fact that you both think that it’s possible is a good enough reason to start learning to give it a try. Thanks a bunch! I’ll show you if I ever pull it off.


I recommend looking at some of the packaged examples for video manipulation – in particular, ones that use a buffer of many frames to create a difference, subtraction, or time delay effect.


This is one way of arriving at your described effect.