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Sound and Image Laboratory

Code: LSI202     Acronym: LSI

Classification Keyword
CNAEF Design

Instance: 2019/2020 - 2S Ícone do Moodle

Active? Yes
Web Page: http://lsi.fba.up.pt
Responsible unit: Design
Course/CS Responsible: Communication Design

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
DC 54 Plano Oficial do ano letivo 2017 2 - 6 60 162

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Pedro Manuel Reis Amado

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical and practical : 3,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Theoretical and practical Totals 2 6,00
Pedro Manuel Reis Amado 6,00

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students


- Learn the basics of programming and interactivity in order to create audiovisual artwork;
- Understanding of interactive art history, and the use of computer as creative tool;
- Acquire new tools for creation;

Learning outcomes and competences

Students will be able to:
- Create digital audiovisual artwork through the exploration of Processing code;
- Use algorithmic approaches to obtain a range of different visual outcomes from the same source code;
- Explore different media outputs for the artwork: printing, video/animation, interactive applications.

Working method


Pre-requirements (prior knowledge) and co-requirements (common knowledge)

Basic math skills and english language.
Fundamental knowledge of digital bitmap and vector images (as provided by the IFD course), digital audio and video.


Introduction to programming, with Processing, in the context of visual arts. The course’s goal is to approach the foundations of algorithmic design, programming, and provide students with new tools to use software and technology as a source for creation;

The course will explore the fundamentals of visual programming in two modules that encompass the essential components to learning programming with Processing, but that can also be applied in other computer languages.

The first module encompasses the use of data, simple variables, functions, control structures (cycles and conditions), static media such as bitmap and vector images, and typography, media import and export for print. In this module, we explore the concepts of (predetermined) instructions, (pseudo) randomness and data transcoding from one visual form into another.

The second model encompasses the use of personalized functions, system and user events, complex variables, (using and creating) objects, dynamic media such as audio and video, and the extension of the software through additional libraries in order to create interactive audiovisual interfaces

The course covers the essential concepts of programming in the first two individual modules (e.g. functions, variables, controls structures, randomness, objects, libraries, etc.), interactions with sound, and communications with other software and interfaces.

During the course, projects will be proposed that explore the creation of artwork that explores the generative, interactive and randomness features of the software. It will be also exploring different outputs, ranging from digital ones (video animations, or online/stand-alone interactive applications) to physical outputs (as printing).

Students will solve exercises and assignments individually and in groups where all the concepts will be put into action. Students will be encouraged to acquire the necessary team organization skills and additional programming techniques. As well as, with the support from the lecturer, to explore the methodology for the development, documentation, and presentation of a final digital multimedia project.

Mandatory literature

Reas, C., & Fry, B.; Getting Started with Processing: A Hands-On Introduction to Making Interactive Graphics, O'Reilly Media, 2015. ISBN: 978-1-449-37980-3
Reas, C., & Fry, B.; Processing: a programming handbook for visual designers and artists, Mit Press, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-262-02828-8 ((2nd Edition))

Complementary Bibliography

Bohnacker, Hartmut Gross, Benedikt Laub, Julia Lazzeroni, Claudius; Generative design: visualize, program, and create with processing, Princeton Architectural Press, 2012. ISBN: 978-1-61-689-077-3
Brown, P. Cunningham, D. W. Interrante, V. McCormack, J.; Computation Aesthetics 2008 – Eurographics Workshop on Computational Aesthetics in Graphics, Visualization and Imaging, Eurographics Association, 2008. ISBN: 978-3-90-5674-08-08
Greiman, April; Hybrid imagery: the fusion of technology and graphic design, Watson-Guptill Publications, Inc., 1990. ISBN: 0823025187
Klanten, Robert Ehmann, Sven Feireiss, Lukas; A touch of code: interactive installations and experiences, Die Gestalten Verlag, 2011. ISBN: 978-3-89955-331-4
Lieser, Wolf; Arte digital. Novos Caminhos na Arte, H.F.ullman, 2009. ISBN: 978-3-8331-5344-0
Maeda, John; Design By Numbers, 1999
Maeda, John; Maeda @ Media, 2000
Maeda, John; Creative Code: Aesthetics + Computation, 2004
Pearson, Matt; Generative Art, Manning Publications Co., 2011. ISBN: 1935182625
Reas, C. & Chandler McWilliam; Form+Code in Design, Art, and Architecture, 2010
Schwarz, Stefanie; Process. 14 Months of Research, Experiments and Thoughts, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, 2013
Shifman, Daniel; Learning Processing, 2008
Shiffman, Daniel; The Nature of Code: Simulating Natural Systems with Processing, Daniel Shiffman, 2012. ISBN: 0985930802
Wands, Bruce; Art of the digital age, Thames & Hudson, 2007. ISBN: 0500286299
Whitney, John; Digital Harmony: On the Complementarity of Music and Visual Art, 1980

Teaching methods and learning activities

- Classes will be mostly practical, exercises will be solved and concepts will be taught step-by-step.
- Each session’s content and the technical process will be taught through practical exercises, followed by additional challenges to solve autonomously, always focused on a visual output;
- In each module, students will have to create a thematic project individually or in groups, in order to consolidate and to enhance the knowledge acquired;
- At the same time, an introduction to the history of interactive art, and the use of computer for artistic outcomes will be given.



Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation without final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Participação presencial 10,00
Trabalho laboratorial 40,00
Trabalho prático ou de projeto 50,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Elaboração de projeto 21,00
Estudo autónomo 60,00
Frequência das aulas 60,00
Trabalho laboratorial 21,00
Total: 162,00

Eligibility for exams

With a final grade equal or superior to 10 points.

Calculation formula of final grade

Weighted average of the quantitative grades of the evaluation components.
First Module: 40%
Second Module: 60%

Projects lacking instructor supervision will have null evaluation, as will projects in which the development goes undocumented by the student.

Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)

Cases in which the students may benefit from special status (student workers, student athletes, etc.) will be subject to appreciation on an individual basis. Timely contact with the teacher is therefore required.

Classification improvement

Only through course repetition.

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