^_^ Newbie looking for direction & advice

category: general [glöplog]
Hello everyone,

I'm Just another newbie coming in with some questions after having watched and been inspired by the many jaw dropping demos that have been produced by the wonderful talents of this community.

Keep up the good work everyone! The blood, sweat and tears you've invested into your work and the artistic translation of your vision are truly something to strife for. Your work, not only serves as a direct expression of your creative self; but in the boundless wilderness of the Internet, it also becomes a beacon for next generation of artists seeking to follow your footsetps!

Now, with the sweet talk out of the way ^_^here comes the dreaded newbie questions that perhaps someone would have some time for.

I know when it comes to demoscenes, there are some who focus on the retro side of things, for example, the demos for c64, amiga, etc, and part of the reason is of course the the nostalgia and the memories of that particular machine from your childhood. And aside from that, when it comes to retro tech, one really has to know the software and hardware inside out because many of the things we take for granted today weren't readily available back then, so the challenge lies in being 100% self sufficient and being able to code effciently in order to fully optimized everything to fit in such sizes as 4k, 64k... and for many, the nostaligia and the challenge is what attracts them right?

Now, what about the other group of democoders who decide to focus on more modern consoles/equipments? Windows, Mac, or perhaps the Web?

As a newbie who is really eager to get involved and dive into the scene and learn as much as he can, what areas should I study ? What language are the language of choice ? What software are recommended? What exactly should I study? Is it just general Graphics Programming? 3D programming? shaders programming? These names, while they all sound like they fit the bill, and many probably overlap or include the other, but I was wondering if anyone might be able to provide a better clarification or guidline for someone who is completely new and at a lost as to where to start.

From what I've seen, a lot of the demos are done in C/C++ for the Windows platform, however, as I'm currently learning Web Development, and with Javascript being a dominant language for the web- both for frontend, backend, and in recent years, for graphics and 3D as well(Processing, three.js) Would javascript and the Web (webgl) be a very viable option/platform for me to hone my skills in?

Are there anyone who does demoscene for the Web here? What would you suggest for a beginner? Processing? Three.js? Also, what are the advantages and disadvantages of making demo for the web vs platform? in every aspect, from the language used itself C/C++ vs Javascript, speed. The Web is always going to be more limited due to not everyone having a good internet connection, or having the needed webgl installed, etc right?

If I was to focus for the Web, what would people recommend? What areas of studies should I focus on?

If I was to focus for Windows(more conventional way), what would be the topics to learn or research on, what language, software should I look into? what are some good books to read, etc.

The last question is more of a general one. I know when it comes to the upper echelon of demoscenes- typically they're done in a team of 3 : one coder, one musician, and one artist- each dedicated to their perspective specialty. As someone who is pretty creative and already has a bunch of ideas in his head, I would like to know, what exactly will require a true artist, and what doesn't when it comes to demoscene. For example, the geometric shapes, the fractals, the particles, the effects, those type of things can all be coded I assume.... But things like castles, animals, trees, basically any 3d objects with more details and shapes are usually built by a 3d modeler right? So, if I can't draw or paint myself, I am still able to create demos, except, my work will be limited to simple geometric shapes, particles, and simple objects and anything more intricate will require a 3d modeler correct?

ps. sorry for the WALL OF TEXT ^_^ now you know why i needed that sweet talk in the beginning lol
added on the 2016-03-24 14:03:27 by uptick uptick
first precious advise:
the productions are called demos (or intros if they are size restricted), the term 'demoscene' stands for the community as a whole.
regarding javascript/browser demos:
its completely legit to choose the browser as a (cross)platform, but it offers different challenges regarding changing webstandards and browser-engines - also native binaries usually have an advantage regarding performance.
nevertheless there are some great examples of js demos right on this site.
added on the 2016-03-24 14:30:44 by wysiwtf wysiwtf
As a newbie who is really eager to get involved and dive into the scene and learn as much as he can, what areas should I study ?

That's an important question but we cannot answer it for you - you just have to pick whatever you feel like doing, and then evolve from there organically. Everything else is just implementation detail, really.
added on the 2016-03-24 14:31:00 by Gargaj Gargaj
There are plenty of WebGL demos and they seem to be getting more popular. It's certainly a viable platform to start working on.

My advice is this: just. do. stuff. Try things out and if you like what you get, well, there you go. If not, try again.
added on the 2016-03-24 14:31:43 by Preacher Preacher
Also, don't worry about picking the "wrong" thing - most people eventually move to other environments at some point in their careers.
added on the 2016-03-24 14:39:34 by Gargaj Gargaj
Go to a demoparty
Meet people
Watch lots of demos
Ask questions
Make friends
Read stuff

Follow this six step program and you'll end up making something before you realise it and wonder why you ever bothered wasting you Easter weekend on your family!
added on the 2016-03-24 14:50:38 by djh0ffman djh0ffman
Yeah, you could visit Revision (starting tommorow) and enjoy the full overdose of demoscene-spirit. <3
added on the 2016-03-24 15:03:19 by gaspode gaspode
good way to start with web stuff is knowing your way with javascript and toy with mrdoob's three.js. try make some basic effects to a mp3 by your favorite musician to get an idea how sync/making multi-part demos feels like and then step up with getting familiar with shaders and decide whether you wanna stick with web or go towards some platform/native code. then c/c++/java is the way to go and probably still opengl, unless you fancy Windows/DX/XNA.

and yes. go to parties to get familiar with other people. doing a demo all by yourself is very boring, so get to know people.
added on the 2016-03-24 15:03:19 by Maali Maali
On the other hand doing a demo all by yourself has advantages too ... like you dont have to make compromises with other people.

Perhaps "Tooll2" is interesting for you. Pixtur of Still is giving a 3h-workshop at revision. A very cool node-based demotool where you can work with connecting operators like legobricks, animate on timelines and even code with c#.
added on the 2016-03-24 15:08:35 by gaspode gaspode
try coding something
try making some graphics
try compsing a tune
start it all over
find out what you like most
do it again
delete everything you did
restart from scratch
do more of it
make it better
release it
be called lamer
make another release
join a group
call someone else lamer
win a compo
and then you die
added on the 2016-03-24 17:17:20 by groepaz groepaz
People that make Demos do a lot of rapid prototyping of shaders using webgl and opelgl-as.

If a virtual machine gets it done, even jscipt suffices.

Collphones sadly lack opengl support for all The good new instructions.

Going for compatibility is an easy choice.
added on the 2016-04-03 19:53:53 by ollj ollj
Platform doesmt matter. Languages dont matter. Compilers are dumb, no matter what.

Using webgl for anything can be great.
Its trial and error. Focus on whatever works.

Giving F# a try sure taught me many great programming practices that i easily miss in c++.
added on the 2016-04-03 19:57:42 by ollj ollj