Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Online Course

Creative Programming for Digital Media & Mobile Apps

University of London International Programmes via Coursera

  • Provider Coursera
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 5-10 hours a week
  • Duration 5 weeks long
  • Learn more about MOOCs

Taken this course? Share your experience with other students. Write review


This course is for anyone who would like to apply their technical skills to creative work ranging from video games to art installations to interactive music, and also for artists who would like to use programming in their artistic practice.

This course will teach you how to develop and apply programming skills to creative work. This is an important skill within the development of creative mobile applications, digital music and video games. It will teach the technical skills needed to write software that make use of images, audio and graphics, and will concentrate on the application of these skills to creative projects. Additional resources will be provided for students with no programming background.

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

* Write creative, audiovisual programs in the Processing environment that run on desktop and mobile
* Programatically manipulate sound in creative ways
* Display images and image sequences
* Generate interactive, algorithmic graphics
* Work with a 2D physics engine to create a basic game


Sonic Painter
-This week we are getting up and running with the Processing IDE. We will show you the basics of writing Processing sketches then move onto some graphics and audio concepts. Mick will then introduce our first audiovisual example - SonicPainter, which allows users to interactively paint with synchronised graphics and sound.

-This week we are looking at using images and video, and also finding out how to control sound more fully in an interactive way. We're going to be showing you a really basic interactive VJ/DJ app called 'DJTube', which is a very simple example of how to create and load video, images and animations on desktops / mobile devices, and also use them as a basic user interface. 

Audio Visualiser
-This week is all about creating an Audiovisualiser. This is a really popular and interesting topic that has lots of applications, from music players, to game engines, to more complex things such as DSP. We'll be learning about algorithmic graphics, audio analysis, and also about using the accelerometer features of your phone. Remember that many desktops don't have accelerometers, no matter how much you shake them!

-This week we will be creating a physics based game using a Physics engine based on Box2D. Physics engines are a fantastic way of creating dynamic gameplay that models the real world. Box2D is one of the most popular because it is optimised to be fast for 2D games that don't need the heavy processing of a 3D engine. It is used in many important 2D games, most famously Angry Birds. We will be using boxwrap2D which is a Java port of the original C++ version of Box2D, that is designed to work with Processing. Since boxwrap2D is java only we have created our own port to JavaScript, which interfaces to the javascript version of Box2D, but provides an almost identical interface to the Processing version.

Music Machine
-Welcome to the final week of Creative Programming for Digital Media and Mobile apps. This week, we are going to move back to one of our favorite areas of app development - music apps. We have a very special guest this week - Martin Roth from RJDJ. Martin has lots of experience working on consumer mobile music applications, including the amazing Inception app, and The Dark Knight Rises. He shares his views on the expanding space in mobile music applications, and offers us his opinion on the WebAudio API. Meanwhile, Matt will be showing you how to create a very basic drum sequencer, and Marco will take you through the basics of sliders and multisliders, which are particularly useful for controlling parameters in music apps. Mick will then be taking you through some synthesiser examples in WebAudio, and talk you through the Music Machine example, which is a great place to kick off making a professional interactive music app for mobile.

Taught by

Mick Grierson, Matthew Yee-King and Marco Gilles


Help Center

Most commonly asked questions about Coursera

Reviews for Coursera's Creative Programming for Digital Media & Mobile Apps Based on 11 reviews

  • 5 stars 55%
  • 4 star 0%
  • 3 stars 27%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 stars 18%

Did you take this course? Share your experience with other students.

Write a review
  • 1
Anonymous completed this course.
First off: I won't recommend this course, if you are completely new to programming, as it won't teach you enough programming basics in a structured way, it's just not that type of a course. I had some previous programming knowledge in Python (one coursera course), so it was doable to get adopted to the Syntax. This course is basically a "Processing" course, directed to someone who already had some exposure to programming and is interested in artistic stuff, like interactive games, applications and generative design. It gives quite an overview of what you can do in processing. However, for a university course it's seems not structured and focused enough and it will switch topics fastly on a weekly basis, which makes it hard to keep you engaged on a topic. The worst week was week 5 (of 6), which deals with the unrelated facebook-api, by providing php and javascripts. I would recommend the lectureres to get rid of that week. Still you can get quite something out of it.
6 people found
this review helpful
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Lu L
Lu completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I am a general engineer, so I already know more than a little about programmation. This really helped me for this course.

The content is interesting, but the assignments' material is really hard to use. It comes full of bugs and I spent more time debugging the files than working on the assignment.

I would not recommend this course to a true beginner. But for someone who knows a bit about computers and who is willing to discover a fun and fast way to code, this is a really nice course.
3 people found
this review helpful
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Qz Q
by Qz completed this course, spending 7 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
This course would be very interesting for people with some basic background in art, music and programming. You'll actually get to work on some of your own app ideas. The course is pretty inclusive with students with different backgrounds enrolling. However, the instructions were often unclear, and if you don't have enough experience to solve technical problems on your own then you will find the course really frustrating.
1 person found
this review helpful
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Emmanuel E
Emmanuel is taking this course right now.
I am not recommending this course. I beleive it is a waste of time since it is not maintained anymore. Most of the quiz are unclear lack precision in their question and nobody answers on the forums.

This course is in limbo.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Luznery V
by Luznery completed this course, spending 9 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I love this course.

I have made previous courses on processing a basic level, which allowed me to complete this course. I must admit that instructors, they designed six-week for the course where participants could choose from the two codes on every two weeks and work a code in which the participant feel comfortable. I would recommend this course for the participants to have some knowledge of Computer Science or any programming language in accordance to my own experience. I am currently doing courses on website design without knowing anything about HTML, CSS3 and JavaScript I could complete these a basic level courses through my basic knowledge of processing. Processing is easy to learn and if you are inclined to digital drawing this is a good software to sketch.

My portfolio of course work: Creative Programming for Digital Media & Mobile Apps. and other courses.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous completed this course.
This course was excellent, however I did find myself investing a lot more time in it than the recommended hours. For those with little or no experience in programming they could have done more to explain the basics, but then this was the first time this course was held. I am really surprised how much I did learn here, and I am now glad that I invested all the extra hours. I would really recommend that anyone who is interested in this course make sure they have Processing and all the necessary Android tools installed BEFORE you begin.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous completed this course.
Loved this course, really inspiring, great fun, very creative. I think you could do this with little programming experience, I have a bit from a previous course, but my partner didn't and got on fine with it also. Since it is fun and if you are interested, there's enough guidance to get you started. Also, Processing has many supportive sites and tutorials, plus it's all free!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Stephanie completed this course.
I'm starting this course in a couple of weeks and I'm doing a little pre-course work in it as I'm giving a little talk in online education in the Fall. I'm trying to find a class similar to this in a traditional classroom. I have started to play around with Sonic Paint in prep for this Coursera class and I really like it. Stay tuned...
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Andrei completed this course.
0 person found
this review helpful
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Stefan I
by Stefan completed this course.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
William H
by William completed this course.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
  • 1

Class Central

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Sign up for free

Never stop learning Never Stop Learning!

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Sign up for free