Processing Textmode Engine
Version 0.1 (initial release) May 2016
The Processing Textmode Engine renders output in Processing to a full color text display,
reminiscent of early computer or BBS graphics. I wrote it to use for realtime visual performance, but can be used to create movies, still images, or even games.
It is free and open source.
Creating a textmode engine is something I've wanted to do for a long time. I grew up using DOS and hanging out on BBSes, so I love textmode and ANSI art. I used TheDraw as a kid and now use PabloDraw for creating ANSI art. Even Sixteen Colors has a JS based textmode editor. And as far as textmode converting goes, I've experimented with AALib, libcaca, and even TextFX. I looked at the Textmode Demo Framework released by the TMDC folks, too. But I wanted something I could use with Processing, something fast and fun. And that's what this is. It may not be as accurate as the others, but I am hoping since it uses Processing (rather than C) that it may be more accessible to a wide range of artists and creative coders.
The code is well commented, but here's the tl;dr on how it works: you draw to a small offscreen buffer and then convert the pixels in that buffer to text and draw to the main screen. Brightness controls the glyphs and the average color of the pixel area controls the color of that glyph. The background is always black, like conventional ANSI art tools.
I hope you enjoy using it as much as I do!
Don Miller / NO CARRIER