Queen's School of Computing

CISC 110/3.0 Elementary Computer Animation

Original Author: Mary McCollam and Nick Graham
Last Revised: July 2018 (David Lamb)

Calendar Description

Introduction to fundamental programming concepts in the context of visual, interactive media. Students may develop applications in any domain (e.g., fine art, education, commerce, physical or social sciences) while learning about algorithms, program design, logic, program control flow, functions, testing etc.
Note No computing or art background required.

Note Sufficient preparation for CISC 121/3.0. Students without programming experience should take CISC 110/3.0 (or CISC 101/3.0 or CISC 151/3.0) before CISC 121/3.0.

Exclusion No more than 3.0 units from APSC 142/3.0; APSC 143; CISC 101/3.0; CISC 110/3.0; CISC 151/3.0

One-Way Exclusion May not be taken after 121/3.0. With permission of the instructor, may be taken with CISC-121/3.0.


This course is designed to be an introduction to programming and Computer Science using the creation of visual art as the application. It is suitable for anyone wishing to learn programming in a fun, creative manner. This course can serve as an elective of interest to students in all areas of Arts and Science; but it also serves as an alternative to CISC-101/3.0 in providing students with sufficient programming background to take CISC-121/3.0.

After completing the course, students will have learned the fundamentals of developing interactive 2D works of art and simple animations and will understand the basics of programming using a scripting language. They will have received sufficient programming background to allow direct entry into CISC 121./3.0.


  • Programming Concepts: variables, types, conditionals, loops, functions, parameters, lists, strings, modular programming, debugging, commenting, and files.
  • Artistic Concepts: Pixels, color, interactivity, translation, rotation, scaling, motion (speed, direction, circular), and image manipulation.

Selected References

  • Parrish, A. Fry, B. Reas C. Make: Getting Started with Processing.py. Maker Media, 2016.
  • Processing.py. - http://py.processing.org/ Python Mode for Processing.
  • Shiffman, D. Learning Processing: A Beginner’s Guide to Programming Images, Animation, and Interaction. Morgan Kaufmann, 2015.