I should probably study C++ or should I?

I put openFrameworks down for a while as the learning curve was too steep for my time constraints. However I’m returning to it because it seems more stable and faster than my other options (Max/Jitter and Processing). So my question is, should I just sit down and study C++ for a while in order to wrap my head around this? I have a CS101 level of knowledge. I understand the fundamentals of OOP, classes, and basics like that. I definitely don’t understand the XCode IDE yet. There are some hurdles there but I’m wondering if some people skipped diving into C++ and were able to get a handle on oF by itself?

I find x-code + openFrameworks+ c++

easier to learn and use than java/ processing, mainly because of its open nature, you can read study/modify/break all of the objects… and thus learn in an “all you can eat” manner.

I think it’s better to directly study a declaration of a class in order to understand how everything works than reading tutorials and books about stuff that nobody is telling you how everything came to be.

c++ is indeed a huge language, you can learn the basics and do your job, play it save, the more you work with it the more you learn. Don’t expect to learn everything about it in a month. you need to write 1000 lines of code. But the projects will motivate you to write more efficient and use more advanced techniques that will give you better performance etc.
It’s harder to learn but it has SO many benefits stl library is just so super powerfull.

xcode is also very powerfull, debugging is very detailed and very accurate, you can profile and look up memory leaks just with a few clicks.

do the first step to climb the mountain and never look back

Completely agree with @igiso - learning c++ / OF takes some time, but it will pay off!

Personally, I found it helpfull to learn the basics of C++ first - and then dive into the OpenFrameworks tutorials. What I would do is to spend some time reading the basic tutorials on http://www.cplusplus.com/doc/tutorial/ - I found it very helpfull to get a quick grasp on how c++ works and it certainly enabled me to get going with OF very quickly.

You only need to know enough C/C++ to interact with the openFrameworks API.


Knowing the OF API, having an understanding of trig, and some level of understanding of vector math will get you 80% of the way there.

Copy some examples to your myApps directory, get them to compile, and change them incrementally until they are unrecognizable. Do that for a while and things will just start clicking on their own.

Don’t think it’s the language syntax that is getting you hung up. It’s not C++, it’s seat-time++.

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…until you hit that wall


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If OF is not your first experience coding you can get pretty far without knowing C++. It’s not a bad idea to have a good C++ reference available if you see something that you don’t understand.

My first experiences were much like @billautomata describes. I just kept messing with a OF/OpenCV project until the wheels fell off. ofxAddons and examples are a great way to learn how others approach problems.

I don’t recommend doing this on a deadline - give yourself time to search for errors and how to use your debugger.