OPENRNDR is our largest and longest running project and is a crucial tool for most of our work. OPENRNDR is a tool to create tools, an open source framework for creative coding, written in Kotlin, that simplifies writing real-time interactive software.
Development of OPENRNDR was started in 2010 at LUSTlab under the name RNDR, with the idea to create an in-house framework that was versatile enough to sketch in, but at the same time be robust enough to deliver production-quality interactive media installations, that you know will also run without worries in a few years from now. It takes the creative mind set of a designer or artist, and combines that with the power of IT-grade software. As we could not find this in existing software, we had to develop this ourselves. We are convinced that there are many more people out there that crave for the same.
When LUST and LUSTlab closed doors in 2017, the newly formed studio RNDR continued development and changed the name to OPENRNDR, a precursor to our goal to distribute the software under an open source license. We translated the framework from Java 8 to Kotlin, made a project site, created a very extensive guide, and developed the API documentation. The framework was officially launched in June 2018, and we are improving and adding features almost bi-weekly.
OPENRNDR.org functions as a gateway to all the relevant information around the framework, where to find the downloads, tutorials, the guide, the API, the Github page and much more. You can also find example projects, and in-depth articles on use cases that are posted on the OPENRNDR Medium pages.
Recently we have spent a considerable amount of time to improve the quality of the documentation found in the guide. The guide suffered from incomplete and incorrect examples, and the lack of visual media to demonstrate what the example does. We developed a set of tools that is able to convert the contents of the existing guide and improve the guide with verified-to-work examples. The added ease of automatically generated image and video captures of examples should make the guide a whole lot nicer to read and browse through.
OPENRNDR is distributed as open source under a BSD 2-clause license. The BSD 2-clause license allows you almost unlimited freedom with the software so long as you include the BSD copyright notice in it.
OPENRNDR won a Dutch Design Award 2019, from the jury report:
— “OPENRNDR is a generous, beautifully designed platform of a very high quality, developed with infectious enjoyment. A revolution for the profession; a living organism that facilitates and challenges the design community.”
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