Getting Started with OPENRNDR

Let’s get it started!

Setting up software prerequisites

Now, to be able to edit and run OPENRNDR programs we have to install some software tools.

  • Check if your computer has git installed. If it’s missing, install it from the Git website

  • Download IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition and install it. On the first run it will offer the option to pick default settings and continue, use the default settings.

  • Install the OPENRNDR IntelliJ plugin for better integration with OPENRNDR. In IDEA, search for OPENRNDR in Settings > Plugins > Marketplace to install it.

Clone the template

The advised and time-economic way to start any OPENRNDR-based project is to use the openrndr-template. This template contains a ready-to-go project from which you can quickly start running your first programs.

  • If program menus are visible select “File > New > Project from version control…”. If you are running Idea for the first time or no project is open, the program menus are not visible. In that case click “Get from VCS” at the top-right area instead.
  • In the dialog that appears:
    • Version Control: choose “Git”.
    • URL: enter
    • Directory: validate that it looks OK.
  • When asked where the project should be opened, click on “new window”.

If cloning fails, check if you have Git installed and if the repository URL was typed correctly.

Run your first program

After cloning the template you will likely see IntelliJ IDEA download dependencies and index your project, this may take some time on the first run. You can see its progress in the status bar at the bottom of the IntelliJ window.

You may have noticed that IntelliJ has opened the in the openrndr-template project. Likely this file will contain some hints to help you navigate the template project.

Once IntelliJ has finished indexing click the src/main/kotlin/TemplateProgram.kt file in the Project view. On some versions of IntelliJ the Project view is collapsed by default, you can open it by clicking on the vertical tab on the left side of the screen.

Once the template program is opened a small green triangle should appear next to the line that starts with fun main(). Click on the triangle, the program should now run.

Lo’ and behold!

Tip for macOS users

When running a program the console will display Warning: Running on macOS without -XstartOnFirstThread JVM argument. To clear this warning (and enable debugging):

  • Open the Run > Edit Configurations... menu.
  • Add -XstartOnFirstThread in the VM Options text field.
  • Click Ok to close the dialog.

Tip for Windows multi-GPU users

If your computer has multiple GPUs, you can choose which one OPENRNDR uses like this:

  • Run openrndr-template and note down the java.exe path being used. If you are using Idea it should be displayed at the bottom panel.
  • Open the Windows Graphics Settings.
  • Click Browse and choose the same java.exe you noted down earlier.
  • Click Options, choose your preferred GPU then click Save.

What’s next?

At this point you are likely interested in how this program is structured. The guide explains more in the Program basics chapter.

If you are more interested in reading source code you can find the code for the examples in this guide in the openrndr-examples repository. If you are interested in more advanced examples we recommend checking out the demo programs in the orx repository; most orx modules have demos in the src/demo/kotlin folder.

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