2021/01/14

simple native C visualization using Xlib and ffmpeg

Since I set out to tackle this year's Advent of Code using C, and I like making visualizations of some solutions, I needed a way to create visualizations from C code. Given this requirement, and a desire to work with Xlib, I set out to make a simple graphics header library to create these visualizations. After spending a lot of time searching the web, I found gfx, which is a great starting point. This library provides a simple way to create a window and draw some primitives to it.

My initial concern was the lack of cleanup code present in gfx, so this is where I started. Delving into the amorphous and incomplete Xlib documentation was a pain, and I found that exploring the source code was a much more efficient way to understand the API. This was not a fun experience, but I managed to put something together that was usable and I am relatively happy with.

I created cfx, a header-only Xlib wrapper for simple visualizations that can be saved straight to disk using ffmpeg. The source code can be found on my github.


After all of this work, I ended up making only two animations, but I am happy with how they came out.

Day 5

Day 8