Learning Cinder in 2020

I’m looking to deep-dive into a creative coding library, and I really like the look of Cinder’s example library. A primary aim is to gain experience how to use C++ well and Cinder’s examples look more idiomatic in its approach to C++ when compared to OpenFrameworks, which is the other library I’m considering.

However, looking through the forum and commit history, and it appears from the outside (perhaps incorrectly!) that Cinder development has been less active recently and I’m wondering about whether OpenFrameworks would be a safer option to invest my time in, as there appears to be more recent activity in the forum and repository.

I’m looking for some unbiased advice about what people would choose if starting from scratch in 2020.


Hi Alex,

Cinder is still in active development, but its core team is quite small and a new release may still be a few months away. Cinder’s forum is mature and there’s always someone willing to help out, especially if you can explain what you’ve tried yourself and what it is you’re running into. Finally, Cinder’s code is a great source to learning C++ and OpenGL, because the API is well-designed with modern practices in mind.

With that being said, OpenFrameworks’ community is larger and more active. Users can contribute more easily, so a lot of samples are available and there’s almost always somebody who has implemented support for a feature you’re looking for. Code may not always be of production quality, though.

My best advice would be to try both frameworks. I personally found OpenFrameworks to be easier to get into, but in the end I chose Cinder because of its (in my opinion) higher quality code. Disclaimer: this was in 2010 and I have mainly used Cinder, so I know a lot more about it compared to OpenFrameworks.


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Thanks Paul. That’s good to hear and after chatting with people on Discord, it seems a lot of people depend on Cinder for production applications which gives me confidence in its longevity.