How to Get Started with Generative Art

Generative art is a style of art that involves the use of computers to help create the work. It can apply to static visuals or sounds, in addition to them being moving with animation. One of the best ways to get started in this area is by learning how to use the program Processing, which also is useful for data visualization and art installation projects too.

Processing is an open source application for Mac, Windows and Linux. The highlight of the program is it makes it easy to draw graphics and make sound in the programming language of Java, but with a more simplified syntax.

There are also a few offshoots of Processing. Sketchpad.cc let’s you code with it in the browser but will be limited to a set amount of features. Processing.js let’s you embed such web-based code into your own projects. The best way to get started in Processing is to first install the program, and then check out some of the examples (they are also accessible from within the program for ease of reference).

From there you might want to work with Daniel Shiffman’s YouTube channel, The Coding Train. He has an introduction to Processing playlist which i’ve linked to, but there is also The Nature of Code playlist which takes things to a next level by simulating physics.

There is also a great Introduction to Generative Art course on Skillshare which uses the HYPE framework.

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