Generative Art Tutorials with p5

Hello Community!
This is Tanvi Kumar, a final year student at NIT-T, India. I’ve been working with p5 for a while now and did GSoC’18 under The Processing Foundation. Post this I’ve had the opportunity to interact with many from the community, especially during Processing Community Days here in India. It was at these events that I was exposed to the world of generative art or code based artwork and I’ve been hooked since.

While there are plenty of resources online to help one begin, as someone from an engineering background and not a lot of exposure to design and art (I’m improving), it was hard to identify where to begin. It’s great to see workshops happening around the country to teach more designers Processing tools and p5 to create more artwork, and to see coders learning how to create art, but I’d like to pitch something to bridge a gap further.

A tutorial on how to create artwork using p5. Starting from the very basics, to more complex pieces. I realise that there’s no world where one can create something very extensive because art is, in itself infinite. But there are some common tricks and tools, concepts and famous pieces that one can know.

Would love to know if this is feasible!

1 Like

Hi @tanvikumar – thanks for all you do for the Processing community and for sharing your new ideas!

I my personal reaction to this idea is that it sounds exciting but that you should focus a lot on a specific concept – and perhaps related to generative art-making for a concrete audience (e.g. bridge a gap for who). Generative art can be still images, animation, generative audio, 3d modeling or 3d printing, et cetera.

I’d also suggest looking at some of the frameworks around generative art and processing that already exist and asking what is missing. For example, if you were trying to teach a generative art class using only the existing Processing examples / tutorials, which would you assign to your students in what order, and what is missing? Or if you were going to use only Coding Train videos, which in what order, and what is missing?

Then, evaluate what already exists that is tailored to the topic, but may be out of date or a different mode (Processing 1 or 2, or p5.js) or may be something to start from. I’m thinking of books e.g.

Generative Art: a practical guide using Processing by Matt Pearson

Algorithms for Visual Design Using the Processing Language 1st Edition
by Kostas Terzidis

Generative Design: Visualize, Program, and Create with Processing

(and the newer version for p5.js):
Generative Design: Visualize, Program, and Create with JavaScript in p5.js

or online articles with p5.js examples like:

A gentle introduction to coding by making generative art by Ibby EL-Serafy


An introduction to Generative Art: what it is, and how you make it by Ali Spittel

This is not to discourage you – just to encourage you to think strategically about what exists that can be built on or adapted, or how a tutorial project would work differently then the books and online resources that are already available.