Make Art with Python
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Make Art with Python

Programming for Creative People

About the Book

Make Art with Python teaches programming for creative people.

If you've struggled with learning programming in the past, or have thought to yourself that you'd never learn to program, this is the book for you.

It takes a non-traditional approach to teaching computer science and programming through visual programs.

Most programming books or courses focus on math problems and text manipulation as ways to teach the fundamentals of computer programming. Instead, Make Art with Python focuses on building creative, visual programs to learn the basics of computer programming and computer science.

If you've never considered yourself a "math" person, or you consider yourself a language, or visual first learner, the exercises will quickly get you up and running. You'll be writing your first program right from the beginning, and each chapter will bring about a new, fundamental insight about the process of programming.

About the Author

KP Kaiser
Kirk Kaiser

KP Kaiser is a backend and creative developer who primarily works in Python.

Previously, he was the lead backend developer at Triller, scaling to the app from zero to millions of users.

Before Triller, he wrote the backend for a social app called Somebody which was also in the Top 100 free apps for the App Store, won an award for a site built for GE, helped design a lighting control system, and ran the infrastructure for a large eCommerce company.

He also developed an iPhone app that explored tracking the human mind during meditation using raw physiological measurements. The first product available from these experiments was Buddha Mind, an iPhone app which incorporated a Bluetooth LE heart rate monitor to measure and track your Heart Rate Variability during meditation

He skateboards when not programming or shooting photos. In another life he hiked the first half of the Appalachian Trail, lived in the Panamanian rain forest, and backpacked most of Central America.

About the Contributors

Dan Foster
Dan Foster


Franco Castillo
Franco Castillo

Cover Artist

Mike Sliva
Mike Sliva


Table of Contents

  • Introduction - Learning to Program with Art and Python
    • Why Art
    • Why Python
    • The Creative Process of Programming
    • The Journey of Becoming A Programmer
    • No “Right Way”
  • Chapter One: A Tutorial Introduction
    • Getting Python
    • The Terminal: A Program to Control Programs
    • Writing Our First Program
    • How the Development Cycle Works
    • The Editor: A Place for Writing Programs
  • Chapter Two: Computational Thinking
    • The Loop
    • The Variable
    • Python Data Types
    • Control Flow
    • Syntax
    • Bringing It All Together
  • Chapter Three: Writing Our First Graphics Program
    • Drawing Our First Pixel
    • How to Read Our Code
    • Editing Our Code
    • Turning Pixels into a Line with a Loop
    • Changing Our Line’s Direction
    • Flipping Our Diagonal Line
    • A Final Challenge
  • Chapter Four: Functions Are The Building Blocks of Programs
    • From Pixels to Lines, Putting the Fun in Function
    • The Mechanics of Writing A Function
    • Testing Your Functions as You Go
    • Drawing Randomness with Our New Function
    • Combining Our Functions for New Effects
  • Chapter Five: Reading the User’s Mind With Input
    • Do What the Humans Tell You
    • Grabbing the User’s Input
    • Lists Are Lines of Variables, All in A Row
    • Creating a List, Adding Things to Your List
  • Chapter Six: More Playing with Loops
    • Drawing with Our New Cursor
    • Drawing with Our New Cursor
    • Looping a Fade
    • Making Our Fade into a Wave
    • Fading Colors to Make Rainbows
    • More Experimenting
  • Chapter Seven: Inventing Ideas with Classes
    • Drawing in New Ways
    • Making Your Ideas Part of the Language
    • Creating Our Line Class
    • Planning Your Class Design
    • Rethinking How We Draw
    • Drawing with the Mouse
    • Cleaning Up Our Code with Class
  • Chapter Eight: Inventing New Ways to Draw with Shapes
    • Exploring Pygame’s Drawing Methods
    • Giving Our Class New Features
    • Colorizing Our Lines
  • Chapter Nine: Playing with Files
    • Setting Up Our Directories
    • Reading Options from the Command Line
    • Using IPython to Inspect New Libraries
    • Saving Our Drawings with Pickle
    • Adding Undo to Our Program
    • Using Time to Add Delay to Our Undo
    • Protecting Ourselves from Errors
  • Chapter Ten: Painting with Images
    • Dissecting an Image
    • Manipulating Whole Images
    • Making Mirror Images
    • Creating Geometric Images
    • Turning Our Images into Videos
  • Chapter Eleven: Drawing Infinities
    • The Three Regular Polygons that Tesselate the Plane
    • Drawing A Centered Triangle
    • Checking the Distance of Triangles
    • Drawing Our Flipped Triangles in the Right Places
    • Making Our Tesselations More Interesting
    • Tesselating Hexagons
    • Colorizing Our Hexagons
  • Chapter Twelve: Inventing Interactive Tesselations
    • Survey the Problem Space
    • Discover the Rules
    • Draw It First
    • Make It Interactive
    • Making a Plan of Attack (For Code)
    • Drawing a Square From Scratch
    • Adding Midpoints To Our Square’s Lines
    • Selecting A Point
    • Finding the Opposite Point in the Square
    • Bringing It All Together to Draw
    • Tesselating Our New Shape
  • Chapter Thirteen: Exporting Our Tesselations for Print
    • Rendering Vector Graphics
    • Adjusting Our Tesselation’s Thickness
    • Creating Glitches in Our Tessellations
    • Colorizing our Tesselations with Inkscape
    • Exploring Further

Causes Supported

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Defending your civil liberties in a digital world.

Based in San Francisco, EFF is a donor-supported membership organization working to protect fundamental rights regardless of technology.

From the Internet to the iPod, technologies are transforming our society and empowering us as speakers, citizens, creators, and consumers. When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990—well before the Internet was on most people's radar—and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today. From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights.

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