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Best Programming Languages For Creative Coding


Explore some of the best programming languages for creative coding. Programming languages are not only used for creating software application and developing websites. They can also be used to create meaningful computer arts and expression with creative coding. Creative coding is a field in computer programming where you use coding for creating computer art and music. It brings both programming and art together in a same platform. You can choose creative coding as a career or as a hobby.

What is Creative Coding?

Creative coding is a type of computer programming where you use it to create expressive programs by using code. These expressive work may include fields such as art, music, visuals, text, video games and so on. Creative coding also involves using various algorithms and mathematical science expression.

Creative coding can be most suitable for artist, designers, musicians, and beginners who wishes to create art by using programing language. While it is not necessary to have advanced knowledge beside basic coding, it will be very helpful if you have some kind of knowledge related to Math, Physics and Art. Math and science play a very important role in creative coding, since you can use them to create almost all your desired expression whether they be art and music easily. Creative coding provides you a platform for creating stunning visuals which can be later used for various purposes such as data visualization. Generative art is one of the popular field where creative coding shines the most. Generative art is a computer generated art with the help of programmed autonomous system.

Uses of creative coding

  • Creating digital visual art
  • Creating music
  • Creating generative art including visuals, sound and texts
  • Can also be used in video games
  • Simulation
  • Data Visualization
  • Medical fields
  • Machine Learning

There are few programming languages which has enough tools and libraries to help you in creative coding. Best Programming languages for artists are those that has support for computer graphics tool are the most suitable for creative coding. Tools and libraries helps you to use existing function instead of building them from scratch. These help you with basic functions such as drawing, animating, importing and exporting media, etc.

Best Programming Languages For Creative Coding

  1. JavaScript (P5.js, Three.js, D3.js)
  2. Java (Processing)
  3. Python (Processing.py, Turtle)

JavaScript

JavaScript can be the most suitable programming language for creative coding if you want your art and program to be interacted in browser media. JavaScript can be used to create digital art in browser with the help of HTML Canvas. It already has basic tools and libraries for drawing, painting and animating in the browser. You can also extend it from 2d to 3d expression using various JavaScript libraries. JavaScript has a lot of already built library and tools for computer graphics. With creative coding with JavaScript you can create very beautiful and interactive websites, web based video games, data visualization and simulation of natural science.
Some of the tools and libraries built on JavaScript are P5.js, ThreeJs and D3js.

P5.js

P5.js is open source JavaScript library for creative coding. It is one of the popular JavaScript library for creating graphics in the browser. It provides full support of functionality for drawing and animating computer graphics. This library is based on the core principle of Processing tool built on Java. It ca be sued to create amazing visual arts, music and generative text. P5,js already has lot of supporting libraries for fields such as machine learning, 3D arts, audio synthesis and data visualization. It is very easy and simple to start learning.
One of the best free sources for learning P5.js is a series of video tutorials created by The Coding Train in YouTube.

Three.js

Three.js is a JavaScript library mainly used to create 3d computer graphics in the browser by using Webgl. It is mostly used if you want your arts or games to be 3d and be displayed in the browser. It has a lot of 3d computer graphics functions such as rotation, translation, and scaling to help you start with. It is also equipped features such as scenes, cameras, light, rendering and shading. Learning three.js requires basic computer graphics knowledge to begin with.

D3.js

D3.js is another JavaScript library which is mostly used for data visualization using web elements. It helps you visualize data with help of HTML, CSS, Canvas and SVG. It allows you to create interactive visualization for you application interface. So if your main focus is data visualization rather than creating computer art & music then D3.js is the most suitable for you.

Processing – Java based library

Processing is one of the oldest tool written in Java for creative coding. It is also one of the standard for creating and experimenting with various kind of expressive art. It was later extended to JavaScript and Python libraries such as P5.js and processing.py. Knowing the basic of Processing library will help you in learning other libraries such as P5.js and Processing.py. It has its own IDE and interface to work with. It has a large number of community in compare to other creative coding libraries. You can use it to create arts, video games music and generative text programming. There are lot of libraries and tools built for it. Processing IDE now supports Java along with python and JavaScript programming language. It might be the best library for creative coding since it has a lot of user base already using it in their application. It is totally beginner friendly and easy to begin with.

Python – with Processing.py and Turtle

Python is another language which you can use for creative coding. Processing.py is one of the python library which foundation is based on Processing library made form Java. It has most of the functions contained in Processing library. Turtle is another Python library for creating computer graphics and shapes. It is very great for beginner who wishes to start learning Python.

These are some of the best programming languages for creative coding and artists. Beside these you can also try creative coding with other programming languages which have basic computer graphics function.

Here are some of the resources for to start learning creative coding.

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