Unlock your artistic talent with Pillow

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An example of the pixel sorting technique.

As technology takes center stage in our lives, we turn to media to express ourselves. Knowing a programming language like Python can open many doors, including those that swing inward.

Coding is an opportunity to open the creative process. Projects like Google’s DevArt and Processing.org are making it easier for artists and engineers to innovate new, engaging experiences.

With Python, it’s possible to make exciting digital art using the power of pixels. With the Pillow library, Python can read and write image data, making it possible to create endless new works of art.

I’ll show you how to use Python to create a popular glitch art technique known as pixel sorting.


Explore advanced features of Python by making a tool for playing tabletop RPG’s.

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Image by Alperen Yazgı @ unsplash.com

Programming students often have trouble understanding certain features of Python. Features such as Classes and Dictionaries can be confusing for beginners. Learning how to use these tools is essential for building applications with Python.

It’s important that students get a firm grasp of these concepts early on.

I’ve crafted this exercise specifically to help students gain a deeper understanding of these ideas. We’ll build a random character generator that utilizes advanced features of Python.

This tool is essential for fans of tabletop role playing games.

Anyone who’s played a TTRPG like Dungeons and Dragons — or Pathfinder — knows how important NPCs (non-player characters) are to the game. Having well crafted characters makes the game much more immersive and enjoyable to explore. …


Invoking the vision of the mythology of America’s greatness.

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Twas a dark day in Dallas, November ‘63
A day that will live on in infamy
President Kennedy was a-ridin’ high
Good day to be livin’ and a good day to die
Being led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb
He said, “Wait a minute, boys, you know who I am?”
“Of course we do. We know who you are”
Then they blew off his head while he was still in the car
-Bob Dylan, Murder Most Foul

November 22, 1963. One of the most infamous days in American history: the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The beloved president stood for equality and ambition in the eyes of Americans, and his iconic image has been invoked ever since. …


Learn programming concepts quickly by making a familiar game.

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Juan Gomez @ unsplash.com

Python is one of the most popular computer programming languages in the world. It’s considered easier to learn than other popular languages like C++ and Java. This is one reason why Python is quickly becoming a popular choice for beginning computer science students.

In this lesson we’ll cover some of the basics of working with Python by creating a simple game. Everyone knows paper, rock, scissors.

Using Python, we can play against the computer. In the process, we’ll cover some of the fundamental features of running Python code.

Setup

If you don’t already have the Python language installed on your computer, you’ll need to visit python.org and download it. If you’re on a Windows machine, be sure to tell the installation wizard to add Python to your environment variable PATH (it will prompt you to do this during the install). …


A poem about time and longing.

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So I drive and put aside the sailboat past
which only bends to the breeze
and never navigates to suit my beliefs.
Elevated by gasoline, burning in reaction
to the force I have implanted
with foot, bone, and drone of thought.
It happens with a quick release of blood and energy.
It’s unbelievable that I possess such an ability.
Why should it affiliate with me?
I barely even see the shadow people
lurking on the sides of the streets
eating their candy and delivering speeches.
“Just because,” I conclude
but that’s really no excuse.
Curiosity is customary when dealing with the imaginary. …


Welcome to Socialism

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In December, the United States began issuing stimulus checks to American citizens. These $600 checks are designed to keep the average American worker afloat while the nation’s economy continues to stall under the pressure of the COVID-19 virus.

This marks the second round of stimulus checks the United States has issued since the pandemic started. These come on top of billions in PPP loans that bailed out struggling business owners.

It was only a decade ago that an economic crisis forced the American government to issue stimulus checks. In 2009, congress issued the Economic Stimulus Act and sent out $14.2 …


How Christmas became a celebration of selfishness.

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“God bless us every one!”

In Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol, the character Tiny Tim serves as a reminder that generosity is the true spirit of Christmas. It is only after learning this lesson that Ebenezer Scrooge, the old miser, is willing to save Tiny Tim’s life by paying for his healthcare.

I feel for the Tiny Tim’s of our time. Unlike in Dickens’ tale, they lack the help of the supernatural, and must go begging to Scrooge themselves. And our Scrooges do not appear to have the heart to help.

Today is Christmas Eve. A pandemic grips the globe and the United States is ground zero for the wreckage. The US has seen over 18 million cases of the disease, and more than 326 thousand people have died from it. …


An Introduction to Processing

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Simple patterns can produce pleasing results. unsplash: Mitchell Luo

“Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.” — Confucius

Can code create beauty?

Many artworks contain patterns and designs. For instance, mosaic art and hard-edge abstraction. The rules inherent in the design are pleasing.

We can use code to created similar patterns using Processing. Processing is a tool developed for artists, designers, teachers, and students who are new to computer graphics. Using Processing, it’s easy to make simple visual programs.

Cellular Automata

A good foundation for this type of programming is Cellular Automata (CA). CA is a way of displaying complex information using a grid of “cells.” …


Melancholy in the code.

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It was a heavy downpour outside Taylor’s apartment; she leaned on the windowsill statue-like, thinking about her dead parents and her lingering hatred for them. The rain took her back to her childhood, spending time with her mother watching movies while it stormed. The awful loneliness of it seemed to reverberate across time and space.

Her mother was dead, but the woman’s biting anger still remained. Taylor could still hear her mother’s mocking voice. Her childhood self had crystallized the trauma for later processing, but she had never been able to fully process it. The melancholy that tormented Taylor was met by a tender smile across her face. She wasn’t alone in her pain. …

About

Harold J. Petty

Science fiction author, award-winning artist, young IT professional. Planes walker. Creator of www.avalanchemovement.com

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