image of Processing books

While the cat is not necessary, one may be helpful. And the following links will take you away to

The source for the language download and the language community is at When installed, you will also have a plethora of coded, working examples to jump off with.

Processing by Casey Reas and Ben Fry.
The subtitle is A programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists. It's thorough and complete and by the principle authors of the language. However, it has a very strange organizational scheme, which I happen to find confusing. However, if you resort to the Contents by category page, things become clearer. Though you do need to know what you want to do. In short, it's a good reference via the index, but not so good for straight line learning.

Algorithms for Visual Design
by Kostas Terzidis.
This is a straighforward, unabashed textbook. Excellent for working you way into and through the use of algorithms--which is the heart and soul of creating the exciting designs that Processing is capable of. The author explains what the "things" are that you are working with is plain English, followed by a basic sketch. Voronoi Tessellation is a delight (p. 154).

Generative Art by Matt Pearson.
This one gives a nice intro to the elements of the language itself, one that is not eye-glazing if you're starting out with a fairly weak geek quotient. The subtitle, a practical guide using processing, is actually true. Chapters are devoted to major processing features like, noise, randomness, emergence, cellular automata, fractals. The sorts of things that made me interested in the first place.

by Ira Greenberg.
Subtitled Creative Coding and Computational Art, this so far is my favorite. It seems to combine the best of all the others. And, this guy can write and pull back from the cutesy and the folksy. He writes like you were sitting with him over coffee. And anyone who writes, or tries to, knows that this is the holy grail for instructional writing.

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