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My friend Barrett sent along a link today to an Illustrator scripting plugin called Scriptographer. I’m sort of a slouch at Illustrator, so I had him give me the quick 411 and I must say, this is pretty cool.

If you’re familiar with Javascript, Scriptographer will enable you to crank out little scripts that can generate illustrations procedurally. As an example, the bubbelbubbling script, show above, tuns your pen tool into a fountain of random bubbles that follow your drawing path. There are certain styles of artwork that could really lend themselves to a procedural drawing tool: fractals, patterns, random “particle” effects. These things would take forever to generate manually, but by defining the effect programatically, you can quickly experiment with your work in a more dynamic fashion, tweaking variables and fine-tuning your work as you go.

The project website also has a growing library of user-contributed scripts that are worth checking out. It’s a good place to start for your own creations, or you may just find exactly what you’re looking for, already crafted for you by another designer-coder.

Scriptographer