Visual made with Processing Visual made with Processing Javascript reworking of an old Processing sketch from 2003, recreated using Processing.js. Produced for Aram Bartholl Dead Presidents - Generative Portraits with Processing & Processing.js

Processing is an open source Java-based programming language built for the electronic arts, new media art, and visual design communities with the purpose of teaching the fundamentals of computer programming in a visual context. The project was started in 2001 by Casey Reas and Benjamin Fry, both formerly working at the MIT Media Lab. It was specifically designed for generating visual art, animation and any kind of graphic application. 

Processing was created to teach fundamentals of computer programming within the media arts context and to serve as a software sketchbook. It was developed by artists for artists and is currently used by students, artists, designers, architects, and researchers for learning, prototyping, and production. 

It's incredibly powerful and flexible to code and generate interactive and static visualisations.

the complexity of the programming language.


No. You can code your Processing scripts offline from your desktop environment.

You can start coding using the Sketchbook – the interface of Processing.

Processing can deal with CSV files and a number of other data formats.

You can export your Processing Java-based source code and share it with the community.


No. Processing it's a programming language, so it's open source by definition and does not communicate private data without your permission.

Processing is free software

It is open-source and is released under GPL license.

To learn the Processing language, you could try a few of the built-in examples, and check out the reference. A group of diverse books have been written by Processing experts to help people with different goals and skill levels.

Other useful resources:

  1. A good guide published by IBM on Data visualization with Processing 
  2. Processing, a book by MIT Media Lab
  3. Hello Processing, a good guide to begin with Processing