beanz Magazine

Who Knew Turtles Can Draw?

Nicholas Labyrinth X on Flickr

Meet Thomas, a turtle who can help you draw stars with Python (not the snake!).

If you’ve ever drawn a star before — or even doodled one in your notebook — you probably realized that it’s harder than it looks. My stars always look titled and squishy. Inevitably, one of the star’s points is way too long, and another point looks like a sad little stump. Well, luckily for us technical folk, there’s an easier way to draw perfect stars: using Python and Turtle.

Pythons and Turtles

Python is a simple, flexible programming language that allows you to focus on logic instead of worrying about brackets and semi-colons. Turtle is a Python module — sort of like an extension to the main language — that makes it easy to draw things.

There are two main components in a Turtle program. There’s the ‘screen’, or the canvas on which you draw. Then there’s the turtle, who wanders around the screen with an imaginary pen, drawing the shapes we request. Of course, this is virtual turtle! Often he (or she) is shaped liked a little triangle, but we can change this if we like.

 

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