Eric St. Onge




A tool for making spirograph-like shapes.

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Spring 2004

Student Project

Honors Capstone

Software Engineer and Designer


As part of my undergraduate capstone project, I did research into generative drawing and computer-based drawing tools. I built several applications to play with some of the ideas I saw in that research. EpiSketch was the first application I built, along with Eurydice and Harmon.

During my research, I saw parallels between common children's toys and some of the patterns you see in generative drawing. One toy that I looked at in particular was the Spirograph, which was created in the 1960s. The toy lets you spin one circle inside the other, and the result is a spiral like shape.

EpiSketch is a digital version of the Spirograph. It lets you play with those shapes entirely in software. The drawing is parameterized, so users can drag sliders and enter numbers to play with the results, and see the spirograph update in real time.

The application also lets users customize the line width and color, and can animate the drawing to see how it would be created if you were to use the toy.