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September 8, 2005 12:49 PM   Subscribe

Is there an easy way to generate a fibonacci spiral using photoshop or illustrator or the like?

Just a simple spiral with one line, not the complex stuff you see here. I can create a generic spiral, but I want the math to be as accurate as possible.
posted by crickets to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
If you want the math to be as accurate as possible, use scripting to describe your shape with the formula for fibonacci can use either Applescript, Javascript or Visual Basic to automate Illustrator and draw stuff.
posted by evariste at 1:17 PM on September 8, 2005

I actually might have something that you can modify easily for your purposes. What version of Illustrator are you using, and on what platform?
posted by evariste at 1:18 PM on September 8, 2005

Actually, on Windows, Adobe provides COM objects for Illustrator and Photoshop, so you can use any language that can talk to COM, such as Python.
posted by evariste at 1:24 PM on September 8, 2005

If you don't feel like programming, maybe get a nice picture of a nautilus shell cross-section, and do some edge highlighting and blending in photoshop until you get an outline...
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:32 PM on September 8, 2005

Here's a plug-in that'll do it...for $32.

This site's got some files that might help; click on "shanzcan tutorials" and scroll down to tutorial #28.
posted by bachelor#3 at 1:33 PM on September 8, 2005

If you edit out the first 'stroke' statement in the box subroutine, this example gives you a simple Fibonacci spiral. Illustrator's got a PostScript import filter, right?
posted by scruss at 1:40 PM on September 8, 2005

Response by poster: evariste: i'm using Illustrator CS on OS X
posted by crickets at 1:49 PM on September 8, 2005

You do know that Illustrator has a spiral tool built into it, right? I don't know if it creates fibonacci spirals, but it does create neat-looking spirals. It's in the same group of tools as the straight-line tool.


1. Select the Spiral tool.
2. Do one of the following:

Drag until the spiral is the desired size. Drag the pointer in an arc to rotate the spiral.

Click where you want the spiral to begin. In the dialog box, set any of the following options, and click OK.

Radius Specifies the distance from the center to the outermost point in the spiral.

Decay Specifies the amount by which each wind of the spiral should decrease relative to the previous wind.

Segments Specifies how many segments the spiral has. Each full wind of the spiral consists of four segments.

Style Specifies the direction of the spiral.
posted by grumblebee at 2:08 PM on September 8, 2005 [1 favorite]

Best answer: crickets-I made one of these for work long long ago, in a galaxy far far away, so I just took out the parts that have nothing to do with what you asked, and here you go:
posted by evariste at 2:20 PM on September 8, 2005

Response by poster: evariste: that's perfect, thanks so much!
posted by crickets at 2:43 PM on September 8, 2005

You're welcome :-)
posted by evariste at 2:52 PM on September 8, 2005

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