PDFs of Brightness, Sorted by Brightness


As an early experiment for a curatorial residency with the Internet Archive, I wrote some software that searches for all PDF texts on the site that contain the word “brightness” in their title or description, downloaded the files (approximately 900 PDFs), analyzed them and sorted them by overall brightness.

Above are the first pages of the brightest and darkest PDFs – a table with all the files and URLs is after the break. Download the source code here.

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Easy Processing > Illustrator Export (bonus SVG export)

After a long time playing with ideas for an easy Processing to Illustrator tool that would allow fancy coding to be piped directly into Illustrator for further layout (and was vector-based the whole way through – no terrible rasterization allowed), I now have a really easy solution that doesn’t involve any fancy code, external libraries, or command-line nonsense.  The process:

1. Write your code as usual, but add PDF export


2. Run once and use File > Place… to insert the PDF into your AI document (do not simply open the document, as changes will not be reflected) — NOTE: be sure “Link” is clicked when placing


3. The resulting PDF, placed into the document as a single unit


4. Make changes in Processing and re-save the pdf – here we reduce the number of lines from 1,000 to 10


5. Back in AI, you will be prompted to update the pdf – easy!  No need to ask it, simply moving between programs updates your work


6. Awesome, done.

A dead end for this process was SVG export from Processing, which is not super easy (surprisingly).  Here’s my hack that uses Inkscape’s command line tools: