So far, we’ve only been using static values as arguments when drawing shapes. However, you can use dynamic values to create drawings that adjust to a canvas’s width and height. With dynamic values, you don’t have to keep track of the exact values of your arguments—they will automatically adjust for you!

Before using variables for our drawings, it’s helpful to know that drawing function arguments can use operators like +, -, *, and /, to calculate the values. Consider the following:

ellipse(40, 100, 40, 60);

Above code can be rewritten using operators:

ellipse(20 + 20, 120 - 20, 20 * 2, 120/2);

This might not seem like much now, but in a bit, you will see how powerful using operators can be.

p5.js also allows you to use variables as function arguments. The p5.js library provides useful built-in variables, including width and height that store the width and height of the p5.js canvas.

Consider this ellipse drawn using static values:

function setup(){ createCanvas(400, 400); } function draw(){ ellipse(200, 200, 400, 400); }

If you were to resize the canvas while keeping the same dimensions for the ellipse, you would have to change the values of the createCanvas() function and then change the four arguments of the ellipse() function.

Instead, you can provide built-in variables as arguments to the ellipse() function, so that values will automatically change based on the canvas dimensions.

function setup(){ createCanvas(400, 400); } function draw() { ellipse(width/2, height/2, width, height); }

The biggest change here is using the width and height variables to calculate the position and size of the ellipse. width/2 gives you the horizontal center of the canvas, and height/2 gives you the vertical center. Similarly, width returns the full width of the canvas and height of the canvas.

Now, to change the size of the canvas and keep the relative size and position of the ellipse, you would only have to change the arguments of the createCanvas() function. You don’t have to change anything else because the value of the width and height variables will automatically change.



Replace the static width value for all four circles with the circleWidth variable.


Reposition each circle so that they are at the center of each quadrant of the canvas. Calculate the positions using the width and height variables.

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