automatically duplicate and scatter a shape
A graphic' worth a million words :
The red-circled wave (and associated layer) is Illustrator-made. The other waves were made in Photoshop just to support my problem : this is what I try to achieve in Illustrator. How can I automatically generate a certain number of copies from one layer (e.g. the wave) and again automatically and randomly place them around one position or in another layer (e.g. the ocean) ?
An easy way to accomplish this in Adobe Illustrator is via Symbols.
Create a new Symbol from your "wave", then use the Symbol Sprayer Tool to "spray" on random instances of the symbol. You can then use the other Symbol tools to alter the set of symbols once in place.
While not exactly automated, it is generally the best you'll get for "random" copies. I'm sure there are scripting solutions, but often it's a fine line between automation and control. Symbols offer just enough control in most cases for me.