August 28, 2008
A ‘Sketch’ in Processing (the programming language I use) is an electronic sketch of a visual idea using code, but I still always like to use pen and paper – doodling visuals, diagrams, scraps of pseudo-code, random thoughts and words, a crucible of brainstorming and problem solving all on the same page.
I noticed that there were a lot of views on the photo from my sketch book from when I was making the Music is Math video, so I thought I’d post the lot here. There are 15 A4 sheets covering the 5 weeks it took me make it. Apologies for the poor quality of my camera phone pics, maybe that’s a good thing, wouldn’t want to give away too many secrets.
August 24, 2008
This is the HD and finished version of my video ‘Music Is Math’. I just let the program run till the end of the music, I felt reluctant to interfere too much by trying to sculpt an ending, and just let the code run its own natural course.
NOTE: you need to visit the Vimeo site directly to view in HD mode – it will guide you there when you try to switch on HD in the screen above, or you can go direct by using this link.
August 21, 2008
This was my second Processing sketch I made prior to starting on the Music is Math video.
It’s a program that will fill the screen randomly with typeface, without any overlaps. I’ve seen this sort of thing done elsewhere, and much better, but I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do something close and hopefully learn more about coding, image processing and notch up some experience points as a computer art programmer.
I started with the Times font, created variations of random distribution, different densities, orientation etc. I then threw in the idea of images being mixed with type, opening up future possibilities for a graphic design visual brainstorming tool (see the pics with the rose below).
Here’s a gallery of the tests I created.
The most interesting development was when I used a dingbat style font, and even better, I think anyway, when I reduced the random selection to just 2 dingbat characters. You can create your own dingbat space filling art piece by running this program here.
Be warned! My code is horribly amateurish and slow, you’ll have to be patient. When you run the program a couple of dingbats will show up, you’ll then have to wait a few minutes before a couple more show up, filling in the available white space, then after a few more minutes things should speed up as the program fills in the remaining space as best it can.
It’s worth running the program a few times until 2 interesting symbols that work together crop up, I’ve ran this program a lot and still get pleasantly surprised at some of the harmonious abstract imagery created by purely randomly means.
August 14, 2008
This was actually my very first sketch in Processing, made back in April sometime I think. I wanted to create a program that would generate iris forms with slight randomising of colours and form, and much broader variables which would abstract it into something completely different. It was a case of my ambitions far exceeding my technical ability as a noob, but I persisted to the bitter end.
In the end the code was messy, slow and the final product fell short of my naively high expectations. Nevertheless I was learning coding all the time, through sheer determination to achieve a goal.
Here’s the gallery I built up during testing.
Ironically, the best thing to come out of this was a little spin of sketch early on in development. It’s called ‘stringball’, you can view the program here.
The lesson learned here was to not try too hard to create some kind of super sophisticated program as an end result, but rather have fun exploring ideas, and build on that, letting ideas evolve and follow their own path.
My next sketch after this was a little more interesting, and was the last one I done before doing the Music is Math animation. I’ll post more on this one soon.
August 11, 2008
This is simply my original ‘Music is Math’ animation with one very small but significant difference, I changed the random seed number. This number is basically the starting point for all random numbers throughout the code used to create the branches, particle motion etc.
I thought it would be interesting to see and compare the difference between the first and second videos, with only changing one number. The original seed value was 1973, the year I was born, and I was thinking of what other numbers I could use for a second video, and Nelson Mandela’s prison number came to mind – 46664, which is what is used here.
It’s the exact same video and code, except the new seed number (I also let it run a little longer), and although pretty much the same material, there are nice moments not seen in the first, which makes it a worth while (and very cheap) experiment. Promise to do something a bit more creative next time..