GDV M.1.2 Randomness and order

To begin with the text from the Generative Design book ‘The random function is not a panacea for a weak visual composition. Although an excess of randomness may sometimes create a surprisingly complex visual effect, on closer inspection this effect will simply appear arbitrary. On the other hand, random processes are indispensable tools that can be used to break up the extreme and sometimes rigid regularity of computer generated work. Since no rule of thumb exists, two extremes should be tested individually for each new composition. The following program attempts to illustrate the two opposing positions.’ Here you can find the original program:

I have prepared a GDV_M_1_2 album on Flickr where you can find all images I created with the program. And on this loftmatic page you can find an overview of the working programs from this assignment.

As a start I have removed all the ellipses and replaced them by points. I have also increased the amount of points from 150 to 10.000. I think that slows down my computer a bit so I divided that amount into 5000 points. I also removed all color.

Would it be possible to introduce a second circle? That is certainly possible. But its centered in the top left corner. I’ve got now three colored circles and I have exaggerated the strokeweight to 200 pixels. That gives interesting compositions. But it makes the page very slow. Lets call this almost an happy accident for the time being.

Removed the two other circles and color. Used rectangles from 400 x 1 pixels. A rectangle with a height of 1 pixels seems not to make any sense. Could have used lines. But for a change I kept the rectangle. It does create two circles though. Well in  fact it is still one circle but due to overlapping of the lines its looks like that there are two circles.

Tried to make two vertical circles too. Had to use translate and pop- and pushMatrix to center everything in its place.

Seeing this image it is remarkable that you can make circles with rects. What about changing the rect for an ellipse? That does not make much of a difference for the image. But the drawing gets extremely slow and the image itself is not better than the one generated with rectangles.

Made a random shape with bezier-curves. Copied that shape three times and gave it different colors. Copied the three shapes 10 pixels to the left and ten pixels up. And copied another shape 10 pixels down and to the right.

Something went wrong here. I think I have overwritten this file. So I had to redo this one. But it’s not a real problem because this one is better than the overwritten one.

Some circles made with just straight lines.

Four bezier curves which make an interesting object though. In fact the basic objects are two half circles. Or 4 quarter circles.

It seems that working with circles or half circles gives the nicest objects. The basic shapes of this form are four half circles which are cut through the middle.

Copied the same object in a different order. The basic object is still half a circle. You can check this by decreasing the AmountOfObjects variable to 1.

The same object. And repeated under an other angle. So in total its 8 half circles. But the object’s shape is getting to complex for my taste now.

Four half circles shifted 45 degrees anticlockwise. Not that clockwise or anticlockwise would make any difference.

A couple of rects in a square order. interesting that the object has rounded corners.

Almost back to the beginning of the first sketch. I replaced the circles by six horizontal lines. All 10 pixels long and 1 pixel thick. The brightness is lowered every time a line is displayed. It’s very stupid programmed because I should have used a loop. I try to do that in the next program. And maybe it’s also better to use the HSB color mode (which is easier to understand for humans).

The loop is ready and I added a second loop for a similar object in a red color.

Added two more objects. But to keep everything centered in the display I subtracted the positions of these two objects. Hmmm… now it would be a fine moment to make those loops a function.

Put everything under a 45 degrees angle. Increased the amount of objects and scaled the total object 0.6 times. I have no idea why this object gets into a rectangle on its corner when you slide the mouseposition to the left. It’s a nice one though.

Expanded all the lines in the positive direction. Removed the angle because it delivers bad image quality.

In this last program I got back to the original and replaced all dots by gradients. Added a yellow and white gradients.


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