Generative Design Variations M.3.2.2 Bending the grid with a radial wave

I have been working on the third example of the M.3 Formulated bodies chapter. The Generative Design book describes this example as follows: ‘This is the second example of the effects of two different formulas. In this example the x- and y-coordinates served as the parameter. It is also possible to use formulas for the x- and y-coordinates in order to move a point to an arbitrary location in space.’ You can find the original code here:

I made a Flickr summary page with all the images I made during this assignment. And because JavaScript does not work with these programs you find the slightly changed code on my loftmatic page.

In the earlier example I could perfectly match 4 rectangles together without any gaps between them. In this example the rectangles and the waves in it are not symmetrical so they cannot match perfectly to each other. That means that I have to find another solution. But sometimes you don’t have to find another solution. Because when the separate rectangles cannot match then I can make a proposal with rectangles that do not match to each other. That doesn’t solve the matching problem but it gives you new opportunities to create other images with new compositions.

I had an object drawn in my sketchbook but during the making of it turned out that an unfinished version of it would be much more suitable to make good compositions. Those happy incidents sometimes happen. ‘These happy instincts which do occur to one sometimes so unaccountably & fortunately.’ as Ada Lovelace wrote in one of her letters to Charles Babbage. I do not know if that quote makes sense in this context. But there are similarities in it.

Some background information. Because the objects are all the same (only their positions in 3D space are different) I have given them bright colors to recognize them better during the positioning. When the position of the rectangles is fine I comment out those colors and restore the light settings.

A fence! And I have increased the grid points to 400. Oops! I get another java.lang.ArrayindexOutOfBoundsException when I hit the ‘p’ key. So I will not be able to save .pdf-s. Knowing that error from the previous session I just save every image as png.

Until now I have only worked with squares. Used rectangels of different sizes in this example.

I have taken my ‘old’ ModifyDistance variable from the previous M.3.2.1 session into this sketch. Fact is that the values of ModifyDistance can be used to open up the objects. Because the objects have patterns made of parallel lines you sometimes get interesting moiré patterns. But I will try to use that optical illusion better in the next variation.

In this sketch the rectangles are overlapping each other. Which makes the chance on chaos or interesting moiré patterns even greater. Made a few variations with it.

In the previous sketch the gaps in the rectangles were pretty close to each other. I doubled the size of the gaps. And I used rotateX for two of the rectangles. Increased the grid points from 100 to 200. This might give me more moiré patterns.

I have connected all four rectangles to the same origin point (which is in the middle of the display screen). This gives me fewer options to see unexpected compositions. But it is also less chaotic in that way. Experimented with rotateX and rotateY.

Used rotateZ too. Increased the number of grid points from 100 to 150. Which made the program slow. But it gave me a few extra variations.


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