Generative Design Variations M.4.3.1 The attractor tool

This assignment is about using the attractor tool. And as usual I start with the description of the Generative Design Book: ‘The previous discussed ways of dealing with nodes and attractors have been combined into one tool, which can be used to investigate the individual parameters. In addition, there are more setting options installed in the tool, some of which will be explained in more detail here. In previous examples, a grid consisting of nodes was always generated in which each node was represented as a point. The tool contains additional ways to manipulate and draw the grid. As many as nine grids can be superimposed using layerCount and each of these can be influenced separately. Different colors can be used to indicate the individual layers. It is possible to specify which grid points are connected by lines, or – if nothing is selected – if points are drawn at all. All this greatly expands the repertoire of possible shapes. If Draw Curves is selected the individual grid points are not connected by straight lines but by curves.’ You can find the attractor tool at this link.

I did not modify this tool program very much. I just used it to create images. I thought it would be of no use to put my modified programs online because the programs are not supported by JavaScript. JavaScript does not support the Generative Design Library and controlP5. So I have prepared a Flickr Album which contains all still images I have made during this assignment. You can find those clicking this link:

It was pretty difficult to find the right settings in this tool. But after a few days of tweaking I found some. It is still not very clear what everything does (and sometimes doesn’t) because the program itself is very large. Another thing is that I could not find a way to get the initializing settings right in the beginning. The program seems to behave very different from the other programs because when you initialize the program it does not use the new settings. Later I found out that these settings can be changed by modifying the different sets (set1, set2, set3, set4) of the program.

In this second version I tried some experiments with layers. Whoops… never seen this one. java.lang.RuntimeException: java.lang.OutOfMemoryError: Java heap space. It seems that its better to keep the lineweight at 1.00 Otherwise the program will not run smooth.

Made the grid vertical instead of horizontal. Did some images with vertical lines only. It seems that you can make the lines thicker when you are ready with the editing process. When the image is ready you can adjust the thickness of the lines without any problem (I thought). Except when you are working in curves mode.

I was a bit annoyed by the mediocre image quality. I did not find the images smooth enough. First of all I thought maybe render everything in a higher size: 1600 x 1600 instead of 800 x 800. I might resize all images back to 800 x 800 because that is the image size I worked in until now. But fortunately I found a setting which gave me a better resolution within 800 x 800. These images are very crisp and deliver a nice feeling. Had to increase the maximum available memory of Processing to 2048 Mb though. But until now that seems to be no problem. By the way it works only with lines. You could use curves but they make it very slow.

These are the first attempts which make use of the new settings. I think some of them are giving a very organic feeling. And I think some images are way too complex. But this could be the right time to use some color. And maybe some more layers. I only used two layers until now.

Hey… the pdf’s are working! But the .png’s are delivering transparency so I have to adjust those in Photoshop. Changed image creation to jpg in the tool. Made some justifications to the setParas and the initial settings of the sliders of ControlP5. I know now how to get the adjustment right. So that is giving me a lot less work.

I made a horizontal setup. Tried to make a compact chaos in a complex grid. But I could not find what I wanted (or liked). And I was bothered by vertical lines which kept on popping up in the image. Just by coincidence I bumped into an extremely large attractor setting. And that might ask for even more layers in other colors.

Added two more colors but the images are not getting any better. I could add more colors but I would rather bring in some unexpected qualities.

Found another way to create interesting moiré patterns. Let’s see where this leads to.

Looking back to this assignment I must admit that I haven’t used the layers function very often. I used a maximum of 4 layers (each for a different color). And I have to stop working with this program before I will repeat myself. Altough repetition seems to be very unlikely with this tool.


Comments? Leave a reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s