In today’s image, different “entropy” levels are assigned to different areas. Recall (yesterday’s post Confetti #2,) the algorithm generates different distorted squares, which are used to shuffle around the colors in the starting image. The algorithm has parameters that control the size of the distortion. Rather than setting these parameters universally for the whole image. Another “set up” function sets them differently for different areas of the image.
Previously I mentioned that making these distorted too small or too large, or too variable or too uniform produced uninteresting results. But there are interesting results when the more extreme parameter values are mixed in the same image.
Today’s image has the same basic starting point as yesterday. Here the typical “square” is an actual square. Yesterday they were elongated rectangles.
If you are not a daily reader, the algorithm is described in the previous post Confetti #1. The final algorithm is quite different, and much more complex than where I started.
Sometimes algorithmic art incorporates
randomness into the algorithm. Despite what the appearance may suggest, this
image and the rest are not random. The algorithm will produce this image, and
only this image on every run. And in response to the cynics, no, that
consistency is not achieved by setting a seed for a random number generator.
For example there is a reference “square”, that gets modified. Width,
height, orientation angle are changes. The changes are determined by a function
based on the x,y screen coordinates. There is a mix of different distorted
squares. The mix has a mean and standard deviation like a random sample in
statistics. But it is deterministic, not random.
Today starts a new series called Confetti. I am leaving fractals behind for now. Although I am sure I will return to fractals, I always do.
This is abstract art and algorithmic art. In
the world of mathematics and computers definitions are precise. You can look at
something and definitely decide if it fits the definition or not. The real
world is not so clean, and the above linked Wikipedia articles are trying to
classify things that are difficult to classify. I am sure someday I will be
compelled to return to these definitions and add my two cents. But, you know,
one day at a time. I will avoid that rabbit hole today, and simply assert that
this is that type of art.
This image is
generated by an algorithm that I wrote. The original idea was to start with a
simple minimalist geometric abstraction, in this case white and black with a
small splotch of blue and cyan, with smooth color transitions. Then chop the
image up into small squares, displace the squares by varying amounts and then
repeat until the original was suitably mixed up. When I implemented this
algorithm in a straight forward manner, as suggested by the description, I was
disappointed in the results. It was not want I expected, and not in a
It works better to leave the square in place and pull the colors from elsewhere into the square. The squares are not uniform, they have different width, height and orientation. So they are actually tilted rectangles. The simple repeat loop did not work well, the last set of cuts were too obvious and a distraction. The repeat steps needed a kind of memory which informed the size and displacement for the next step.
There is a narrow range of rectangle sizes that works. If too large then it just looks like random rectangles. If too small, then the confetti effect disappears and it looks too much like the original smooth color image. Also, it takes a lot of iterations to get the squares chopped up and messy. This one has 80 iterations, although usually 20 to 50 is enough.
After all these adjustments I came up with something close to my original intent.
And here the the second alternate coloring of the image in Vines #11. There are more colors to help the fractal fireworks standout. The vines now appear as shadows or waves around the main fractal shape.
I was going to move on to another topic today. But my obsessive compulsive disorder prevents me from leaving this topic with “yeah, that one could be better if I worked on it more”. So I went back to work on it. Here are two alternate views of the same fractal space, with better foreground / background separation. I muted the background, removed the corners on the vines and added gold / brown to highlight the high spots in the fractal shape.