Showing posts from June, 2007

Why I don't use Ultra Fractal

In a nutshell, it doesn't do what Inkblot Kaos, Sterlingware, Tierazon or Xaos does. I want something that sprouts artwork after a couple of clicks. Ultra Fractal? It's just too much work. Too many layers Too many moving parts. Too many moving parts that I have to move.

My first attempt at Ultra Fractal was three or so years ago. I don't remember what version. I didn't seem suited to it, but I didn't think much about it at the time because I had plenty of other new fractal programs to work with. I didn't know much about fractals in general, so I discounted my doubts about Ultra Fractal figuring I just didn't understand it.

I picked it up again a year later because I had seen some really awesome artwork made by Paul DeCelle. I looked at Paul's work and thought, "I want the machine that made that and I don't care if I have to pay for it". Well I downloaded some UF parameter files by Samuel Monnier (thanks, Sam) in hopes of getting s…

Colorful Desert

Before there was only sand and the Shat al Arab.

But now, plumes of color from the petro-chemical plants.

From oil comes the pigments and inks of modern industry, turning the sombre land into oceans of color.

The nets of the fisherman have given way to great cables of oil, shipping lanes and refinery ports.

The sea is proud to share its home with oil, and to see its shores touched with color.

If we could draw a map of the land of oil, we would not use sand and dirt, we would use our modern colors.

Tim Hodkinson

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I am Imbecile

I've really come to appreciate the great contribution that programmers make to the lives of us computer users, especially the ones who give their programs away, out of what I believe is just plain goodwill, and the joy of sharing their work with others.

I was working away with Fyre the other day and began to simultaneously praise it's wonderful creativity and curse it's lack of parameter files and the ability to do anti-aliasing.

Imagine my regret when I soon discovered how to save image parameters (so I could rework them later) and also to get rid of those revolting rough, jagged edges on curved shapes (ie. anti-aliasing - smoothing).

Not knowing much about how Fyre works (I think it's an IFS, or flame thing, like Apophysis) I wasn't exactly sure if it was even possible to save parameter files (the basic formula or underlying structures of the image). The menu options are pretty simple, although that also makes them easy to use, and I thought I'd tried them all.

Mondrian on Fyre

The way I've come to see it is that Algorithmic Art is like a sports league. Programs are the players of the sport and the authors of the programs, the programmers, are like the parents of the players. The operator of the program (artist) is the coach.

The job of the coach is to figure out what the program does best and get it to focus on those skills and leave its other capabilities alone for the time being. The parents may protest and try to tell the coach what their kids are best at, or what they were designed to do, but a good coach ignores all this and concentrates on making the team sucessfull.

In defense of the parents, they've done such a good job in making the program and building it's inner workings that they can't be expected to know everything the program is capable of, just as the inventor of something like the saxophone or electric guitar couldn't possible envision all the different ways musicians would discover to play those instruments.

I'm sure…

Island of Dr. Voroni

The Anguish of Fractals

I'm not sure what a Voroni diagram actually is, but I like to look at them. Honestly, it's refreshing sometimes to work with something other than fractals. Fractals have this intense, endless quality to them that sometimes gives me vertigo. I just want to work with something simple like these "voronic" chunks of colour.

Actually, "voronic" as in moronic, is an appropriate description for these things. On their own, the Voroni diagrams are just casual assemblages of cut-paper. This makes them excellent raw material for sending down a guantlet of photoshop filters. India Ink by Flaming Pear works very well with them. A nice halo, or glowing outline effect can be contributed by Xero's Illustrator plugin. Other than that it's just a matter of altering the colors to produce a nice color scheme.

The program I used to make these is called Kandid, and has been around for a few years now. It's a "genetic" art progr…