My Blog: projects, sketches, works in progress, thoughts, and inspiration.

Tagged: scripting

context free art spirals

If you are interested in geometric fractals, Context Free Art is a very interesting program it play with. The interface consists of a code area on the right, and a rendering area on the left. The very simple script only contains a few commands, but through recursion can create fantastic fractals.

The script allows you to draw squares, triangles, and circles, and to transform them in a few different ways and color them. You can create custom rules which transform whichever rule they contain. By creating recursive functions like this just about any geometric fractal can be created. Although the program is very limited, I find it very interesting how much can be created only with transformations of three basic shapes. The program also has the ability to export both raster (pixel based) and vector images, which makes it a useful tool for creating shapes and textures, and renders the script live. If you would like to go further with fractal generation, I recommend Processing, but Context Free Art is so simple to learn it’s a fun tool to play around with.

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Quartz composer is a great tool for audio visualization for two main reasons. First, it renders incredibly quickly and smoothly. Unlike processing, which i usually prefer for its flexibility, which would quickly start dropping frames if you try to create many of the effects Quartz Composer has. The second thing that makes it great for live performances is the fact that the script can be edited live while it is rendering. Most environments would require the script to be saved, recompiled, restarted to make any changes. This is also made easier by the very clear visual environment.

The drawback of course is there are only a limited number of predefined functions which can be used, but there is still some room for creativity. The program is still very new, so I have some hope for its future. Another drawback is it’s only for mac and only the newest operating systems (10.4, 10.5) at that, but if you have a mac, you’ve already got it. Check out my previous post on QC for more info on that. Read On »

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Programmers have many languages at their disposal, all of which have their strengths and weaknesses and are most useful for particular applications. However, most of them have very similar structures. In order to communicate ideas between languages, to sketch out how a program should be structured, or even to explain the function of a program to non-programmers, scripts can be written in “pseudo-code.” This is just a fancy term for fake code which mimics the structure of code in simple easily understood terms. Pseudo-Code is written to be read by humans rather than computers, but still follows certain conventions. Read On »

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