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Project #16294

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About the Piece

I began this piece in early June 2022 with the question “What happens if I apply the processes used in my piece ‘Boundary Conditions’ to a particle-based system travelling across a Perlin noise field?”. So began a journey through particle systems, Perlin noise, varied palettes, overlays and various methods of segmenting and rendering portions of the resulting particle image.

As time progressed, the scale of the piece increased, producing fern-like fronds, curling vines, tight spirals, or generous lazy vertical strokes. Textures came and went, and palettes expanded and contracted, as I settled on a final direction for the piece. I intentionally introduced slight rounding errors to create slightly-distorted paths, although it's questionable as to whether deliberately dividing, rounding and multiplying can be classed as an error…

Sometimes pieces that reminded me strongly of old flock wallpaper emerged; other pieces brought starfields or the striations of animal fur to mind. Magnetic fields, dust lines, and the striations in the recently tide-washed sand emerged.

The Generative Process

There are two aspects to this piece: the generation of a single cohesive image, and the systematic destruction and re-configuration of this image according to curated probabilities.

The main image is formed from an array of particles, which take an initial starting point and roam the canvas, their paths shaped by Perlin noise at varying scales. Their appearance is altered as the piece progresses, their lifespan sadly limited by the framecount. As they converge and dwindle, they carve a path behind them, disgorging darker splashes to add texture to the piece.

Overlaid on this image are smaller, dot-based renderings of geometric shapes: circles, portions of rectangles, or sine-based waveforms. Scaling and rotation is applied; sometimes in harmony with the main image, sometimes at odds.

Re-configuring the image using this canvas as a reference, geometry may be overlaid in the forms of segmented panes, circular cutouts, distorted or scaled portions, or rotated areas. A slight opacity may put these sections at odds with the underlying image, which is rendered as a background at diminished intensity.

The backgrounds of this piece are generally dark, with colour used quite liberally to add interest. Hue range is generally low, but sometimes—rarely, even—it is allowed to rove across the whole spectrum. A single, tight range of hues based around a single colour are more common, and each colour is equally likely.

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Perlin noise