Return of the Attractors!

Thursday, March 5th, 2009 | Building Things, images, Processing | 1 Comment

I recently received an email asking for more information and code about my attractor experiments in Processing. I initially thought I’d write a little tutorial but as I was searching around I found a great site with code examples by Dave Bollinger. His experiments do almost exactly what I have been doing but his examples are probably better programmed than mine and thus simpler to understand, you can find a load of his work here. And a nice attractor here.

While I was playing with my own attractor I got some nice new images by concentrating the attractors on the x axis:


orbs on the x axis

orbs aligned on the x axis

and a surprising set of moth wings:

Attractors give you wings!

Attractors give you wings!

I also did some non-real-time animations in which the attractors are moved slightly each frame which creates ever-shifting fields of attraction and repulsion which = pretty!

All best,

Leafcutter John.

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Feather Study – PT I – Skeleton

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009 | Building Things, feather study, images, Processing | 2 Comments


Finding more and more ‘educational’ ways to avoid filling in my tax return! Yesterday I started a study of feathers. As is my want at the moment i’m doing it in Processing and have learned lot’s already. 

The feather is built along a Bézier Curve (green). This forms the spine of the feather and is deformed by the two red control points. The spine is divided into equal lengths and a ‘barb’ projects out from each subdivision. The length and angle of the barbs create the different feather shapes. 

Leafcutter John x.

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Processing Arrows

Sunday, January 11th, 2009 | Building Things, images, Processing | 1 Comment

Randomly generated arrow compositions which came about while I was learning about classes in Processing. Click image for more on flickr.


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Real time Flow Field

Sunday, January 11th, 2009 | Building Things, Processing | 2 Comments

To go with my recent post Flow Fields in Processing here is a real time version of my flow field. This one is without easing so sudden changes in direction are a bit abrupt. Smaller objects move quicker than larger ones.

Click on the black square below to begin – then press any key to see the flow field which governs the movement.

Download Code

All the best,
Leafcutter John.

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Flow Fields in Processing

Sunday, January 11th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I’m fast becoming obsessed with Processing much to the detriment of everything and everyone in my life. Actually my partner is very encouraging and she likes these images nearly as much as I do. I first became aware of flow fields through the work of flight404 who has made some beautiful things in Processing. He describes using Perlin Noise to create a flow field but he’s not very detailed in his description of how to do it or what a flow field actually is.  I spent yesterday trying to work it out and I think I came up with a solution which matches pretty closely the method I found about 10 mins ago HERE

In the following images Perlin Noise is used to create a array/grid of angles which affect any objects which are directly above them. The grid looks like this (the angles change every frame):


As you can see the area of the screen is split into rows and columns creating a grid. Each grid cell has a direction (derived from Perlin Noise). An object placed on the grid can read the direction directly below it and move in that direction. See my Real time Flow Field.

The images below are from my experiments with a more advanced version of the system where objects turn gradually according to their mass which diminishes out over time. The coloured examples map colour to size or angle (click to see them full size).





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Processing Monster

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 | Building Things, Processing | No Comments

I like it when people who are learning something group together and share their knowledge. I found a website recently where you are encouraged to design a ‘monster’ in processing and send it in. The rules are simple, your creation must be: Strictly black and white & mouse reactive. 

This is my effort – hint try to land the ship at the bottom of the screen but beware!

All the best,
Leafcutter John.

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Merry Christmas from Leafcutter John

Sunday, December 21st, 2008 | Building Things, Processing, Software News | No Comments

This year I sent my friends electronic cards made with Processing. Processing is a language based on Java, It’s free to download and fairly simple to learn the basics (I’ve been learning for about two weeks). Anyway I hope you like it and I hope you have some festive fun in the coming week.

All the best,
Leafcutter John.

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