10981

Line Art 2

This is the author's fourth venture into creating artistic images from simple two-dimensional structures.
At the start you are faced with a sample project which is stored as image number 1 and which you can erase by selecting "delete all".
To create a new image you can either let the system do the drawing by clicking the "execute place" button or the "mix 5" button or you can create sets of lines by clicking two board positions at a time.
Clicking two board positions defines a colored line (with or without colored dots at its ends). Creating a second line in a similar way causes many intermediate lines (and/or dots) to be drawn between the two main lines.
There are many buttons available that let you control the manual or random drawing process in detail.

SNAPSHOTS

  • [Snapshot]
  • [Snapshot]
  • [Snapshot]

DETAILS

"project" pop-up menu and "save/restore" setter bar
Here you can store/restore your creation. Ten sample projects are given.
Note that selecting a new project does not automatically show its image; you have to click "restore" to see it. This might be inconvenient, but it allows you to easily copy an image: simply select a different image number and click "store".
Up to 10 images can be stored. An image must consist of more than one line to be able to be stored.
The "select <</</-/>/>>" setter bar
A project consists of a sequence of connected or unconnected line sets.
The available options of the "select" setter bar are: go back to the first placed line, back one step, forward one step, or forward to the last stored move. If you go back several moves, you can then start drawing again at any step, causing the history of old moves after the current to be erased
(exception: you can change the color of an historic step by clicking "upd").
After the "select" setter bar the amount of visible line sets and the total amount of line sets created are shown.
"zoom <</</>/>>" setter bar
Use the zoom to enlarge or reduce the board size. Since the random line generator uses the visible board as limits, zooming in and out allows you to auto-create line sets with smaller or larger extents. Note that the zoom action depends on the xy/x/y setting (see below).
Clicking "<<" changes the project size by a factor of .9; clicking "<" by .099, clicking ">" by 1.01, clicking ">>" by 1.1.
"xy/x/y" setter bar
This setter bar controls whether the zoom applies to both x and , or only x / only y.
Clicking "x" only changes the horizontal size of the graphics; clicking "y" only changes the vertical size.
Note, however, that the parameters line thickness and point size do not change when using these options! This can lead to distortions when you change the size of your graphics.
"shift" setter bar
You can shift your graphics to the North, East, South, or West.
Option "0" resets the image to the default center position and default extents.
Option "M" mirrors the image horizontally; option "R" rotates it anticlockwise.
"C+/C-" setter bar
Click "C+" to lighten up all colors in the image (the colors are blended with white).
Click "C-" to darken all colors in the image (the colors are blended with black).
Note that clicking "C-" does not exactly reverse "C+", so store the image before you experiment!
The background color is not changed by either of the two buttons.
"style" pop-up menu
Here you select how each line is displayed. You can have dots displayed at each end of a line, a dot at only one end, or have no lines shown, only dots being visible. Dashes denote a continuous line.
Styles 6 (o....) and 7 (....o) show the start (or end) dot, but no line.
Styles 8 (o-- > --) and 9 (--< --o) have a dot running along the line.
Style 10 (o -> -< -o) has two dots running.
Styles 11 (| ----) to 20 (o ... .... |) have additional lines connecting the endpoints of consecutive lines.
Style 21 ("solid") fills the areas between consecutive lines with solid color and hence creates nice color transition effects.
Style 22 ("alternate"): similar to style 21, but only every second area between consecutive lines is filled.
Style 23-25: triangles instead of lines.
Style 26-28: like style 23-25, but every second triangle missing.
Explore!
"opacity" slider
Determines the opacity of the next main line.
The opacity always changes gradually between the given main lines.
color selection box (no text associated)
Determines the color of the next main line.
"upd/rnd" setter bar
Clicking "upd" (update) changes the color of the current (newest visible) line set to the color of the color selector.
That way you can retrospectively correct the color of any line set of your image you are not happy with.
If you are not sure whether the step in question is the newest visible one, go back until the step in question disappears, then go forward one step.
Now you select a color from the color selector and hit the "update" button. Clicking the "numbers" button also helps.
However, please note that the intermediate colors of some color transition options cannot be corrected in this way.
Click "rnd" to let the system randomize all colors of the finished project.
"bg" background color selection swatch
Click the small rectangular box (which shows the current background color; it may be white) to open the color selection box.
(color) "transition" pop-up menu
Here you select how the colors flow from one main line to the next main line.
"mono": all intermediate lines have the same color.
"smooth": the colors change gradually between two main lines.
"alternate": the color alternates between the two colors of the given main lines.
"white", "black", "yellow", …: the color gradually changes to white (black, …), then gradually changes to the second color.
"thickness" pop-up menus
First case: nonrandom thickness wanted (see "rnd..." buttons below).
In this case you can use the first pop-up menu to select the line thickness of the next set of lines. The second pop-up menu is ignored in manual mode.
Second case: random thickness wanted (see "rnd..." buttons below).
In this case use the menus to select a minimum and maximum of the randomly picked thickness values.
In both cases the line thickness always changes gradually between two given main lines.
"point sz" pop-up menus
First case: nonrandom point size wanted (see "rnd..." buttons below).
In this case you can use the first pop-up menu to select the point size for the next set of points. The second pop-up menu is ignored in manual mode.
Second case: random point size wanted (see "rnd..." buttons below).
In this case use the menus to select a minimum and maximum of the randomly picked point size values.
In both cases the point size always changes gradually between two given main lines.
"fill" pop-up menu
Specifies how the filling lines are modified.
"none": no filling lines wanted.
"linear": filling lines are equidistant.
"wave 1", "wave 2": length of filling lines varies like a wave.
"pinch 1", "pinch 2": length of filling lines varies strongly, controlled by sine function.
"rotate 1", ...: filling lines rotate in the plane of the board.
"length" pop-up menu
Here you can reduce the maximum length of the next (randomly created) main line.
For example, length set to .5 means that a randomly created main line is half as long as it would be with the length set to 1.
This length maximum does not apply to the manual creation of main lines.
"density" pop-up menu
Here you declare how many filling lines there are in the next set.
Note that this density can be changed at every move.
The same holds for the variables zoom, thickness, rnd color (type), thickness, transition, opacity, fill type, and transition.
"dist" pop-up menu
Here you can reduce the maximum distance between the current and the next (randomly created) main line.
For example, "dist" set to .5 means that the new randomly created main line is half the distance from the last main line as it would be with "dist" set to 1.
This length maximum does not apply to the manual creation of main lines.
"rnd color" pop-up menu
Here you can choose how a random color is chosen by the system.
"fixed": the system uses the color given by the color selector.
"RGB": the system chooses a random RGB color.
"light": the system chooses light RGB colors.
"dark": the system chooses dark RGB colors.
"gray": the system chooses a blend of gray and a random RGB color. Similarly for options "red", "blue", etc.
Other "rnd ..." buttons
They determine whether thickness, etc. is picked randomly for the next line set.
All "rnd..." buttons affect not only the auto-creation, but also the manual creation of line sets.
An exception is the random selection of the background color, which is only active during auto-creation and only for the first step of an image creation (when the board is empty).
Another exception is random line length option "rd lngth". If this is unselected, then all randomly created main lines have the same length (if they are randomly created, which is not true for special "place" options like "to", "from", "alternate", and "spiral").
Note that when "rd lngth" is unselected, the setting of the "length" parameter (see above) is ignored.
"place" pop-up menu
Here you determine how many line sets and what types of line sets are created when you click the "execute place" button.
(Options "mid..." and "...circle" can also help you with manual input; see below.)
If a set can be created several times with one click, brackets indicate the number of steps executed automatically.
"anywhere", etc.: creates five random lines and hence five line sets.
"from", etc.: creates five new main lines that all have the same start point.
"to", etc.: creates five new main lines that all have the same endpoint.
"from, to", etc.: the new main lines have the same start or (alternating) endpoint as the previous line.
Since (from, to) comprises two line sets, option "from, to (4)" comprises eight line sets.
"join": the end of the previous main line is used as the start of the next main line.
"mid, 90 deg": the system rotates the last line 90 degrees around its center.
"mid, 180 deg": the system rotates the last line 180 degrees around its center.
"1/4 circle": the system rotates the last line 90 degrees around its start point (similar: "1/2 circle", "3/4 circle", "circle").
"spiral 1": the system rotates the last line 360 degrees around its starting point while reducing the line length by half.
"spiral 2": the system rotates the last line 360 degrees around its starting point while doubling the line length.
"spiral rd": the system rotates the last line 360 degrees around its starting point while changing the length by a random factor between .5 and 2.
"spiral rd2": the system rotates the last line up to center the length by a random factor between .5 and 2.
The five options "mid..." and "...circle" can also help you with manual input of circular line rotations:
For example, to create a "circle" with color transition, choose a color from the color selector (only if the board is still empty), then click two positions to create a line, select a second color, select "circle" in the "place" pop-up menu, then click the "execute place" button.
"mix5" button
Clicking the "mix5" button creates five line sets with "place" types (somewhat) randomly chosen from the set {anywhere, from, to, join, mid 90, mid 180, the four "circle" options, and "spiral"}.
The "mix5" button and the "execute place" button are powerful tools to create artistic images automatically in this Demonstration.
"execute place" button
Executes the process(es) selected in the "place" pop-up menu. A "done" counter shows the progress if several steps (line sets) are created.
Progress can be slow when many image details are displayed already.
"mark last (line)" checkbox
If switched on, the system marks the start of the last visible main line with a red dot and its end with a black dot.
"delete" setter bar
Here you can
- delete the first line set (option "first"),
- delete the newest visible line set (option "curr"), or
- erase the image totally (option "all"). This also resets the zoom and the window extends. The background color is kept.
If only the very first main line is left, only option "all" will erase it.
Hints
1. If you get unexpected results, check the following:
- do you have too many randomness options checked?
- is the selected opacity close to zero?
- is your line color the same as the background color?
- is option "mix5" active when it shouldn't be?
- remember that in order to stop random colors from being generated, you have to set the color randomness pop-up menu to "fixed".
2. Allowing large point sizes and/or line thicknesses can make very messy results. Explore!
3. Complex images slow down the system. Give the system time to execute your commands. A good measure for the complexity of your image is the number of steps (line sets) generated; this number is displayed at the top underneath the "select" options.
4. The colors of any of your line sets can be corrected (using the color update button). All other properties of old steps cannot be corrected (apart from deleting a step with the "delete current" option).
5. If you clicked the board to define a starting point of a line, it will be displayed as a red dot. To get rid of it, use the "<" button, then the ">" button. However, this only works if "<" can be executed. Otherwise (if your graphics only consist of that one dot) use the "delete all" option.
History
This game is based on an idea by Dennis Van Straten.
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