Ripple Art

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This Demonstration is dedicated to the memory of the painter Paul Klee (1879–1940). It uses layered disk segments and clusters of alternating colored strips to create abstract art that looks like ripples on water.

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Graphs 1 to 13 show examples of one type of building block, and graphs 14 to 37 show examples of what you can do with these building blocks. You can read more information in the Details section.

With the many randomizing options, you can also let the program generate abstract art automatically.

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Contributed by: Karl Scherer (March 2015)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


Snapshots


Details

Controls

"graph" popup menu Select the piece of art you want to work on.

"</>>" graph selection Select the first/previous/next/last graph.

save/copy/add/reset If you select "save," the current graph will be stored in a special temporary storage. If you select "copy," the previously saved graph (in temporary storage) will overwrite the current graph. If you select "add," the previously saved graph will be added (on top of) the current graph. If you select "reset," the current graph will be reset to its original content.

"part" popup menu Select the part you want to edit.

"</>>" part selection Select the first/previous/next/last part.

"type 1/2/3/4/5..." popup menu Here you can select which type of building block you want to use.

Each type is shown separately in sample images; select graphs 1 to 13 to see examples for each type.

Type 1: Rounded strips of alternating color make up the disk segments, which look like pieces of torte. Use the sliders for angles "" and "" to see how they control the placement of the part (see graph 1).

Type 2, 3: Parts of this type are collections of circle segments. The two types differ in that the gaps are in a different place. Use the sliders for angles "" and "" to see how they control the placement of the part (see graphs 2 and 3). Click the "reverse" button to convert a part of type 2 into a part of type 3 and vice versa.

Type 4, 5: Clusters of straight strips connecting two straight lines make up the segments of type 4 and type 5. The two types differ in that the gaps are in a different place. Use the sliders for angles "" and "" to see how they control the placement of the part (see graphs 4 and 5). Click the "reverse" button to convert a part of type 4 into a part of type 5 and vice versa.

Type 6, 7: Clusters of straight strips connecting two straight lines make up the segments of type 6 and type 7. The two types differ in that the gaps are in a different place. Use the sliders for angles "" and "" to see how they control the placement of the part (see graphs 6 and 7). Click the "reverse" button to convert a part of type 6 into a part of type 7 and vice versa.

Type 8, 9: Here the color strips are rays that radiate from one point. The two types differ in that the gaps are in a different place. Use the sliders for angles "" and "" to see how they control the placement of the part (see graphs 8 and 9). Click the "reverse" button to convert a part of type 8 into a part of type 9 and vice versa.

Type 10, 11: Parallel strips are arranged in the formation of a quadrilateral. The control "angle " is used here not to control an angle but to control the length of the color strips. The two types differ in that the gaps are in a different place. Use the sliders for angles "" and "" to see how they control the placement of the part (see graphs 10 and11). Click the "reverse" button to convert a part of type 10 into a part of type 11 and vice versa.

Type 12: Disks with changing diameters on a curved line (see graph 12).

Type 13: Parallel wavy lines (see graph 13).

"</>>" type selection Select the first/previous/next/last type.

"p={x,y}" handle You can use the locator to move the currently edited part around with your mouse pointer. The locator will be positioned at the intersection of the two lines belonging to the part.

"do" popup menu (Note: the small toggle on the right is a "repeat" button; click it to repeat your previous "do" action.)

Selections "snap to grid/snap near. handle/snap to center": Select one of the "snap" options to snap the locator (and with it the handle of the current part) to the orthogonal grid, to the closest handle of a part, or to the center {0,0} of the board.

Selection "move part to top": Click to move the current part to the top of the sequence of parts. This means the current part will be given the highest sequence number.

Selection "move part to bot": Click to move the current part to the bottom of the sequence of parts. This means the current part will be given the lowest sequence number, namely 1.

Selection "double part": copy the current part and place it on top (makes it the last in the sequence). Note that this option is the only way in this Demonstration to create additional parts.

Selection "delete part": click to delete the current part. You cannot delete the last part remaining.

Selection "delete <": click to delete all parts up to but excluding the current part. The current part will become part number one. You cannot delete the last part remaining.

Selection "delete >": click to delete all parts positioned in the sequence after the current part. You cannot delete the last part remaining.

Selection "delete all": click to delete all parts except one. You cannot delete the last part remaining. Use this last part to start a new art project.

The following selections copy the various properties of the current part to all other parts. They are titled "all positions the same," "all types the same," "all sizes the same," "all thicknesses the same," "all angles the same," "all angles the same," "all opacities the same."

The following seven "randomize" (rnd) options are self-explanatory. They randomize a certain property for each part of the graph, namely positions, types, sizes, thicknesses, , , or opacities (where "position" relates to the handle of each part).

Click "randomize 6 parms" to randomize types, sizes, thicknesses, , , and opacities.

Click "randomize 7 parms" to randomize positions, types, sizes, thicknesses, , , and opacities.

Select "move graph: x-d," "move graph: x+d," "move graph: y-d," or "move graph: y+d" to move the whole graphs by displacement (see description below of the "incr" menu).

Clicking "α+90, β+90 => all" will create some special effects; most part types will be rotated by 90° around their handle. In combination with "save" and "add," this option can create intricate designs with a few keystrokes.

Clicking "α+180, β+180 => all" will create some special effects; most part types will be rotated by 180° around their handle. In combination with "save" and "add," this option can create intricate designs with a few keystrokes.

Select "frame 0" to "frame 5" for various thicknesses of frames (graphs 10 and following are framed).

"repeat do" button If you click it, the system will run the last "do" operation again.

"size" slider Controls the size of the segment part, where the "size" counts the number of colored strips used in the segment.

"thickn" slider Controls the thickness of the color strips.

"angle " slider Runs from 0 to 360. Usually controls the "from angle" of the segment part (the slope of one line belonging to the segment part).

"angle " slider Runs from 0 to 720. Usually controls the "to angle" of the segment part (the slope of the second line belonging to the segment part). Part types 10 and 11 use it to control the length of the color strips.

"opacity" slider Use the slider to set the opacity of the current part.

color selector 1, color selector 2 Use the two color selectors to define two colors for the alternating colors of the segment. Some part types only use the first color.

"color" popup menu Option "swap colors" swaps the two colors associated with the part. Option "swap all colors" swaps the pair of colors associated with each part. Option "copy col1 to col2" copies the first color onto the second color. Option "col1, col2 => all" gives the same color pair to all parts of the graph. Option "col1 => all parts" copies the color col1 to the first color of all parts of the graph. Option "col2 => all parts" copies the color col2 to the second color of all parts of the graph. Option "rnd part color 1" creates a random color for color 1. Option "rnd part color 2" creates a random color for color 2. Option "rnd part colors 1,2" randomizes both colors for this part. Option "rnd all part colors" randomizes the part colors 1 and 2 of all parts.

"blend...two colors" You can blend the two given colors associated with the current part. For example, in a part of type 2 you can make the first color strip yellow, the last strip blue, and the other strips carry a blend of these colors. The result depends on the part type. Explore!

"blend..all colors" Click it to blend the color pairs of each part of your artwork.

"reverse" Type 1: Click the "reverse" button to exchange the two colors. Other types: Click the "reverse" button to swap colored strips and uncolored strips.

"copy from" Click to get the colors copied from another part.

"incr" Set an increment that is used for shifting a part (see below) and for shifting the whole graph by a certain displacement (see "do" popup menu).

"x-/x+/y-/y+" Shifts the current part by increment to the left, right, down, and up.

"handles" popup menu Selection 1 marks all handles with a black dot. Selection 2 marks all handles with a black dot and also shows the sequence number of each part.

"mark center" Marks the center of the canvas with a black dot.

"show grid" Displays an orthogonal grid.

"hide locator" To make the locator invisible, we use a small trick (as we did in graph 12 and others): we add a dummy part by selecting "copy part" in the "do" popup menu. Then slide the "size" slider fully to the left to set the size to zero. Now clicking the "hide locator" toggle will make the locator disappear (it is stored with its associated part at point (,)). Click the board anywhere to make the locator reappear. When you make the locator reappear, do not forget to get rid of the surplus part by clicking the "delete" toggle.

"background" Here you define the background color.

"frame color" Here you define the frame color.

Frequently asked questions Q: How can I create new parts for my graph? A: Select "copy part" in the "do" popup menu, then adjust size, colors, etc. to your liking. Q: How can I get a clean slate? A: Select "delete all" in the "do" popup menu. This will delete all parts except 1. You cannot delete the last part. Use the last part remaining and adjust size, colors, etc. to your liking to start a new piece of art.



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