ICM: Drawing Using Processing

So, when I was in art class in grade school, we sewed colored thread along a grid on black paper, producing smooth curves using only straight lines.  I’ve kind of been obsessed with such figures ever since.  Recreating the effect in Processing was relatively straightforward, though after entering the fortieth line coordinate by hand, I had a sneaking suspicion that there’s probably a way to write just a couple of lines of code and have Processing do all the work.  I divided the window into four equal quadrants and then copied and pasted the code from the first quadrant into each successive one, adjusting the start and endpoints of the lines accordingly.  I’m not such an innate Cartesian that I didn’t screw up along the way:

A mistake along the way

I got it to work and messed around with colors and stroke weights before finally deciding that just a plain line drawing without filled shapes wasn’t really giving me the practice I needed.

So I replaced the lines with the hypotenuses of triangles with their perpendicular vertices along the axes and tried coloring them in and playing with transparency.  The stacking order became very complicated and the transparency didn’t work as I’d predicted: I thought if I stacked 20% opaque triangles on top of each other, the places with more overlaps would be darker than the places with fewer.  This didn’t happen, I’m not entirely sure why though I suspect it had to do with stacking order.  I ended up liking a less griddish,  implicit gradient approach which is what I ended up with.  I worry that this thing might be a bitch and a half to make interactive.


Comments are closed.