Platonic Solids | Vague Terrain

September 18, 2009

[process2a: Dodecahedron]

In recent years, much of the discussion in the field of generative art has focused on complex systems and agent-based algorithms. While these can produce intriguing results, our aim lies in developing simple, deterministic and traceable generative processes. These simple processes have the advantage of more control: as they are highly determinable, their output is predictable and can therefore be easily refined through subsequent adjustments. We aim to show that a single deterministic process can generate a heterogeneous set of forms with an astounding degree of complexity.

[process3c: Tetrahedron]

In this project we explore three-dimensional subdivision algorithms. These have traditionally been used in computer graphics to produce smooth, rounded forms from coarse polygons. By modifying and expanding these established algorithms to include additional weights, one can generate forms with entirely different attributes. By varying the process’ parameters, we are able to affect a form’s topography, its curvature, its degree of branching, and on a further level its surface attributes. We recursively apply the subdivision process to a source form, which we restrict to one of the five platonic solids. These basic forms allow us to concentrate entirely on the scope of output inherent in the single generative process.

Many of the forms produced by our subdivision process appear plant-like and resemble organisms. Some have similarities with radiolaria depicted in Ernst Häckel’s Kunstformen der Natur. Different combinations of parameters, however, produce entirely new forms unlike those seen in nature. In both cases the forms’ geometric complexity is produced by an extremely simple and transparent process. The forms are thus entirely traceable and malleable.

[process3e: Hexahdron]

Forms in this project are generated using Processing and then exported as DXF files. Each form consists of 200,000 to 5.4 million faces. Subdivision algorithms in this project are based on the work of Daniel Doo & Malcolm Sabin, Edwin Catmull & Jim Clark, Jörg Peters & Ulrich Reif, and Charles Loop.


Posted via web from 23narchy in the UK


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