Once again, in an effort to start moving stuff from my old site to this one, here’s a general post regarding graphics. This one will hopefully get quite a bit more attention as time goes on.
It is true, as I mentioned almost 4 years ago in that original posting, that I’ve always been fascinated by the visual aesthetics of things. I think, with the possible exception of people who are born blind, that everyone, likewise, does have a certain ‘taste’, in art. Color combinations they find appealing, shapes and overlay and combinations of layers that strikes them as pleasing to the eye, and such. I would also say that most people never really develop this sense. They simply accept what they perceive as fact, and never delve into the hows or whys of it, nor do they ever really find any way to enunciate it clearly, or find particular art or artists that particularly exemplifies the things they like.
I won’t say I’m any expert in art. Far from it. I’d say I’m more in the ‘discovery’ phase of things. I do know some artists that I particularly enjoy…. Escher, Dali, Klimt, Giger and Mandlebrot, to name a few. Don’t know that last one? Well … it is definitely a name that doesn’t really belong with the others, at least in the traditional sense. But it does bring out one aspect of art that I’m particularly fond of. Benoit Mandlebrot was one of the formative scientists in the field of fractal, or chaos theory. One of the more popular ‘sets’ of data, or more accurately, formulas describing data is named for him as well.
Eventually, I’ll link in several of the research documents on fractal theory for those who want to pursue it deeper. In the meantime, go google it and see what turns up. The crux of it though, is that these researchers were finding ways to describe patterns they observed in nature, in seemingly random things (cloud patterns, for example), with formulas. The visual representation of these formulas were strikingly similar to the kinds of things we’d see in the summer, cloud filled sky. Soon after, they starting using these formulas for a whole series of predictive simulations, many in the weather related fields (as well as others).
While this research is all very interesting, one of the more appealing parts of this is the sheer visual splendor of the images these formulas are capable of producing. Eventually, there were people out there doing nothing but investigating new ways to make these fancy formulas produce pretty images. Dozens of tools exist out there today, and producing these is pretty trivial. No understanding of the core math behind it all is necessary anymore. Which, to some extent, is good, because its pretty high-powered stuff.
Anyway, fractals led me to look more closely at the computer as a source and creation tool for art, and is where any of my current efforts at producing anything are focused. Mostly, this has produced just some nice wallpapers and such, but occasionally, something pretty nice spits out. The graphic on the top of this page is a good example. Thanks again to Tom for help ing with that one.
Enough for now. Eventually, I’ll post some example images, and integrate some kind of graphics database or something into this page.