Genetic Art – Part 2

After my initial Genetic Art success I was inspired to try a formula based approach.

For Genetic Art 2 the process of creation is as follows;
1. The screen pixels are mapped to X and Y values. The default X and Y coordinates range from -5 to +5.
2. Every coordinate/pixel is fed through the current formula and all the pixel values are scaled within the range of 0-255. This allows each pixel to be assigned a color from the currently loaded color palette.

Here are a few thumbnail images and their associated formulas;

Polished Metal



Even though I am still only mutating formulas (and not breeding 2 parent formulas) the results using a formula based approach are much more varied.

If you would like to try making your own Genetic Art, try Visions Of Chaos.

There are many more examples of what the Genetic Art 2 process can create here.

Stay tuned for Genetic Art 3. I still want to have a true tree based approach to the formulas so they can be cross-bred and mutated. So two or more parents can be combined to create similar images that have attributes of both of them. A nice example of this methodology is shown here.


Genetic Art – Part 1

Genetic art is an interesting concept. Create a computer program that takes simple genes and combines them to create art.

One of the original people to kick off the genetic art (or as he calls it evolutionary art) revolution was Karl Simms. His art was created by combing relatively simple formulas and allowing human observers to select images they found pleasing. From this repeated process the formulas that had good ratings would evolve and mutate to become the parents of the future generations.

For example this image
Evolutionary Art sample
was created using the formula
(+ (min 10.8 (warp-rel image image (bump image x 9.6 #(0.57 0.02 0.15) #(0.52 0.03 0.38) 3.21 2.49 10.8))) (dissolve #(0.81 0.4 0.16) x (dissolve y #(0.88 0.99 0.66) image)))

Being inspired by that work I gave Genetic Art a go myself. The basic principle/algorithm is as follows;
1. Each image is created from a “rule string” or genetic code of a series of characters between A-Z and a-z. Each letter represents a formula.
2. Take a grid of pixels (an image) and assign each pixel a value of 1.
3. The image has X and Y coordinates between (for example) -3 and +3.
4. Each pixel coordinates is fed through a series of formulas (based on the rule string) to find a final pixel value.
5. This is repeated for every pixel in the image.
6. The values calculated for each pixel are then scaled between 1 and 255 so they can be mapped to a color palette.

For example the rule AXiQI generates the image
Genetic Art Denim

In this initial version of Genetic Art I only used mutation of images, and not breeding. So for example if the above image was mutated one of the rule string characters would be randomly changed to simulate genetic mutation.

More examples of what this form of Genetic Art can produce can be seen here.

If you are interested in trying a hands on Genetic Art mutation yourself download Visions Of Chaos and have a go.



Cosmos DVD cover

I just finished watching Carl Sagan’s Cosmos for the first time in years since it was first on TV. Surprisingly most of it is still relevant and they only needed to make slight changes in the update segments at the end of each episode.

Highly recommended for anyone interested in science and/or space. Or even for people who do not really have an interest in the universe beyond their own microcosm lives. Sagan had (RIP) a way of making science accessible to the mainstream. His famous Pale Blue Dot speech sums up his character.

The one thing that sticks in my mind from the Cosmos series is his comments of “and if we don’t destroy ourselves, then…” when talking about the potential for the human race in the future.


Interesting YouTube videos

Yes, YouTube does have some decent scientific and cool videos if you do the right searches (and ignore the comments)…

Ferrofluid influenced by changing magnetic fields.

Constarch science.  Newtonian fluids reacting under resonant frequencies.

Resonance.   Cymatics.  The work of Dr Hans Jenny.  Ignore the voice over and enjoy the visuals.

The above video encouraged me to try and simulate a similar effect.  Track a bunch of particles sitting on a simulated vibrating sheet (ripple tank).  Particles fall to the nearest neighbour pixel location that is lowest in height.  Results are nowhere near as impressive, but does show some potential.

And finally, my own YouTube gallery is here.