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.


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