Friday, October 4, 2013

MDDN 242: Stellar Mountains

And now I have it! After experimenting with various options, I decided to take the path that allowed the users to influence the mountainous structure, but then have a visual display at the same time that would allow them to understand how they were influencing the curve. I made a blue line that pulses across from left to right, but that also still exists statically, that the user can move and manipulate and actually see how they are affecting it.

At the same time, this blue line is a feature piece that only exists when the mouse button is held down, embodying the idea of a temporary, ever-changing beauty, as when released, the line fades, making way for the web to again be the centrepiece. I really like how it's turned out, and the forms you can create with it look really beautiful. They remind me of nebulae and galaxies in space.

Click and drag the mouse to influence the mountain-forming curve. Depending on how your mouse moves, the line changes in a particular way. Press the buttons to reset or clear. The interaction works best with a slow and heavy hand on the mouse movements, holding down the mouse for a long time and moving it around slowly.

With this project, I sought to create a dynamic, abstract form generator that could be influenced, rather than controlled, by the user. I wanted to create something with a very simple aesthetic, that both exemplified and hid the complex elements. I also wanted the user to have the ability to see how they were influencing the line, while at the same time still maintaining the pure web-like layering that makes the whole thing beautiful. The resultant piece I wanted to form like a mountain, or if the user pushes the code to the limit, look more like nebulae in space.

I meant this code as a generative piece, and I wanted to allow the user to save their "creations". The interesting aspect of the interaction as a whole is that every user starts out not knowing how it works, and by the end of the interaction, everyone has a certain way they like to manipulate the piece and a certain result they enjoy seeing."

Above are shown various forms that can be created with the program, and below is the link to the code that you can play with. Have a go! Make something pretty!

Stellar Mountains by Sebastien Voerman

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