Art from Code: Polygon Waves

For my conference project, I was greatly inspired by the works of Georg Nees and Grace Hertlein. I really admire the geometrical aspects of Nees’ work. Geometry is very captivating to me whenever I look at a piece of work and thus I wanted to make something that would engage the audience. Hertlein is obviously very different in comparison to Nees. Her work, while made using computers, is more natural-looking and organic. For example, she uses a lot of trees as her subjects. 

When comparing and admiring both Nees and Hertlein, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if I were to combine the two separate ideas that they were trying to create through their art. However, I still wanted to make my project reflective of myself. Therefore I decided to make a landscape. Instead of trying to make the landscape look as natural as possible, I decided to make it very obvious that it was computer-generated. Besides, the computer does tend to take over at a certain point anyway, which makes it impossible to have total control. The result ended up being a mixture of waves with mountain-like shapes in the background. 

In order to make the waves, I had to use noise and make a custom shape filled with triangles. The most difficult part was making the waves and then figuring out how to rotate them on the x-axis so that it looked like the waves were riding out into the distance. I think this was most difficult simply because I had to learn how to write the code on my own since we hadn’t experimented with 3D code in class. It mainly was a lot of trial and error, but in the end, I got it to work. 

I would like to expand this project and create many more landscapes in the future. I like landscapes so much because I painted before I learned how to code, and so the intuition of painting and painting landscapes, in particular, is so fervent to me. However, I think if I were to create many more landscapes, I’d make them even more abstract and perhaps not so rigid. While I like the geometrical aspects a lot, sometimes it makes the art feel too computer made, especially if one is going for a more organic feeling. There are so many ways to experiment with making noisy landscapes though, so I think there’s a lot of room to design a wide variety of landscapes.

Author: Emma Hoffman