Black & White Exercise #4: Jewels

When I started this exercise, I wanted to create an array of slowly rotating rectangles that appeared wherever the player tapped on screen, basically like in this sketch:


I had programmed the rectangles to have a completely random color, and a random size within a small range. I also changed to rectMode(CENTER) so that they appeared evenly around wherever the user tapped the screen. I was still having problems with the rotation, though. I couldn’t quite figure out how to get each rectangle to rotate around its center.

However, I somehow stumbled across a solution that turned out to be much more aesthetically pleasing, and satisfying to manipulate, than what I had set out to do:

Screen shot 2014-12-09 at 1.07.06 PM

I know it doesn’t look like much, but at every point where there’s a rectangle on screen, the program is rendering a new one every frame with a random color and size. So really, each rectangle actually looks something like this sketch to the naked eye:

photo (4)

I know it’s hard to tell from the sketch, but the resulting effect onscreen is not unlike a crystal or jewel twinkling in front of a light source. I’ve limited the array to a maximum of 50 different jewels on screen, and each one has a timer that gradually dims it within one to five seconds (a random setting for each jewel). I was very pleased with the results, and found it very enjoyable to tap all over the screen and look at the pretty twinkling lights that ensue!