Systems Aesthetics: A Later System: Varied Connections
May 10, 2017
My system 3 consists of various shapes created at random, with the center of each shape connected to one “main” shape via a line. As the shapes move around and collide with each other, they are then sent in other random directions based on where they collided. The shapes collide with each other as well as the borders or “walls” of the sketch. When a shape collides with the wall, it takes on a new shape each time. With every collision, the shape’s velocity increases a small amount, so with given time the sketch will eventually lose control and move incredibly fast. Based on these guidelines I had written down, I feel my take on System 3 is successful.
System 3 was very difficult for me to start. I knew I was required to make the system self-evolving, but I had no clue as to how to incorporate that idea. I went back to earlier systems we created in class together, and I was very interested in our early Polygon System. I loved the idea of generating new shapes and setting guidelines for their creation. I saw a lot of potential in using polygons in a self-evolving system, so I went back to the code of creating a polygon class. Once I was able to generate random polygons, I was very interested in the idea of collision and how that could transform the system into a self-evolving one.
Collision was extremely difficult. The Processing website has an example of two circles colliding with each other and the walls of the sketch. I was able to gather bits and pieces from their example code to allow my Polygons to detect collision. Once collision detection was complete, it was just a matter of how I wanted to present the sketch. The lines I added were created by accident and without an idea in mind, but I really liked how they looked. They allowed the polygons to become connected and provided the sketch with unity. When the sketch picks up speed, it adds a whole new dynamic rather than just watching a bunch of shapes bounce around. It allows the viewer to keep track of certain shapes and their trajectories.
There is a small interactive feature I implemented as a precaution to a problem I ran into a lot earlier. Before altering the velocity and distance within the code, a lot of shapes would get stuck in the four corners of the window. They’d just infinitely bounce back and forth between one wall, then the other. Just in case it kept happening, I added keyPressed features that would slightly shift the x and y coordinates of the shapes via the arrow keys. I would have liked to incorporate more interactivity and qualities of a self-evolving system, such as more changes of color and perhaps utilize time as well. This system shows how simple ideas can lead to complex phenomena. At first a simple collision of polygons turns into a wild and rapid frenzy on screen.