Sunday, September 10, 2006


Someone remarked to me the other day that there seems to be a renewed burst of creativity in things fractal-related. Mark has released Sprite; Dave Makin's got some new formulas he's brewing, and I hear rumors of other noted formula authors doing the same. And yes, I've got some new toys too. Toys that let me create images like the above. I did not use an image importer to create it; it's fully resolution-independent and can be rendered at any size. I think it needs some more polish and testing before I release it, though.

While it is very fulfilling to create art, I am one of those peculiar people who finds even more satisfaction in creating tools. Perhaps it's a cop-out; by making a tool, I side-step the inconvenience of having to be artistically creative. But knowing that something I've made can be used by many more artists to do things that I never thought of---well, that's just magical.

I'm going to sleep with a smile on my face tonight.


Blogger Kerry Mitchell said...

Looks very cool! I've been wanting to do something like that for a long time. What did you do--program the outines for each of the glyphs in a set of fonts? Whatever it was, it's cool!

9/10/2006 10:18 PM

Blogger Damien Jones said...

That would've been the easy, albeit labor-intensive, approach.

No, I did something else. I wrote a generic TrueType curve extractor and a UF formula to render them. You just type your text into the program and it spits out a UPR you paste into UF. If you're feeling particularly suicidal you can edit the curves inside UF.

9/10/2006 10:32 PM

Blogger John S. Meade said...

It's no cop-out to be an artisan.
The difference you make between the two acts of creation is sorta-like the difference between elves and dwarves. Elves doing "all the pretty stuff" and dwarves literally forging "all the cool stuff". In the end both synergized each other and both are indeed magical. But not so magical enough that they could live independent of each other.

Oh man... !! Somebody's upstairs in the kitchen smashing plates -- gotta go.

9/10/2006 11:34 PM

Blogger Mark Townsend said...

While I was struggling to import large enough text to get a good result with Sprite I was thinking, wouldn't it be cool if someone wrote a formula that actually drew TrueType fonts.

I enjoy writing tools as well but my motivation is usually that what I feel I need to for my artistic explorations doesn't exist yet. But if I'm making them for myself there's no reason that others can't use them as well (in most cases; I do keep some things to myself). I'd also say that I think of my programming and image makings as single creative process, and not two separate things at all.

9/11/2006 4:53 AM

Blogger Guido said...

Reading to Damien´s introduction for his new "typographyc system" (excuse me if I´m calling it not properly, Damien) and considering his words that "something I've made can be used by many more artists to do things that I never thought of---well, that's just magical.", I believe that we´re in the presence of a true inventor as much in the presence of a true artist, since art and invention are the same things since Albrecht Dürer invented and used the system of mirrors and glasses to transpond the faces and the facts he wanted to represent in his paintings and engravings. The last Dürer´s invention even did abolishes the "necessity" of the human eye, when the image were transported to the paper through a system of needles and strings working on a way that we would call today like "automatic".
Very seldon on these days of so many self presumable "artists" we can read to a so esential, non-rethoric and clear words like Damien is saying about the process of manufacturing aesthetical objects. Saying like that, Damien is included in the long strain that cames from the end of Gothic Art through the Renaissance and the inventors of the perspectival laws and finishes today with the optical art of Vasarely and contemporaneous artists like Yves Klein, who gave his name to a particular tone of blue, the avaiable "Klein blue". For just belonging to such a tremenduous tradition is why Damien must silently "smile tonight".

9/12/2006 2:12 PM


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