Ex Nihilo

A Processing Sketch Blog

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Quicktime X = no love for Processing

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Today saw a bit of a setback in my latest project. I jumped the gun and installed a shiny new copy of Snow Leopard on one of my computers, the main one I’ve been using for all my Processing tinkering. I knew in advance which apps would be affected, but didn’t really think of the implications of the new Quicktime X update.

Turns out the QTJava library that sites between Processing and the Quicktime codecs that allow it to output video has been deprecated as of Quicktime X. Last night I did my first test render and it looked great; today I don’t have the ability to output .mov files anymore. So, that’s fun.

I’ve got a second computer with plain old Leopard on it that I can still render from, but I wish I’d taken advantage of that second of hesitation when I saw the “install Quicktime 7″ checkbox as I upgraded this morning. There’s probably a way to get it back, I’ll update if I find out what it is.

Update: So getting it back wasn’t hard. On the Snow Leopard install DVD there’s a folder called “Optional Installs”; run the package in there and select Quicktime 7 from the list.

Except that doesn’t seem to work. Even with Quicktime 7 I can’t seem to save out a movie file. Drat.

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Thursday, August 6th, 2009

I meant to move on from all-ellipses all-the-time already, but I wanted to try some interaction effects. While adapting one of my previous sketches, I stumbled on this neat marble effect that I’ve been playing with for a few days. Though it started as a happy accident, it’s good enough that I think I might actually take this one further and produce some sort of tangible item.

But that’s going to take some time and research. In the meantime, here are a few conveniently wallpaper-sized images I’ve saved out, feel free to nab one for your desktop:


Or, of course, for your iPhone:


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Bezier Blossoms

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Bezier curves are hard enough to get the hang of in a graphics program with visual handles, but plotting the handles in 3D space is a whole new ball of wax.

I played around a bit tonight with about 80,000 of them by rotating from the origin and randomizing both the endpoint and the end handle of each curve with Perlin noise. The results are neat:


By keeping track of the coordinates of each line I can manipulate the entire blossom in 3D space, though at 80,000 lines it’s a pretty slow refresh. I added an animation loop too, to get each line swaying a little; it works well with a few thousand, but not when the numbers get this high.

I’m also sticking with this photo-generated palette idea; it’s a great way to get a bunch of interesting colours in a hurry that don’t clash too badly. I’ve upped the photo pool to 10, and one is selected randomly each time the palette is generated. Each of the above examples only uses 5 colours, but I can change that number to whatever; the previous example used something like 25.

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