The Eye of Cthulhu // Recursive Fractals

Author: Elwin Summary: Experiencing a monstrous entity based on Sutcliffe's recursive pentagons Abstract: Monstrous recursive experience Repository: pending

In my initial concept, I Wondered if it’s possible to create something abstract that provokes the feeling of seeing (sea) monsters with generative art. The abstract art could be made out of dynamic dark blue/green/grey colors blobs or blurry particles, which will move very slowly across the screen. This quickly became way more challenging then I thought, since I have no prior experience or knowledge on how to create generative art.

It was quite difficult to find good tutorials online, explaining the fundamentals and guide you through the process. I went through several books and finally got my hands on Matt Pearson’s “Generative Art: A practical guide using processing“. This is truly an amazing book. It helped me to understand various types of generative art. But even with the basic knowledge, I felt clueless on where to start.

I threw away the idea of adding dynamic colors and motion, and went for black and white and static rotation instead. I went with Matt Pearson’s Sutcliffe Pentagons recursive example (image above), because I thought the effects and results were the closest to my concept. I tweaked the code and played with the variables, adding more noise factors and entities to create various effects. For the ambiance and suspense, I found an audio track from Svartsinn & Gydja – Terrenum Corpus which worked very well with the generated visualizations to create a creepy feeling.

As for the art, it uses the Sutcliffe Pentagons algorithm, but I’m using 32 sides instead of 5 sides and it projects fractals to the outside. I added 2 to 4 additional Sutcliffe Pentagons next to each other, varied the radius, strutFactor with perlin noise to create the effects below.

The results are quite cool, but I’m not completely satisfied with the overall goal. It feels like I should do more or be more bold in the experimentation, but again I felt stuck during my development process. As a post-mortem, I think I was a bit too ambitious coming in this project with zero knowledge for creating generative art. I would need to take more time to gain more experience, develop stronger coding and math skills for future artwork.

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About Elwin

I majored in Industrial Design at the University of Technology Eindhoven in the Netherlands focusing on designing interactive and intelligent products/systems. Currently, I'm studying Entertainment Technology at CMU where I’m focusing on designing (serious) games and exploring new areas for interactive simulations. I’m a person who loves to get involved in multidisciplinary fields, and I'm very curious about the future of interaction and game design.

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