Since posting my Black Glass pieces over the past couple of days I’ve had some readers inquire about the Forge engine I use to create random arrangements of shapes. So I thought it a good time to upload a little demo of what the engine actually does, rather then trying to explain in detail. Check out the demo here.
I built Forge a couple of years ago, inspired by the engines Joshua Davis builds to create his artwork. Being the art control-freak that I am, I needed a tool that would help me relinquish some control over the elements I use and allow them to move and shift on their own, thus introducing me to new arrangements that I hadn’t previously thought of. I am certainly not a programmer, so I had to look up a pile of tutorials and examples online before I finally got the engine to do what I wanted.
The programming behind my engine would probably make developers gag, or laugh, or both. But as clunky as Forge may be, it has performed like a champ. So check out the demo to see how the engine works, and hit Refresh a few times to see that no two arrangements are the same.
So, you fill up your library with graphics and the actionscript places them randomly on the stage. The only thing I can’t figure out is how you get your result in your design …
Do you take a printscreen or what happens next? What if you have to make a A0 poster? The resolution of a prinscreen will not be high enough to be useful … Or do you get vectors and is everything scalable?
thanks james for sharing this..
Martijn, that is the tricky part. I found some instructions via Josh Davis’ website a while back for ripping vectors from an SWF to a Postscript document via an old Laserwriter print driver. It worked for the most part on my machine running XP, although I’m currently having issues with Vista trying to duplicate the process.
It sure is an interesting process. I wonder if you could make the generation be a little less random or somehow have the pieces react to each other.
I think you can use the PRINT TO PDF using Acrobat from the SWF-standalone player.. Btw, james, I love your work :)
love you work – and especially someone using engines like Josh Davis (i’ve always been surprised more people don’t utilize engines like this to create abstract elements), and the gritty black vibe tops it off!
great work, mate.