Abstract Expressionism – With Extreme Prejudice

While scouring the web for interesting stuff the other day, I just happened to run across this great site of Processing examples. This site is actually a companion site to a book by Matt Pearson (aka zenbullets), former (and still occasional) actionscripter turned processor (is that the word for those who use Processing?) One of the examples there that caught my attention was this ‘Smoking Ribbon’ drawing. I took a look at it and immediately thought of porting it to actionscript (which is only fair as many of Matt’s Processing ideas seem inspired by actionscript projects – it all goes full circle in the end).

After porting the script and tweaking and playing around with settings, I came up with the little Abstract Expressionist drawing application below. Just click and ‘draw’ in the black canvas area. Lifting the mouse will automatically randomly change the color palette.

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I was pretty happy with that, but started to wonder what it would look like if I took a picture and messed about with it using the ribbon idea. That line of thought led to the application below. Just choose a picture and click the ‘Abstractify’ button. It’s a bit slow, but the results are pretty remarkable. They get even better if you click the ‘Abstractify’ button 2 or 3 or more times for the same image. Don’t yet know what it’s good for, but it’s pretty freakin’ cool and is straight up Actionscript (no Pixelbender filters involved).

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Not too keen on sharing the code seeing as how, a. it’s a mess, and b. it’s heavily based on something that ain’t mine. Matt Pearson’s Processing code is available though, so, if so inclined, you can head over there and make something even more interesting.

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