Circles all the way down
May 10, 2012 9:40 AM   Subscribe

Recursive drawing. Watch the video first. Via.
posted by unSane (21 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
And suddenly I understand how Tad Williams' "Otherland" worked with VR as programming...
posted by Scattercat at 9:46 AM on May 10, 2012

Neat. I think I made a tractor.
posted by cashman at 9:52 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Definitely watch the video. This is a really interesting idea.
posted by doctor_negative at 9:57 AM on May 10, 2012

What are the commands? I can't figure out how to rotate or scale. Harumph.
posted by jph at 10:01 AM on May 10, 2012

oooooh this is really cool!
posted by rebent at 10:04 AM on May 10, 2012

I can't figure out how to rotate or scale.

click/drag, with shift to do it asymmetrically
posted by unSane at 10:08 AM on May 10, 2012

If you'd like to pursue this type of recursion in a more mathy, code-y way, Context Free Art is very absorbing.
posted by BrashTech at 10:19 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]

Here is a good explaination of the controls.
posted by bitslayer at 10:22 AM on May 10, 2012

Feels a bit like some of the brushes from the amazing Kid Pix software (or at least what I remember of it). Is that still even a thing?
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:23 AM on May 10, 2012

Kid Pix is pretty much abandonware now. We bought it for $5 a couple of months ago and it wouldn't even run on an intel mac.
posted by unSane at 10:25 AM on May 10, 2012

Okay, that's nuts.
posted by valkyryn at 11:20 AM on May 10, 2012

You can do all this stuff in Adobe Illustrator, you just can't do it interactively, live. I used to do this all the time, it's called something like "step and repeat." Alas I have forgotten how to do it. I remember it's something like you make one object, Command D to duplicate it, apply some transforms, then Command DDDDDDDDD and you've got a whole series of recursive transforms.

I just got Illustrator 5 so I just fiddled around with this and it appears they've changed the program so you can't duplicate an object and keep all the transforms, so when you duplicate it, all the transforms are propagated to the next instance. Now it only propagates one transform (like Move or Scale). I will have to fiddle around some more.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:22 AM on May 10, 2012

The difference is that you can use feedback, I'm pretty sure you can't copy instance 2 into instance 1 in illustrator.
posted by pmcp at 1:26 PM on May 10, 2012

I'm pretty sure you can't copy instance 2 into instance 1 in illustrator.

I think you can do that with Symbol instances. Modifying one instance propagates to all the others. But I have to fiddle around and try this. I admit I am terribly reluctant to rely on new features, or even bother to learn them, since Adobe keeps changing them so radically. Most of what I do in Illustrator, you could do in Illustrator 88. Hell, I think even Photoshop peaked at Version 2, this layer crap is totally unnecessary, you could do all that with channels.

This may just be my eccentric approach to digital tools, since I go back to the days of pasteups and PMTs. I believe there is nothing you can do in Illustrator and Photoshop that you couldn't do with manual, analog tools like a pen and paper, a stat camera, etc. albeit with much more effort.

Anyway, I do admit you need to basically previsualize the result in order to figure out how to implement it recursively in Illustrator. Hmm.. I wonder if you could do something like that in Autodesk Sketchbook, it does everything as vectors.
posted by charlie don't surf at 1:52 PM on May 10, 2012

So this guy had never heard of a fucking fractal before?

Its some idiot mathematician saying "Hey guys guess what? If you have a right triangle with two equal sides the hypotenuse is not an integer fraction!!! I'm going to call it noninteger-ness"
posted by Chekhovian at 4:17 PM on May 10, 2012

checkhovian: Relevant XKCD

Can anyone make one of these? Here's my best go so far:
posted by rebent at 4:46 PM on May 10, 2012

First person to draw a recursive version of the Lisa-Simpson-Fellatio Olympic Logo wins the internet.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 6:33 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Damn it, all I can manage is Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-Lisa-Simpson-Fellating-
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:05 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

chekhovian: I don't think he's claiming to have invented fractals, just a neat user interface to let you draw and interact with recursive objects. Also note: Not all fractals are recursive, and not all recursive objects have fractional dimension (e.g. the line of equally-sized circles).
posted by crazy_yeti at 7:44 AM on May 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

TwelveTwo, try starting by squishing a circle. I am spending far too long messing around with this!
posted by asok at 7:49 AM on May 11, 2012

The simple transformation from the binary tree to the Fibonacci tree is really interesting. The binary tree is clearly a self-similar structure, but I'm not quite sure about the Fibonacci tree - if it's a fractal, then what is its scaling dimension? Maybe (1 + sqrt(5)) / 2 ??
posted by crazy_yeti at 7:58 AM on May 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

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