Particle simulations have many applications and a lot of creative potential. Here's a demonstration of using them to create energetic abstract imagery.
These images were created with a simple Processing using a particle-based physics engine. The particles were drawn as spinning lines, were randomly positioned, and were given attractive and repulsive forces that alternated with a keystroke.
The parameters of the sketch are:
- the number of particles,
- mass of the particles,
- length of the rotating lines,
- the parameters of the particle system itself (drag, gravity, etc.),
- strength of attraction/repulsion, and
- any initial particle velocity.
If the reversal from attraction to repulsion were automated, we could add an additional parameter.
By design, Processing's semantics mimic a painter's canvas. When used this way, sketches can produce a great deal of complexity and depth without much coding at all. A great deal of variation comes out of this particle system, but they all portray ribbon-like form and a kind of convergent behavior where local collective centers emerge and then move towards each other.
Get the code on Github.