A Different Lamp

1
A Different Lamp
No. 1 of
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1 (2015)
DOID: 1864.20150830

Light. It forms the very essence of what our visual perception is based upon. Its path, right from its inception, being catapulted against the myriad of particles it bounces off of, right until it strikes our retinas has always left me wondering about how incredibly complex everything around us is.

But how do you go about that?

Naturally (because, well, who in their right mindset wouldn’t… right?) I turned to another miracle of our modern days, my beloved MacBook, to develop a generative design system that would allow me to create a virtually unlimited amount of three-dimensional forms that could be used as shades. As I wanted this system to be controllable but at the same time unpredictable, I decided to create an approach that uses a simple two-dimensional coordinate-system as the starting point to generate three-dimensional points in space. Those points make up what us nerds call “meshes”. The “essence” of the script feeds various simple mathematical functions like sine and cosine with those two-dimensional coordinates to create natural forms in an almost unlimited amount of variations. If that sounds complicated: It’s really not – but have a look for yourself:

The animation above depicts one possible result of the generative system. The parameters for the underlying mathematical functions change every iteration so no two results will be alike. The x-,y- and z-coordinates are calculated as follows:

float u = map(iu, 0, uCount, uMin, uMax);
float v = map(iv, 0, vCount, vMin, vMax);
float x = v;
float y = sin(u)*cos(v);
float z = cos(u)*cos(v);

The mesh you saw above is not just limited to that rather boring wireframe visualization but can also be further exported into 3D-formats that allow a more realistic visualization of what lamps generated by this system would look like.


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Tagged with: 3D, Processing, Simulation

Ready to explore more ideas like this? This idea is part of my ever-growing archive of explorations that focuses on visual, technical and narrative-driven territories using Generative Design and Creative Coding in the fields of communictions design and branding.

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