The R package to Create Generative Art


Do you want to create #generativeart with #rstats? I made a package for this purpose. It is called generativeart and you can find it on Github.

You can find more images on my Instagram account @cutterkom.

Description

One overly simple but useful definition is that generative art is art programmed using a computer that intentionally introduces randomness as part of its creation process.
Why Love Generative Art? – Artnome

The R package generativeart let’s you create images based on many thousand points. The position of every single point is calculated by a formula, which has random parameters. Because of the random numbers, every image looks different.

In order to make an image reproducible, generative art implements a log file that saves the file_name, the seed and the formula.

Now, the readme.md:

Install

You can install the package with the devtools package directly from Github:

devtools::install_github("cutterkom/generativeart")

generativeart uses the tidyverse package.

Usage

The package works with a specific directory structure that fits my needs best. The first step is to create it with setup_directories(). All images are saved by default in img/everything/. I use img/handpicked/ to choose the best ones. In logfile/ you will find a csv file that saves the file_name, the seed and the used formula.

library(generativeart)

# set the paths
IMG_DIR <- "img/"
IMG_SUBDIR <- "everything/"
IMG_SUBDIR2 <- "handpicked/"
IMG_PATH <- paste0(IMG_DIR, IMG_SUBDIR)

LOGFILE_DIR <- "logfile/"
LOGFILE <- "logfile.csv"
LOGFILE_PATH <- paste0(LOGFILE_DIR, LOGFILE)

# create the directory structure
generativeart::setup_directories(IMG_DIR, IMG_SUBDIR, IMG_SUBDIR2, LOGFILE_DIR)

# include a specific formula, for example:
my_formula <- list(
  x = quote(runif(1, -1, 1) * x_i^2 - sin(y_i^2)),
  y = quote(runif(1, -1, 1) * y_i^3 - cos(x_i^2))
)

# call the main function to create five images with a polar coordinate system
generativeart::generate_img(formula = my_formula, nr_of_img = 5, polar = TRUE)
  • You can create as many images as you want by setting nr_of_img.
  • For every image a seed is drawn from a number between 1 and 10000.
  • This seed determines the random numbers in the formula.
  • You can choose between cartesian and polar coordinate systems by setting polar = TRUE or polar = FALSE
  • the formula is a list()

Examples

It is a good idea to use the sine and cosine in the formula, since it guarantees nice shapes, especially when combined with a polar coordinate system. One simple example:

my_formula <- list(
  x = quote(runif(1, -1, 1) * x_i^2 - sin(y_i^2)),
  y = quote(runif(1, -1, 1) * y_i^3 - cos(x_i^2))
)

generativeart::generate_img(formula = my_formula, nr_of_img = 5, polar = TRUE)

Two possible images:

seed = 1821, polar = TRUE:

seed = 5451, polar = FALSE:

The corresponding log file looks like that:

file_nameseedformula_xformula_y
2018-11-16-17-13_seed_1821.png1821runif(1, -1, 1) * x_i^2 – sin(y_i^2)runif(1, -1, 1) * y_i^3 – cos(x_i^2)
2018-11-16-17-12_seed_5451.png5451runif(1, -1, 1) * x_i^2 – sin(y_i^2)runif(1, -1, 1) * y_i^3 – cos(x_i^2)

Inspiration

The basic concept is heavily inspired by Fronkonstin’s great blog.

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