Far from being as violent as the Judge Dredd story; Block Mania (although I’d squeeze in a reference to Old Stoney Face any chance I get), I’ve spent a few evenings drawing a bunch (and more to come) of isometric blocks. Isometric tile editors are usually associated with pixelart, not vectors, so my original intent was to script a tool in which I could sculpt with these blocks. I discarded that idea after realizing it would be a massive undertaking and not a very stable solution. Not really knowing what I would do with them, I continued drawing anyway, as I’m just so fond of isometric projection, as evident in one of my earlier posts.
I have just spent the morning adding a new feature to my Tile Toy script called Sparsity. I can now control how dense the pattern will be by telling the tool to favor empty tiles – or at least tiles with no connection – by a certain percentage.
It’s funny how ideas come and go. Most of my ideas are offsprings from earlier thoughts or works. That’s certainly the case with my Monotone Raster script, it stems back to the Tile Toy script via Fonticon.
Now, this script is probably my least useable one as the outcome wasn’t very nice or functional. So what does it do then?
Well, the idea was to make a script that would produce a raster image with only one tone. Aptly named Monotone Raster. Since a raster will create dots of varying sizes corresponding to the level of gray of the target image pixels. This is not very hard in Scriptographer. But what if I wanted to make a raster image with something other than a circle, or, a raster with multiple objects?
Well, that wasn’t that hard either so I took it a bit further. What if the objects looked different, but in reality they all had the same amount of black?
I’ve always been impressed by those colorful patterns produced by Kapitza. It’s nothing shy of genius creating a set of geometric fonts and then just type to your hearts content.
The idea of making something, preferably complex, out of a limited set of rules, principles or objects is very appealing to me. It’s like art sprung out of (almost) nothingness. It’s called synergy – when the sum is greater than its parts. I think these patterns adresses just that; very simple and mundane geometric shapes, but put together, they create something more with seemingly infinte possibilities of variation.
Now, I thought about this for a while, wondering if I had the patience to construct my own symbols and shapes and turn them into a working font, I finaly decided I had not. What would be the point, it’s been done already. Although, I had one concern, as all these symbols where made as fonts there isn’t a very intuitive way to rotate a symbol or flip it around its own axis. Sure, it isn’t that hard to flip a character around, but say if there are a 1000 different symbols it becomes time consuming and counterproductive.
I have recently added some functions to two of my scripts; aMaze and the Tile Toy. The maze script can now save it’s wall data to a file which allows me to use it inside my Tile Toy script creating mazes with a completely different look. The appearance of the maze is now totally based on what kind of tiles I create within Tile Toy.
At the moment it only supports ‘single file’ tiles therefore only five tiles are needed (since it is a perfect maze it has no need for a solitary tile). Actually that number is closer to four, as a four-way intersection seems to be very rarely used.
Finally my new script works! The idea was to make a script that would, out of limited number of tiles, create seemingly infinite variations of map- or roadlike patterns. The tiles needs some rules in order to pair them up so I drew some temporary lines representing roads just to make it easier to understand [more…]