Scrapbook page 115


POV-Ray-generated abstract images for a networky-threat sort of vibe, 2018. This was done hurriedly — to create a bunch of abstract images to accompany a site’s articles on issues surrounding malicious online behaviour, including bullying and financial scamming (otherwise there was a horrible risk they’d use stock art of hackers in hoodies).

These images (and more like them) use POV-Ray’s slightly clunky macro capabilities (I got a little snagged by the variable scoping rules in the recursion I was using, which is never a good issue to run into on a commercial deadline) to make what these days seems to be called procedurally-generated scenes.

The network is made from a random walk with 60-degree turns and skips and branches, somewhat like an L-System. The spikey ball is made by sticking cones on a sphere using some stolen maths for approximating a uniform distribution by “walking” around a spiral on its surface.

I still think it’s magic how code+maths=images, and, for me, using POV-Ray (even to make frankly bland images like these) is oddly satisfying — a mix of nostalgia, tech, experience and spell-casting.