Generative Art: Where It Comes From and How to Create It

Generative Art: Where It Comes From and How to Create It

NFT's monthly sales volume on fxhash reaches $5m and is only slightly behind Objkt.com. Still, everything is traded on Objkt, and only generative art is traded on fxhash.

Read our post to learn how generative art differs from conventional art, where it started, and how to create it after all.

The brief history of generative art

Generative art is when an artist uses mechanical devices, computers, or other tools to create something according to a given procedure. For example, a pendulum that draws lines in the sand is already an art generator.

The automaton was arguably the first breakthrough in the area of generative devices. Automatons were clockwork puppets who wrote sentences, drew simple pictures, or played string instruments according to a predetermined algorithm.

The next step was the advent of computers. Programmers Michael Noll and Béla Julesz learned how to generate patterns from random points and even held a generative art exhibition in 1965.

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Other artists appreciated their work. Salvador Dali was inspired by computers and drew squares from the heart, Ellsworth Kelly drew the same squares but according to a set of rules he made himselft, and the architect Celestino Soddu in 1987 generated 3D models of medieval cities from ‘artificially created city DNA.’

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Then, with the development and popularisation of computers, more and more people got into the generative arts. The demoscene emerged, which is the ability to write a program to generate an image, video, or music in the smallest amount of space possible.

The pinnacle of the demoscene was the .kkrieger game. 3D models, textures, sounds, and shaders—all generated from an algorithm of just 98 KB.

Modern generative art is a symbiosis of mathematics, programming, and the artist’s vision. Often these are random combinations of geometric shapes, but there are also those who use algorithms to make hundreds of variations of a single idea.

How to create generative art? Where to begin?

First, you must get to grips with JavaScript or any other programming language. Master loops, coordinate transformations, trigonometric functions, and Canvas. And then experiment.

You can start with Acrylicode’s Drawing Tool. You can use it to draw any line and turn it into something more interesting with toggles.

Next, figure out how to create lines and curves using JS and then display them on the screen via Canvas. There are lots of tutorials for this, here’s one of them.

Next, you need to learn loops and random numbers. First, you’ll need it to generate different images from the same algorithm depending on the random seed and then to work with colors and leave their choice to chance. To better understand rand(), it is worth starting with repeating simple classics like Un Deux Trois by Vera Molnar.

The penultimate step is to learn to use the p5js library. It has the majority of functions that you would have to write manually otherwise. Plus, the library’s website has a lot of educational materials.

And finally, build your project following the fxhash guide so that other users can mint it.

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