Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fractal friends

I was working on a program to make branching curlicue designs, when my kids came in and asked how the pictures were made.  I explained that the computer follows directions based on the numbers you give it.  I changed the maximum angle that the curls could bend at each segment, and these cool shapes started popping up.

We noticed that some of the images looked like recognizable objects (like finding pictures in clouds), so we took some of our favorites into Photoshop and drew on them.  We found a spaceship...
 A mermaid...
 A jumping bear...
 And some birds on a wire

Here's the program if you want to look for your own fractal friends.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Nelson's MagicTile

Magic Tile is a free program (possibly for Windows only) that provides a large number of Rubik's cube variations in different geometries.  Some of them are much simpler to solve than others, and viewing the different projections is fun in itself.  

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Slopefield face

What if you took a picture and used the brightness of each pixel to determine the angle that a little agent (a black dot) would travel? 

Agents are placed at random on the image, then follow their paths until they go off-screen.
Above, black pixels equated to East and white mapped to West.  There are lots of ways to set the angles. 

Below, an agent’s color is affected by the pixel brightness, and the range of angles is more narrow.

Created with Processing