The course introduces the ideas and practices of evolutionary and generative methods to create complex visual imageries. In the context of procedural animation and computer graphics, the concepts of evolutionary biology can both simulate the form of nature and as well go beyond it by creating static or dynamic graphics with little reference in the physical world.
Students in the course learn to create complex computer graphics by specifying very simple rules. They will understand the notion of artificial nature where the seemingly complex behaviours are developed by a number of simple mutually interacting units.
Historical reference will be drawn from a variety of disciplines like machine theory, algorithmic graphics, chaos theory, and self-organizing systems.
The course will introduce the use of the graphical programming environment such as TouchDesigner1 or Context Free Art2 that the students can use to experiment with generative graphics and procedural animation without the need to write traditional text based computer programs. The artworks can both be shown on screen or output as computer paintings.
By using the commonly available graphic design software, students usually work on computer graphics with a top down planning approach. The variety of the visual imageries will often be limited to the background and exposure of the students’ former visual training. This course offers a bottom up approach to facilitate students to overcome the former constraints. By purposely introducing rules and limitations, the generative or evolutionary processes can automatically produce imageries that challenge both the representational and abstract ways of two-dimensional visual creation.
The conceptual framework in the class is transferable and applicable to other subjects like 2D design, spatial design, and experimental painting. As computing software is becoming an important tool for visual art and design, the understanding of the codes, which are essentially rules, is a competitive advantage for students to expand their visual repertoire.

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[1] A free authoring tool for creating interactive 3D art, http://www.derivative.ca/
[2] A free software that generates images from written grammar, http://www.contextfreeart.org/ The course introduces the ideas and practices of evolutionary and generative methods to create complex visual imageries. In the context of procedural animation and computer graphics, the concepts of evolutionary biology can both simulate the form of nature and as well go beyond it by creating static or dynamic graphics with little reference in the physical world.

Students in the course learn to create complex computer graphics by specifying very simple rules. They will understand the notion of artificial nature where the seemingly complex behaviours are developed by a number of simple mutually interacting units.

Historical reference will be drawn from a variety of disciplines like machine theory, algorithmic graphics, chaos theory, and self-organizing systems.

The course will introduce the use of the graphical programming environment like vvvv[1], TouchDesigner[2] or Context Free Art[3] that the students can use to experiment with generative graphics and procedural animation without the need to write traditional text based computer programs. The artworks can both be shown on screen or output as computer paintings.

By using the commonly available graphic design software, students usually work on computer graphics with a top down planning approach. The variety of the visual imageries will often be limited to the background and exposure of the students’ former visual training. This course offers a bottom up approach to facilitate students to overcome the former constraints. By purposely introducing rules and limitations, the generative or evolutionary processes can automatically produce imageries that challenge both the representational and abstract ways of two-dimensional visual creation.

The conceptual framework in the class is transferable and applicable to other subjects like 2D design, spatial design, and experimental painting. As computing software is becoming an important tool for visual art and design, the understanding of the codes, which are essentially rules, is a competitive advantage for students to expand their visual repertoire.

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[1] A free multi-purpose video synthesis toolkit, http://vvvv.org/tiki-index.php
[2] A free authoring tool for creating interactive 3D art, http://www.derivative.ca/
[3] A free software that generates images from written grammar, http://www.contextfreeart.org/

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