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blue boxes

Blue Boxes is a computational painting system.

Graphically, it is based entirely on syncopated brush functions and a blue box primitive. Two repeating intervals, set at slightly different times, generate object graphics according to the mouse's position and velocity.

Move the mouse into the black field above to begin laying down squares. Press the browser's refresh button to start over. Clicking does nothing.

blue box painting detail
figure a detail of overlapping blue boxes
Boxes will continue to stack on top of each other until the maximum number of transparent overlapping objects within Flash is reached. Naturally, the position of the mouse determines the position of the blue box primitive. Scale and opacity are also respondent to user behavior. The faster the mouse movement, the larger and more translucent the box.

Two syncopated intervals control the size, placement, and opacity of each blue box. The
intvSomething interval instantiates a new blue box every 30 milliseconds. The intvDifference interval watches the mouse's position and tracks the distance it has most recently traveled. This interval executes at the slightly slower rate of 35 milliseconds. The 5ms offset creates a natural irregularity within the painting system.

intvSomething = setInterval(this,"makeNode",30); intvDifferece = setInterval(this,"trackHistory",35); stop();
Slight modifications to the process lend numerous possibilities of a final generated form. Below are some fairly random paintings with the Blue Boxes.

  generated painting figure locally contained painting of blue boxes


generated painting figure a painting with some meaning

  generated painting figure slight modifications of hue as a function of time

  generated painting figure same generating technique as above with a longer time interval, allowing larger, more opaque boxes

  generated painting
figure the same generating technique using black boxes on a white background


jtarbell, September 2002

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