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Circle Art

Table Of Contents

Circle Art

The images here were inspired by a Scientific American blog post. The idea is is to draw a collection of circles that form an artful shape. Circles have a center and radius, so all we must do is figure out where to put the centers and how big to make the circles. The centers are placed along a parametric curve showing some symmetry in the plane. As for the size of the circles, any nicely periodic function with the same period as the overall parametric curve will do. Doing something similar with color adds to the final image. I know. This all sounds a bit vague. Read the code and it will become clear... Really....


Here are a few examples. Most of these were discovered via an automated search program using the technique briefly outlined in the next section. When you draw one of these images with a random set of parameters, the odds are that you are the first human being ever to see that precise image -- with five, 32-bit parameters the odds of someone else picking the same parameters is 1 in 2^160.

Source Code

The source code used to draw these images is distributed as an example application with *mjrcalc* (LISP Calculator Software). One program generates SVG files using the *mjrcalc* library, and the second renders and annotates the PNG files linked above.

Create SVGs:

Render and annotate PNGs:

© 2009 Mitch Richling