Monday, July 19, 2021

dotted circles revisited

Roughly 18 months ago I did a SNAP! Project (“dotted_circles”) which was inspired by and partially imitated some aspects of Papunya Tula art.

This resembles a small portion of a work by Charlie Wartuma Tjungurrayl, Untitled, 1985, (from p. 2 unique perspectives)

I'm revisiting because I cited this work, with a link, in an article, The Wider Walls, I wrote for a book which will soon be published. But when I revisited the linked to SNAP! page (dotted_circles_6) I discovered some problems.

First, you have to turn on JavaScript extensions

Second, the User Interface (UI) is so poor that I had difficulty myself working out how to draw a reasonable dotted_circles art piece. This is because, in that iteration, I gave the user more control in an attempt to more closely imitate aspects of Papunya Tula art works. The user has to draw the circles one by one changing the settings of radius, colour and any others as they go along.

So, what I've done is a new imitation from the ”Unique Perspectives” art book as an exemplar. By explaining the exemplar, I hope that will help the user figure out how to do a more varied piece of digital art.

I'll explain the code of the exemplar in some detail below.

The latest dotted circle I've done is dotted_circles_7

Partial imitation of an art work by Pinta Pinta Tjapanangka, Untitled, 1998 (p.23 unique perspectives)
  • Go to settings and turn on JavaScript extensions first
  • Press space bar to run the exemplar
I've used the “build your own blocks” feature to break it down into three parts:
Here is the code explained part by part
hide the dot (it still draws when hidden and we don't want a black dot when we are finished)
clear the page
set the pen to dark grey
lift the pen (don't want a line drawn yet)
go to the centre
set pen size to 600 (large, to fill the whole screen)
pen down
move 0 (the pen will draw even with move 0)

set the pen to mustard colour (#56)
dot size 10, lumpiness 2 (lumpy is more realistic)
move 0 (draw the centre dot)

set current_radius to 15
set dot_spacing to 10
pen up
set number_dots to dot_number
(dot_number is calculated by 2*pi*R / dot_spacing)
the next repeat draws the circle dots with the intended dot spacing and lumpiness
then increase the radius by 10
repeat a total of 8 times, each time the radius increases and the number of dots increases, while the spacing remains roughly the same (not quite though because of the dot lumpiness)

If you are curious about how the new blocks were made in Snap! then right click > edit on them. You will see, for example, that
dot_number = 2*pi*inner_radius / dot_spacing,
... mmm... inner_radius should have been called current_radius. So the dot_number is worked out for each new circle as the radius expands.

Snap! used to be called Build Your Own Blocks, which is one of its great strengths.

Dotted Circle Samples
Culturally Situated Design Tools: Dotted Circles Exemplar version 2

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