The above image is an example of an Appollonian Gasket, otherwise know as close-packed circles. Technically the close packing should take place in a single large circle as opposed to the entire rectangular canvas, but we’ll ignore that minor detail. This post will show how to create close packed circle abstractions using MSG processors.
Note that there are just 2 processors used to create this entire class of abstract imagery with close packing properties. The first SetToValue processor is used to set the ROut image stream to a flat gray color. The second 3C Abstract7 CP processor is what generated the close packed circles. As previously discussed here, 3C refers to a 3 channel or color output processor, and CP refers to a processor that uses a color palette stream for coloring the abstract shapes it generates.
The 3C Abstract7 CP processor overlays close packed circles on top of an existign 3 channel image stream. We use the ROut image stream as the attached stream for all 3 color input ports (In R,In G,In B) for the 3C Abstract7 CP processor. We do this because after the first SetToValue processor is run, the ROut processor is the only image stream set to a determinate value (a flat gray image in this particular case). The 3 color output streams for the 3C Abstract7 CP processor (Out R,Out G,Out B) are attached to the 3 color output image streams for the MSG preset (ROut,GOut,BOut).
We could have used any of the 3 color palette streams associated with a MSG preset, we chose the first ColorPalette to attache to the In Color Palette port. The coloring of the abstract shapes generated by the 3C Abstract7 CP processor is a function of the colors in the Color Palette stream and the individual editable parameters associated with the processor.
The term Apollonian Gasket refers to a specific type of fractal image generate by close packed circles. The image is fractal due to the self similar nature of the image at different scales. By close packed we mean that the individual circles touch but never overlap. Since this is Studio Artist, we added all kinds of shape variations based on the close packing model in addition to just close packed circles. the 3rd gallery image above shows off different mutated variations of this simple preset. Note that the processor is capable of creating all kinds of shape variations besides a purest apollonian gasket close packed circle.
The positioning of the close packed circles or other shapes is randomly determined with the MSG preset we built above. Tomorrow we’ll discuss how to modulate or control the positioning of the packing to create variations on this kind of effect.