The colours for each piece are taken from an album cover, generally comprising of 2 to 8 colours per piece. These are the only colours which are sent in to the program, however through using randomised blend modes for each layer, the ways in which colours interact with each other can sometimes produce results outside of the defined palette.
Each of the circles, rings and arcs layer blend together in a random way when a piece loaded. The number of blends per piece produces a range of 150 to 448 possibilities just in blending alone. Additionally, the border layer is randomised between 8 blend modes to create variation in the form of white, black, solid, multi-line, partial and absent borders.
All pieces start with a solid base background colour upon which is placed either 2, 4, 6 or 8 circles arranged differently depending on the piece and with a variety of randomised radiuses, creating differing base patterns on each load.
As you can see from this image showing some of the variations of circles laid over the base colour, there is already quite a high level of variance provided by the randomisation of colour blend modes and circle radiuses
Eight variations of circle and background colour from O // 086
Rings and Arcs
The next layer is 1 to 5 sets of rings. The number of rings shown each time a piece is viewed will either be 33, 45 or 78, is sometimes applied to a multiplier to create a dense spherical effect or wider spanning pattern of lines.
Rings are created using a loop which adjusts the line colour through progression and fills each ring with a semi-opaque colour creating the effect of a gradual darkening towards the centre of each set of rings
Part way through creating the collection I started to experiment with applying a randomised and slight offset to each ring. I liked the result so much I decided to keep it in the collection and the idea of 'condition' came into play and shattered condition soon followed (as depicted in the image of O // 086 at the top of this page). As I was working through the ISAM (Amon Tobin) pieces I was inspired by the album cover to try an arrangement of rings which emulated a butterfly, as depicted on the album cover, but without deviating from the core feel of the collection and the 'split' condition was born.
Arcs are then layered on top of the rings with randomised start and end points, increasing in radius with each much in the same way as the rings, although less uniformly, to create the effect of wedges emanating from the centre of a piece.
Rings and then arcs are added with low opacity
Texture and border
The final layer to be added before the border is is the texture. As can be seen from the contrast between the finished piece at the top of this page and the pieces in the section above prior to the addition of texture, the texture layer adds character to each piece making them feel less like a piece of digital art and more like a print, emulating the texture of watercolour paper or camera noise.
The texture is created with two layers of fine black and white dots of varying opacity. At full resolution the number of dots covering a piece is approximately 2,050,000.
A close up showing an image border and texture
Building the collection
Unfortunately I gave little thought to automation at the start of creating this collection. Throughout creation of the pieces I noted their attributes and developed a Python program which would build the metadata files, create a master schedule of the attributes of each piece and save smaller versions of my chosen images from each piece, to be used as thumbnails.
Because this was such a manual task, recording the piece number in each of the relevant Python array as I went, several passes at creating the metadata files was required, ironing out inconsistencies and reviewing the metadata values against the piece itself to ensure accuracy.