by software artist Scott Draves. You may also follow me on google+ or twitter, buy art, or join me on facebook.

December 28, 2004

FLAM3 v2.2 released

Get the latest FLAM3 release v2.2. Changes include bug fixes and experimental image fractalization. Full changelog entries:
12/28/04 release as v2.2.

12/27/04 preview implementation of image fractalization by adding a color coordinate. changed how random/default color coordinates are selected (they alternate 0 and 1 instead of being distributed between 0 and 1). WARNING: incompatible format change to samples argument of flam3_iterate.

12/20/04 allow mutation and crossover from files with multiple genomes. a random genome is selected for each repetition.

12/11/04 fix bug printing out interpolated non-built-in palettes. warn if any images sizes in animation do not match.

Posted by spot at 09:14 PM | Comments (0)

Star Fractalizations

Two new galleries of star fractalizations: one and two. Harumph.
Posted by spot at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)


Using sincos instead of sin and cos makes flam3 run as much as 10 percent faster. I'm not inspired to put it in, i'm just going to finish testing and release v2.2.
Posted by spot at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)

December 27, 2004

Bad Type

Marian Bantjes Quadrifolio. From nix from mccabe.
Posted by spot at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)

December 22, 2004


Close-up of a technobeam, taken by my new friend Justin Winokur while on thanksgibbons holiday.
Posted by spot at 06:24 PM | Comments (0)

Generation 165 Archive Available

I've restored the archive of the best of Generation 165. It has some holes which I will continue to work on from back-ups or otherwise reconstruct. The archive of the current generation 169 is here.
Posted by spot at 03:16 AM | Comments (0)

December 20, 2004


Coming in the next release of FLAM3: fractalization of an input image. The idea is to replace the 1D palette with a 2D image. Seems to work great!
Posted by spot at 07:12 PM | Comments (0)

Electric Sheep accused of Patent Violation

I just received a fedex from the MPEG LA! They claim that Electric Sheep violates their patent portfolio. They specifically mention Shoop, which I did not write and do not distribute. I do link to its home page. It is a simple program that includes no MPEG code at all!

My hope is that I've geen caught in a google dragnet, and what set them off is this text from the Shoop page:

Shoop is a utility ... f0r sequencing MPEG2 movie files ... and combining them into a single file f0r presention on DVD ...
However shoop does no more than concatenate MPEG files, it does not decode them. And when the MPEG LA realizes this they'll go away.
Posted by spot at 06:37 PM | Comments (2)

comments enabled again

Thanks to the wonderful and proactive sysadmin dean comments are enabled again on this blog. We'll see how long it takes the spammers to work around this defense (renaming mt-comments.cgi).
Posted by spot at 02:35 PM | Comments (2)

examples of new variations

Here are galleries of ten examples of each of the four new variations: cosine, sawtooth, exponential, and power.
Posted by spot at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)

Draves on Mozilla

On a lark I typed " draves" into google. I expected nothing but two hits came back, one for my brother Rich in the unpublished RFC draft-draves-ipngwg-ingress-filtering-01.txt (available in its original form here). The other was for a mozilla status update from 4/11/2000 which reads:
Last Thursay we had our second anniversary party and the day after was our first Mozilla Developer Meeting. The party had an estimated attendence of 1100-1300. Scott Draves provided visuals in the blue room with his program, bomb.
Heh. What a blast from the past. I couldn't compete with the visuals from the first mozilla party: just the source code scrolling by endlessly.... now that was rhad.
Posted by spot at 12:47 AM | Comments (0)

December 14, 2004

the most thanked man in science is...

Olivier Danvy! Why an exclamation point? Because Olivier was a mentor to me, invited me to Denmark, and served on my thesis committee. He appears in the acknowledgements and bibliographies of several of my papers. Once more for luck: thanks Olivier! Original source: Nature.
Posted by spot at 09:11 PM | Comments (0)

Harbin Snow & Ice Festival

No not Harbin California, we're talking Harbin China, near Siberia and Mongolia in the far north-east. Here's a gallery of photos from their annual Snow and Ice festival. It reminds me of Sweden's Ice Hotel.... not to mention Burning Man and Blade Runner rolled into one and squared.
Posted by spot at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)

December 13, 2004

EvoMUSART in Switzerland

Good news: I'll be attending EvoMUSART in Lausanne Switzerland this spring. I will present a paper that describes and analyzes the evolutionary algorithm of Electric Sheep.
Posted by spot at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2004

release party Thursday at Rx Gallery

quoted from my release and events email lists:

The DVDs have arrived just in time for the holidays. Please join me in raising a glass in celebration, then pick up a copy for yourself or as a gift. I will sign or dedicate it as you choose. Our fine friends Ammon and Chakka will spin downtempo, dub, and Brazilian sounds. I'll be doing visuals live both from the DVD and unreleased material.

what: SPOTWORKS release party
where: Rx Gallery 132 Eddy St SF
when: Thursday December 16th 6-10pm

The Rx Gallery is having their affordable art show, and the walls are covered with work from over three dozen artists.

o o o

Since it came out in March some people have written some very flattering things about the first edition. I'd like to share a few of them with you:

Beautiful and mind-boggling... stunningly original.
--Rudy Rucker, father of cyberpunk

Not only mind-blowing hardcore psychedelics, but also a visual theory of evolution.
--Earplug electronic music newsletter.

Spotworks is a totally mesmerizing display of etheric color and form. I've seen the fractal flames utterly engross people on the dancefloor. It's a unique visual analog to psychedelic music.
--Shakatura, DJ and Music Producer, SF

There are many more reviews written by the public on the CD Baby and Amazon pages. Here are my favorite lines:
Like watching the birth of universes from the outside.

Infinity in a grain of pixels.

Better than you can possibly imagine!

The rest are here and here

thank you for the kind words all of you!

o o o

This new edition has several improvements: The dub tracks have been remastered and are now encoded with progressive scan for videophile quality playback. The Electric Sheep documentary has been updated. There's a new bonus track & other secret features which I will be happy to demonstrate in person.

Hope to see you there.

yours, -spot

Posted by spot at 04:47 PM | Comments (0)

December 09, 2004

sheep client downloads & new users

Number of downloads of the Electric Sheep client during the first 8 days of December:

Windows: 946
Mac OSX: 236
Linux (RPM): 100
Linux (Source): 45
Total: 1327
Or 166 per day. However according to the server logs there are more than 600 new unique client IP address per day. Possibly many new users are coming from sites that have mirrored the binaries (eg NoNags). Possibly those users aren't new but are just very rare. Hm.
Posted by spot at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

December 08, 2004

server v2.5 release

a new tarball of the server is available here.
Posted by spot at 09:44 PM | Comments (0)

another dvd review

Another review, this one on Amazon:
5 out of 5 stars Delicious, October 29, 2004
Reviewer: Paul Roberts (SF, USA)

I thought that after a while I would get sick of this DVD - I've now played it far more than I expected to. However, it's not like that at all. The reverse is true. The dance between visuals and sound just keeps getting better and better each time I play it. One day it's diving into the exquisite visuals of a fractal journey that holds me captive. The next time it's the river of mood and moments, captured in audio and triggering a massage for the eardrums. A beautiful, organic, sequence of digital life.

Is this a peek into the teeming world of a drop of water or am I observing images light years across? Both seem apt.

Enjoy this journey. I still do.

Posted by spot at 11:08 AM | Comments (0)

dvd review

An unsolicited review on CDBaby:
5 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing
Reviewer: Criswell The Psychic Weatherman
The videos with the background information on Haekel, Dub, Bomb, and Electric Sheep are enough to sell this DVD. I use Electric Sheep as my prmary screensaver both at home and at work. After seeing the short low-res "teasers" on Spot's website, I wanted more. Watching Spotworks, I feel like I am watching the birth of universes from the outside. The only word that comes to mind is "mesmerizing."
thank you! now if i could just get them to update the album cover....
Posted by spot at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)

December 06, 2004

sheep on voom/moov

The sheep I sent to the MOOV HDTV network will go into rotation with the new year. Here are some stills.
Posted by spot at 12:04 PM | Comments (0)

December 03, 2004

701 palettes

I made an index page for all 701 palettes that come built-in to the FLAM3 tools.
Posted by spot at 03:45 PM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2004

remastered spotworks is here

i'm very excited. get it here: Microcinema. bonus sticker and everything :)
Posted by spot at 03:36 AM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2004

mystery solved

The artifact in this image results from the color coordinates not being precise. Replace "0.333" with "0.333333333" and "0.666" with "0.666666666" in the genetic code and the artifact vanishes.
Posted by spot at 07:48 PM | Comments (0)

FLAM3 v2.1 released

This release fixes a "misfeature" that never bothered me but wrecks havoc on many according to the apophysis email list. The problem was that the number of strips had to divide the image height. My heights are always round numbers for this reason. But other users, unaware of the limitation, were using arbitrary heights and hence getting unpredictable and sometimes very large numbers of strips. Which take a long time to render. Also of note: two more variations. Full changelog entry:
remove debugging code left in flam3-convert, thanks to Paul Fishwick for reporting this. add cosine variation. add sawtooth variation. handle nstrips that do not divide the height. write partial results as strips are computed. fix old bug where in 32 bit mode one of the terms appeared to be calculated at 16 bits. release as v2.1.
Posted by spot at 05:50 PM | Comments (0)

flam3 camera test

This test fractal flame image was produced with this genetic code. The stripes should appear exactly even. Note the border was left around the image to show it has a transparent edge on two sides (the image is off-centered and zoomed to better exercise the code). I made this to test flam3-render's new ability to handle numbers of strips that do not divide the height of the image. Strips are used when the whole image does not fit into RAM, so it is rendered one strip at a time.

The exact command used to render this one is:

env format=png ss=2 qs=10
    nstrips=3 flam3-render < foo.flam3
So the height of the image is 410 which is not 0 mod 3. If the camera were off it would cause a horizontal line about 2/3rds of the way down the image, but it appears even.

However there does appear to be a feint vertical line near the left edge. If this is for real It would appear to be a subtle long-standing bug. It looks like a rounding error where casting was used instead of flooring, but I don't see it in the code... mystery solved

Posted by spot at 04:02 PM | Comments (0)