It all started with an idea to create a midi controlled spirograph. I was thinking how much I loved Spirographs as a kid and how with a number of wheels and rotation points you could create some really cool patterns. I wanted to make the equivalent of an Spirograph that smoked some PCP laced crack… just the hulking out / flipping cars part not the seeing ghost cutting your face up part. My idea didn’t go exactly as I imagined but in the different versions some really cool stuff came out – scroll down and read for the details.

Math Art created in processing

This is the first version with only a few parameters mapped to my midi controller and using the first color palette, I eventually got sick of these colors and moved to a cleaner blue. The midi controller was mostly controlling sine/cosine values which controlled positional elements (scale, rotate, translate) of each iteration of the square.

Midi Controlled Art

The blue was an improvement but the black outline looks a little garish, while testing the blue color palette I snapped this image of cascading cubes. Mapped a few more parameters in this version

Sine Wave Artwork created by Processing

Ahh it’s nice and designy! I settled on this as the color palette and then focused more on finding things to manipulate.

Tangled Sine

I added a second square which rotates around the first and a number of new control parameters which allows for more complicated patterns and fine tuned control.

Sine Wave Art

Wow! it can get really complicated and intertwined – yet its still a repeating mathematical function

this one is my favorite because you can really see the mathematics at play as the squares rotate around each other.


Or it can be really simple and clean – this is the squares turned to circles and shows the second one rotating around the first. I do plan on revisting the original idea and work on an advanced Spirograph generator.

Want more? Heres the rest of my processing Math/code art

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