Creating a Visual Style

After experimenting with the basic mechanics for the birds in my project, I needed to create a visual style for the birds and the sketch in general. I decided to look into some different art movements and construction techniques to gain inspiration for my project.

One of the first things I looked into was based on the limitations of Processing itself. At the current moment I have mainly been working with primitive shapes. Although Processing does have functions for making more organic shapes (such as using Bezier curves and the Shape() functions) they can be unwieldy to deal with and can greatly slow down computational speed. For this reason I decided to look into designs that are based on primitive shapes.

Image is Deer by Kamilla Marant

One artist who uses limitations of shape is Kamilla Murant. By only using layers of triangles she builds up the impression of form. Complexity in the design is built up with different colours and size of triangles. Although this kind of design is very visually appealing, it might be quite hard to recreate in Processing, as a large amount of triangles are needed to build up a complex shape and with lots of birds in my scene, it might make the sketch very slow. However i found the color range very inspiring, as it uses a naturalistic palette, although somewhat distorted, which I could explore in my project.

Image by CreativeSession, animal head design light

After looking at the work of Murant I was brought to the one area where polygonal design and geometry is instrinsic to the medium, architecture and product design. I decided to look into this area as my birds will inhabit a pseudo 3D space, as the space the camera is picking up is 3D. The above light designs by CreativeSession immediately stood out to me and I could clearly see how shapes built on primitives could work in a 3D space. I also found their concept drawings very useful in finding out how the animal head shapes were built using shapes inside the form.

Image by Robert J. Lang, Crow

The designs of Creative Session reminded me of the art of origami, where paper is folded into complex sculptures. An essential part of origami is the paper that is used to build the sculptures. As well as being a construction material, paper has obvious uses in communication as a writing material. This draws obvious parralllels with the themes I explored earlier and a lot of my project is dealing with thematic issues from communication design.

Huzita Axioms
The Huzita Axioms by Robert Lang. These are rules that govern the possible creases of the paper in origami.

Robert Lang was one of the pioneers of using mathematics to develop patterns for origami design. By using algorithms and computer science. His work has also had practical applications, such as in the development in the folding of airbags and space telescopes. I found it interesting to look at his work in mathematics dealing with origami as much of my experimentation so far has dealt with similar (though far less complicated) problems of geometry.

Bird Sketches3
Rough concept sketch of origami birds in the space

As origami has quite a few thematic links to my project I have decided to incorporate it into my designs. I feel that using origami as a visual prompt for the designs of my birds will be a good idea, as they can be quite geometrically simple, yet can be added to later. It also can provide a wide variety of designs. I will continue working with Processing to develop some origami pigeons and play with different designs.

Saachi Art, 2014. Kamilla Marant, Deer[online] Available at: [Accessed 27.12.2014]

Homeli, 2014. HEDLYTE BY CREATIVESESSION – GEOMETRIC POLYGON DEER HEAD LIGHTING[online] Available at: [Accessed 27.12.2014]

Lang, R. J., 2014. Crow, Opus 422[online] Available at: [Accessed 27.12.2014]