About The Repository

In September 2016 I gave a talk at the New Scientist Live event called 'The Digital Muse', about how generative software will affect our lives in the future. I had planned to make everyone in the audience their own personal generator, but sadly I didn't have time to finish the project. I got as far as making the beginnings of some small generators in Python, and now I'm opening the source and component images up to you, in case you can find a use for them!

A Quick Note About The Code

All of the scripts are written in Python, and I'm releasing this because I hope it'll help people or be fun to tinker with. The only problem is that my Python coding is very bad, so you'll see a lot of mistakes if you know the language. I also haven't commented the generators, and they were built quite quickly, so if you're trying to learn how they work that'll be hard right now. I'll try and clean them up one day, but if anyone wants to improve the code, please be my guest.

Details On The Generators

There's a few generators, here's a quick rundown:

symlogo & symlogo4

These generate small pixel avatars similar to GitHub's avatars. Here's an example:

logo screen shot 2016-10-04 at 03 23 46 screen shot 2016-10-04 at 03 23 39


This generates some abstract patterns, generally using some preset recipes, occasionally using some symbols I knocked up.

pattern screen shot 2016-10-04 at 03 17 44 screen shot 2016-10-04 at 03 17 33


This one generates small creatures from a few different template bits. The arrangement of the templates is a bit fiddly because it tries to dynamically compensate for things like leg height (instead of the templates always being placed in the same area. Some of them are kinda cute!

animal1 animal2


This one generates a mannequin-esque image with a hat, a top, a bottom, some shoes, and suchlike. Mostly it uses palette colours, but sometimes it'll generate a pattern and use that as the 'fabric' for one of the clothes pieces.

clothes clothes2 screen shot 2016-10-04 at 03 23 13 screen shot 2016-10-04 at 03 23 09


This generates 'family crest'-style pictures, using a fixed base template and then generating patterns and animals to take up spots in the crests.

crest screen shot 2016-10-04 at 03 19 39 screen shot 2016-10-04 at 03 19 30


Just like the crest, this one combines some preset patterns and generated animals to create flags.

flag screen shot 2016-10-04 at 03 19 15

Notes & Thanks

The colour palettes in palettes.txt come from ColourLovers.com, you should totally add your own, or create a palette generator, or something in order to add more variety. I like the ones I chose but they do repeat after a while!

This project was hugely inspired by Daniel Linssen's Twitter projects for his followers - you should follow him on Twitter to be ready for his next one! It also owes a debt to Kate Compton's general attitude towards generative software, and of course Tracery. The pattern and fabric generators owe their inspiration to Gillian Smith, Anne Sullivan, and Eduardo's procedural fabric generator. Thanks to Gilead Amit for inviting me to talk at New Scientist Live and inspiring the project (and apologies to him that I couldn't finish it). And thanks to you for checking the repo out, I really hope it's useful! Let me know on Twitter if it is.