The Elegant Plane

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About the Piece

Initially described in 1704, Truchet's method of placing rotated tiles in a repeating pattern has been developed and iterated on for years, including the classic 10 PRINT maze. An article on multi-scale Truchet tiles caught my eye: this article features a clear and easy-to-follow 'recipe' for the production of multi-scale tilings. I initially implemented the algorithm as shown, and began iterating. What if the region of the tile that repeated (the central part of the tile as opposed to what the article calls ‘wings’) was of variable size, or greater than the size of the tile itself? What if the rotation of the tile was not limited to multiples of ninety degrees? What if an inverse tile was created that replaced the tile for certain points on the grid.

And so the piece evolved. Where ‘The Elegant Void’ was all about circles, contrast and bold, bright colour palettes, ‘The Elegant Plane’ shifts to the repeated tiling of the plane, based on and inspired by the Truchet tile.

The Render Process

There's a lot going on in this render process, and I took the time to carefully document each stage within the program itself, forming a description that's included in the fxhash features:

Tiles are created as listed, then an inverted version is produced. Rotations, reflections and scaling is applied on a grid, either a standard rectangular grid or, with increased rarity, a hexagonal grid. Colours may be added or shifted, and the piece is produced on several layers that are then composited into a final piece.

A Note Concerning Browsers

Somewhat idiosyncratically, the live render in Safari does not always match the live render in Chrome, and therefore the site-generated preview. The differences are subtle, but users of browsers other than Chrome should be aware. The charitable collector might even consider this a feature, rather than an unusually-stubborn quirk of considerable chagrin to the artist…


This piece may be available on the fxhash marketplace.

Source Code

Source code is available, should interest be appropriately expressed…