Mapped Orbits for Unbound Electrons

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About the Piece

Mapped Orbits for Unbound Electrons is a study of circular orbits and noise-based gradients, rendered, shifted, superimposed and cropped in various ways to bring out generative patterns and shapes.

The main shape is a 'circular gradient' object, the parameters of which include a start and end radius, a number of individual arcs, a width for each arc segment, and an angle shift with some random variation taking place over all these parameters. Random numbers are, as is usual for an fxhash piece, based on a single unique hash value, ensuring the render is the same for each piece. Variations can be rendered, of course, using either the infinite variations button, or by pressing 'p' when the piece is active.

The Generative Process

The generative process takes up to nine of these gradient objects and combines them in six main variants, ranging from a single central piece combining one or more gradients, through to complex pieces where multiple gradients are off-centred and faded across quarters or thirds.

To further add variation and the opportunity for the stochastic process to bring pleasing results, lines and circles may be overlaid according to various rules. These are curated towards quarters, thirds and sixths, depending on the rendering variation.

For this piece, palettes are not hard-coded. They are, however, carefully manipulated by selecting an initial hue value and working from this point to produce colours with various limitations. Some renders will be monochrome, or near-monochrome, whilst others will select from the full range of hues available. Others will cluster near to a central point, with one or two circular gradients taking up a contrary position on the colour wheel. There is the chance of a lighter rendering mode, something that may be considered a rare feature.

Other deliberately rare features include background texture, some line overlays, particular configurations of circular gradients. Unintentionally rare features may arise, of course, according to the patterns inherent within random numbers.

Interactive Features

Pressing 'I' whilst the piece is active will bring up an information panel. This will show which render layers are currently available; they can be activated and deactivated using the number keys.

The rendered image, at a resolution of 2048x2048 can be saved with 'S', whilst the actual viewport canvas, at whatever resolution the piece is currently running in, can be saved with 'C'. The canvas version will include any text currently on-screen, whilst the render version will not.

'R' and 'P' provide options for re-rendering with and without new parameters.

The Last Transmission from the Machine

Collectors of The Last Days of Fire and Steel may have enjoyed the apocalyptic lore behind the piece, and have wondered what caused events, and the nature of the machine alluded to in the piece. The last transmission from the machine may be of interest, and collectors of either piece are invited to discover its location within the piece.


View the Mapped Orbits for Unbound Electrons marketplace on fxhash.

Source Code

Source code is available on github.