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Submitted by Jani Peltonen, posted on February 05, 2002

Image Description, by Jani Peltonen

I am currently working on a piece of software that creates evolutionary art. It works by creating a number of images and letting the user select which one(s) finds most interesting and wants to mutate or mate to create a new generation of images.

The program features a separate render mode which lets the user zoom in on areas that look interesting and render images with higher quality settings. You can naturally save the images or save the expressions that created the images.

You have full control of the mutation rate, number of offspring, initial complexity and various other parameters.

The images above are all created with the latest version of the software.

You can download an alpha version from

Some techie stuff:

The system works be evaluating and modifying a random expression tree. At the moment there are ~40 different diadic and monadic functions functions that the system chooses from. The functions range from simple addition to 4D fractals. Throughout the evaluation all values are 3vectors, although internally some functions turn them into quaterions before passing them on to the next function in the expression tree.

Image of the Day Gallery


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

February 05, 2002, 01:34 PM

Kewl, modern art ;)
- Wernaeh


February 05, 2002, 01:37 PM

WTF?!? This is really great. I really like the screenshots.


February 05, 2002, 01:42 PM

Looks like it's very flexible. Do you use a tree structure or a pipeline to combine the functions?

Seems like many people create genetic image generators ... me, too :)


February 05, 2002, 01:51 PM


So is there "the conscious use of skill and creative imagination" involved in creating these images? At least this is the definition in webster of art :)

Anyway, art or not. These images are beatiful. I especially like the top left and bottom left images. I don't know why, perhaps because there is some "randomness" over them. I also like the fact that the images are created as a symbiosis between human and computer. Next step could perhaps be to create nice 3D geometry art this way.

William Dahlberg

February 05, 2002, 01:57 PM

Good looking stuff! I'm going to download the demo!


February 05, 2002, 02:05 PM

From the website:
"Mage is a revolutionary new program"

Yeah, "revolutionary new", like a decade ago?-)

Paul Hope

February 05, 2002, 02:18 PM

cool art Jani, can't wait to see what you do with it.

Good Luck


February 05, 2002, 03:12 PM

This is very, very cool, but I would hardly call it "new and revolutionary." Karl Simms was doing this back in '91:

Don't get me wrong, it's still impressive! Your images look better than the ones I get using a bit of software I'm writing along the same lines:

Also sounds like your software is much more complete.

Good job!


February 05, 2002, 03:14 PM

ya this isn't a new idea, but thats not really the point of IOTD. Either way these pictures are exceptional.


February 05, 2002, 03:36 PM

The website says that the *PROGRAM* is new (which it most definitely IS). NOT the *concept*. And it is revolutionary. That's not to say that the revolution didn't start long ago and isn't taking a while to come into popular use. Thomas Jefferson and Mao Tse Tung were both revolutionary too, but they've both been around for a long time.


February 05, 2002, 03:41 PM

whow! I love these pictures!
ps: do you know visualJockey? ( ) I'm one of the developers of it and I would love to see such a wonderful "texture-generator" for it! =) check out our site to get a better idea what vjo realy is.



February 05, 2002, 04:10 PM

Could this be a new side of 'programers-art'?

zed zeek

February 05, 2002, 04:14 PM

>>I am currently working on a piece of software that creates evolutionary art. It works by creating a number of images and letting the user select which one(s) finds most interesting and wants to mutate or mate to create a new generation of images.

Stefan Karlsson

February 05, 2002, 09:58 PM

seriously this IOTD aint serious.. right?
if it is i guess its an american :-)


February 06, 2002, 02:04 AM

Those are all amazing, you could sell them and make lots of money maybe :)


February 06, 2002, 02:47 AM

Great work! If you print it out, make it look like you painted it and change your name to some fancy Italian name, you could make a lot of money.


February 06, 2002, 03:35 AM

That is soooo cool!
I really like that bottom left one.
The bottom right one is an integer overflow pattern I have managed to generate myself before by accident.
I think I'll try it out.


February 06, 2002, 04:24 AM

Amazing stuff!
I haven't downloaded the demo yet, but how much time it eats to produce such pics? It will be nice to use something like that to produce textures - I believe that the tree used to compute single picture is smaller that the bitmap, right? :)
so, storing textures in such a form will be a great compression :)


February 06, 2002, 04:36 AM

rhhaaa lovely, a soft to create home-made wall paper... :-)

i've made some test...
some bugs in the interface : when you increase the population size (to 10 in my test), the horizontal scroll bar disapears.

i've try to make my epson paint directly into the wall, but it don't work fine. meaby you can make a plugin or a patch to correct this. :-)))


February 06, 2002, 05:02 AM

Looks really strange!

Thats exactly the way I like it!

Have fun

James Matthews

February 06, 2002, 08:02 AM

Noticed that the Mandelbrot set has crept in there...I take it that is explicitly in the code and not some emergence thingy? Impressive program though, the images are rendered in a very respectable time.



February 06, 2002, 08:10 AM

That just looks awful, but it must be a funny app to test.


February 06, 2002, 09:10 AM

Thats strange, I thought in order to call yourself artistic, you had to have no other applicable skills :)


February 07, 2002, 09:50 AM

Very nice=)


February 09, 2002, 11:56 AM




February 10, 2002, 08:45 PM

your page would be a lot nicer if it wasn't just text you know. SCREENSHOTS! damnit.

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