20 thoughts on “Random Genetic Wallpaper

  1. It’s a nice function but in my opinion the changes by the script are a bit to small. I think it’s better to move the orbs a bit more maybe (depends on the looks) arrange them randomly in the image.

  2. I just brought the ideas together, these were always the plan for Ubuntu but my know how of svg and python allowed me to implement the ideas that have been talked about on otto’s blog post.

  3. Hmm, this IS interesting. But the changes are so subtle it should hour in a per-hour basis. Any downloads available? I would love to test it out.

  4. I could have sent you the code and svg to test out but you didn’t trust me with your name, email address or anything. So it’s hard to collaborate.

  5. martin,

    I;ve actually been playing around with something similar but not doing a good job of it. Trying to use public geophysical data feeds and creating an artistic visual representation within a scriptable svg generator. Data feeds like earthquake event or auroral activity.


  6. Perhaps Jef, I can be of some kind of assistance? I have the advantage of knowing svg really well. The problem with the svg method is that it doesn’t yet support smil animation (which would be so awesome). So gradual and slow changes are ok, but fast changes are more difficult.

  7. martin.

    global earthquake data works work I think works fine as a generator… you get impulsive events but spread out. So the idea is that you can poll once in a while..catch new events and have them show up in the svg as new features, and then age them out of the svg canvas.

    geographic location -> location on the canvas
    time of the event -> opacity/fuzziness
    stength of the event -> size/color
    depth of the event -> opacity/color

    add some algorithm to let existing events walk around a little on the canvas based on local system entropy. update every hour or so and let things sort of age out.

    auroral activity I’d actually update slower and refresh on a daily scale and characterize the last 24 hours of activity as a single event..so you end up having an artistic view of say a month of activity at a time… using daily system entropy as drift for a particular system on top of the natural generator.


  8. Martin, I would love to test this out on my computer. I have a netbook if that makes a difference. Your work is really.. incredible. Thank you for making this and let me know if I can help by testing. Dave.

  9. I like the idea of a dynamic generative wallpaper for the desktop 🙂

    Based on @Jef’s idea, this could also be spun into a project to brings real time data visualisation to the desktop too, which would be awesome.

  10. would also be cool to have a wallpaper that changes from day and gets darker at night or shows a different wallpaper.

    if gnome got a feature similar to kde’s wallpaper slide show from folder, would be nice too 🙂

    anyway great work and regards for quickly creating a demo !

  11. This is cool, and I have an idea.

    Use two images, change only one of them every day and combine the two in a gnome animated background, so that it fades from one to the other instead of switching. Of course you would have to copy the currently used file to the other image before changing it.

    This would allow for bigger changes too, but I actually like the subtle and small changes. It should take a few week to notice.

  12. Interesting idea! Rather than have it in a cron job, what about having the script run when the user logs in or logs out? That way, you don’t depend on the machine being switched on at the time the cron job is supposed to run. I’d love to see the code!

  13. What if there would be a ranking system?! It would be just as artificial selection. In one day a lot of wallpapers would generate, which forms one population, and every day, just one would survive. Than that one could mutate further. Or for the bravest there can be two survivors and they would be mixed. Then evolving their offspring.

  14. I really like this idea, along with generative art in general.
    I guess you could specify which SVG objects would be randomly moved, and maybe change colours as well.

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