OpField lowres 1

"Op-Field" an op-art tribute

It’s no mystery that I am fascinated by “op-art” and I humbly try to reproduce that style in my pieces when I can. This was the basic idea behind “Op-Field”: confuse the eye with a mesmerizing pattern.

What I didn’t want to do though was to reproduce something already seen, most likely a re-interpretation of one of Bridget Riley artworks. At the same time, I wanted an interactive piece too, something that can regenerate itself and change overtime.

Contrary to my first interactive piece, this time I had a clearer idea on what would be the basic algorithm and what it would need to do. First of all, I wanted a grid of cells to fill with the same image (I picked an arrow for starters). I then assigned to each cell a random number between 0 and 1 that I then mapped to an angle between 0 and 360 degrees, so to be able to rotate each image based on its cell’s value. So far it was “kind of interesting” but not as dynamic as I wanted. So, I made this grid of cells scroll left to right. As each cell changed its value the images were also rotating towards the new angle. The effect was definitely more appealing! At that point I refined the movement and the speed, allowing the field to move horizontally and vertically at different velocities.

As much as it was fun to see the arrows move, I realized I needed more variety. So, I spent quite some time to find what kind of images could work with this framework to create an interesting optical effect. Overall, I think I created about 100 different samples between shapes and various combinations of them and of course I tried them all! In the end I settled for 23, but I am sure I could have added more. The shapes themselves are not that complicated: lines, circles, squares and their combinations. But the effect they produce when continuously rotated can be quite powerful and I can definitely say that the overall outcome is literally more than just the sum of its parts. In the end, I only picked the images that either tricked the eye or that created a more “soothing” effect, leaving out the ones where the final effect was a bit too strong and confusing, sometimes dizzying.

Field promo03

                                                              some of the patterns I used

As I wanted a minimalist “op-art” piece there was no doubt in my mind that I had to use only black and white, i.e. white background and black shapes. Still, just for my curiosity, I wanted to see how it would look by inverting the colouring. I was really surprised how the same pattern would give out a different vibe just by inverting its colours! So that was it: I added the “invert colour” feature.

Field promo01Field promo02

                                          example of same pattern with “normal” and “inverted” colours

The final version of “Op-Field” generates a grid of cells and to each one of them is assigned a random number (representing an angle) and an image (all cells show the same image) which is rotated by the specified angle. The field scrolls in one of the four allowed directions (up, down, left and right) and by doing so the images rotate accordingly as the cell’s assigned angle changes. After a while, direction and/or shape are modified and when that happens there is a small probability of inverting the colours. After few minutes the overall grid pattern is reset and a new one is created. No pattern is ever the same, or rather the probability to have the same one is so small that it is zero for all intents and purposes. This artwork is interactive, i.e. it regenerates itself endlessly, and you can control it a bit: I added commands to cycle through the shapes, reset the field and invert the colour. It is available on Hic et Nun as a 1/1 edition.

Buy on Hic et Nunc

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Published in Stories
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
614EC2B1 354B 4A62 AE7A 9F42A288430D

You’re “like” God

bigjpg 8x art highest Resilience 4150

Resilience in the Daytime