Algorithmic Synthesis of Virtual Worlds

January 18, 2010 General News 4 Comments

For a brief moment, I would like to deviate from the normal subject of algorithmic composition and discuss a recent endeavor of mine in an adjacent field of algorithmic art: algorithmic world building.

Having finally found a suitable 3D engine in c++, I was able to implement a long-standing dream of mine: an algorithmic terrain generation tool. The algorithms driving the terrain generation are spectral synthesis algorithms that use interference patterns of hundreds of oscillating functions in two variables to create interesting, three-dimensional landscapes. I wrote all the algorithms; they represent completely original work.

Here are a few shots of various journeys through virtual algorithmic worlds:

With this post, I hope to drive home the point that algorithmic art is, by no means, a small-potential field. Algorithmic composition represents only a tiny fraction of the total possibilities - what algorithms could be used for in the future. From algorithmically building virtual worlds to algorithmically generating paintings, anything can be accomplished with creative algorithms. Perhaps the most exciting possibility is that of a fusion of every possible algorithmic art. Imagine an algorithmic world populated by algorithmic persons, containing algorithmic art, architecture, music, etc. The implications of such a world would be numerous.

In short, this is only the beginning. Two years of work have seen the construction of an efficient and flexible tool for commanding music algorithms. A weekend of work has seen the completion of a simple world synthesis algorithm. One can only begin to imagine what the future holds for algorithmic art! Exciting, thrilling, and overwhelming is the world of infinity - the world of algorithms.