Created during February 2017

Marble Butterflies

Driven by butterfly data, let these generative butterflies free across your screen to evolve & develop and be mesmerized as your screen fills up with colorful paths. This was a personal exploration of combining data with generative art to create something that is based on data, but wants to engage its audience first and foremost, instead of teaching its audience about (the numbers within) the data.

A screenshot of Marble Butterflies with the butterfly logo on top
A screenshot of Marble Butterflies

The data sketches topic for February was nature and to me, nature is guided by randomness; mutations that happen without reason are the existence of evolution. And what is generative art if not driven (in part) by randomness.

I found butterflies to be the perfect analogy for having random lines flitter across the screen to create a blanket of colors. It wasn’t the most obvious place, but eventually I found some butterfly identification data that I could use for the lines.

There are several rules that define how the butterfly data is being used for the visual. From line color, thickness, jitter and style. However, finding interesting path forms, that swirl a bit, but not too much, was not trivial and took a decent amount of tweaking the formulas that govern the path.

I like the idea that each refresh will create a result that is unique and will never be seen again. You can read a more elaborate account of the creation process on the data sketches’ February write-up.

A screenshot of Marble Butterflies