Dimitris Ladopoulos's profile

Tangent, part 1


Part I - II - III - IV - V


TANGENT is a personal project that combines some of my favorite subjects: art, math & algorithms. Together, they create procedurally generated organic & geometric forms. The source of inspiration has been Armin Hoffman's 'Graphic Design Manual'. There are so many interesting ideas in this book but I started with one, figure 51. According to the author:

"Study in variations: growing fluid structures meet one another. Starting position: 16 dots. Certain dots are singled out and linked together. The 9 variations thus created are recombined into a new unit."

Armin Hoffman and his book 'Graphic Design Manual', 1965, page 42, figure 51

I wanted to take on the challenge of recreating this as a procedural setup in Houdini. I worked on & off for a couple of days to understand the rules and math necessary and then a few more days trying to code it using VEX. It was a bit of a struggle initially, but the final successful implementation made it worthwhile.

Sketchbook. Network view and output from Houdini.

The setup is quite simple:
01. start with a 4x4 grid of pegs
02. select a random set of pegs (anything between 7-14 out of 16)
03. figure out the winding (order of pegs)
04. connect selected pegs with their common tangents
05. done!​​​​​​​

Once I built the initial setup, I started experimenting with additional features like, various grids, procedural motion, different peg size, color etc and before realizing I had created more than 80 different style variations, as well as, a number of different (procedural) shapes.

Since the results I wanted to share were numerous, I've decided to group them in four parts. This is the first part. It includes a bit of background on the idea and the process, as well as, a number of series that stay close to the original aesthetic. In parts 2,3 & 4, while keeping the same idea, the results take a different direction. I hope you enjoy the results! D

O  O  O  O
O  O  O  O
O  O  O  O
O  O  O  O

series 001 (reconstruction of original shapes)

series 044

series 006

series 010

series 012

series 053

series 007

series 006

series 054

series 051

series 040

Part I - II - III - IV - V


Tangent, part 1

Tangent, part 1