2D Ribbons in Alchemy

Karl Willis of the Alchemy project recently contacted me requesting the use of my 2D Ribbons code as a module in his drawing software. After becoming slightly obsessed with it for about 3 hours I heartily agreed.

Here’s an illustration I whipped up earlier today using Alchemy and Photoshop. I’m only using the ribbons tools here:

Alchemy Illustration

Here’s one using a combination of several tools:

Alchemy Illustration 2

Alchemy is a simple but utterly addictive sketchbook that acts as a launch pad for creating digital illustrations. It employs a range of generative processes and effects that aid the formulation of ideas. You find yourself constantly being inspired by scribbles in a manner that is reminiscent of making shapes from clouds on a sunny day. Users are encouraged to build up a collection of compositions which can be stitched together and expanded upon using other software such as Painter or Photoshop.

One aspect which almost instantly struck me was the lack of an undo button. At first this frustrated me but after a period of time I completely understood the exclusion of this functionality. Alchemy is all about quick, spontaneous creativity over meticulous polished work.

With this latest version, Alchemy is now open source, so Java developers are free to create and submit modules to improve the software.

This is such a fantastic project. I’m proud to have inadvertently played a small role in its development. It’s certainly reinvigorated my passion for illustration.

While I’m on the subject, Chrisophe Deaconescu recently ported my 2D ribbons from Processing to Flash. It runs much faster than I thought it would. He’s even added a cheeky glow filter.

Download the source here.

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