Thursday, June 10, 2004

One of the best kept secrets in computer graphics

It is not well known that the truly wonderful and keenly priced Paintshop Pro V8 contains a fully blown Python engine as its scripting language.

Getting started with scripting PSP is simplicity itself as you can just save a macro and then edit it to do funky stuff with all the power of Python behind you.

Also, it appears that big chunks of PSP seem to be written in Python. I counted about 1500 scripts in there...Lots of sources to crib from.

Anyway, I'm very fond of the Kaleidoscope effect in PSP. You specify a bunch of parameters angles, offsets rotations and the like and off it goes. Sometimes the results are dull. Most times they are interesting. Sometimes they are amazing.

For fun, I wrote a PSP Python script to generate 100 Kaleidoscoped images with ramdomized parameters and save them off to disk. I ran it. Got a bunch of duds but some really beautiful effects.

Like this one for example:

What does that look like to you? Bees converging for a conversation? Now be honest, would you have guessed that this came from an innocuous picture of wife and child on front lawn? Yup. I kid you not.

For the geeks amongst you. The script is

I think I'll generate a 1000 overnight and examine my crop in the morning.

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