This eye-catching computer-generated animation by Glenn Marshall was created in the open-source programming language Processing. Marshall writes that after creating the application, “I just let the program run till the end of the music, I felt reluctant to interfere too much by trying to sculpt an ending, and just let the code run its own natural course.” Glenn offers more details about the process on his blog.
While the movement in the piece above was not created frame-by-frame, the results on the screen are controlled by the artist who designs the application and sets the variables that determine the look of the piece. In most digital animation (CG, Flash), allowing a computer to generate movement is a rote affair that comes in the form of tweening or other types of automation which are designed to make the movement easier to create, not more interesting to watch. Generative animation, however, allows the computer to be a creative partner alongside the artist with resulting movement that would be impossible for either an artist or computer to create by itself.