This is such a beautiful project. I really appreciate how Hodgin documented each step that constructed the project in adequate amounts of explanation, both visually and textually. It is fascinating to follow along the process of creating each segment of this procedural generated piece.
It might be a bit of a stretch but somehow Land Lines by Zach Lieberman and the Google Data Arts Team came up in my mind. Maybe it’s because I found similarities between how both projects used simple lines to either generate organic landscapes or to find existing places based on satellite images.
I am really surprised by how simple-ish algorithms can be used to simulate very organic, changing patterns. Also I am inspired how documenting change over time on a graph can generate really interesting results.
Also I thought it was super interesting that Voronoi Fracture was used to generate the irregular patterns in the land plot, and I want to know more about how he did it.
I learned about planning a project, and the process of learning about the resources and skills you will need for it. I also thought the artist put a huge amount of thought and research into the concept.
While looking at this work, I was reminded of another work from Meandering River is an audiovisual art installation created by onformative and FunkHaus Berlin Sound Chamber. To see an alternative way to create land was very fascinating to me.
One of my biggest takeaways from Meander was that many steps, revisions, and trials are necessary to create a successful project. A lot of tinkering is done in his development of the Oxbow Lakes and the Road Maps, where drafts and recreation helped him achieve his final form. His project is a reminder that many great works don’t start out as great works, and that “The network of roads didn’t begin as a network of roads” (Hodgin).
This project is beautifully striking. It was interesting to see how its beginning was derived from a single line manipulated by vectors. I was also surprised that the river was made to not overlap by looking for collisions. Such sensitive adjustments make this piece so intricate and real.
The way Hodgin created natural land plots stood out to me since each land plot had an organic shape while simultaenous being connected. Meader introduced me to the Voronoi fracture was really interesting to me and would like to learn how to use it in future work.
A smaller thing that stood out to me was how Hodgin created a sense of place via naming. For example, Hodgin establishes the believability of his map by simply taking the names of known locations and altering them to create a simultaneous sense of familiarity and unfamiliarity demonstrating a simple solution to creating believability.
In reading Robert Hodgin’s writeup on “Meander,” I found a lovely lesson in the importance of documentation. Robert’s documentation not only illustrates his thought process, but also serves as a wonderful statement itself, effectively introducing concepts central to his work and speaking to the choice of medium.
I’m surprised Meander was more than just river generation. Hodgin had to code realistic roads, land plots, and random landmark names. I found the algorithm for roads to be simple, but the result looked amazing. I learned that generating organic rivers requires a set of vectors and a couple restraints and the intensity can be changed by scaling the blend of vectors.
A lot of this piece was made with math that was over my head. The “Voronoi Fracture” plugin to houdini to generate the background is highly technical and I don’t think I can integrate without more background knowledge.
The tips I’ll keep:
The longer the line for a randomly road, the thicker the line (good tip for the more important main roads)
The usage of vectors to model the uni directional push of the river was an interesting mathematical representation of the natural river deposition. I will try to do apply linear algebra in these flexible ways in the future.