The Cook Book

Recipe for the week of April 1 - 7

An Atmospheric Easter Egg

Here is an image from one of our WinCA demos, which was in turn inspired by an experiment in Rudy Rucker's DOS-based (and now out of print) CA-Lab from Autodesk. Start the 16-color basic cyclic particle system with a uniform random mix except for a large droplet of solid color (1, say) in the middle. Nucleation is so rare in this case that no supercritical droplets emerge from the initial soup on our 640 by 480 array. But lucky colors on the edge of the superdroplet find a cornucopia, and so rush in one after another, in cyclic waves. After 1000 updates we get this colorful egg.

Sampling from a 256-color WinCA palette, we created the 16-color egg.pal of spring colors. We could have applied the software's Special Initialization feature to make a circular hole of color 1 on a random background, but to get a nice egg shape we chose to use cut and paste linking to an external paint program in order to take advantage of its ellipse tool. Running the egg.xpt experiment repeately one can collect a whole basket of custom egg designs. Sadly, the PC-egg shell interface is still under development. So for now we're stuck with dyes and vinegar.

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