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Monday, October 1, 2007

Mutating Pictures

I’ve set up a small idea at There’s a pool of 1,000 random, symmetric pictures, displayed one at a time. For every picture you answer the question, “How much does this look like a face?” (things other than faces may come in the future). Then, the higher your rating from 0-10, the more offspring the picture produces (a rating of 6 for instance will replace and “kill” 6 other random pics among the population). Each of the offspring pictures is slightly mutated by shifting around some of the polygons that make up the black-and-white pictures. If enough people help out rating the pictures, I’m hoping that something interesting will happen.

On a technical note the site uses some Google code in the background: to emulate the Firefox canvas model on Internet Explorer, the ExplorerCanvas library is used when you’re accessing the site with IE (and delivers VML, the IE-native vector markup language). This wrapper, written by some Google engineers in their 20% “spare time” work time, means you only need to code once to get vector graphics without Flash onto the browser. If you ever want to draw some lines or other shapes in the browser and you don’t use Flash, you can take a look at this library, as it only takes little JavaScript to get nice results.

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