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Genetic Art and Natural Color Schemes

Choosing colors without reference to what nature offers sometimes means very bad choices are made. All you need to do is compare the best made (naturally colored) maps with "false color images" prepared by some apparently color blind scientists to see that nature has done a lot of the work already.

False Color Map - Yugh!

The above "false color map" is striking but hides more than it shows with the unnatural bright colors. The following example, colored as mother nature would have done is not only more pleasing to the eye but also gives us more information about the heights and conditions of the territory:

Pleasing Info-full map

For more information on coloring for easy information processing by our overloaded brains get hold of one of Edward R Tufte's books on visual explanations.

Back to us and a desire to create (non-technical) art and design with natural colors. With the advent of cheap computers, cheap scanners and fairly cheap digital cameras it is possible to store and retrieve color schemes which you find around you. All you need to do is keep your eyes open and keep a lightweight camera with you whenever you go on a trip.

Gliftic is an easy to use graphics design program which allows you to add your own images as color schemes. Gliftic allows you to create fresh interesting graphic designs which would take hours to create had you drawn them by hand, with or without a computer. And then hours to re-color if you decided to change the color scheme.

Even walking in a sunlit garden in springtime interesting (and of course natural) color combinations are presented to you. Here below are some images and the color schemes which Gliftic has abstracted from the images.

Early Morning Magnolia

Spring Daises

Spring Alps

Now we can get Gliftic to use these color schemes on the same design.

(Gliftic allows you to create designs and images by selecting form and interpretation of the form as well as the color scheme. In the following images I've fixed the form and interpretation and only changed the color scheme.)

The color scheme used by Gliftic in this version was created from the early morning magnolia photo.

The color scheme used by Gliftic in this version was created from the daisies in the garden photo.

The color scheme used by Gliftic in this version was created from the distant view of the alps. I don't like the dirty white outline in this version (which you can see clearly in the greyish cloud in the middle of the original photo). Luckily I can use Gliftic to improve on nature by manually setting the outline of the arabesques to be white:

So in this case nature suggested the color scheme, but I twiddled it a bit to come up with something a bit crisper (to my eye).

This was a result of letting Gliftic choose the colors randomly, sometimes it has good ideas, sometimes it doesn't...

Ok, natural color schemes, but what about the "Genetic Art" in the title of this WEB page? Well with Gliftic you can breed images, and take the colors from one design and apply them to another with just a few mouse clicks, that is what the sexy symbols in the toolbar are about:

Gliftic's Sexy Tool Bar

So you can take this image as the mother...

Mother Image

...and this image as the father...

Father Image

...and "breed" them to produce a child...

Child image.


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