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I've been experimenting with the notion of building gallery show processes that auto generate synthesized source images as well as auto-randomized processing for them as dual aspects of a single gallery show technique. So the notion is to try and move away from using singular source images for creating processed images. In this example, the source image as well as the processing applied to it are all generative and auto-mutating at the same time.
It's all part of a process of trying to move beyond working with singular real world source images that are then processed with Studio Artist effects, (and the visual karaoke criticisms associated with that way of working). So the source image itself essentially becomes another algorithmic generated process in the overall series of steps used to create something new and hopefully visually interesting.

So this example is kind of a conceptual sketch, as opposed to some kind of ultimate super designed ultimately realized end goal. And i think that was what the recent Eno discussions are kind of getting at in some respects, Disregarding the temptation of endless polishing available in digital art and music software and pushing the envelope with experimentation using new ideas in the moment, being flexible and open to experimentation on the fly.

You need to try experiments to grow. These experiments may ultimately succeed or fail. But if you don't put yourself out there to try the experiment, you'll never get to your end goal. Or really progress anywhere beyond where you already are. We should not be afraid to fail. We learn from our failures as much or more as from our successes.
Whether our experiments succeed, partially succeed, or fail miserably, we can still learn something from going through the effort of trying out a particular idea. As can others taking a look at what we tried to do.
Becoming comfortable with failure is probably one of the hardest things for people getting started in creative pursuits. We should encourage people to take those risks. They are putting themselves out on a limb and they desire our respect and encouragement to be free to utterly fail, so that they might learn from that and do better when the try again. And we learn as well from their efforts.

Does this particular personal experiment of mine succeed or fail? Probably both if i'm going to be honest with myself. So i try to understand the different aspects of that, and then move forward with that analysis in my thinking for future experiments. That hopefully improve and get better as they progress over time.

If anyone is interested in how you can program gallery show to automatically modify and combine different source images as a part of the overall gallery show processing cycle, i'd be happy to expound on that further. I'm working through it myself. Like many things in Studio Artist, if you think through the range of possibilities, all kinds of new approaches suddenly become accessible for you to experiment with. So i initially thought i needed to add new features to do this. But by thinking things through, i realized could use what was already there in the program to test out my ideas.

And there-in lies the advantage of a program like Studio Artist, as opposed to a set of canned filter effects. You can use Studio Artist that way if you wish to (like a set of canned static effects). But the Studio Artist environment allows for much more flexible creativity and experimentation and personal customization if you are willing to put in the effort to pursue it.
And as always, i'm open to adding new ways to make that easier for people to access. But if we don;t experiment, try out what are in effects 'tests' of different visual effect ideas, we will never grow. Both as individuals, and as a community.

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Comment by Paul Perlow on March 8, 2015 at 5:58pm

Nice piece, John. How'd you get there?

Comment by Tony Bouttell on March 8, 2015 at 7:00pm

for some unknown reason I am reminded of the Magical Mystery Tour album cover and I haven't seen it in decades. 

Comment by Paul Perlow on March 11, 2015 at 3:12am

I would like to know how to program gallery show to combine and modify different source images, John....

Regarding experimentation and tests: The true "art" process always involves experimentation. My finished work is probably built upon 90% "failure" leading to the final that I consider successful. And if I and my work evolve, what the works today looks tired and old tomorrow. Since my approach is more intuitive and I am always playing with different approaches and combinations heavily dependent on layer interactions, there is not a brush or a conceptual approach that I would forum here. For me the finished piece is what I strive for. I do have deep respect for those who are well versed in the technical and who place their "unfinished" pieces here. I learn a lot, feel inspired and grateful (and even sometimes jealous) and am deeply influenced by those who have the courage and knowledge of the workings of SA willing display their processes here. It is a welcome form of generosity that is humble, with no desire for to win acclaim. That is rare in today's world and is selfless. The SA community is special and I remain grateful to those who are open and willing to risk and share.

Comment by Luis Peiro on October 7, 2016 at 1:38am

John, Paul, thank you for your reflections, are formidable and challenging. John, the technique that you propose is a great creative tool, I'd like to experiment with it too.  How may I configure the gallery show settings?

Comment by John Dalton Synthetik Software on October 7, 2016 at 9:41am

The gallery show settings are in the gallery show tab in the main preferences dialog. Here's a link to 2 gallery show tips for more information on the various setting in there.

Comment by Luis Peiro on October 8, 2016 at 4:37am

Thanks John, please excuse my vagueness, I was actually asking about the specific configuration you offered in how you can program gallery show to automatically modify and combine different source images as you refer with "auto generate synthesized source images". Or maybe you are talking about playing with the "Start Cycle Option" to allow one source image to mix with another one based on a clever selection of the presets used to preserve particular parts from the previous image? 

Comment by John Dalton Synthetik Software on October 10, 2016 at 9:13am

One of the gallery show options lets you choose a folder of source images to work with, and to choose how the source images are accessed (sequentially, random, etc).

You can also put together sets of presets as paseqs that auto mask parts of the image and then overlay the masked components, or overlay or overpaint processed or painted representations of the masked sections of the random source images. By putting them in a favorites folder and setting up the gallery show preferences appropriately you could just work with those presets. I can talk about the specifics of this more if it's not making sense.

The gallery show features in upcoming V5 have been greatly expanded. There are all kinds of auto-masking features built directly into the preferences, as well as options to use things like MSG processes as generative sources for gallery show technique effects. So the range of things you can do has been greatly expanded, and you can do some of the things discussed above directly using the gallery show preference settings, as opposed to having to be clever about how you configure sets of presets to work with gallery show.

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