Category: Project-09-Composition

Project 09: Turtle Graphics

This is self-generative scribble graphic, where the user is only in control of the thickness of the line. I thought the randomness of the scribbles would give it a human or endearing quality, almost like witnessing a toddler scribbling on a wall. I enjoyed playing with this project, as I’ve found you can make some interesting compositions.

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Project 09 – Staff Picks

The prompt for Project 09 was to “use Turtle Graphics to create a composition”, with no additional constraints. Here are some of the most interesting responses from the 15-104 and 60-212 students.

With the permission of Professor Levin, student Benjamin Snell ported the Turtle Graphics implementation from p5.js to openFrameworks, a powerful open-source C++ toolkit for arts-engineering. With its increased speed, openFrameworks allowed Ben to control several thousand “reactive agents” (Turtles) simultaneously. By varying their parameters, he made many interesting variations. Here, their movements are governed by an underlying terrain of Perlin noise:

Reactive Agents Demo 1 from Ben Snell on Vimeo.

Marisa Lu synthesized what she learned in the Turtle’s Meander assignment, with the lessons of the “custom pixel” and Text Rain assignments from other weeks. Her result is an image rendered with a Greek meander pattern, with a computationally-varying line weight.


Andrija Zuzul likewise created a computational photography treatment by combining Turtle Graphics and custom pixels — with a spiral element.


Faith Kaufman likewise experimented with the aesthetics of spirals, in this case by gradually accreting a delicate gossamer of transparent lines.


Speaking of spirals, Albert Maayan made a gorgeous yet slightly terrifying interactive vortex:

Maayan’s Sketch

Xin Hui Lim used the turtle to implement some fractal Koch snowflakes, in a snowy landscape.


Jen Liu went in a conceptual direction. Her turtle composition takes her on a random path connecting home and work.


In a different conceptual realm, Joo Yun Han created this interactive typographic composition, in which different keystrokes govern different behavior “recipes” for the Turtle:



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“Project-09-Turtles” by Ashley Chen

Turtles run around to reveal another turtle! Woah!

Press A to add new turtles
Press D to delete turtles
Press F to make the turtles run faster
Press S to make the turtles run slower
Sometimes the turtles get stuck in a loop, press R to reset all turtles

Here are a few possible results:

turt1 turt3 turt2


Project 9 Turtle Graphics Flower

For this project, I was interested in creating a flowing, dynamic work of art. The turtles all move towards the focus point, with each turtle having a unique speed, color, and trajectory. The turtles are generated either from the mouse, or randomly if the mouse is out of bounds. If the mouse is clicked, the canvas resets and a new focus point is generated at the mouse click location. Eventually, the image starts to resemble a swirling, floral shape that continues to change as the different turtles infinitely overlap with each other.

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Project 9

JooYun Han – Project – 09

I was interested in unique graphics from repetitive movement of turtle. By using turtle graphic, I could draw unexpected spinning, enlarging shapes. I used 13 consonants of Korean (I just realize I omit one consonant, it has originally 14 consonants). Once each pronunciation in English is pressed, it will expand its shape into various ways. Keys are G for ‘ㅋ’, N for ‘ㄴ’, D for ‘ㄷ’, R for ‘ㄹ’, M for ‘ㅁ’, B for ‘ㅂ’, S for ‘ㅅ’, E for ‘ㅇ’, J for ‘ㅈ’, C for ‘ㅊ’, T for ‘ㅌ’, P for ‘ㅍ’, H for ‘ㅎ’ and Q for cleaning up. I enjoyed making simple shape spinning and creating totally different feeling and shapes.

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This project was an attempt to create a field of mutually attractive particles flying around and getting sucked into black hole attractors. The result was supposed to be lines that would demonstrate the relationships of these particles falling into some sort of clumped equilibriums.

sketch81.js code

RogerSectionE, Project-09-Composition


The composition that I created is one where particles interact with the image beneath them. When you click a particle is added that hops around the canvas. When a key is pressed the particles gravitate to a consistent level of brightness in the pixels, this brightness increases every time the key is pressed. The results is particles swarming around gradations of lightness as you continuously press the keys. I chose this image so that I see how the particles will first swarm around the dark green parts of the image, then the grey, then dark yellow, etc. until they are only attracted to the very brightest parts of the flower.

This was an excellent opportunity for me to understand the behavior of particles and the application of this to what we have learned about image manipulation. Enjoy!



I think the spirals that the turtle can make are fascinating, so in this project I decided to play with that, and explore how I can create smooth transitions with gradient colors. The spirals that I ended up creating remind me of time travel, vortexes, and black holes. Once you enter into one, a new one appears.

I had wanted to have a single spiral that actually spins in response to the mouse position, but I had difficulty executing that because the spiral takes quite a while to build. At one point, I built the spiral inside of a for loop which had to repeat 700 times. When I tried to make rotational adjustments, my computer couldn’t handle it and the whole thing would break. I’m not sure if I was going about it in the wrong way, but I couldn’t seem to get anywhere, so I settled on an animation which draws in time. While I do wish it was interactive, I’m pretty happy with the result.


Here are the various states of the animation:
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And here are some process shots of different things I did along the way:

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AGondek – Project 09 – Freestyle Turtle Play

In thinking about Turtles, I was reminded of all the Turtle Crossing signs I’ve seen while down at the beach in the summer. So, I decided to use turtles to show a section of wildlife that can be found at the beach.

Agondek-Screen1      Agondek-Screen2

The three turtles increase in size over time as they grow up. They attempt to follow the mouse, with some repulsion from each other. The crab scuttles across, avoiding the mouse. When the mouse is pressed, a french fry appears on the beach, and the seagull flies over to eat it.