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In and Out of Colour

A journey through the inception, existance and demise of colour. Starting in a primordial colour soup, the viewer is then trapped inside a web of hues forming against a black void that evolves into a paradoxical colourful black hole. 

produced by: Pablo de Miguel

Thomas Ruff, Substrate 31 (2007)


Concept and background research

Three main elements inspired me visually to create this work, all linked by a loose narrative of the inception, development and death of colour. 

The first (seen in the 1st preset) is german photographer Thomas Ruff’s Substrate series. They are like a primordial soup of colour.

The second visual inspiration (2nd preset) was divide the unified color seen in the first into strands against a black void. This is in order to conceptually (albeit vaguely) allude to how we separate things from a unified whole the moment we begin conceptualising our experience in our first years.

The third element (3rd preset) is a shape I saw on the website OpenProcessing ( I liked it because it away had to do with an interaction of color (this time focusing on its overlapping) and visually it seemed like a colorful blackhole, which fitted well into the “narrative arch” of having a color genesis (first visual inspiration), development through experience (second visual inspiration) and death (this third visual inspiration).



(14 px font) A short introduction to your piece. While this is submitted to satisfy the requirements for the module, make sure to keep it interestesting and engaging.


In relation to the fist preset, I borrowed code from the class exercise on noise from week 5, as it suggested the patters that are also seen in Ruff's work. Following the code instructions, I created a for loop to affect the position of the pixels according to noise, but went a step ahead by also affecting their colour values across each RGB spectrum (0-255) by mapping sine. To add a further level of engagement, I used the same sine value to zoom the frame in and out so that different permutations of the noise shapes fill up the screen at different times, almost as if the visuals were breathing. 

At a technical level, the second scene actually came about through trying to figure out how to program what then became the third scene. I wanted to add colour to the worms from the ideas for further development of Noisy Sun and make them crawl slowly across the screen, initially seeking to emulate this example Pietro showed me on OpenProcessing ( Quickly realising this was a bit advanced for me, I tried to have the worms begin at different points in the x axis at the top of the y axis (make them seem to be climbing upwards). I could not find a way to create a for loop to achieve this, so in the end I gave up on the idea of programming them with noise outlines and instead used circles to bounce off the edges, but used noFill to have them look like a web of rays that slowly traps the viewer.

At first not knowing how to approach the making of the third preset, the chaging outlines again strongly suggested the lab assigment Noisy Sun from week 5. Upon seeing the lab instructions/video, I further narrowed down the starting point to the ideas for further development section. The aim was to create three different objects with malleable outlines to lie on top of each other. I tried to use a for loop to repeat the same object rotating its position along the z axis so that the changing borders would not coincide. I did not succeed at this, so I ended up doing three different objects altogether and then proceeded to attempt to alter their colors through a series of if statements. Again, I did not succeed at this so I ended up using GL Blend mode code which I borrowed from GitHub making sure to to include shaders ( ) and the following instructions ( ).

Future development

An obvious future development of my project is to not have such delineated changes (with each scene containing only one piece of code) but smooth out transitions and include more of a narrative suggested by the concept of the transformation of colour (from genesis, development and demise) that I used to come up with each scene.

I could come up with transitions between visuals, and mix them up within the same scene. 

Self evaluation

My main goal for this project was to consolidate knowledge acquired throughout the first term, so I purposedly kept it simple (not that I could aspire to make a technically difficult piece...). The starting point for the three scenes was code that we programmed in class exercises, with me then changing it to varying degrees.

This implies the limitation (and intimidation) of beginning a code from scratch, or even changing it substantially so as to be untraceable to the original code. While visually the results become unique, the code infrastructure is remarkably similar to that of the exercises from week 5. 




Starting point for code of the first preset: noise class exercise from week 5. 

Starting point for code of the second and third presets: Noisy Sun lab assigment from week 5. 

How to use GLblend: 

-Github example:

-Instruction manual:

Visual inspirations for first, second and third presets (in order): 

-Thomas Ruff,  Substrate 31 (2007).