Alchemical tinkering

This little piece, for a brief called Form & Image, was an experiment I’ve been wanting to try for a while now. Keen observers may have noticed me mention the open drawing project (free application) Alchemy. This was basically what I used to create this animation. Speel to follow.

Here’s a very brief run-down of the process: Set Alchemy to automatically record what’s on the page to a pdf every 5 seconds. Torture photoshop by making it import hundreds of pages of pdf to individual images and spit them back out again at chosen screen res. Use Quicktime pro to convert image sequence to video. Chop it up and play with the timing in Final cut.

I’ve been using Alchemy for a little while for various things. It’s basically very good for quickly generating ideas and forms, playing around with quickly creating images that you can then play around with in other programs and fine tune.

Alchemy has no undo/redo, no layers, etc. It has a range of interesting tools to play around with image creation & manipulation; mirroring, using pressure, random colour changes, distortion, controlling the line weight with mic input. Part of it’s beauty is the way it can save and export to various formats.

I’ve used it to create interesting backgrounds, which I then used in photoshop. I’ve played around generating random shapes, which I would try to find form and character in to base ideas off. Here’s one of the more clear examples:

mousehead mousehead_colour


The bottom images is character hand drawn & inked based on forms glimpsed in Alchemy creations.

So basically, have fun, experiment and play.