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Back Side Of The Moon

Back Side Of The Moon

09 Sep 2019 - Jake Sherwood

rocket ship gif

ICM - WEEK 1 - p5.js Drawing - gif of final drawing

ICM - WEEK 1 - Back Side The Moon p5.js Drawing.

Canvas of final work at bottom

While I do have a little bit of web / js experience I HAVE NEVER DONE A DRAWING WITH IT!!!

This was cool and fun.

I really liked the approach from the assigned reading. I thought starting with simple tangible tasks, like drawing shapes etc first, to keep new users engaged was a cool approach.

My son is in to rocket ships, and really likes this rocket from a page in his Los Angeles Is… book.

So I decided to draw one. I added the alien peeking out to make it a bit more fun.

this is los angeles book. rocket ship page and google rcoket ship image search
inspiration images

I also took a quick scroll through google images just to see if there was anything else I wanted in my rocket drawing.

Concept: Illustrator rocket ship vector sketch
rocket ship vector concept sketch
Illustrator rocket ship vector sketch

It changed a bit along there way. But my original concept held true for the most part.


//5, 4, 3, 2, 1 begin rocket ship  
fill(0, 255, 255);
vertex(211, 96); //top point

Since I was doing a bit more complicated shape than basic shapes I reviewed the vertex() function and it seemed to do what I would need. At least I thought so…

I also had the bright idea that since I already had the points from my vector drawing, maybe there was a way I could export the coordinates. Low and behold there was. I found this sweet super simple to use Illustrator Point Exporter by elcontraption on Github.

It gave me exactly what I was hoping and with a little json clean up I had my point coordinates.

Unfortunately, this is where my first problem started…

I had the points but I wasn’t sure which point was which or which direction they were going in. And on top of that I lost all my curves.

rocket ship vector coordinates code import and render
ship vector coordinates code import and render

While I like how much this looks like a Viper from BattleStar Galactica, it was not the look I was going for.

I tried to get my curves back back using the curveVertex() function, but not knowing which point was which made that difficult if not impossible.

I tried breaking up the shapes into individual parts but I still couldn’t get the function to work the way I wanted.

I resorted to layering shapes and eventually adding more vertex() points to my shapes to achieve a design similar to what I originally envisioned.

I also had some issues coloring the rocket body. I wanted to add a bit of gradient / contour to it, but I could not get lerpColor() to work correctly. I ended up adding more layered shapes with various alpha opacities.

Next was the moon. Which was pretty straight forward. I used one large ellipse and then a few more ellipses layered to create the craters.

// moon
fill(243, 242, 222);
ellipse(250, 590, 655, 365);
//crater 1
fill(165, 165, 153);
ellipse(100, 620, 95, 65);
fill(65, 55);
ellipse(105, 620, 80, 65);
//crater 2
fill(165, 165, 153);
ellipse(10, 580, 65, 25);
fill(65, 55);
ellipse(20, 580, 45, 25);

After the moon, I wanted to make the sky more interesting so I added some small ellipses for stars. I had to use small ellispes since I had set noStroke() in the setup func.

Once I added a few I realized I really wanted them to shimmer. Familiar with IF statements I figured I could get that working. After some trial and error with handling the perpetual draw() loop. I was able to get them to shimmer pretty good. I also used =RANDBETWEEN in Excel to generate random star coordinates.

Overall I’m pleased with the shimmer affect. But hope I don’t get in trouble for using variables :).

However, this is one place in my code where it felt clunky and that I could have done this in a much more succinct way. Ideally a function and object to randomize things.

To wrap up the image I added a little green alien. He is made of basic shapes ellipses, quads, rects, and triangles. He’s looking wide eyed at the rocket that has just invaded the backside of his moon.

//draw a little green alien
//alien hands
//top hand
triangle(480,500, 500, 505, 480, 510);
triangle(480,510, 500, 515, 480, 520);
triangle(480,520, 500, 525, 480, 530);
//btm hand
triangle(480,600, 500, 605, 480, 610);
triangle(480,610, 500, 615, 480, 620);
triangle(480,620, 500, 625, 480, 630);
rect(420,550, 80,20); //neck
ellipse(430, 560, 85, 145); //head

A few additional things I really wanted to do were:

  1. 1)Have the alien’s hands extend over the corner of the canvas. Briefly looked into Instance Containers but didn’t have time to figure that all out.
  2. 2)Also wanted to have the alien’s pupils map to the cursor movement. To roll around his eyes to create goggly eyes. Also not enough time to figure out.

I really enjoyed this project and look forward to whats next. Hoping to learn how to control the shapes a bit more so I can replicate some of my more complicated drawings in p5.

Final p5.js sketch link:

categories: icm

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