Alex Stockdale

Interactive arts and media professional based in Chicago, Illinois; creating immersive experiences in the new media landscape 🎨

Generating Art With Code

The 21st century.

A world in which our artistic tools are not only paintbrushes, film, or music—but code!

We are beginning to see highly skilled creators utilizing web development languages and emerging technologies in different and unique ways.

Imagine painting a forest landscape with a mathematical algorithm, or designing an endless procedural city with nothing but JavaScript.

Crazy, right?

Thanks to Ricardo Cabello, known as “mr.doob,” we’ve seen the creation of Three.js, a Javascript library capable of rendering highly complex 3D visualizations in the browser. The JavaScript library was first released on GitHub in April 2010 and the origins can be traced back to Cabello’s involvement with the demoscene in the early 2000s. The code was originally developed in the ActionScript language used by Adobe Flash, later being ported to JavaScript in 2009.

Today, the library has over 1,500 contributors.

“Ricardo Cabello is the author of three.js: probably the most widely-used open-source library for high-quality interactive 3D graphics in the browser. A self-taught software developer and designer, his involvement in the Barcelona demoscene set him on the path to learning computer graphics programming. His design-technology work ranges from simple interactive digital toys to full-featured experiences, and includes collaborations with the Google Data Arts team such as The Johnny Cash Project, The Wilderness Downtown and ROME.”

Below are a few examples of interactive new media art that I’ve designed and developed, via Three.js:

It’s incredible to see all of the possibilities of Three.js from integrating with a smartphone’s gyroscope in creating VR functions to recreating classic 90s games that were originally designed for the first-generation PlayStation. Who knows what’s next?

Furthermore, here are a few highlights and inspirations from a few notable developers:

Little Workshop‘s “Infinitown”

Jaume Sanchez‘s Polygon Shredder

Evan Wallace‘s WebGL Water

Creating these immersive experiences is not easy.

The process can sometimes take months of planning and development, not to mention pioneering entirely new frameworks! Curious to see what goes into an interactive three-dimensional web environment? Then check out some examples and source code here.

If you’re interested in checking out my other web experiments, head over here. And make sure to stay up-to-date with the latest information and news on Three.js by following the official Twitter account:

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