Mario Klingemann shows Peacock in action

By • Feb 14th, 2008 • Category: Other news

Mario Klingemann, one of my biggest inspirations in Flash development, has a post with a video showing a new online application he’s working on, called Peacock. In his words,

Peacock comes disguised as a “Pattern Generator” but in reality it’s an experimental visual playground. I prefer to call it “Lego for Pixels”. It features a node based interface similar to those found in Quartz Composer, VVVV, Max/MSP or Yahoo Pipes. It works by dragging hubs onto a workbench, connecting their inputs and outputs and then adjusting their individual settings. There are many different hubs to choose from (and new ones are added constantly) and each one has a specialized function – there are simple generators like Perlin Noise or Plaid, there are effect hubs like Blur, Polar Mapping or Color Matrix and there are some functional hubs, too, that split and join the flow.

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The great thing is that once you have build a composition it allows you to create endless variations of it by simply changing a parameter – which makes it almost a generative art generator, too. Here are a few example of things I’ve made with Peacock (whenever I had the time to play with it instead of building it).

Peacock is part of the Aviary package, which is an online set of Flex-based tools for design and development. It all looks very good and we’ll probably see a lot more about it in the future as it becomes a very viable alternative to some commercial applications.

I first heard of Peacock a few months ago. I was browsing through the list of applications they’ll have and found it particularly interesting. I was still thinking about the Fnk idea, so at first I became kind of frustrated, thinking “damn, someone already thought of that first!”. The thought that something I’m developing is redundant tends to have a real impact on me. But it was just after reading a bit about it (and looking at some screenshots if I remember well) that I noticed it had a different purpose, making me actually relieved.

Regardless, Peacock looks like it will be a wonderful tool, specially for generative experimentation. There is some overlap with what Fnk tries to do – both serve as image synthesis tools after all – but I’m glad they have different goals which will allow me to work without worrying too much about looking like someone who arrived too late to the party.

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  1. […] expressed by Mario Klingemann (who was also linked here a couple of months ago): this is the year of the node for Flash, and a new node-based environment […]