Penousal Machado and Luis Pereira

Assistant Professor / Researcher
CISUC - Informatics Department, University of Coimbra
Coimbra, Portugal
Our work is inspired on ant colony approaches: the trails of artificial ants are used to produce an artistic rendering of the original image. An interactive Genetic Algorithm is used to evolve the parameters that govern the behavior of the species of ants, allowing the user to guide the algorithm to areas of the search space that she/he finds promising.
The novel characteristics of our approach derive, directly and indirectly, from the adoption of scalable vector graphics, which contrasts with the pixel based approaches used in most ant colony painting algorithms. This enables the creation of resolution independent images and, as such, large-format artworks. The rendering algorithm represents the trail of each ant through a continuous line of variable with, which contributes to the expressiveness of the artworks.
Nude #7
50x50cm
Inkjet print on Photo Rag Bright White paper
2011
The artwork is a non-photorealistic rendering of a photograph taken by Mick Waghorne. The painting algorithm produces a stylized rendering of the original photograph by deploying artificial ants on a virtual canvas and reproducing their trails. The parameters that govern the behavior of the ants are evolved through and interactive genetic algorithm. In this particular case the user chose to value behaviors that contribute to the creation of thin, organic and intertwined trails, which create ornamentation.
Nude #13
75x50cm
Inkjet print on Photo Rag Bright White paper
2011
The artwork is a non-photorealistic rendering of photograph (taken by an unknown author) produced by artificial ants.
The ants live on the 2D world provided by the input image and they paint on an artificial canvas. They perceive luminance as food. To gain energy they must locate, using their sensory organs, light areas of the original photograph. The ants’ movement is determined by their reaction to the sensory information. If the energy of an ant is bellow a given energy threshold it dies, if it is above a given threshold it generates offspring.
The species of ants evolved to create "Nude #7" was applied to a different photograph, in order to illustrate how the ants behave in environments that are different from the one where they evolved.
Breakfast
50x75cm
Inkjet print on Photo Rag Bright White paper
2011
The artwork, produced by artificial ants, is a non-photorealistic rendering of photograph (taken by Miguel Goncalves). In this case the user favored thick organic lines of varying width to produce an abstract rendering of the original image.