Evolvotron is an interactive "generative art" application for Linux to evolve images/textures/patterns/animations through an iterative process of random mutation and user-selection driven evolution. (This process is also often referred to as "evolutionary art" or "genetic art".) If you like lava lamps, and still think the Mandelbrot set is cool, this could be the software for you.

For information on how to obtain evolvotron, click here.

Screenshot of evolvotron

View the gallery for examples of evolvotron generated imagery and screenshots. There are also a few animations.

Basically the software shows a selection of algorithmically generated images. You pick one you like and the software mutates the algorithm to produce random variants. Simply repeat until bored, hopefully encountering some pleasing eye candy along the way.

The code is licensed under the GPL. It uses Qt4, the boost libraries, and is multi-threaded.

This project was inspired by a panel session at SIGGRAPH many years ago... probably "Computer art - an oxymoron? Views from the mainstream" at Boston in 1989.

New releases will be announced on freshmeat.

Other Links

The idea of evolving images was pioneered (so far as I know) by Karl Sims.

Before evolvotron, I initially wrote a greatly inferior version in the form of a Java applet.

Generative.net has an eclectic collection of links to some fine sites.

Flickr's Generative & Evolutionary Art group has some fantastic pictures.

Searching deviantart for evolvotron turns up some images (particularly impressive collection by user xargs).

Another gallery of evolvotron images. And another.

The EvoArt pages at EvoNet are worth a look.

Imagespace appears to be an application similar to evolvotron.

Kandid is another genetic art Java applet/application.

Picbreeder is an online collaborative image evolver.

Wikipedia's evolutionary art and generative art pages are good.

Artmatic is commercial software for the Mac.

Fractals are another source of mathematically generated imagery. Freshmeat carries an excellent review of available software.

Zooland has a collection of links to artificial life sites.

Alpt of FreakNet has some nice results (the .jpgs) from a script which evolves evolvotron images automatically by comparing their complexity.

Evolvotron sightings

Evolvotron (and some of the other software referred to above) gets a mention in SpringerLink's The Art of Artificial Evolution

Proper artists Forrest Walter and Isak van der Walt both list Evolvtron in their palette of electronic tools.

Evolvotron 0.0.3 was a "Hot Pick" in the April 2003 Linux Format in the the UK, and was also covered by the April 2003 edition of Linux Magazine in Japan. CDs distributed with the October 2003 Linux Pro in Italy included a version of evolvotron.

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