Happy solstice, everyone!

It’s the end of week three of arsiliath‘s compute shader workshop. This time we were introduced to stigmergic agents — actors that coordinate indirectly, through environment.

In my piece, which was meant to resemble a star, I have four million agents leaving and following a trail, sort of like ants. It still blows my mind that this runs smoothly in real time and can be altered live. I based my implementation on Sage Jenson’s post, that was in turn based on Jeff Jones‘ paper.

To create a circle I applied a vignette to the decay factor of the “chemicals”, so that the trail disappears faster near the edge. The more sudden changes you see are results of me altering sensor parameters — the range and “field of view” of each agent.

I cut the footage into three parts and connected them with two fade transitions to make the video more dynamic and create a seamless loop. Otherwise the animation is straight from Unity with #nofilter. ;)

As it’s often the case, I think I like individual details more than the whole thing:

***** ***

Procedural series