Blinky Lights — a generative pixel art
Blinky Lights is a little patch I came up with to have on when my ZOIAs aren’t doing anything. It generates streaks of color that move up or down or a combination of up and down the columns of the grid. The colors can change; their rates can be randomly affected. Not a huge amount of control, but enough to generate different, pleasing pixel arts.
NOTE: The patch does not pass audio when engaged. When bypassed, it passes audio, in the same manner that ZOIA does while bypassed. As I explain in the video, the patch’s CPU would likely support a pass-through, if you wanted to add one, but it’s been very finicky about CPU. (When you load the patch, it will initially look like it’s about to freeze — the utility buttons will flash yellow momentarily — before it recovers. It will also begin by streaming red streaks — the base color — before all the processes catch up. Even though the CPU load seems reasonable, I think ZOIA is laboring quite a bit with this patch; saving takes quite a while, for instance.)
Controls (on the second page, labaled ctrl):
Base rate — sets the base rate of the streaks
Rate randomization — is a bipolar control (positive or negative) that randomizes the streaks’ rates per cycle
Direction — controls the probability the streaks move in a particular direction; at 0, they all move down the page, at 1, they all move up the patch, in between they move up sometimes and down sometimes depending on the setting
Color change — this controls the probability that the color mixer is sampled each cycle; at 0, the colors for the columns will never change; at 1, the color mixer will be sampled each cycle (although that may not result in a color change, depending on the output of the color mixer); at points in between, the sampling will occur with lesser or greater regularity
Color mixer —
Across the bottom of the control page are an array of values named and colored according to the color they control. You can use these to set proportions that a given color will be sampled when the columns select colors (the probability of which is affected by the Color change parameter). You can use this to give certain colors more weight than others, as well as select only the colors you want to use in the generation. There is also a “No color” option (colored white, because I ran out of colors; it’s next to the white color control which was maybe a poor choice but that’s why things are labeled!) — this lets you mix in a proportionate chance that a column samples no color / is blank (or off, however you want to think of it). This is useful for control the density of the streaks.