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Subtle

sub·​tle |

so delicate or precise as to be difficult to analyze or describe.

Perspective is everything. It is the lens through which our reality is formed. It’s the filter through which we interpret and make sense of our experiences. Perspective is what shapes our beliefs, influences our decisions, and determines our attitudes about the world around us.

'Subtle' explores the profound yet delicate role of perspective while offering a world in which scale is undefined, form is sleek, and luminescent rays rule all. Nuanced changes in vantage point and form reveal a fascinating interplay between light, complexity, and composition. Additionally, viewers can investigate these relationships interactively or turn on Gallery Mode for an ever-changing experience.

This series is heavily inspired by Gall’s Law, which states that “all complex systems evolve from simpler ones,” and aspires to strike a balance between intricacy and simplicity, while retaining its core values of light, color, and tone.

Subtle’ is built on nearly 15 years of experimentation with luminescent beams, starting with the acclaimed web game Auditorium, as reimagined in the art show “We’ve Traveled so Far,” and fully realized here.

Each unique creation is generated through a wholly bespoke WebGL implementation. At runtime, all attributes and features are combined to realize a completely distinctive GLSL Fragment Shader. Finally, the piece is rendered to your screen using a technique called Raymarching. All of this in just 12.2kb of Javascript.

Controls:

  • [ spacebar ] Change Perspective
  • [ mouse/finger drag ] Interact
  • [ g ] Toggle Light Beams
  • [ h ] Toggle Hi-Res Interactivity Mode
  • [ enter ] Gallery Mode - changes perspective every 10s
  • [ 1-6 ] Change Antialiasing ( low-high )

Notes:

  • Requires a WebGL capable browser
  • Render resolution up scales with viewport dimensions.
  • A black and white low-res preview is used for interaction. Turn on high-res interactivity if you have a lovely GPU

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