The Basics of Arcolnets

© 2022 Chris Culy

Arcolnets are part of my ongoing project of Revisualizing the Visual, where I start with a photograph and then create a new image, using programs I develop, based on aspects of the colors in the photograph. You can read about Arcolnets and see more of them on my blog.

On this page you can get a hands on feel for some of the ideas behind Arcolnets. There are three steps to making an Arcolnet:

  1. Select points in some way
  2. Connect certain points based on some criteria
  3. Draw the points (="nodes") and their connections (="edges") in some way

Below is a canvas on which you can create an Arcolnet. You click on it (that is how you select the points as the first step), and as you click on it, the Arcolnet is drawn: if two points are within a neighborhood of a certain radius, which you set, they are connected by a line (this is the second step of the process). You can specify the colors for the edges, nodes, and neighborhood boundries. (this is the third step). Hint: you can hide the nodes and their boundaries by choosing "none" for their colors. When you are satisfied, you can download the Arcolnet by clicking on the "Download" button.

So, go ahead, click on the canvas. If a point is not connected to any other points, it is shown here in gray, but omitted from the version that you download. Similarly, the grid is just a guide and it is not included in the downloaded version.

While this is not the same program I use to create Arcolnets (for example, I automatically choose points based on a photograph, not by clicking a canvas), it does give you a sense of the techniques that make up Arcolnets. Have fun!

Background color: Show grid
Neighborhood radius Neighborhood boundary:
Node color: Edge color: