Mighty Morphing Power Vectors
May 13, 2010 11:18 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a screen saver/program that generates completely symmetric, full screen evolving vector shapes. Not fractals, not 3d rotating objects, just symmetric lines/areas that continually morph shape, change color, etc.

There was something like this on windows 3.11, I was fascinated with it, but lost track of it's name.
posted by parallax7d to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
I think you're referring to "Bezier curves" and googling "bezier curve screen saver" will deluge you with results.
posted by richyoung at 12:23 PM on May 13, 2010

You're talking about the old MS screensaver Mystify. Newer variations have replaced the lines with Bezier curves.

Here's an open source Processing version you can tweak to fit.
posted by pwnguin at 12:33 PM on May 13, 2010

Response by poster: Nope, not anything like mystify or bezier curves. This was a proprietary screensaver. It was completely symmetrical, was composed of straight lines and would constantly change/shift around the center point of the screen.

Thinking of making one in flash, it was mesmerizing.
posted by parallax7d at 1:41 PM on May 13, 2010

I remember something very similar to what you describe; it was a demo called ARTY.PAS that came with Turbo Pascal for DOS. Here's the source code, if it helps.
posted by teraflop at 2:40 PM on May 13, 2010

Maybe you mean the Snoqualmie screen saver from Syntrillium Software? It can still be found for download. It includes several non-symmetric types of screen savers, but you can turn off any of the modules you don't like. A word of advice: Do not look directly at the Snoqualmie screen saver. It can be quite hypnotizing. I've been using this one since 1998. Best $20 I ever spent.

Which leads to the one problem with Snoqualmie. It's shareware. Syntrillium got bought by Adobe and I'm not sure they're still around to accept payment. In searching for a download site for Snoqualmie I found the site Mathematically Beautiful Screen Savers which links to Zen Light of which the author claims, "Zen Light started out as Snoqualmie from Syntrillium Software back in 1997. This version is much improved over the original Snoqualmie with more intense colors, smoother flowing patterns, and vastly greater variety in possible designs." Looking at the gallery, Zen Light includes non-symmetric screen savers like its predecessor Snoqualmie did. I imagine you can select which module or modules you want it to use just as you could with Snoqualmie.

If neither of those suit, perhaps something else from Mathematically Beautiful Screen Savers will.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:37 PM on May 13, 2010

The Mathematically Beautiful Screen Savers page is throwing a malware-warning and does one of those faux virus scans.
posted by monocultured at 4:07 PM on May 13, 2010

Huh... so it does on my netbook, but didn't on my desktop. Off to investigate.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:23 PM on May 13, 2010

Well, sorry about that folks. The desktop does it too now. Perhaps it's an ad that got rotated in after I linked to it? In any event, the links to Zen Dog Software are fine, and that's the only one I was interested in off that page.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:28 PM on May 13, 2010

Huh. I wrote a screen saver for the Mac, back in.. oh.. 86? Called VaseDance that pretty much did this. It wasn't bezier curves (I wasn't that smart back then) but just colored curves generated via a simple random acceleration model. I had a variety of symmetry models though and the default was a simple bilateral which is what you describe.

VaseDance ran under the DarkSide screensaver system which meant it was basically a stand alone application. I'm sure there is no way to get it running these days (it was multifinder days, pre system 7) and I don't even know if I have source code anymore. But, yeah, that might have been my screensaver you are talking about.

memail me if you want me to try and find source. I was surprised to find source for something else I wrote back in '85 for the mac the other day.
posted by chairface at 2:37 PM on May 14, 2010

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