Meet the flockers

Flocking behaviour (aka boids) is always a great and easy way to create beautiful, generative graphics. Here are a couple good examples, written in JavaScript. Firstly is Flock by Dustin Hoffman. No, not that Dustin Hoffman. Although I’d love to see a collaboration between the two Hoffmans — Meet the Flockers perhaps?

Play with Flock

Second is a different take on the usual “load of flying dots” experiment. It’s an interface for exploring Generative Boids (made by Tim Holman) which leave trails as they flock and swarm over a nice big canvas element. It uses the brushes provided by the Harmony drawing tool, created by JS guru Mr.doob.

Play with Generative Boids

7 thoughts on “Meet the flockers

    • Canvas is still pretty slow on a lot of machines. GPU accelerated canvas is coming (already on mobile Safari on iOS5 and IE9) and that should really really help. In the meantime, maybe reduce the size of your browser and refresh :)

      And I’ll put a post about canvas optimisation in the to-do list :)

  1. Creating boids was one of the first things I ever did with canvas. I thought about it after reading The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins, where he describes the algorithm. Here is my first ever canvas demo (bear in mind browser JS rendering has improved a lot in the last year, which is why the boids are moving at such a mental pace) [Link no longer available]

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