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Starfish - cool looking textures for skinning and backgrounds

letter from Matthew, notes from Clif, Aug 2006, Permalink


Matthew wrote me about this nice little freeware program for creating textured images.


Starfish creates random textures (optionally tile fitting) for wallpapers & backgrounds, looks like some of the backgrounds they use on CD cover templates etc.


A couple of settings I noted.

• Seed: 2644066908 (complexity 75) - gives a strange texture I call "alien skin". Complexity 30 gives a totally different result

• Seed: 2485942257 (complexity 99) - a circles pattern ... changing complexity by 1 or 2 often has no effect, ur 5 or more can completely change it, or similar patterns recur at other levels.


Got a green one like coarse grass, but forgot to note it - ah, found in the history - most of these were at 320x256 tiled - changing the size normally has only a small effect. All were at complexity 75 (default setting) and random (seed derived) palette.

• Purple swirl - 3305071058

• Net curtain - 1323654202

• Coarse grass - 1655797738

• Grey water ripple - 0000000076

• 3D ripple - 1824904446

• Alien fungus - 3476635822

They represent the more interesting results from about 80 tries, don't even try to predict them - the only thing that is semi-predictable is changing the pallette and regenerating on the same seed, though switching from a simple two shade range to a complex pallette can give a large effect.


Using custom palletes, a texture can also be generated over a specified colour range, keeping it light to avoid masking text, or keeping colours within a particular scheme. Some of the preset palettes are simple bicolour, other use multiple colours.




Quote from the website

Starfish is a program for creating creating colorful, random, abstract patterns for use as desktop wallpaper, for use on websites (like this one), just for fun, or for any other purpose you might think of. Starfish may be set to create new desktop wallpaper automatically at intervals you select, or it may be run interactively to create new patterns as you wish.




Any comments?