Bent follows a simple premise: lines are bent and shaded. But the underlying structure is a more complex. To create Bent, a grid of triangles (1) is selectively subdivided into smaller triangles (2). Lines are added to each triangular region to create tiles (3), then bent (4). Adjusting the shade by darkening some lines provides three-dimensional depth and brings the structure to life (5). Finally, color (6) and texture (7) are applied to complete the work.
The entire process of the sketch is stored on the blockchain, making each Bent output an interactive piece. The final results are shown by default, but the viewer can use the number keys 1-7 or left/right arrow keys to explore the stages of sketch construction. Try it for yourself here. I really enjoy sharing behind-the-scenes and how-to aspects of my work, so I built that capability into the output itself. Art doesn’t just appear on the screen. It’s hard work. But artmaking is for normal people and involves skills that can be learned (this is paraphrased from one of my favorite books, Art & Fear). This is one way I hope to show that art isn’t magic and encourage people to make art for themselves, not just by showing them the final result, but by sharing the process.
When the Bents were minted, the transaction hash from that mint seeded a random number generator. The random number generator is then used to determine the features of the output such as size, color palette, or bending pattern. The rest of this page will go through some more prominent features and demonstrate how they contribute to the variety of Bent outputs.
Size ranges from Jumbo to Tiny, determined by the size of the underlying grid. Medium is the most common, accounting for almost half of all mints (47%), followed by Small (20%) and Large (25%). The least common are Jumbo (3%) and Tiny (5%). The Large and Jumbo are striking and look excellent as thumbnails or as a large mural. Small and Tiny are interesting to zoom and explore and some almost appear just as texture when viewed from afar. Medium strike a good balance.
After Size, the next feature that really controls the look and feel of each mint is the Color.
Most backgrounds are Light (61%), and some are Dark (36%). Light and Dark backgrounds are very lightly saturated with the same color as the lines, but they vary randomly so each Light and Dark background is slightly different. Color backgrounds are very rare; there are only 18 mints with a colorful background (2%).
The colors of Bent are based on 7 primary colors from the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, teal, blue, purple. Most Bents (61%) use just a single, solid color. My kids helped me name the colors:
Many Bents (28%) apply gradients to the lines. Gradients traverse the screen from top to bottom, side-to-side, or at a diagonal. The gradients transition to and from the colors listed above (ROYGTBP).
There are 14 different bending mechanicms. This feature determines how and where the lines are Bent.
The second step of Bent construction is 'Divide', when some regions of the underlying isometric grid are divided into smaller 4 smaller triangular regions. Whether or not this division happens is detemined by the Dividing Mechanism feature. The third step of construction is 'Tile', when the triangular regions are filled with lines. The smallest triangular regions get one Primary line, but the larger regions get both Primary lines as well as Secondary lines that run between the Primary lines. Primary and Seconday lines have different line widths and colors. The construction of Bent #180 is shown below to illustrate this point.
A few special case features remain.
This isn't a deliberate feature, it's a fix for a bug. The features can align in such a way that a rare condition occurs and all of the lines align in the same direction - when this happens, the code recognizes that and bends one line randomly. Only five of these Bents exist, and they had to be determined by combing all 1023 outputs. All five can be seen below. #442 and #555 are two of my favorite Bents in the entire series.