by Norman T. Thornton
April 24, 2008
A geometric graph for input words is generated under various options using the GraphicWord Tool by Norman T. Thornton presented by PoeticWrites.org. Use the tool to explore visual language geometries for artistic or linguistic purposes, gaining a geometrized vocabulary per 3-space. For instance, automatically investigate poetry geometrically.
The GraphicWord Tool versions the Geometric Plane Sort and the Geometric Line Sort functions of Word Transformation Poetics. The geometric point, line and plane are graphed for input words per various options using the GraphicWord Tool. To explore graphic language, one can simply enter text and press the "create" button to begin to gain a geometrized vocabulary or one can become more expressive using various items in the "Options" section.
Consider words as compacted geometry this program unpacks --- to spacial coordinates, as if sorting lettered music notes to a music staff -- every letter assigned to vertical and horizontal position on the staff (cooridinate system). Yet, this program goes further since instead of the 2-space of a sheet music staff, the program applies in the 3-space of a virtual environment to create point (character), line and plane forms.
Consider each letter is a point. The point coordinates equate to the letter's relative alphabetic position and relative position within a particular word relative to a string of text. The alphabetic value is plotted on the y-axis (with "a" at the bottom of the write line and "z" at the top). The sequential value is plotted as the x-axis (the leftmost letter the least of the x-axis and the rightmost letter the greatest of the x-axis). The z-axis is used to relegate word separation. The more distant a word is from the beginning of the word string, the more distant the word is on the z-axis. Typically, the points, if connected, are then rendered as either a line or as a plane. If rendered and not connected, the points are rendered as letters. In other words, related to a coordinate system, the words become figures (lines, planes or labeled points) as a consequence of the characters they contain and the placement of the figures is a consequence of character placement sequentially within the word. Seeing it is understanding it. See the examples below.
Although in geometry the minimum case for a line segment is 2 points and the minimum case for a plane is 3 points, in this program's implementation the required number of points (letters in a word) is 3. Any word less than 3 letters will not display. Further, non-letter characters (the hyphen and the apostrophe) are word components treated as letters except special characters can have their y-axis values assigned as equivalent to a particular letter. For instance, the letter "z" is the highest y-axis point. Assigning the apostrophe height attribute to "z" means every apostrophe will also exist at the highest point on the y-axis. All words are normalized to lowercase.
Input text is rendered as either letters, lines, planes or some combination referenced as the Figure Style. As of at least Cortona 6 (in the year 2011), the rendering does not have Background Urls for assigning a Front Image (frontUrl), Back Image, etc.. However, there is an option for assigning an image to all word planes. Further, sound is assignable as a Background Url "Option". Thus, you can assign pictures and music from the internet to your rendering. In addition, the Figure Style allows selecting the figure's line and plane opacity with a Transparency option.
You can navigate through your rendered text by pressing "PgUp" and "PgDn" on your keyboard. Rapidly doing so will zoom you through the text. If you right-mouse click on the scene, you will see a menu listing "Viewpoint" as an option. Select Viewpoint for a rendered word listing. You will likely find using fewer words makes a stronger impression. However, simply pouring in many words from nearly any source will quickly broaden your geometrized vocabulary. With practice, you will become versed in the visual, able to picture the geometry before you use a word and thus enable yourself to write expressive text with immediacy, with or without the tool.
Keep in mind, although this tool allows rendering art works (poetic and otherwise), you are invited to use it as one tool among many in your tool array for producing works. For instance, consider using the "PrtSc" key to snapshot the screen, save each snapshot to a paint program, and create a sequence animation. Aside from art, those with linguistic interest might find the tool useful for lexical study.
Examine these examples:Example 1:
Example 1 was achieved by combining the words "zoom moon noon" as "zoomoonoon", setting the frontUrl to an image from the internet, and the word plane to an image from the internet. Though you won't want to make excessively long words (perhaps interferring with the Viewpoint), you can makeup words. To understand the y-axis placement of letters, note that "z" is high on the y-axis whereas "m" is lower on the y-axis and all the "o" letters are on the same level of the y-axis. Update note: As of at least Cortona 6 (in the year 2011), the rendering does not have Background Urls. Alternatively, to create background coloration, you can use a GradientBackground node as found in the User Script section of Options. The default gradient is from blue (0 0 1) to red (1 0 0), that is RGB format thus light blue is 0 0 0.01 and full blue is 0 0 1 whereas light red is 0.01 0 0 and full red is 1 0 0.Example 2:
Example 2 might well be entitled The Silent Echo. The effect was achieved by entering the text "tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow", selecting "randomize letters, planes, lines" as the Figure Style and repeating the creation until occuring one I wanted to keep. To understand placements on the z-axis , note each word is on a differnt place on the z-axis and the further the word in the word sequence, the further the word on the z-axis.Example 3:
Example 3 demonstrates that palindromes are useful material for symetric effect. However, you can simply write any word backwards. Predict this graph "alcoholism msilohocla".Example 4:
Example 4, among other things, demonstrates simplicity. Instead of "say yes", can you visualize it as "sayes"? Using the tool, test your prediction. Thus, the tool is usable as a game. Either guess the word of a non-labeled (no letter showing) figure or guess the shape of a figure the tool will render as a particular word.Example 5.1: Example 5.2: Example 5.3: Example 5.4:
Example 5 demonstrates a series suggesting animation. It was achieved by randomizing the Figure Style.Example 6:
Example 6 is a twisted sense of humor, demonstrates word play particularly emphasised by the geometry.Example 7:
Example 7 is obviously graphic language. And, just as obvious each letter is placed on the x-axis relative to its position in the strung words.
Of course, yours will exhibit better than any of these!
Of vowels, it is evident half are at the y-axis bottom and half at the top. Thus, in English, "aei" are the bottom vowels , "ouy" are the top vowels and "eiou" are the middle vowels. This suggest some figure strategy. Since
then clearly vowels are a primary control for apportioning a word within a particular triadic (bottom, middle or top) section of the y-axis. Thus, words with consonants
Consequently, consider the anagrams for any word W in a particular triadic T as a means to keep words within T. An anagram (such as "now" and "won") has the additonal benifit of providing harmony (shape similarity) and variation (commonality yet differencing) However, an anagram such as "message" and "sea gems" has common letters, stays within the same triadic and, yet, is highly differentiated as to the geometric figure especially as planes.
Repeatedly crossing a triadic boundary tends to cause erratic or large oscillation. For instance, input a panagram (a sentence that has all the letters of the alphebet).
It is a bit like learning to play a musical instrument. With practice, you begin to learn chords and pick out melodies. Eventually, one can learn to compose instaneniously or appreciate the compositions of others.
Let F be the Character Filter Exclusive (CFE), alias Forbidden Character Filter. Use the Character Filter Exclusive to confine words to graph regions of the y-axis of a GraphicWord Poetic. See the Character Filter Inclusive for a CFI to CFE comparision .
5 < 6 > 3 < 4 < 8 > 7
Or, for another example, "able":
For "ale", Rx length is 2, Ry length is 1 and Rz length is 1. And, thus, "ale" is symetrical about the primary peak (Ry) since Rx and Rz are of equal length. For "able", Rx length is 2, Ry lenght is 1 and Rz length is 1. Thus, "able" is asymetrical about the primary peak (Ry) since Rx and Rz are of unequal length.
Using relations and length it is possible to construct complex abstract mountain ranges leaving the details (letter substitutions) for later. One implementaton method is to construct the abstract mountain or mountain range and use it as a filter on a text stream. Feed the output to the GraphicWord Tool, and voila: mountain topography. Different text streams change the topographic detail yet retains the basic equality relations.
For a demonstration of Mountain Poetics, see the MountainPoetics Tool by Norman T. Thornton of PoeticWrites.org.
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-- Memory consideration.
Run no more than one VRML application at a time to conserve memeory.
From the "Options", select your desires. Use the URL fields to acquire internet files such as images or music.
In the text field, enter words. Only words of lenght 3 or more characters will be graphed. Hyphenated and contracted words are okay. For the purpose of best view and navigation, use words of say less than 20 characters. If using more than 20 characters or if for some reason you wish the rendered viewing closer or further away from a word, you can make adjustments to the word distance by using the "View Depth Offset" choice under the "Options" section.
Click the "create!" button to view your masterpiece.