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I was able to download the Javascript source and get it working, and added more text to my own liking. :) I see what you mean with the gradients; it's just enough to be a bit annoying to add texture. It looks like you've got a framework in place for alternate lettering, but the "modern" style is the only one implemented.

If you don't mind, here's my current understanding of how your image generation works - how close am I to correct?

So each card has a number of objects associated with it, such as "sea", "sun", "star", "figure", "mountains", "city" etc. These objects work in different ways but generally have an actual position on the card, and often an associated "mask" that determines the shape of their "density". Objects also have a flow field, which I take it is like a vector field, which influences the direction lines will take, if the line is associated with the object. Each object also has a set of parameters which determine how lines will be drawn; this can make lines strictly follow the flow field, or wobble around, or travel at right angles to the flow field, or zigzag, etc. etc. It can also make lines thicker or thinner, and can apply certain colors to the cells which are produced by the lines.

Drawing takes place via a number of growth points traveling around on the card. Each of these growth points belongs to one of the "objects" (as I've been calling them), but they're all on the same card so they can collide with lines being drawn by other "objects". One thing I'm not clear on, is how many growth points initially are placed onto the card. Do separate objects maintain separate pools of points, or are they all thrown in together? But anyway, just like with the famous "Substrate", when a growth point collides with an existing line, it gets moved someplace else on the card.

As I understand it, growth points actually spread outward in two directions (unlike Substrate). So I think maybe both sides of the line need to "land" on an existing line before the line "dies" and a new growth point gets placed. When both sides of a line have "landed", typically it would form a closed shape which I think gets called a "cell". I'm guessing that the growth point which completes a "cell" influences what color it eventually gets colored, via the parent object that owns the growth point.

New growth points get placed randomly on the card, according to the "density" field. Looks like when a new growth point is placed, it drains away some of the density nearby, so that growth points are unlikely to begin too close to where one has already been. There's also a limited number of total growth points, so that eventually they run out and the card is finished.

I think that covers most of what I understood. Is that about right?

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Been poking around all day, and now I have some coherent thoughts on improving the image generation.

The pips have some good variety, but at the moment aren’t different enough that, e.g., diamonds and chimes can be told apart by shape in a given deck. 

An easy way to vary them more would be to alter their “density” or starting number of seeds. I’ve cranked up the seeds and gotten an interesting look.

Very occasionally, I get a suit whose pips favor some zigzag lines. I got a “rocks” suit on one deck which was a grey color and did this! It looked like jagged boulders. Possibly this outcome should be slightly more common to increase variety.

I suppose mask shapes could also be varied more. Thin, randomly tilted rectangles, crescent shapes, or annuli (circles with a hole) might look noticeably different, but I haven’t tried any of that.

A more out-there idea would be to add a “foreshortening” effect to either the line quality or the flow fields. Right now, flow fields have “right” and “left” which are at right angles from their forward direction. But these “right” and “left” vectors could be placed at shallower angles to the forward vector, with “right” still being the negative of “left”. Applying foreshortening could potentially make some objects seem more 3D. And, flow fields could potentially have different amounts of foreshortening in different regions. (At this point it’s almost like having two different flow fields, one conceptualized as at a right angle to the other.) This means they could represent the geometry of foreshortened curved surfaces.

Besides the pips, the other major thing to my mind is the figures. Sometimes they turn out very interesting, but they have some quirks which can feel repetitive; such as not having a clear head or being roughly diamond-shaped. What I’ve done for myself is add some extra mask shapes, such as just the top half of an ellipse, and a plain rectangle. The plain rectangle doesn’t look too great, but maybe more random quadrilaterals would have some character. I was also thinking maybe a more hand-shaped human silhouette could be good, or a selection of appropriate Julia sets.

I’d also like to try and see what happens when all the density is placed near the edges of the mask shape, leaving the middle basically empty. But another option would be to try distributing the density by Perlin noise.

When it comes to having a head, probably the only solution is to put some sort of deliberately generating head near the top of figures some of the time. Wouldn’t want to do that too much. The strength of this comes when it enables seeing things in the scribbles, not when it forces one interpretation.

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Sorry to spam you with lots of messages, but I've also gotten some nice looking results by putting just a single kink into the lines - via using numbers other than pi to initialize the second tracer's angle at the end of Tracer.spawn().

Nice!

Very occasionally, I get a suit whose pips favor some zigzag lines. I got a “rocks” suit on one deck which was a grey color and did this! It looked like jagged boulders. Possibly this outcome should be slightly more common to increase variety.

I'm not sure (as I said it was created too long time ago) but I think I didn't like how zigzags looked. For my taste they were good for variety, but not as a frequent element.

I suppose mask shapes could also be varied more.

Are you talking about specifically pips here? I think they are too small to make their shapes matter (except maybe with aces, twos and threes). But Major Arcana and face cards I would add something like random blob shapes to portrait large non-round, not-rectangular objects (including figures).

If you don't mind, here's my current understanding of how your image generation works - how close am I to correct?

Everything sounds about right. I'm not sure about fine details as this generator was made more than two years ago.

One thing I'm not clear on, is how many growth points initially are placed onto the card. 

As far as I remember, a single tracker is placed per time (or something like this). I tried to spawn all the trackers according to the density, but it looked bad: this way they didn't have chances to draw long curves because they bumped into each other too soon.

As I understand it, growth points actually spread outward in two directions (unlike Substrate).

To be honest I have no idea what Substrate is. Yes, curves grow in two directions. Otherwise there would be loose ends which could cause problems with building of closed contours.

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Ah, Substrate is a screensaver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCCVgBOVD0E It avoids the loose ends by starting seeds directly on existing lines. I was acting like you'd heard of it because I've seen it mentioned a couple times in the context of history of procedurally generated art. https://procedural-generation.tumblr.com/post/124657726768/substrate-2003-shortly-after-the-turn-of-the

Having played with the code more, now I understand that the objects are rendered in one at a time to give some appearance of depth. It does look like there's a setting for number of starting seeds which gets used on a few objects.

It might be interesting to produce some symmetry by having some objects which place two seeds at a time, symmetrically.  Maybe that would be a solution for getting more face-like things to appear.

Anyway, I'm enjoying poking around in your old project. :)