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Show HN: Tinkersynth, a whimsical generative art machine (tinkersynth.com)
105 points by joshwcomeau 12 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 30 comments





This is super cute. Loving how the little diagrams change as the sliders are moved.

One thing that might really get people to purchase a drawing is the ability to change line colours. Imagine all the colourful patterns! Have you plans to add this?


Absolutely the thing keeping me from thinking about a purchase is the missing possibilites to color the lines in different colors.

Appreciate the feedback!

I don't really have many plans to keep working on this machine, but I do hope to add new machines (with different controls, and different possible outputs), so I'll definitely keep that in mind :)


I just like really colorful design, so another machine with cool geometric patterns or something with a lot of color control, would be awesome imo!

I like it and would've liked to buy a vector download but $19 is insane. I would've paid 3$, $5 at the max.

Through the lens of "cost of a vector download", it is very expensive.

I've been thinking of it a different way, though. The option exists for people who want to manage the printing themselves, and it's a much more economical version.

The fine-art prints on my project start at $99, and while the profit on that varies by where it's shipping to, it's always more than 20 bucks. It doesn't cost $80 to produce and ship a 12" x 18" print.

Put another way, you're not paying for an image download, you're paying for the creative energy (not to mention time) that went into producing this tool.

That said, you're not the first person to bring this up, so clearly the messaging could use some work. I've lowered the price to $5 while I figure that out.


I appreciate the reply. I also understand the reasoning behind it, it's just that it honestly wasn't worth that much to me.

I just bought a download for $5. I don't know if 5 people would pay $19 vs 20 would pay $5, but you just got five dollars more from me that you would've otherwise :-)


Almost nobody would pay $3 either, so $19 could be optimal pricing. (i.e. 1 in a million people pays $19, but only 5 in a million pays $3).

I just paid $5.

The randomize button in the lower right corner is the best way to see the possibilities.

Yeah! I had wanted to find a way to make this more prominent, since it's great fun.

Fun fact: While any combination is possible from the "randomize" button, it uses weighting to try and come up with pleasant/interesting combos more often than not. I'm quite pleased with the results.


Is there a way of 'seeding' this with line drawings?

I agree, this would be a cool idea and make it feel more personalized

That'd be super cool! It would be non-trivial to implement, but that may be something I consider in the future :) thanks for the feedback!

If you do get around to doing it, would you mind sending me an email (in bio)? I have an idea I've been mulling over for a long time, and would pay for something like this.

Edit: I contacted you via the contact form at Tinkersynth


Love that easter egg!

hah, thanks! I was wondering if people would discover it =)

Great interface. I'm just loving it!

I have been working on something similar for plotter drawings http://xn--5ca.cc/jack-of-diamonds/#Faces

Neat! Seems fun.

This project was actually meant to be for plotter drawings originally, and the SVGs it produces are plotter-friendly (all the occlusion is done mathematically, not using fills or masks).


Pleasantly reminiscent the cover artwork of "Unknown Pleasures" (Pulsar!)

Perhaps someone in the near future will make a similar art cover using graphs of exoplanet transits.


Cool, but why would I pay that much to download the image?

This business model seems like a fascinating idea. Do you know if it will work? Is anyone else using it?

Thanks! Yeah, I hope some people will think the things it produces are worth purchasing! Although I suspect almost everyone will treat it as a fun web toy (and that's totally alright as well - the goal isn't really to make a ton of money with this)

It is really fun. Thanks for putting thought into the design and UX.

Loving the interface, great work!

Thanks =)

Desktop mode only?

There's a limited mobile experience, essentially it just gives you the ability to shuffle (which, many people say is the single most fun control).

The reason is that the experience really only works when you can see the art while you're tweaking a parameter, and there was no way to fit both the art and the controls on a phone screen at once. I had them stacked, and scrolling up to see what a control did was a miserable experience.


On my phone it complains, but seems to work fine.



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