Boston Skyline, Rendered With Teapots

While mulling over several ideas for teapot-related artwork, I had a flash of inspiration:

"I'll just use teapots themselves as render primitives!"

Over 466,000 teapots were used to represent this aerial view of Boston, my tribute to the city.
Technical Overview
Custom software was written by the artist in C++ and Perl on a Macintosh to create this image.

The elements used to build the image were a high-resolution photograph of the Boston skyline, and 211 unique digital teapot images. Each teapot image was rotated by five-degree increments, resulting in 72 images for each original teapot.

An iterative process was used to create the scene. For each iteration, a random location was chosen on the photograph. Every teapot image was compared against its "footprint" on the photograph at that location and given a value that corresponded to how closely it matched the underlying image. The one that most closely matched was considered a candidate for placement on an initially blank "canvas" image.

A second value was computed to represent how completely the candidate teapot would cover previously placed teapots. The two values were combined, and, if they met a pre-defined metric, the program painted the teapot onto the canvas; otherwise, it was rejected and nothing was done for the current iteration.

For this image, the program ran through 625,000 iterations, which placed 466,961 teapots.

Gene Greger
Invincible Muffin Productions
gene.greger (at)