Author Topic: Alchemy is aimed at exploring how we can create on computers in NEW Ways  (Read 2919 times)

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Software Santa

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Alchemy is aimed at exploring how we can sketch, draw, and create 'art' on computers in new ways!

An open drawing project

alchemy |’alkemē

Figurative: a process by which paradoxical results are achieved or incompatible elements combined with no obvious rational explanation

Alchemy is an open drawing project aimed at exploring how we can sketch, draw, and create on computers in new ways. Alchemy isn’t software for creating finished artwork, but rather a sketching environment that focuses on the absolute initial stage of the creation process. Experimental in nature, Alchemy lets you brainstorm visually to explore an expanded range of ideas and possibilities in a serendipitous way.

Alchemy 008 – Beta Release

Today we announce the release of Alchemy version 008, a Beta release. Nearly two years on from the first release, the community of users has grown significantly and we believe Alchemy is reliable enough to be labelled ‘Beta’ quality. As a result we are finally opening up the website for everyone to download and try it out.

This release has a number of new modules, improvements, and bug fixes, but perhaps the most important thing is we are also opening up the development of Alchemy for everyone to create their own modules. If you know a little bit of Java or even some Javascript, Actionscript, or Processing, creating an Alchemy module is a simple process outlined in this tutorial. We want Alchemy to be software by artists for artists. How to contribute.

Finally we would like to say a special thank you to Steren Giannini and James Alliban for their code contributions to this release.

Who, Where, Why

Alchemy was intiated by Karl D.D. Willis and Jacob Hina as a way to explore and experiment with alternative ways of drawing. Karl has developed other experimental drawing systems such Light Tracer and TwelvePixels, while Jacob created the original ‘Symmskribbl’ mirror drawing application and is constantly making marks on paper. Alchemy is currently being developed in Tokyo, Japan, with the generous support of the Exploratory Software Project.


Alchemy is written in Java, so can run on most platforms.
At this stage we support Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux.
Alchemy requires the Java Runtime Environment version 1.5 or above.
Individual modules may have other requirements such as an internet connection or a microphone installed.

License and Contributing

Alchemy is released under the GNU General Public License, making it free for everyone to use and contribute too. We are actively seeking people to develop Java modules for Alchemy and will post documentation about this online for the full public release.

Source Code

For those interested in checking out the source code, the Subversion repository is availble to browse online here: There will also be documentation online in the near future detailing how to make an Alchemy module. But for now if you have any questions, please post them in the forum.


The Alchemy drawing canvas has an intentionally reduced level of functionality. No undo, no selecting, and no editing. Interaction focuses instead on the output of a great number of good, bad, strange and beautiful shapes.

To take a good look at what Alchemy can (and can not) do, check out the Videos section.

Alchemy Interface

The Alchemy Interface

Alchemy consists of a growing number of ‘modules’ that can be added or removed at will. Using a given module you can do things like:

    * Shout at the computer. Use your voice to control the width of a line or the form of a shape.
    * Draw ‘blind’. Turn off the canvas display and explore what shapes emerge from the ‘darkness’.
    * Create random shapes. Generate shapes that can be used as a starting point for characters, spaceships, or whatever shape you see in the ‘clouds’.
    * Mirror draw. Draw mirrored symmetrical forms in realtime.
    * Randomise. Mess up and distort shapes.

Global Features

Other global features place focus on the ‘process’ of drawing, letting you do things like:

    * Record a drawing ’session’. Automatically save the contents of the canvas to a page in a PDF file at set intervals.
    * Auto-clear the canvas. Start drawing on a clean slate at set intervals. Force yourself to start over fresh.
    * Switch the canvas. Automatically open your sketch in a more ‘conventional’ drawing application, either as a bitmap or vector file.
    * Avoid distraction. Alchemy has a very minimal interface, just a simple toolbar that dissapears magically, and a fullscreen mode to block everything else out.

License & Disclaimer

Alchemy is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

Alchemy is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
Download BETA 008

Release Date: 07.01.2010
Alchemy for Windows
Alchemy for Mac 10.5+
Alchemy for Mac 10.4
Alchemy for Linux

Version History

To see what has changed since the last version, check out the Version History
Previous Releases

ALPHA 007 – 09.04.2009 – Windows – Mac OSX – Linux
ALPHA 006 – 11.12.2008 – Windows – Mac OSX – Linux
ALPHA 005 – 26.06.2008 – Windows – Mac OSX – Linux
ALPHA 004 – 03.05.2008 – Windows – Mac OSX – Linux
ALPHA 003 – 26.03.2008 – Windows – Mac OSX
ALPHA 002 – 02.03.2008 – Windows – Mac OSX
ALPHA 001 – 30.01.2008 – Windows – Mac OSX

OK, So it is still TEST Software!
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 10:05:42 PM by Software Santa »


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