Shamus Young’s “Pixel City” feels like flying in a helicopter into the art from Ghost in the Shell, or discovering a metropolis inside your computer. The latest work from an undiscovered YouTube talent, the software itself will be released under an open source license. I don’t need to tell you this could inspire other experiments for urbanist visualists wanting to work with real-time landscapes.

It’s also interesting that the process itself becomes part of the artwork: it’s by understanding how each element is pieced together that you really connect to the meaning of the whole.

This is a demonstration of a program I wrote to generate and fly through a dynamically generated city. You can read the step-by-step of how it was made at my website:

  • The program was built on vanilla OpenGL, Windows, using MS DevStudio 6.0
  • Building the city takes about 5 seconds.
  • Took about 50 hours of coding time.
  • Runs on older hardware. The goal was to have the program work on Windows machines less than 5 years old.
  • To be released as a Windows screensaver.

The music is "Around" by Oursvince, used under the Creative Commons:

The link on his website also discusses other reflections on digital cityscapes, so well worth reading.