Context Free

Context Free 3.0

Free
A program that generates images from written instructions called a grammar

There are many image editors but there is not anything as original as Context Free Art.
This graphic editor lets you create incredible pictures, designs and abstract images from its own scripting language, a special written instructions set called Context-Free Design Grammar (sets of non-deterministic rules that are used to generate images). Each script (the developers call it just "grammar") contains a number of lines that look like source code, which the program interprets and transforms into beautiful shapes and figures. You only have to write the appropriate commands, values and variables on the left column, and see the result on the right pane of the program's interface.

The program also includes some examples, so you get an idea of its capabilities. A couple of these examples work as lessons that teach you the basics of writing new grammar to create new designs. Moreover, there are direct links to the program's forums and official website, where you can find further information about this special way to draw. It may take a while to master, but it's definitely something all users interested in computer assisted design should try. Context Free Art can lead you to become addicted to computer-generated images.

The site says that Context Free “...is a program that generates images from written instructions called a grammar. The program follows the instructions in a few seconds to create images that can contain millions of shapes...”, and that's all true!

It’s a fascinating program to play around with and some of the output is simply stunning.

Sergio A. Durán
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • Free, open-source and available for Windows, OS X and various verions of Unix

Cons

  • Includes a separate C++ Installation
  • Requires Quick Player for saving to movie
  • Not easy learning curve
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