Generative Methods are computational techniques where a computer automatically creates a wide range of objects and experiences, including 2D and 3D shapes and spaces; 2D and 3D static and interactive artworks; experiences that unfold over time such as music, short films and games; and novel mechanical systems with AI-driven behavior.

Generative techniques have been used in computer games to automatically create game content (buildings, trees, rocks) as well as entire spaces for gameplay (game levels). Within games and computer graphics, this is known as procedural content generation. Outside of games, these techniques are used by building architects to create innovative shapes and spatial configurations for houses and buildings, and are known as parametric design. Within music, the term generative music encompasses a range of techniques for the algorithmic generation of music by computer. Artists who create procedurally generated short films (music videos), often under extreme constraints for binary size (e.g., 64k), fall under the umbrella term demoscene or demo culture. The term automated design is often used to describe algorithmic generation of electro-mechanical systems, especially robots, and this overlaps with those who have interest in artificial life, the use of generative methods to create synthetic (usually simulated) creatures with evolved behaviors. Generative methods can be viewed as a pragmatic approach to computational creativity, where the emphasis is on creation of useful artifacts, without concern for how these techiques contribute to a deeper understanding of computers performing creative activities. 

This course provides an introduction to generative methods, with emphasis on teaching core algorithmic techniques used across many different types of media. Specific generative techniques covered in the course include Perlin noise, particle systems, grammars, genetic algorithms, the combination of grammars and genetic algorithms, and constraint programming (answer set programming).

CMPM 265 has two sections, one that meets on the main campus in Santa Cruz, the other that meets in the UCSC Silicon Valley Center in Santa Clara.

The main campus section (01) meets on Tues/Thurs, from 10am-11:45am in Social Sciences 2, room 159.

The Silicon Valley Center section (50) meets on Tues/Thurs, from 4-5:45pm, room TBD.