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Down the Rabbit Hole: Autoglyphs, a breakthrough experiment in generative on-chain art

Autoglyphs are incredibly unique because traditionally, the actual picture files linked with blockchain art are generally housed in a database, meaning outside the blockchain.

It means that the authentic artwork does not benefit from any of the benefits associated with the blockchain, such as “decentralization” or “immutability” (unless you think of the token itself as the artwork instead of the image). To put it another way, there’s nothing preventing someone from changing, moving, or removing the image from the location where the hash points. If that happened, all you’d have left with is an irreversible record declaring that you possess an artwork but no way of seeing it.

“Why can we not just store the image on the blockchain?” you could ask. Blockchain is fantastic for many things, but storing huge image files isn’t any of its advantages. Traditional picture files like JPEG and PNG are impossible to keep on the blockchain unless you can create art with a tiny footprint.

This is why Autoglyphs are so awesome.

More about Autoglyphs

Larva Labs, the creators of Meebits NFT and Cryptopunks, is the one that created Autoglyphs, too, in 2019.

On the Ethereum blockchain, Autoglyphs are the first “on-chain” generative art. They are a self-contained system for creating and owning artwork.

Autoglyphs are a generative art endeavor, with each one being unique and created by code on the Ethereum blockchain. Anyone willing to give 0.20 ETH ($848.41) creation charge to the selected charity, 350.org, had the power to make a glyph. The glyph’s originator will then become the first owner of the glyph. The generator, however, shut down after 512 glyphs had been made, and the glyphs were further only offered on the secondary market.

Now that the project has been deployed on Ethereum, it’s vital to remember that users who hold glyphs have complete ownership on the generated art. This is a significant distinction from limited edition work and sold by an artist or gallery. Autoglyphs enables an independent, long-term guarantee of ownership, provenance, and edition size.

The Autoglyphs is a highly optimized generative algorithm with an ERC-721 interface that can create billions of distinct artworks. ERC-721 is the standard for “non-fungible tokens”. The fundamental distinction with Autoglyphs is that the artwork is included within the contract, making it “art on the blockchain.”

The Creation Fee Goes to Charity

If you look at any glyph generation transaction on the blockchain, you’ll notice this. The whole output of the generator, and thus the artwork itself, is contained in the event data. Hex data may not appear to be much, yet it encodes a character art pattern. Following the written instructions in the smart contract’s comments, pattern can be drawn to a screen or even on paper.

All earnings from the sale of Autoglyphs was donated to 350.org, a non-profit dedicated to combating climate change. The blockchain has the advantage of allowing you to verify that Autoglyphs is indeed donating the funds. 350.org welcomes Ethereum donations, and you can verify their address (0x50990F09d4) on their website. You may also check that the Autoglyphs contract is donating the full 0.20 Ether ($848.41) creation charge to that address when each glyph is created. As a result, for each Autoglyph you designed for yourself, you also donated to a worthy cause easily and transparently.

Key details about Autoglyphs

Each Autoglpyh is one-of-a-kind, generated by an algorithm. Only 512 will ever exist, and all of them have already been minted. That means there aren’t any more to be made. Because all 512 Autoglyphs have now been generated, you will need to purchase them on the secondary market such as Opensea. Read more about OpenSea here.

The largest sale of Autoglyph so far has been of 460ETH. Here is a more detailed statistic about Autoglyphs:

https://dune.xyz/felipe/Autoglyphs

On the website, you may see the entire set of glyphs created thus far, as well as other significant project statistics.

It is also evident that the number of Autoglyphs owners has rapidly grown, as depicted below:

https://dune.xyz/felipe/Autoglyphs

Here is also a chart about the biggest Autoglyph owners:

https://dune.xyz/felipe/Autoglyphs

If you wish to learn more about the number of transfers that each Glyph went through, check out the chart shown below:

https://dune.xyz/felipe/Autoglyphs

However, there has not been any sale of Autoglyph NFTs in the past seven days. Thus, the trading volume and the average price for the previous week stay ZERO! Check here

Code that generates art

The Autoglyphs are generated using a little amount of code. The drawing function from the Solidity contract is as follows:

function draw(uint id) public view returns (string) {
    uint a = uint(uint160(keccak256(abi.encodePacked(idToSeed[id]))));
    bytes memory output = new bytes(USIZE * (USIZE + 3) + 30);
    uint c;
    for (c = 0; c < 30; c++) {
        output[c] = prefix[c];
    }
    int x = 0;
    int y = 0;
    uint v = 0;
    uint value = 0;
    uint mod = (a % 11) + 5;
    bytes5 symbols;
    if (idToSymbolScheme[id] == 0) {
        revert();
    } else if (idToSymbolScheme[id] == 1) {
        symbols = 0x2E582F5C2E; // X/\
    } else if (idToSymbolScheme[id] == 2) {
        symbols = 0x2E2B2D7C2E; // +-|
    } else if (idToSymbolScheme[id] == 3) {
        symbols = 0x2E2F5C2E2E; // /\
    } else if (idToSymbolScheme[id] == 4) {
        symbols = 0x2E5C7C2D2F; // \|-/
    } else if (idToSymbolScheme[id] == 5) {
        symbols = 0x2E4F7C2D2E; // O|-
    } else if (idToSymbolScheme[id] == 6) {
        symbols = 0x2E5C5C2E2E; // \
    } else if (idToSymbolScheme[id] == 7) {
        symbols = 0x2E237C2D2B; // #|-+
    } else if (idToSymbolScheme[id] == 8) {
        symbols = 0x2E4F4F2E2E; // OO
    } else if (idToSymbolScheme[id] == 9) {
        symbols = 0x2E232E2E2E; // #
    } else {
        symbols = 0x2E234F2E2E; // #O
    }
    for (int i = int(0); i < SIZE; i++) {
        y = (2 * (i - HALF_SIZE) + 1);
        if (a % 3 == 1) {
            y = -y;
        } else if (a % 3 == 2) {
            y = abs(y);
        }
        y = y * int(a);
        for (int j = int(0); j < SIZE; j++) {
            x = (2 * (j - HALF_SIZE) + 1);
            if (a % 2 == 1) {
                x = abs(x);
            }
            x = x * int(a);
            v = uint(x * y / ONE) % mod;
            if (v < 5) {
                value = uint(symbols[v]);
            } else {
                value = 0x2E;
            }
            output[c] = byte(bytes32(value << 248));
            c++;
        }
        output[c] = byte(0x25);
        c++;
        output[c] = byte(0x30);
        c++;
        output[c] = byte(0x41);
        c++;
    }
    string memory result = string(output);
    return result;
}

Finishing the Work

Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawings inspired the notion of having the Blockchain dictate “instructions” for the artwork to be generated. Larva Labs employ a CNC plotter to produce Autoglyphs in physical form, in addition to the digital renderings you see on their site.

How to buy Autoglyphs on OpenSea

Autoglyphs have an all-time average price of 37.405 ETH ($171,784). However, the last sale was for 375ETH ($1,557,813): –

  • To purchase NFT, add ETH / wETH to your wallet: Most NFTs on OpenSea are bought and traded with Ether, the Ethereum blockchain’s native cryptocurrency. Ensure you have enough ETH in your wallet to pay the cost of the chosen Autoglyph NFT as well as gas. Compare options to acquire ETH to reload your wallet if you’re running low on funds.
  • OpenSea will help you find Autoglyph NFT: Go through Autoglyph collection to help narrow down your options. If you’re looking for a certain Autoglyph NFT from the group, search for it.
  • ETH should be transferred to a Web3 wallet for purchasing an Autoglyph NFT: MetaMask is a popular Web3 wallet, and you can use that to transfer ETH via OpenSea to seller’s account, for buying an Autoglyph NFT.
  • Purchase your Autoglyph NFT: When you’re ready to buy, go to the individual Autoglyph NFT you’re interested in and click the “Buy Now” button. OpenSea will display the total amount, including fees, and you must approve the transaction in your MetaMask wallet.

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