I love R and I love ggplot, but there’s always been one thing that’s really irked me: the real lack of support for complex fills, filters, or other graphics effects goodness. In R, there’s basically only support for perfectly rendered shapes and solid fills. If you want something like a gradient fill, blur, or texture, you’re left to your lonesome. I really felt the pain when I discovered the magic of SVG filters and then sadly realized I didn’t have all this awesomeness in R.
Graphics devices are weird, and operating systems are even weirder. If you are a Mac of Linux user, lucky you, you can go on your merry way! But if you’re a Windows user and you’ve ever screamed at your computer “Why the #&*$ wont my fonts work!?!?” or “Why are my plots so &#**ing pixelated!?!”, then read on. Note this is accurate as of May 2019. There is a lot of development happening on ggplot and graphics in R, courtesy of Thomas Lin Pederson and the rest of the ggplot team.
Welcome to my latest aRt project, which is very much a work-in-progress. I usually try to wrap things up in a nice bow before posting them, but this one was just too big for that, so I decided to split it over two months. This is part 1, in which I define a base algorithm for drawing various types of glyphs.
I honestly don’t know what to call these, they started out with the idea of “orbits” and then evolved into something more like summoning circles.
The Data Visualization Society recently held their inaugural challenge. My final submission was a switchback style timeline that visualized each member as a watercolor splotch. I made the base graphic in R, and applied stylings to the SVG using manual editing and Inkscape. I got several questions about how I made it, so here’s the story from concept to final design.
Concept From first looking at the DVS challenge data, I knew I would make a timeline.