Selected works from physics PhD student and artist Emma Tolley.

I’m probably best known for my hexels/trixel work. I have a lot of fun working with trixels; they provide a constrained geometry similar to pixel art and yet entirely different. Pixel art has been around for a long time and there are a lot of existing conventions about how to make appealing shapes, lines, shapes, etc. It’s fun (and often challenging) to render characters on a non-rectangular grid, where shape and line conventions are not so well defined.

In certain configurations trixels naturally lend themselves to constructing isometric perspectives, which provide a nice structered way to render wide-shot scenes or build grid-based landscapes. In images like these I’m usually concerned with creating interesting scenes rather than specific stylistic or rendering choices.

I also love writing software that generates procedural animations based on simplified physical principles. It’s fun to generate complicated animations by manipulating simple objects, like making rippling water effects by pushing around triangle vertices or animating a waterfall by programming line segments to obey gravity.