Project: Scrycloud

What It Does

Scrycloud presents an image of shifting difference clouds for you to gaze into for divining with pareidolia and liminal imagery. There is the usual sigil, which you can change the brightness of, and an ambient music track that plays in the background. While the project is running you may press the space bar to view or hide the controls for sigil brightness, delay, and music volume.

How It Works

The cloud morphing effect is achieved by three sprites (Cloud1, Cloud2, and Cloud3) each having seven costumes depicting different arrays of solid noise, and cycling through them while applying Scratch’s ghost effect. The cloud costumes were made in GIMP (Filters → Render → Clouds → Difference Clouds…), with white turned transparent (Colors → Color to Alpha…) so the sprites’ active costumes are layered over each other semi-transparently.

Each cloud sprite has its own counter variable that controls the oscillation of the ghost effect. By having each sprite initialize with different counter and ghost effect values, the costumes are not all ghosting, reappearing, and switching the same way at the same time; the differences produce images of varying complexity that do not frequently repeat.

Scrycloud‘s control interface is managed by the stage, which has four variables:

  • ghostFxDelay — slows down the transformations (range: 0.0 to 1.0)
  • musicVolume — controls the volume of the background music (no surprise there)
  • showControls — toggles whether or not the control sliders display
  • sigilBrightness — controls the brightness of the sigil backdrop (the whiter the sigil, the more visible it appears)

The stage has one backdrop, sigil, and one sound track, music, which plays automatically. The ghostFxDelay value is a decimal between 0.0 and 1.0 that determines how many seconds (0.5 = half a second) Scratch waits before applying each increment or decrement of the ghost effect.

Make It Better

  • The sigil is really just present so you can experiment with liminal imagery, although having a real one of your own making may assist the divinatory process. Feel free to experiment with various images, colors, effects, and music.
  • Most of Scratch’s effects range from 0 to 100. Change the ghostFxDelay slider to show in a range of 0 to 100 without changing the actual range of 0.0 to 1.0 (hint: you will need to mathematically convert 0…100 to 0.0…1.0).


The music track is “Beneath the Lights and Salts” by Century of Aeroplanes.