Getting Started

The Basics


Biq is really quite simple to use. Play with the settings in the control panel to generate a new texture. Some will look pretty and some will not. Click on the yellow diamond with the "?" at the bottom of the control panel to get to this help page.

Variant and Repeat


The first two settings are called Variant and Repeat. Changing the value of Variant will give you another variant of the texture. Repeat is the maximum tile size. The texture will repeat after that many pixels horizontally and vertically. It might also repeat at a smaller interval unless the maximum tile size is prime.



If you want to see (and perhaps save, see below) a single tile, check the checkbox labeled Tile at the bottom of the control panel.

Saving Your Work

To save your texture, right click on it and select "Save image as..." To save your settings, go down to the gray bar underneath the texture and either copy the first link there, or click on it and bookmark the new page in your browser.

Style radio buttons.

Texture Style

Texture style is controlled by the four radio buttons near the top of the control panel. The first three are Ornamentation, Scales and Feathers, and Textiles. For now, stay away from the one labeled Advanced, particularly if you are math phobic. It will enable the coefficient settings right underneath them.



The color settings are towards the bottom of the control panel.


You can change the number of colors used, from 1 to 4. What this does is divide the grayscale value generated by Biq into bands, and each band is mapped to a color. Checking the Invert checkbox will invert the grayscale values, mapping white to black, black to white, etc.


The brightness of the image can be varied from 0.0 (dark) to 1.0 (bright).

The Standard Palettes

Eight standard color palettes are provided, in addition to Grayscale and Custom. Select the one you want using the radio buttons provided. Remember to set Colors to 4 if you want to use all of the colors in a palette.

The Custom Palette

If you select the Custom palette radio button, then the color controls above the palette radio buttons are activated. Click on them to select your own colors.


The Advanced Style Setting

The Advanced style setting lets you play with the modular bivariate quadratic function directly instead of relying on the Style radio buttons to set them for you.

The Coefficients

The coefficients are described in more detail in the paper, or you can just experiment with them. The constant coefficient f is an easy one to start with. Changing it will vary the details of the texture slightly, in general.


Selecting the Linear radio button below the coefficients activates the second bivariate quadratic function and changes the hash function from Cantor-style diagonal numbering to Szudzik-style linear numbering. See the paper for more details.

Created June 30, 2015 by Ian Parberry. Written in HTML 4.01 and CSS 3. Last updated April 2, 2018.