For a recent commission, I found myself with a background problem to solve: how to render a psychedelic background in a couple of hours.
After various experiments with fractal vector failed to get the desired results, I gave up and began to search the web for some old-skool hippy patterns and/or trippy posters etc. until I came upon one packed with all manner of day-glo, spiral eye-candy. As anyone will tell you, I cannot stand this sort of thing so after an hour, I decided to turn the background into vectors with Live Trace and, as an afterthought, de-grouped the lot and applied a gradient. I then expanded the gradients again into steps.
Although it’s still not what the client wants, I found the random architectural shapes quite astonishing.