rafolio's items tagged with MAADM More of rafolio's stuff

This is the 7th image, and one of the “Glimpses of the Spectacular”. The idea here is that the user has managed to discover this glimpse by finding a small gap in the window. Once discovered, the user strains to take in the spectacular view, peering through the thin crack in the filthy glass.

Look with your mouse…

Here is the full sized version


I noticed that in the previous version of this animation, the snow was sliding beyond the boundary of the image when viewed at full size. To correct this I added a mask over the whole animation, with the same dimensions as the stage.

Click here to see the full size masked version


Animation Flow

Ive had GridIron Flow running in the background now for a few weeks, picking up on all the little links that make up my workflow. I checked a couple of these workflows from Flash files created for the Site + Motion module. As you can see the results are pretty complex, its amazing how quickly you can build up a workflow consisting of so many files.


This is the 4th image of the main 5 in the animation. The idea was to experiment with the drag state in Flash and I wanted to allow the snow on the roof-lights to be slid up and down with the cursor like blinds. I thought this would be fairly easy, but it seems I was wrong, and it took me all bloody day to discover that unless ActionScript and Algebra are your first and second languages, its almost impossible.

The difficulty seems to be in restricting a draggable object to a path. It’s fairly straightforward to limit the object to a bounding rectangle, and therefore easy to limit to a horizontal or vertical line (by setting the rectangle width or height to zero), but incredibly difficult to limit to a diagonal line. I expected that I could add a motion guide as a drag path in a similar way to a tween, but this method also proved unsuccessful. 

I ended up settling for a slightly different method, where the snow on the roof-lights are animated buttons which are triggered on the down state.

Click here to see it at full size

There is also a reset button somewhere in the animation, to return the snow to its original position.



Deitch is a gallery with a great home page. The illustration features the original gallery building and depictions of the artists who exhibit there. There are few buttons or triggered animation, but some nice timeline animation, and the music works well with the graphics, emulating retro computer games. I also love the simplicity of the colour scheme.



I made some adjustments to the sky animation in the second image. I’ve also altered the button animations on the window panes to create a much more subtle gathering of storm clouds. The idea of ‘Glimpses of the Spectacular’ is very important in my idea, and I would like these glimpses of the more interesting images to be triggered by subtle interaction with the main 5 images. It will not be obvious how to trigger these glimpses, and they may not even be discovered at all by the user, but will require a concentrated, inquisitive interaction which explores the finer details of the main timeline. If discovered, the user will have little control over these glimpses, they will disappear as quickly as they appear.

Image 2 contains a button which offers the user one of these glimpses.


This project is to build a physical device with which to interface with Maya in order to create an animation. We are using infra red proximity sensors which give an analogue output reading between the values of 4cm and 30cm. 

Motion Capture Device

A short video demonstrating the sensor values being successfuly read in Maya. A simple curve is defined by 3 cluster points, and the X-translation of each cluster point is mapped to a corresponding sensor value. The sensor output values can be re-mapped as desired within Maya to enhance or limit the degree of movement of the cluster points:

Video 1. Simple Curve Movement from Richard Almond on Vimeo.

After experimentation, we found that the sensors work best in a dark, enclosed environment, and so the concept of using a series of piston-like devices was born. This will hopefully enable us to create a user-friendly, intuitive, and accurate interfacing system between the user and Maya. We built a rough mock up:

Motion Capture Device

A shot of the first version of the device during assembly. The device accomodates 3 sensors and here the battens are visible which seperate each compartment containing a sensor:

Motion Capture Device

In action:

 Motion Capture Device

The next stage is to refine the device, both physically and in terms of what it controls within Maya.


html upload test, work in progress…

(this is a SWF so please interact and let me know what you think)


After last week’s review, it’s clear I’ve got a lot more thinking to do on this Flash animation. Re-reading the brief, I remind myself of the 4 key factors to consider:

  1. Navigation (a cognitive approach, association and reoccurring objects) 
  2. Type of animation (controlled, interactive, triggered)
  3. Life spans (of individual objects as well as the animation as a whole)
  4. Hierarchy (primary/secondary objects) 

Initially it seems vital to get the navigational system cracked. Further consideration has led to the idea of using the window panes as an intuitive, constant navigational feature. Since the main section of my animation will feature 5 images of the roof lights, it is sensible to use the right most window pane as a forward button, and the left most as a back button. This has the advantage of allowing the user to navigate how they desire through the main body of the animation.

Each of these main 5 images will have its own unique, subtle animation, but it will hopefully become clear very quickly how to navigate between them. The theme of my photographic project was “Glimpses of the Spectacular”, and so along with the main 5 images which portray the general mundane, monotonous, grey gloom of the studio, I will have 4 further images of the special moments of weather that remind us of nature’s beauty.

Finding these images will not be so simple, they may be appear when an inquisitive user explores a small, interesting area of one of the main image, or they may appear at random. They will certainly appear suddenly and disappear even more so, back into the gloom. The user will never know quite how to see these moments.

Another issue brought up in the review was that of transitions. Initially the transitions were a simple cut from one image to the next, but a fade in and out, or even a gradual overlay transition from one to the next should prove more in keeping with the subtleties of my animation.


A first attempt at animating my images with Flash. This was an excercise in getting to grips with the software as much as anything, but the piece trys to convey the almost oppressive atmosphere that the studio rooflights enforce upon people, as well as the sensation of isolation from the outside world and its weather.

Results are (supposed to be) subtle, so concentrate…