Thursday, January 1, 2015
animal advent ala ed emberley: director's commentary 16-20
One I created later, when I was kind of scrounging to find enough good candidates to finish the set. The interaction (bowing down as if to eat) is particularly dull, but overall the creature is pretty.
Visually, this is one of my favorites. This plethora of fish really showed off Emberley's design style. And gave me a chance to use some Java subclassing! (Plus, I've been making little fishtanks like this, with the similar sense of kick and water drag since... yeesh, like 1994, in Windows C Programming, or maybe Visual Basic.)
I thought somewhere I heard an admonition not to make "dead fish" in gaming, not to just move a static fish sprite around and call it a day, so each fish here pushes with its fin and tail a bit.
This one I'm really proud of. I was tempted to just make each an arm an S, and have them rotate around the fish or something, and call it a day, but I realized I could do more. For a long while I've been inspired by the Processing.org "Reach 2" Example - I'm still not sure I quite wrap my head around how it works, and in fact it turned out to be too fiddly for me to use directly, so I had to reinvent the technique from scratch. Each arm is a series of joints, and each joint "wants" to turn to towards the mouse, but each is constrained to a certain amount of angle, and also can only adjust its angle at a specific rate. (Plus, each has a "default" angle it returns to to create the "S" shape in the deconstructed form)
Another early one, and one of the first to really add a cool interaction. Emberley's book has an alternate whale blowing stylized dots, and by using simple x/y speed I was able to make a nice display.
The flexing of the whale was fun, but I had to "cheat" it somehow, because the squares and triangles that make up the whale at rest don't touch when it it is flexing. At first I had these cheat-y circles to fill the joint space that would hide in deconstructed form. Later I figured out to redo the math and have an extra triangle implicitly get draw on the side of "proper" structures. The end result wasn't perfect, but better than the circles.
Another one that didn't quite live up to my hopes. I couldn't quite get the flip to have a sense of weight and physics behind it, and again I was nearing the end of my time and gumption, so I just let it be. It's a pretty cute monkey though!