Virtual View: programming animation

I’m still working hard on my animation. It’s going a bit slower then anticipated (what else is new) but I’m confident that I’ll have a nice, representative animation finished for the experiment. As an inventory, these are the elements that I want in the testing (and probably) final landscape: horizon with hills, sky, water body, shoreline, trees on the hills. And the animation elements: clouds, individual birds and flocks of birds, butterfly, bee, leafs blowing, ripples on the water. Forces I’m working with now are wind and gravity but I might include some more to make for example the water ripples move naturally.
So far I’ve build the look and feel of the landscape, tweaking it a little here and there as I go along. I’m very happy with the clouds. They consists of a lot of circles positioned using the Perlin noise algorithm. I’ve got big ones at the top and smaller ones a bit lower.

Some frames of clouds moving
Some frames of clouds moving

I’ve brought down the number of hills visible as I think too many lines make a chaotic landscape which gives a restless feeling. The gradients for the sky and the water surface are the same, that just is more logical.
I’ve also included a shoreline to account for the appearance of the blossom leafs and butterflies.
I finally managed to give the blowing pink blossom leafs a natural look. It was quiet a challenge to make them rotate and move in the joyful and fascinating way leafs do.

Some frames of blossom animation
Some frames of blossom animation

Next step will be to continue with the water ripple animation and the birds. Finally I will be working on the trees on the hills. All elements will be kept as simple as possible. The movement tell most of the story not the resemblance.

At this moment I can start animation elements at will. Which is nice for constructing a story. I can use it for the experiments with the prototype as well to test the effect of certain animating elements. But eventually the animations should start depending on heart-rate variables. That’s what I’ll have to find out when experimenting with the prototype.

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