An (attempt of an) interactive particle system based music video.
Peter Kernel asked me to build an interactive video for their upcoming album.
I was really tempted to write the program in JavaScript (Canvas or WebGL) but I didn’t feel agile enough to deliver in a very short time so I decided to build it up with Processing and to depoly it via the crippled Java plugin (a decision which I now regret, for the plugin part—not Processing!).
And yes: sound and Java always sucked.
But I didn’t think so badly.
I had so many problems by embedding the fullscreen applet on different browsers and platforms without dramatic frame-rate drops and sound hick-ups that at the end I decided to abandon the project without any time left for a new one. We (the band and I) also felt that the whole project didn’t really take off, so any extra effort to make it run seemed useless. Sorry guys.
Anyway: it was fun to rewrite the particle engine I was working on and to test different behaviors and colorings. I tried to overcome the “organic” feel of force driven systems with grid snapping and other “smart” distribution rules.
It was interesting to sync the animation to the sound. I also tried to sync videos with a constant framerate to the main system: it worked quite well but later I abandoned the whole idea of working with video feeds.
The main idea was to visualize the word-lists in the song but I didn’t want to introduce a font directly into the scene so it was kind of obvious to form words with the particles… as in any dot-matrix display.
Oh and the particles: simple (bitmap-cached) circles. I tried different shapes and always came back to a plain circle. But in a moment I tested with donut kind of shapes and the result was simple but interesting:

The only part where I had time to implement the sum of those shapes was in the beginning sequence.

The choreography is unfinished (especially at the end), the color-scheme is inaccurate, the mouse interaction is kind of dull, and there is (or was) still work to do but you can enjoy my failure by watching the captured frames on Vimeo if you feel brave enough: