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Animation Engine

Click the above-left picture of the Animation Engine applet to start the application full screen.

 
 

Face Builder

Idea

Never being afraid to make a fool of myself, I present a handful of mis-steps, failed attempts, and no redeeming lessons learned.

Some little while ago, I dreamed of creating my own animation engine to be superimposed over Flash. Flash is great at animation, if you know what you're doing and have some artistic ability, but I wanted to create a graphic tool that any non-technical user could use.

I hoped to have the animation engine read the models and animation macros from XML, generated by the tools, to effectively "automatically" create page content.

The First Attempt

I set out and built this head builder tool without doing any research into other's prior art. My tool only allows the user to change pre-existing head, eyes, ears, nose, & mouth and really was mostly an exercise in arranging components on a page. The full size version appears here.

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2nd Attempt

I later created a version that allowed unlimited (not really) number of "things" to be added to a model, but besides being ridiculously unwieldy and impractical to use, I managed to break it seemingly irretrievably and eventually got bored and moved onto something else.

Here's the last moderately-functional, still-compilable version that I had of that. Here's a direct link to it.

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If nothing else, this version taught me some basics of making and manipulating the list components via actionscript.

These two broken and incomplete tools allowed me to create such stellar models as the following, which clearly demonstrates my artistic prowess.

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Next Step

The whole point of this excerise was to eventually be able to use these things (models) in games I intended to create, but it eventually dawned on me that there wasn't any efficiency to be gained in creating actionscript drawable models if they looked this terrible. After all, Flash is great for svg drawing and even I can draw, or at least copy other's art, better that this thing can create.

However, I didn't figure that out until after I created the cat versus mice game.